Navia is one of the most populated and dynamic Asturian towns, one of the ones with the greatest mercantile, industrial and tourist life of the Principality. With its 6.000 inhabitants, it could be said that it is the most populated nucleus of the Asturian west coast, besides the capital of a municipality with numerous attractions; many of them unpublished for the tourist.
Navia lives immersed in a constant activity thanks to the push of the dairy industry, its shipyards, one of the most efficient pulp mills in Europe, without forgetting its extensive agriculture, fishing, tourism or being an obligatory stop on the Camino de Santiago. All this makes the town a prosperous and unusual place among the Asturian villas, more accustomed to the economic dependence of a single economic sector. Trade is also strongly implanted. A walk through its streets is enough to confirm that Navia is the nerve center of the whole region.
A little history
Navia is the name with which the namesake river is denominated, whose toponym is of preRoman origin and corresponds to one of the main Celtic divinities, associated to the worship of the waters. The human presence is abundant from the sixth century a. C., moment in which the first remains of Celtic cultures are dated. The Navia River was then the border between albiones (Galician tribes) and Astures. The abundant amount of gold in its waters motivated a stable settlement of the Romans. The locality reached certain relevance in later centuries by the development of the fishing sector and the maritime traffic. In the 16th century, the walled enclosure was built to defend against corsair attacks that penetrated the estuary up to the same core. The wall was demolished in the mid-nineteenth century before the urbanization impulse, fishing regains its prominence and the Indian capitals are invested in the construction of schools and roads. At the beginning of the 20th century, these same capitals favored the planned expansion of the town and the growth of residential areas with elegant buildings. As measured from that same century, a generalized takeoff of agriculture, industry and services takes place.
Sightseeing by Navia
The town, which sits on the right bank of the estuary, has been gaining ground to it and its marshes. In the urban area, remains of the medieval layout coexist along with others inherited from the nineteenth century expansion and the new neighborhoods of the last decades. Navia carefully preserves the legacy of its history, especially its beautiful nineteenth-century features. The architectural beauty of the House of the Marquises of Santa Cruz and the Casa de Coaña, both from the 17th century, is surprising. The Parish Church of Our Lady of La Barca is neo-Gothic style, from the late nineteenth century. In the 20th century there will be several eclectic buildings, such as those around the "Jardinillos", the Arias Palace or the Casino itself (built in 1922 by the Indians). The oldest streets of the town, which still retain great charm and Typical are: Las Armas, San Francisco, Hospital, Real and Hornos. The remains of the medieval Wall, of which a small part is preserved, can be seen on Mariano Luiña street.
We are approaching the naveto port, where boats of all kinds coexist: from the typical fishing boats, to the large merchandise ships; going through the average size of fishing boats, sailboats and yachts or tugboats. Here a large part of the Navia environment is concentrated, as the surroundings of the port itself are well stocked with bars and cider houses.
Parallel to the estuary (which is navigable in 4 kilometers, and where the famous Descent to Swim is celebrated from 1958), a beautiful promenade leads to the small beach of Navia (360 meters). A large recreational area with a leafy and bucolic pine forest invites us to rest in its shade. The magic of the site is completed with the small lake «Vega de Arenas».
On the outskirts of the town is also the Parque de Campoamor, dedicated to the great poet and local politician Don Ramón de Campoamor (1817-1901).Text: © Ramón Molleda for desdeasturias.com
Information of interestIn the Avenida de la Dársena there is the Tourist Office, where routes and plans are advised in the village itself and in the immediate vicinity.
Their schedules are:
- From Tuesday to Friday: from 9,30 to 14,00 hours and from 16,00 to 18,00 hours.
- Saturdays: from 10,00 to 14,00 hours and from 16,00 to 19,00 hours.
- On Sundays they only open in the morning from 10,00 to 13,00 hours.
- Mondays: closed.