Gijon is the largest port city in Asturias, northwestern Spain. The port is located on the Bay of Biscay, approx 20 km (12 ml) north of Oviedo - Asturias' capital. Gijon's population is around 280,000.
During the early-19th century, the small town was famous for its college / high-school Real Instituto Asturiano. Town Hall's culture and sports programs for citizens is wide and includes the innovative Open Till Dawn (Abierto Hasta el Amanecer) nocturnal program that involves teens in sporting and cultural activities as an alternative to weekend nightlife.
The current-day city has 13 libraries (Cultural City Centres) and numerous gyms and indoor swimming pools. Major local cultural events are the International Film Festival (one of Spain's best) and the literary festival Semana Negra.
In 2015, Gijon was marked as one of the pollution hot spots in Western Europe in a report from the International Institute for Applied Science Systems. The Gijon and Oviedo region was marked higher than any other metro area in Spain, this in spite of the larger population in Barcelona and Madrid, for example, which was attributed to city's heavy industrial activities.
The cruiseferry service (by LD Lines) was cancelled and currently, the closest international ferry services to Spain link to Bilbao and Santander. Gijon still has a good Ro-Ro (freight) service provided by El Musel. Port Dijon is managed by APM Terminals Gijon - subsidiary of The Hague-headquartered APM Terminals (one of world's largest container port and terminal operators in terms of overall annual cargo handled).
In January 2020, currently world's largest container shipping company MAERSK inaugurated the Z03 feeder (boxship) service linking Gijon with Algeciras (southern Spain, the largest port city on Bay of Gibraltar).