Oviedo is the capital of the province Asturias in northwestern Spain. The origin of the city lies in the 8th century when two monks founded a monastery. A settlement developed around the monastery, that later would become the capital of the Kingdom of Asturias. It is a very atmospheric city with a historic center and various century old churches and monasteries in the area. The center is dominated by the gothic cathedral, which was built between the 13th and 16th century.
The city has over 220,000 inhabitants.
Oviedo lies in the northwest of Spain, 27 kilometers from the coast (Bay of Biscay). South of the city lie the Cantabrian mountains. The northern region is generally cooler than the rest of Spain. That's why it's a popular tourist destination in the summer for inhabitants of Madrid who want to flee the heat of the city.
Although the interest has decreased over the past few years, the steel industry still plays a major role in the local economy. Weapons are also traditionally made in Oviedo. Tourism is becoming increasingly important for the entire province of Asturias.
The city's international airport (Airport of Asturia) lies 40 kilometers northwest of Oviedo, closer to the city Avilés. The airport is easily accessible by rental car: via the highway A-8 or the national road N-632. The exit is clearly signposted along the way.
Oviedo has good local public bus transportation (Autobuses Urbanos de Oviedo). Each stop indicates at what time the next bus will arrive. For destinations outside the city you can use the ALSA buses. This bus company maintains connections between many Spanish cities.
The center of Oviedo is mostly auto free. A rental car is an ideal means of transportation to explore the area around the city. It is easy to drive in and out of the city thanks to the ring road. To get to Gijon or Avilés, follow the A-66 from Oviedo, but beware: after Lugones there are no more exits!
There is a good supply of guest houses and hotels in Oviedo. There are also some camp sites around the city. If you have a rental car, staying at the Casa de Aldea could be nice: picturesque houses and farms in a small village near Oviedo or Asturias.
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