Aviles (Spanish: Avilés, pronounced AHH-b-ee-l-EH-s) is a port and industrial city of 79,000 people (2018) in the province of Asturias in northwest Spain. It is close to popular beaches such as Salinas. It is home to the Oscar Niemeyer International Cultural Centre, and has important churches like St. Thomas of Canterbury.
The area experiences warm summers with both overcast and sunny days. In winter the weather is moderate, with significant rains and wind, although sometimes the cold climate of Asturias results in snowfall at sea level. The temperature is rarely below zero or over 30 °C (86 °F). Summer highs are exceptionally low by Spanish standards due its heavy maritime features and northerly position in the country.
- 1 Asturias airport (OVD IATA). There are flights every couple of hours from Madrid, and at least daily from Barcelona, Seville, and Palma de Mallorca. International flights are rare, eg the Easyjet connection to London has ended. The airport is on the coast 10 km west of Avilés, with direct buses to Oviedo and to Gijón.
The main bus company, Alsa, connects the city to all the provinces and most important cities in the country. There are buses every 30 minutes from downtown to Oviedo and Gijón.
There are two railway systems. RENFE is the standard gauge mainline to Oviedo, with trains south to Leon, Valladolid, Segovia and Madrid. FEVE is the narrow gauge railway (now managed by Renfe) that winds along the coast, west to Ribadeo and Ferrol, east to Oviedo, Gijón, Santander, Bilbao, San Sebastian, and the French border at Irun / Hendaye. Disruptions and replacement buses are common along this line.
- 2 Avilés railway station. Serves both systems; it's on Avenida Telares near the river.
- St. Thomas of Canterbury church (dating from the 13th century)
- Church of Saint Nicholas of Bari (12th-13th century), in Romanesque style
- Palacio de Valdecarzana, the sole example of civil medieval architecture in the town
- Palacio de Llano Ponte (1700–1706)
- Baroque Palacio de Camposagrado, fortified in its north façade against the English pirates
- Capilla de los Alas, a 14th-century funerary monument in Romanesque-Gothic transition style
- Old church of Sabugo (13th century)
- Palacio de Balsera, in Modernist style
- Palacio Valdés Theatre, in Neobaroque style.
Museums and arts centres
- Museum of Avilés Urban History
- Black Pottery Museum
- Alfercam Museum, where visitors can find a combination of world musical instrumentas and vintage cars.
- "Casa de Cultura", including the Bances Candamo public library, art gallery, reading and study areas.
- CMAE - Centro municipal de arte y exposiciones - arts and exhibition centre in El Arbolón area, not far from the town centre.
- 1 Oscar Niemeyer International Cultural Centre, Avda del Zinc, ☏ . Plaza open daily 09:00-00:00, reception and box office daily 10:30-14:30 and 15:30-19:30. Designed by the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer for art exhibitions, cinema, music and events.
Throughout the town there are sculptures in various styles: the set of sculptures in El Muelle park, especially the Pedro Menendez sculpture and La foca (the seal); the Ruta del acero set of sculptures along the Avilés estuary; Avilés sculpture, and different ones such as: Marta y María, El hombre que escucha la piedra (the man who listens to the stone), El eslabón, and Entre bambalines.
Feasts and traditions
- Feast of the Amagüestu (autumn).
- The Antroxu (Carnival in Asturian language) which includes the Galiana's Street Internarional and Fluvial Descent (Descenso Internacional y Fluvial de la calle de Galiana) (winter).
- The Feast of the Bollo (Fiesta del bollo) (the bollo is a traditional cake) (Bollo de Pascua de Avilés) (spring).
- The LGBTIQ+ Asturian Cinema Festival (Festival de Cine LGBTIQ+ de Asturias) (spring).
- The Interceltic Festival of Avilés, which takes place in summer, with people coming from all Celtic nations (Brittany, Ireland, Wales, Scotland, Galicia, Asturias) (summer).
- Feast of Saint Augustine (Avilés' patron saint) (summer).
- "La Mar de Ruido" rock festival (summer).
- Avilés International Cinema and Architecture Festival.
- 1 Hotel Oca Villa de Avilés, Calle del Prado, 3, ☏ .
- 2 Hotel NH Collection Palacio de Avilés, Plaza de España, 9, ☏ . Located in the heart of Avilés, in Plaza de España next to the Town Hall, the hotel occupies a landmark a 17th-century building.
- Oviedo is another old town with various UNESCO-listed monuments.
- Gijón is a lively coastal town with a Roman archeological site.