The Camino del Norte hardly gives us any respite and leads us through places full of charm. Finding time to rest is getting tricky at these stages of the Camino de Santiago.
Let’s continue on the Camino del Norte!
On today’s stage, we will cross Monte Areo and the Carreño Valley, crossing several rivers on the way to the city of Avilés, with a historic centre listed as an area of artistic and monumental interest.
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Itinerary stage Gijón – Avilés
Today’s route is a sedate one. We leave Gijón through an urban environment and enter Avilés in the same way, but in between, we will enjoy a pleasant day that runs through a rural environment.
Gijón (km. 0). Beginning of stage
Practical tips for this section: Between Gijón and Tabaza you will not find any catering services along the road, so it is advisable to leave the city prepared for the journey! Buen Camino!
Unlike leaving other cities, leaving Gijón is quite simple. We start the morning by heading to the promenade, next to the marina, and continue straight along Avenida Rodríguez San Pedro, on the right, until we reach the roundabout at Plaza Padre Máximo.
Here, we continue on the right and follow the classic scallops embedded in the road along Avenida Mariano Pola, Avenida Galicia and Avenida Republica Argentina. The latter flows into the AS-19 road, at the exit of the city of Gijón.
We follow the road, crossing the train track, then a roundabout and passing under another railway line, after which, we find the roundabout on the AS-19 road (km. 4.8). Just before we reach it, we turn right down a small path that connects onto a local road, on which there is little traffic.
We are moving through a rather ugly environment, surrounded by a large industrial area. When we get to the conveyor belt, we can follow straight ahead and cross the core of Veriña, which is the option we recommend, or turn left passing under the AS-19 road.
In both cases, we will cross the viaduct and the old road that previously connected to Avilés, to continue along a local road that goes to Poago.
Another railway again cuts across our path, this time, we cross it above. At the exit, we start the ascent to Monte Areo, returning to a rural area. The climb implies a slope of 185 metres that continues for 3 kilometres, although most of the slope is concentrated at the beginning of the ascent.
Following the road, we cross the small village of Poago. After this, we turn right on a paved road. We follow it for 100 metres, then, we immediately turn left down a concrete track.
It returns us, shortly after, to the earlier asphalt road, which we follow to the left, to enter the small hamlet of Pavierna (km. 7.6).
Pavierna (km. 7,6).
Practical tips for this section: The ascent to Monte Areo is worth doing, as it is an archaeological park in which numerous dolmens and mounds from the Neolithic period have been discovered. Buen Camino!
We continue to ascend along tracks that run through eucalyptus forests, facing an increasingly moderate slope.
After a little more than 2 kilometres, we start on a track, on which we continue to the left for 100 metres, then turn left again. Shortly afterwards we find the San Pablo dolmen, located 400 metres from the pilgrim path.
We leave on a paved track, which we continue to the right, starting the descent to the Carreño Valley. At the foot of the CE-6 road, we find on our path the Church of Santa Eulalia de Carreño, with a fountain (km. 12).
We cross the CE-6 road to continue in the same direction for 400 metres, until reaching a detour on the left, where we take a paved track, that transforms into a dirt track.
Ascending, we go over a hill and start a slight descent on a detour to the right, this leads to the tunnel of the AS-326 road. After passing through the tunnel, the Church of San Juan de Tamón, comes across our path. From there, we continue along the same AS-326 road, on the right, passing through an industrial area.
The route through the industrial area leads us close to a huge roundabout, where we leave on the right, crossing one of its access lanes and continuing along a path to Tabaza (km. 16,9).
Tabaza (km. 16,9).
Practical tips for this section: If you want to visit the old town that hosts the park which you will cross in this section, you must follow the path and go across the Niemeyer Centre footbridge. Buen Camino!
From the town centre, we continue along the shoulder of the AS-19 road, passing next to the Bar and Restaurant Terramar. Then we reach an urban area, which we cross over using the pavement, to a roundabout, located next to an electrical substation. We cross this roundabout and arrive at Trasona, where its church welcomes us (km. 20,6).
From the centre, we continue to advance along the faithful road AS-19, which has accompanied us for several kilometres. By the football field, we turn right, crossing the railway and the Avilés estuary, over a footbridge. The pilgrim path continues parallel to the estuary.
Almost a kilometre later, a pedestrian footbridge invites us to cross the estuary again, to continue advancing next to it, on the other side of the river. Soon after, we enter a beautiful urban park.
We continue by following a walkway to a detour, with a 180-degree turn, that leads us to the AS-238 road. We follow the road to the right for 100 metres and then turn on the right, on Avenida Marqués de Suances.
Following the avenue, we cross a roundabout and, without changing direction, continue along Avenida Cervantes.
Next to the municipal hostel, we turn right and follow Calle Ribero, a pedestrian road that leads to the old town of Avilés (km. 25,4).
Avilés (km. 25,4). End of stage
Practical tips for this section: It is worth visiting Sablón, Las Bayas and Salinas beaches, some of the largest in Asturias. See you tomorrow!
In Avilés, you can enjoy beautiful cobblestone streets, and you’ll be surprised by the multitude of religious and civil buildings that will come your way. Enjoy getting lost in its streets, its centre was declared a Historic Artistic Site during the 1950s.
Some of the examples of religious monuments that you can visit in the city are the Chapel of Santa María de las Alas, the Churches of Padres Franciscanos, San Nicolás de Bari de Santa María de la Magdalena, Santo Tomás de Canterbury, and Sabugo.
Strolling through its emblematic streets, you will also find civil architecture, such as the Fountains of Caños de San Francisco, the San Juan Lighthouse, the palaces of Balsera, Camposagrado, Llano Ponte, and Valdecarzana, Palacio Valdés Theatre and the Municipal Palace
In addition, in Avilés, you can enjoy some of the longest beaches in the entire Autonomous Community, such as Sablón, Salinas or Bayas, as well as various parks such as Parque Ferrera and its pier, as well as visiting the pleasant Plaza Mayor.
Visits to the Alfercam and Urban History Museums and the Oscar Niemeyer International Cultural Centre are also recommended.
Comments stage Gijón – Avilés
Next, we’ll give you some recommendations for today’s stage.
Precautions stage Gijón – Avilés
Today’s stage does not imply any difficulty. It does not face any great slopes, except the ascent to Monte Areo, and is relatively short. Cyclists and people with reduced mobility will also not find added difficulties to complete the stage.
Food stage Gijón – Avilés
During this stage, you can enjoy some of the regional products that we recommend below. Bon appetit!
- Avilés Sausages
- Beans with Clams
- Marañuelas y nieyemitas (Aniseed Pastries)
- Cheeses (La Peral, Gorfolí…)
- Almond tart
- Avilés Cone Cakes
Services stage Gijón – Avilés
Meet the main health care services, cafes, ATMs, restaurants and are in this stage of the Camino del Norte.
Map stage Gijón – Avilés
Consult the map with the route, points and towns along the stage.
Profile stage Gijón – Avilés
Consult the profile of the stage: altitude and degree of difficulty of each section.
What to do stage Gijón – Avilés
Today’s stage concludes in Avilés, a city with many attractions. Below we provide you with information about them, so that you can enjoy the afternoon, discovering the locality.
The town of Avilés is located on both sides of the river of the same name and has a population of almost 82,000 inhabitants. The city stands out for housing the most important fishing port in Asturias and the second largest commercial port.
The town has beautiful cobblestone streets where you can lose yourself, enjoying a multitude of religious and civil buildings. The area was declared an Artistic and Historical Site during the 1950s.
Some of the examples of religious monuments that can be visited in Avilés are the Chapel of Santa María de las Alas, the Church of los Padres Franciscanos, San Nicolás de Bari de Santa María de la Magdalena, Santo Tomás de Canterbury, and Sabugo.
As examples of civil architecture we find the Fountain of los Caños de San Francisco, the San Juan Lighthouse, the palaces of Balsera, Camposagrado, Llano Ponte and Valdecarzana, the Palacio Valdés theatre and the Municipal Palace.
In addition, the city has some of the largest beaches in the entire Autonomous Community, such as Sablón, Salinas or Bayas, as well as several parks such as Parque Ferrera and the pier, as well as the pleasant Plaza Mayor.
Avilés also hosts several museums, such as the Alfercam Museum, the Museum of Urban History, and the Oscar Niemeyer International Cultural Centre.
Capilla de Santa María de las Alas
The Chapel of Santa Maria de las Alas, (or Chapel of the Wings), is located in the city of Avilés. It is a Gothic-style burial monument dating back to the 13th century. Given its ancient function, four arched burial tombs and four other tombs can be seen on the ground.
The temple has a square floor plan and its walls are made of masonry. The outer cover of the chapel consists of a slightly pointed double-arched arch, which is supported by four jambs with shafts and capitals.
The southwestern wall has some damage, due to subsequent constructions. From its interior stands the oval-shaped vault, on which four brackets adorned with human heads stand out.
The Avilés Cultural Factory is located above the building of an old shirt factory.
The space was inaugurated in 2010 and consists of four floors, in which is located the library for students of the centre, two changing rooms, the warehouse, four classrooms for ceramic workshops, a classroom dedicated as a painting workshop, a classroom to learn binding, leather goods and glass, an engraving classroom and two computer science classrooms.
The building is also the headquarters of the Municipal School of Ceramics and the Popular University. In the centre, the Ceramic Fair is held, which, every year, ceramicists from different backgrounds attend, and the “Noche Blanca”, an event in which workshops, concerts, exhibitions, among other cultural activities, attract citizens to the centre .
Hours: Closes Saturdays and Sundays and all the month of August. From July to September, Monday to Friday (8:00 to 15:00). Rest of the year, Monday to Friday (09:00 to 14:00 and 16:30 to 21:00).
Faro de San Juan
The Lighthouse of San Juan is located in the Avilés Estuary, at the castle point. However, the initial project planned to place it at Horcada, but given the continual storms that plague that coast, it was decided to place it in the current location.
Its construction was carried out in the mid-19th century and its main function is to guide ships. Its privileged position allows you to enjoy exceptional views over the Avilés Estuary.
Fuente de los Caños de San Francisco
Los Caños de San Francisco is one of Avilés’ most peculiar fountains, as it features a front with six taps shaped as a human head. Three shields, two from Avilés and one of real weapons, also stand out.
Iglesia de los Padres Franciscanos
The Church of the Franciscan Fathers in Avilés dates back to the 12th century and is Romanesque in style. The temple is consecrated to St. Anthony of Padua.
The rich ornamentation of capitals, metopes and corbels stands out in the construction, especially the original sin scene carved into one of its capitals. Inside, it guards the tomb of Pedro Menendez, known for being the founder of St. Augustine, in Florida, the oldest city in the United States.
Iglesia de San Nicolás de Bari
The Church of St. Nicholas of Bari, Avilés, was built between the 12th and 13th centuries to meet the needs of the local population. However, it is currently the headquarters of the Franciscan Fathers.
The temple has undergone several subsequent reforms and, throughout history, elements such as the Chapel of the Wings or the Chapel of Pedro Solís have been added.
From its original construction, the western cover, its window and the front wall are all maintained. The window consists of two half-pointed archivolts and features a dust guard, however, on its columns you can hardly recognize the ornamentation of its capitals.
The main entrance to the church is located on the west façade and is formed by a prominent body with a tiled cover, resting on corbels, among which the figure of a feline with open claws stands out.
The cover also features three half-point archivolts located under a chessboard-shaped dust guard. The capitals of the cover are ornate, with the Original Sin on the left and on the right, with two birds facing each other.
Mass times: Working days (13:05 and 19:00), Eves (20:00) and Holidays (9:00, 10:00, 11:30, 12:30 and 18:30).
Iglesia de Santa María Magdalena de los Corros
The Church of Santa María Magdalena de los Corros, located in Avilés, dates from the late 12th century to the early 13th. Originally, it was a temple of small proportions that had a single nave and straight chancel, but from the primitive construction only the western cover and the triumphal arch are preserved.
The triumphal arch is quite sober and has two half-pointed archivolts without any ornament, its fascia is smooth and the ornamentation of the capitals is composed of plant elements.
The western cover, however, is much more detailed and has two half-point archivolts protected by a dust guard adorned in a chessboard shape and in a semi-circular form.
The cover capitals are engraved with both plant and narrative scenes. Those on the left side reflect the scene of the Original Sin and those on the right, collecting a representation of two birds facing one another, which hold a small animal between their beaks. Above their heads, you can see a long snake.
Mass times: From July 1st to August 31st, working and on the eve (19:30) and public holidays (9:00, 10:30 and 12:00). From 1 September to 30 June, working hours and eve (19:30) and public holidays (9:00, 11:00, 12:00 and 17:00).
Iglesia de Santo Tomás de Cantorbery
The Church of St. Thomas of Canterbury, also known as the New Church of Sabugo, is located in the city of Gijón. The temple consists of a single nave that rises on a basilica floor and is topped with a semi-circular headboard.
It stands out for its main façade, which has a cover composed of four archivolts, with embossed mouldings and sparsely decorated pipes, which rest on columns topped by four capitals with carvings, on which the decoration elements are combined.
On the sides of the temple also stands another cover composed of three arches of half point and capitals with plant and animal ornamentation.
Inside, it has an elevated chancel and two chapels, located on the side of the gospel. Currently, it is covered by a vault with lunettes, in the nave, and by a cross vault, at the chancel.
Mass times: Working days (8:30, 10:30 and 19:30), Eves (19:30) and Holidays (9:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00 and 19:00).
Iglesia vieja de Sabugo
The Old Church of Sabugo, located in the old town of Avilés, is one of the main symbols of identity of the city. The temple dates back to the 13th century, although it has subsequently been considerably modified.
From the original construction, the plant of a single nave and the semi-circular apse are preserved.
Between the 17th and 18th centuries its structure was modified: wide spans were opened, elevated and covered with masonry and stonework.
Currently, the south cover, which has an overhanging body and is covered with a dust guard and supported by corbels, and the western cover, by the main entrance, formed by four arches held on columns and capitals adorned with vegetables and animals.
The Alfercam Museum in Avilés is an interactive space that aims to spread different ethnic sounds. At the entrance of the tour, headphones are provided with which the visitor can discover various ethnic music or listen to the sounds of war vehicles.
Hours: Every day (11:00 to 14:00 and 16:00 to 20:00).
Museo de la Historia Urbana
The Museum of Urban History is located in the historic centre of Avilés, on Calle de La Ferrería, in front of the Oscar Niemeyer International Cultural Centre and the Church of San Nicolás de Bari.
The museum space has an interesting circuit in which the evolution of the city has been put together. On the second floor the museum, has a recreation of the city as it was in the Middle Ages.
The centre also has an area that recalls the city’s radiance at the end of the 19th century, with the city’s first returning emigrants.
Hours: Closes on Mondays. Tuesday to Friday (10:30 to 13:30 and 16:00 to 20:00),
Saturdays (11:00 to 13:30 and 16:00 to 20:00), Sundays and public holidays (11:00 to 13:30)
Palacio de Balsera
The Balsera Palace is located in the city of Avilés and, in 1991, it was declared a cultural asset. Its construction was carried out in the first decade of the 20th century at the wish of a wealthy merchant of the city, Victoriano Fernández Balsera.
The exterior of the palace combines modernist and eclectic styles, sporting a rich decoration. The building is composed of a set of constructions at different heights and its interior is in very good condition. Currently, the property houses the headquarters of the Julian Orbon Municipal Conservatory of Music.
Palacio de Camposagrado
The Camposagrado Palace is located in the city of Avilés and is baroque in style. Two of its main façades are preserved from the palatial building, constructed prior to the 17th century.
The set has a defensive character and consists of three floors. The ground floor is closed by small slits; the middle has large galleries with segmental arches that rest on columns of Tuscan style. The third floor was added in the 19th century.
Of the construction, the façade stands out, by Francisco Menéndez Camina, from the late 17th century. This one has a sober decoration and two towers also stand out from it.
From the interior of the palace, the monumental staircase, made of stone, is striking. From this you access the Superior Art School of the Principality of Asturias, which currently has its headquarters in the building.
Palacio de Ferrera
The Ferrera Palace is one of the oldest Baroque buildings in the city of Avilés. Its construction dates back to 1974 and was the residence of the Marquis de Ferrera and his family.
After having undergone extensive renovation, the palace is now used as a five-star hotel by the NH Hotels chain.
Casa Palacio de Llano Ponte
Casa Palacio de Llano Ponte is located in the town of Avilés. Its construction was carried out in the 18th century, at the request of Rodrigo García Pumarino, and the work was carried out by the architects Francisco Menéndez Camina and Domingo Suárez Solar.
The building has had various uses throughout history, it was first used as a home and then used as a convent, school and as a cinema, until 2013.
Of its exterior structure, the five vertical series of arches that form the arcades of the lower floor stand out, on which the balconies of the second floor are supported. The corners of the building are bounded by fitted pilasters, ornate with plant motifs and the lineage shield.
Palacio de Valdecarzana
The Valdecarzana Palace is the oldest building in Avilés, built in the 14th century. The palatial house is the only construction, non-religious and of Gothic style in the city and the only example of bourgeois architecture.
Only the main façade is preserved from the original construction. It is divided into two floors, the lower floor is intended for commercial use and the upper floor is for housing. According to what they say, the house welcomed Peter I, the Cruel, when he freed the city of Avilés from the siege carried out by his brother, in 1352.
The Municipal Palace is the seat of the Avilés Town Hall, although it had previously been a farm dedicated to shops, which accommodated merchant’s houses. Construction work began in 1670 and was completed seven years later.
Its construction was carried out by the architect Juan de Estrada. In the old days, the construction was not attached to the wall, but over time, the building grew until it ended up joining it.
The building highlights the composition of the façade, formed by two floors divided by an impost. The lower floor shows a series of eleven arches that make up the arcades, on which the upper floor rises, creating the balconies. Of its decoration, quite simple, only the shields stand out.
Above the central body of the palace is the Clock Tower. It is topped with a triangular pediment, which was remodelled after the Spanish Civil War.
Parque del Muelle
The Avilés Pier Park is a green area located where the old pier and commercial port were located. Today, the space houses a magnificent sculptural ensemble, acquired by the municipality at the end of the 19th century.
The sculptures that can be seen are replicas of some of the Greek works from the Louvre Museum in Paris. These include Aphrodite, Artemis, or some allegories
Ferrera Park is a green space, inspired by English parks, with numerous trees and trails. The park was created for the nobles of Avilés, specifically those who lived in the Ferrera Palace, to have a recreation area.
The space became for public use from the 20th century, after several years of negotiations between its owners and the City Council.
Initially, the area closest to the palace, known as the French Garden, was reserved for the use of the marquess, since in that place grew beautiful red beech trees, for which she had much appreciation. Currently, all residents can enjoy the whole park, which houses the Municipal House of Culture.
The Main square in Avilés is an irregularly shaped square with two buildings standing out: that of the Town Hall and, in front of it, an old construction, which, today, houses a luxury hotel.
Centro Cultural Internacional Oscar Niemeyer
The Oscar Niemeyer International Cultural Centre is located between the estuary and the old town of Avilés. Its headquarters are housed in a building designed by Oscar Niemeyer himself, a native of Brazil and a prestigious and recognized architect.
The property is formed of four buildings connected to each other by an imposing square. It is right in the square where you can best appreciate the peculiarity of the elements that the architect endowed the construction with, such as the visual extension of the space, the white colour of the ceilings, which simulate the horizon, and various ways of drawing a curved line, among others.
Square hours: Sunday to Thursday (9:00 to 23:30), Friday and Saturday (9:00 to 24:00).
Reception opening hours and ticket office: Open daily. From 1 July to 31 August (10:00 to 20:00), from 1 September to 31 December (10:30 to 19:30), January 2 to June 30 (10:30 to 19:30).
Entrance: General (3€), reduced (2€).
Teatro Palacio Valdés
The Valdés Theatre Palace is the most significant theatre in the city of Avilés. Its construction is the work of Manuel del Busto, in the early 20th century. The building was declared a cultural asset in 1982.
The theatre is surrounded by other important buildings, such as the Auditorium of the House of Culture and the headquarters of the “EscenAvilés” programmes.
Activities are held in this space, relevant to the city, such as the International Festival of Music and Dance of Asturias, the Conference of Theatre of Avilés, Music on Stage, as well as theatrical and opera performances.