(More info at : www.gijon.info)
With its present population of about 275,000 inhabitants, amongst Gijon's distinguishing marks, the character of the people and the sea stand out.
The human factor, without doubt Gijón's principal asset, may be seen in the warm and caring character of this land; these ancient traits of the Gijonés personality form the heritage of a town which opens itself quickly and sincerely to visitors. A willingness to show hospitality and the coexistence which has been captured and praised by numerous travellers since the 19th century and which today, in these times of making the most of all tangible and the intangible skills in order to be competitive, has also become a tourist asset.
Around its coastline of eighteen kilometres of cliffs (like the Santa Catalina, on this hill stands Eduardo Chillida's magnificent Elogio del Horizonte) alternating with nine magnificent beaches, three of them right in the town centre, nearly 5,000 years of history and culture have unfolded here and the roman and pre-roman (Astures) remains may be seen in the archaeological museums at the Campa Torres and the Campo Valdes. From the sea of the "Ruta de la Plata" (Silver trade route), a famous travellers route and an important stage of the coastal variant of the Santiago Way, the restaurants and "sidrerías" get the best products - an essential part of their wide and well-known gastronomy -for their abundant and exquisite dishes and stews.
In the city centre and on the outskirts there are singular and noble buildings, many parks and gardens, commercial, industrial and technological zones, a university campus and a good transport system make up a modern European city in continual progress.
And in a landscape of rolling green hills of incomparable beauty, and long paths perfect for walking or cycling, twenty-five beautiful rural parishes dotted with rustic farmhouses are proof also of the country and farming origin and identity of Gijón.
Cultural activities (official or organized by hundreds of associations) take place in every corner of the town, in museums, a municipal theatre and the multiple centres and libraries located in all the suburbs as well as in other installations. "La Semana Negra" (The Black Week), the International Film Festival, the Latin American Book Show, the World Conferences on Bioethics or the International Equestrian Show-Jumping Championship, among many others, are the most widely known annual events, and deservedly so.
Sport forms an essential characteristic of Gijón and its people. One million Gijoneses every year use and enjoy the swimming pools, golf courses (two municipal and one private), sports centres and other municipal installations, or take part in water sports and many more do sport privately or in clubs like the "Grupo Covadonga", with 30,000 members or the "Santa Olaya", with 15,000.
The Atlantic Botanical Garden of Gijón, the only one in the whole of the north of Spain, was inaugurated on the 25th April 2003. The Atlantic Botanical Garden has been installed in land belonging to the parishes of Deva and Cabueñes on an approximate surface of 16 hectares taking advantage of the Carbayera of the Tragamón and the installations of the La Isla estate. The facility has four well-differentiated environments: The Cantabrian Garden, the Vegetation Factory - that is organized around the Rionda mill-, the Atlantic Itinerary and the La Isla estate. This Estate, of about 40.000 square metres, holds the Historical Garden, where the visitors can see, among other elements, a rustic pool, a lagoon of 1.300 square metres and two other ponds that are part of the hydraulic complexes.
The facility has four well-differentiated environments: The Cantabrian Garden, the Vegetation Factory -that is organized around the Rionda mill-, the Atlantic Itinerary and the La Isla estate. This Estate, of about 40,000 square metres, holds the Historical Garden, where the visitors can see, among other elements, a rustic pool, a lagoon of 1,300 square metres and two other ponds that are part of the hydraulic complexes.
Gijón, unarguably, the "Sede Mundial de la Bioética" (the "World Bioethics Headquarters") due to the work of the SIBI, joyfully welcomes the World Conference on Bioethics. This is a good example of the drive and prestige of this city for organizing both scientific and other types of conferences, such as business tourism, and incentive trips. With its up-to-date infrastructures, and the collaboration of the Conference Office and the Business Club, they facilitate the organization of any type of national or international event and guarantee its successful staging.