Although Gijón has a beach, it is not known as a popular beach holiday resort, but is a coastal industrial city and municipality in the Asturias Region in northern Spain. Early mediaeval texts refer to it as 'Gigia'. It was an important regional Roman city, although it had been a settlement much earlier. The name originally referred to a small peninsula between two beaches, one of which is mainly recreational. The other has the main port, which is one of the largest ports in the north of Spain.
The port is the basis for many of the local businesses. Apart from this, Gijón's economy is also based on tourism, steel, other metal related industries, livestock rearing, cider and of course being next to the sea, fisheries.
Gijón basically has an Atlantic humid maritime climate, with mild temperatures and high humidity throughout most of the year. The summers can be warm, with both overcast and sunny days and winters are cold but warmer than many other cities in the country. Being exposed to the Atlantic ocean, it rains a lot at any time of the year. If you are considering holidaying in the Gijón area, be prepared.
Sports plays a large part in Gijón life, with a professional football team, 13 public Sports Centres which include swimming pools, gyms and saunas. Being next to the sea, the city's marina houses an important fleet of yachts and is the base for many water sports, the Royal Astur Yacht Club is the most important yacht club in the area.
During the early years of the 19th century the, then very small town of Gijón was best known for its college - the 'Real Instituto Asturiano'.
Gijón has a wide range of museums. The unusual Museo Internacional de la Gaita (International Bagpipe Museum) which contains bagpipes from around the world, in particularly focusing on the Asturian musical heritage. There are also a number of other museums -
Revillagigedo Palace and Museum (At Marqués square, near the City Hall) Nicanor Piñole Museum (The Art museum) Evaristo Valle Museum (dedicated to a local painter and located in a mansion near the outskirts of the city) Museo del Ferrocarril (Railway Museum, near Poniente Beach) Juan Barjola Museum (A museum dedicated to a local painter, who was interested in avant-garde art) Laboral Centro de Arte and Creación Industrial (An exhibition centre for contemporary art, science, technology and advanced visual industries)
The City Hall's sports with culture programs including the innovative Abierto Hasta el Amanecer (literally Open Till Dawn) nocturnal program, which tries to involve teenagers in cultural and sporting activities as an alternative to weekend nightlife.
Gijón has 13 libraries in its Cultural City Centres.
The airport that serves Gijón is about 30 km from the centre of Gijón near Oviedo, and known as 'Asturias Airport'. This is a smallish airport but does have domestic and international flights. For a bigger selection of flights, Santander Airport is about 149km from Gijón.
There are a number bus operators serving local and national routes.
Trains are operated by the national rail carrier - RENFE, which have routes from Gijón to Madrid, Barcelona and Alicante. There are also services operated by FEVE (a narrow-gauge railway system) which operates between Gijón and El Ferrol, Santander and Bilbao.