Coast of Cantabria
Travel in Cantabria coast
Along the 220 kilometres of the Cantabria coast, there are nearly 90 beaches, urban or wild, surrounded by a splendid and very green countryside, which invite us to coast along the Atlantic.
Between Santander and Bilbao, Laredo is nestled at the bottom of the bay of Santoña on the edge of the Ría de Treto. One of its two beaches, La Salvé, is one of the largest in Cantabria, stretching over 5 km. The old town of Laredo, which was established in the Middle Ages, was classified as a historic site in 1970.
The El Sardinero urban beach in Santander is perhaps the most famous on the coast, more than a kilometre long. Urban, the beach is separated from the city by the tamarinds of the Gardens of Piquío.
Wanted by surfers for its waves and warm waters, Los Locos beach, located a few kilometres west of Santander, is surrounded by cliffs.
However, the spot of Cantabria remains Ribamontán al Mar. With beaches, and shops entirely dedicated to surfing, located on the other side of the bay and estuary del Mierra, 9 km east of Santander.
Castro Urdiales, an ancient fishing village with medieval origins, is renowned for the two neighbouring beaches of Brazomar and Urdiales.
Beyond the port lies a beautiful sheltered beach at the bottom of a bay: the beach of Ostend.
Dominating the port and the city, the church of Santa Maria, which dates from the 13th century, is a model of the Cantabrian Gothic style. Nearby, facing the Bay of Biscay, is the old Templar castle Santa Ana flanked by a lighthouse.
Located a dozen kilometres west of Castro Urdiales, on which it depends, the small village of Oriñón offers a famous surf spot on the Cantabrian coast.
The location of the beach of Oriñón, nearly two kilometres of fine sand, at the mouth of the Rio Agüera, also allows the practice of canoeing.
Two kilometres away, on the other side of Punta Sonabia O Cabon Cebollero, we discover the small beach of Sonabia and the viewpoint of Punta Pilota. This offers an exceptional panorama over the Bay of Biscay and the hinterland bordered by cliffs.
Nestled at the bottom of a bay adjacent to the estuary of the Rio de Treto, Laredo offers one of the most beautiful beaches in the Cantabrian Sea. With nearly 5 km of sand, La Salvé beach extends from the port to the Puntal del Pasaje, dedicated to naturism.
Several campsites and riding centres are located in the natural area between the village and the Treto estuary.
Marismas de Santoña, Victoria and Joyel Natural Park
The Santoña Marsh Park, a vast wetland of great ecological importance, extends over almost 7,000 hectares some forty kilometres to the west of Santander.
Articulated around the Rio El Treto river, the marshes of Santoña are formed by the mouths of the Asón and Clarin rivers, as well as by the flow of various small rivers and canals.
To the north of the park, near the coast, woods, coppices and meadows give way to a landscape of dunes and beaches.
Various hiking trails and several observation posts allow the discovery of the places and the birds that frequent them.
Santoña, a maritime town whose main activity is the canning and marketing of tuna and anchovies, is located at the entrance to Santoña Bay and the Ria del Treto, sheltered from the El Dueso peninsula.
On the edge of the city centre, a long promenade, the Paseo Pereda runs along Santoña beach for 1 km.
To the north of the city, beyond the Boó Canal, surrounded by mountains, the beach of Berria extends for 2 km at the foot of Mount Brusco. Volleyball and surfing are particularly popular.
To the west of the city, the bridge over the Boó Canal allows a visit to the Santoña Marsh Natural Park.
The main attraction of Noja, located in the surroundings of the Santoña Marshes Natural Park, lies in the long golden sandy beaches of Tregandín to the southeast, Ris and Joyel to the west.
Cabo and ria de Ajo
The northernmost cape of the Cantabrian coast, Cape Ajo is located in the commune of Bareyo. With a lighthouse spanning 17 nautical miles, this natural headland offers a vast panorama of both Santander Bay to the west and the Ajo Ria to the east.
At the foot of the cape, in the village of La Sorrozuela, the Playa de la Arena stretches at the entrance of the ria de Ajo in which the rio Campiezo flows.
Steep, wild but magnificent banks line the mouth of the river Campiezo. No beach, only wet sand at low tide.
Ribamontán al mar
Located opposite Santander, on the eastern shore of the bay, Ribamontán, whose surroundings are lined with beaches and cliffs, is entirely dedicated to surfing.
The craze is such that in 2012, the places were classified”First surf reserve of Spain”. Shops and bars for surfers, schools are therefore very numerous. The beaches of El Puntal, Los Tranquillos, Langre, Galizano and, above all, Loredo and Somo, open to the sea and facing north, are considered the best surf beaches in Cantabria.
For the record, it is here, in Ribamontán, that the first surfboard workshop in Spain was created in 1973.
Dunas del Puntal y Estuario del Miera
It is a protected coastal strip comprising the estuary of the Rio Miera and the Ria de Cubas in Santander Bay, the dune system of El Puntal-Somo-Loredo and the islands of Santa Marina and Mouro.
Santander, the capital of the Cantary, is one of the most beautiful bays in the world, combining sea and mountains for magnificent panoramas. Santander is home to a large number of urban beaches, including those of El Sardinero, which, separated by a rocky promontory, meet at low tide to form a long beach almost 1500 metres long. The beach, labelled Blue Flag, is lined with a pleasant promenade.
The other beaches of the city are those of Los Peligros, la Magdalena, los Bikinis, los Camellos…
Despite the supposedly cold water, the powerful waves of Santander Bay attract a large number of surfers and kitesurfers.
Liencres Dunes Natural Park
It is one of the largest dune complexes on the Cantabria coast. Located at the mouth of the Mogro ria, the 195-hectare park is of great interest for its flora and fauna.
There are several beaches, including those of Canavalle and Valdearenas. Long, the latter is extended by an immense arm of sand.
The coast of Liencres is home to a significant number of beaches hidden between cliffs: Somacuevas, Portio, Covachos, de la Arnía.
Located on the western bank of the Rio Saja, Suances, which on the other hand contains remains of Roman times, is a city turned towards seaside tourism.
The city’s beaches are scattered around Punta del Dichoso, a real natural port surrounded by cliffs. One can quote the beaches La Tablía, Los Locos frequented by surfers, and playa de Tagle for the sunsets offered on the Bay of Biscay. Or the beach of La Concha, one kilometre long.
Located at the mouth of the Rabia river at the eastern end of Oyambre Park, the former fishing village of Comillas is declared a historic and tourist site. Protected by the Punta de la Guerra, the sandy beach of Comillas is ideal for water sports, especially surfing.
Oyambre Natural Park
Oyambre Park includes a wide coastal strip of dunes and cliffs 10 to 50 metres high, beaches and marshes covered with meadows and crisscrossed by numerous streams and a long ría of ornithological interest.
The park has two beach areas, those overlooking the Bay of Biscay such as the Playa de Oyambre and the Playa de Merón with its surf school, and those overlooking the San Vicente river to the east and the Rabia river.
Several paths allow you to discover this protected area of 196 hectares with several campsites.
San Vicente de la Barquera
San Vicente de la Barquera is an ancient fishing village located in the heart of Oyambre Park. The old historical centre was declared of cultural interest in Cantabria, in 1987, for its architectural heritage with the church of Santa Maria de los Angeles (13th-16th), the Castillo del Rey and the remains of ramparts.
A rather long bridge crosses the ria and connects the village to the beach of La Maza located on the opposite bank.
The northern district of San Vicente, the barrio Boria, houses the Oyambre Park Interpretation Centre at Faro (lighthouse) in the Punta de la Silla.