Beaches to escape to in Cantabria

Every summer is different (and summer 2020 certainly is), but if there’s one thing we can’t live without, no matter what, it’s the BEACH. That’s why we’d like you to come with us to discover just how varied the beaches in Cantabria are. They’re ideal for getting away from it all this summer, and, come to that, at any time of year.

Cantabrian beaches are ideal for taking a stroll, surfing, playing bat and ball, building jaw-dropping sandcastles, swimming, chatting to your friends while lying in the sun…in other words, switching off and enjoying yourself. This idyllic coast, lapped by the waves of the Cantabrian sea, has a beach to suit everyone. Unspoilt or urban, calm or windswept, long, sandy stretches or secluded coves, beaches for families with children or dog-owners, accessible beaches, surfer beaches, Blue Flag beaches, and picture-perfect beaches: the options are endless. Cantabria boasts over 220 kilometres of coastline with more than 90 fine, sandy beaches. There’s so much to choose from here, but if you’re looking for some peace and quiet, a sense of freedom, and kilometres of sand all to yourself, we’d recommend one of these beaches. Why not join us?

Unspoilt or urban beaches

Playa de Covachos (Soto de la Marina) is a prime example of Cantabria’s rugged beaches. It is surrounded by cliffs and difficult to reach (you need to use the ropes provided to get on and off the beach). Covachos’ most remarkable feature is its tombolo: a strip of land that connects the beach to the Isla del Castro at low tide. You need to be careful when swimming as the swell can be really powerful when it’s windy.

Santander, Cantabria’s capital city, has the most urban beaches. It has over a dozen fine sandy beaches with all the facilities you need to enjoy a perfect day at the seaside. Of all its beaches, those at El Sardinero come especially highly recommended. El Sardinero is located in the city’s best-known area for holidaymakers, and its beaches are ideal whether you want a day out with the kids, or to try your hand at surfing lessons.

Calm or windswept

The Cantabrian coastline also offers beaches with calm seas, such as Playa de La Concha in Suances, with its fine, golden sand. This beach is well-known for the many tournaments and championships it hosts in a number of sports, such as beach volleyball, handball, football and rugby.

Meanwhile, in the same area, the powerful swell at Playa de Los Locos makes it one of Spain’s best surfing beaches. The beach is exposed to the open sea, with the full might of the Cantabrian Sea crashing against it.

Long, sandy stretches or secluded coves

The beach at La Salvé in Laredo almost completely surrounds the bay. It is shaped like a shell and is more than four kilometres long. Together with its neighbour, Playa del Regatón, it forms Cantabria’s longest stretch of beach.

If you prefer secluded beaches, Playa de La Arnía, located in Piélagos, is the place for you. Its geological formations and the sea stacks rising out of the sea make this beach uniquely captivating. It is a natural, unspoilt beach located on the coast known as the Costa Quebrada.

Family beaches

Playa de Trengandín in Noja is a beach that is almost three and a half kilometres long. Thanks to its favourable orientation and gentle waves, it is the ideal beach to visit with children. The small pools that appear when the tide goes out are perfect for kids to play in. As well as the pools, the rock formations that are a feature of the entire coastline make this beach one of the region’s prettiest.

Beaches for dogs

Castro Urdiales town council has recently turned some areas into zones for dogs. They can be used all year round and the use of leads isn’t obligatory: Cargadero de MioñoArcisero and Muelle Oriñon.

The doggy beach at La Maza in San Vicente de la Barquera is one of the best dog-friendly beaches in Cantabria. It tends not to be busy, the sand is fine and golden, and it has a water fountain for dogs. The sea is calm here too, making it the ideal place if you’re on holiday with your dog.

Accessible beaches

The beaches at El Sable and La Arena in Arnuero are certified inclusive spaces with excellent facilities, and environmental management systems that have won it the EU’s Blue Flag status. It also has a Q award for quality from the Spanish Tourism Quality Institute, and ISO 14001 for Environmental Quality. Both beaches are accessible to all and the Playas de Isla Information Points (located at the entrances to the beaches) have services specially tailored to people with disabilities, an assisted swimming service with a floating beach wheelchair, plus a beach library and ashtray hire (the assisted swimming service is available from 01/07 to 31/08).

Surfing beaches

If there is one thing the beaches of Somo and Loredo in Ribamontan al Mar are known for, it’s their surf culture. They have several surf schools and are full of die-hard surfers on the lookout for the best waves, in a stretch of sea that boasts ideal and unrivalled conditions for doing just that.

Valdearenas in Liencres is another surfers’ paradise, located near to Santander. Its almost three kilometres of fine sand and natural surroundings make it a firm favourite with surfers. It’s located in the middle of the Dunas de Liencres Natural Park and its coastline forms part of the Costa Quebrada Geological Park.

The three beaches of Oyambre, Gerra and Merón are located along one of the most beautiful coast roads you will ever see, running between Comillas and San Vicente de la Barquera. The beaches essentially run into one, and together comprise over five kilometres of beach. They are ideal for surfing.

Blue flag beaches

Cantabria boasts 11 blue flags, representing 13.75% of all the region’s beaches. La Arena and El Sable in Arnuero; Ris and Trengandín in Noja; Berria in Santoña; El Sable and Los Locos in Suances; El Sable de Merón in San Vicente de la Barquera; the beach in Comillas, Cuberris in Bareyo, and Ostende in Castro Urdiales.

The Spanish Foundation for Environmental Education and Consumers (the body that awards this status for environmental standards on beaches) also grants other accolades, including “senderos azules” (blue pathways) and “centros azules” (blue centres).

Blue centres in Cantabria are the Casa de la Naturaleza building in Castro Urdiales; the Santa Olaja mill and Casa de las Mareas museum in Arnuero, the Molino de las Aves birdwatching site in Noja; and the Marismas de Santoña, Victoria and Joyel Visitor Centre in Santoña. The blue pathways are the Noja Coastal Route and the route that runs between Playas de Quejo and the Castellanos estuary in Arnuero.

Picture-perfect beaches

There are some beaches that can’t be described as anything other than “picture-perfect”, which seems like the ideal note on which to end this post.

Playa de Langre is widely considered to be Cantabria’s most beautiful beach. Located on the coast at Trasmiera, approximately a kilometre away from the town of Langre, this long beach is completely surrounded by vertical cliffs and is accessed via some steps. Popular with surfers all year round, it really is a unique spot.

Right in the Bay of Santander is El Puntal beach: a favourite summer meeting point for anyone who lives in Santander. It is a spectacular, arrow-shaped strip of sand separating the mouth of the Cubas estuary from the open sea. It has magnificent views over the city of Santander. It can be accessed via the long beach at Somo, or from Santander in boats known as “Pedreñeras”. The “Pedreñeras” are moored opposite the Palacete del Embarcadero building.

Berria is a long stretch of beach that runs for almost two kilometres, located in Santoña. Its idyllic surroundings are of interest from an ecological point of view, lying between the El Brusco oak groves and Monte Buciero, with the Marismas de Santoña Natural Park to the north.

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