Navia lives immersed in 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 place and uncommon among Asturian towns, more accustomed to the economic dependence of a single sector. Trade is also strongly established. A walk through its streets is enough to verify that Navia is the nerve center of the entire region.
A Little History
Navia is the name by which the homonymous river is called, whose place name is of pre-Roman origin and corresponds to one of the main Celtic deities, associated with the cult of the waters. The human presence is abundant from the XNUMXth century BC. C., at which time the first remains of Celtic cultures are dated. The Navia River was then the border between Albiones (Galician tribes) and Asturians. The abundant amount of gold in its waters motivated a stable settlement of the Romans. The town reached some relevance in later centuries due to the development of the fishing sector and maritime traffic. In the XNUMXth century the walled enclosure was built to defend against the corsair attacks that penetrated through the estuary to the very core. The wall was demolished in the mid-nineteenth century due to the urbanization impulse, fishing regained its prominence and the Indian capitals were invested in the construction of schools and roads. At the beginning of the XNUMXth century, these same capitals favored the planned expansion of the town and the growth of residential areas with elegant buildings. In the middle of that same century, a generalized take-off of agriculture, industry and services took place.
What to see and do in Navia?
The town, which sits on the right bank of the estuary, has been gaining ground to it and its marshes. Remnants of the medieval layout coexist in the urban area along with others inherited from the nineteenth-century expansion and the new neighborhoods of the last decades. The architectural beauty of the House of the Marquis of Santa Cruz and the House of Coaña, both from the seventeenth century. The Parish Church of Our Lady of La Barca It is in the neo-gothic style, from the end of the XNUMXth century. In the twentieth century several eclectic buildings were erected, such as those in the surroundings of the "gardens", the Arias Palace o the Casino itself (built in 1922 by the Indians). The oldest streets in the town, which still retain great charm and character are: Las Armas, San Francisco, Hospital, Real and Hornos. The remains of medieval wall, of which a small part is preserved, can be seen on Mariano Luiña street.
We approach the port naveto, where boats of all kinds coexist: from the typical fishing boats, to the large cargo ships; going through the medium size of fishing boats, sailboats and yachts or tugboats. This is where a large part of Navia's atmosphere is concentrated, since the surroundings of the port itself are well stocked with taverns and cider houses.
Parallel to the estuary (which is navigable for 4 kilometers, and where the famous Swimming Descent has been celebrated since 1958), there is a beautiful boardwalk leading to the little navia beach (360 meters). In its environment there is a large recreational area with a lush and bucolic pine forest that invites us to rest under its shade. The magic of the site is completed with the small lake «Vega de Arenas».
On the outskirts of the town is also located Campoamor Park, dedicated to the great local poet and politician Don Ramón de Campoamor (1817-1901).
In 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.
Text: © Ramón Molleda for asturias.com