Santander is one of Spain’s most beautiful cities, and the coastline and beaches add to its overall charm and beauty. The contrast offered by the golden sand, green hills and rocky outlets is a feast for the eye.
Santander, capital city of the Region of Cantabria, is an extremely well-planned and clean city, and the beaches are no exception. They have plenty of facilities and are easily accessible on foot or by bus. On hot Summer days they can get quite crowded and are very popular with families and elderly people, but there is room for everyone and because the weather is somewhat unreliable, they never get as crowded as Mediterranean beaches. See below for a description of the best beaches in Santander. See also map of beaches in Santander to see their exact location, and visit Guide to Santander for more information about what this lovely city offers to visitors, Hotels in Santander for ideas about where to stay, and Guide to Cantabria for places of interest nearby.
Best beaches in Santander
- Playa de la Concha: Small urban beach – just 250m long – with a promenade. Golden sand, moderate waves and very popular all year round. SOS, Red Cross and life guards, clean. There is a carpark nearby, and also a tourist info., public telephones, showers, public toilets and it is possible to hire sunshades and/or sunbeds. Near the Santander Marina.
- Playa del Sardinero: Blue flag, this 1300m stretch of golden sand is Santander’s longest – and most popular – beach. There is a park at one end, and a promenade just above the beach which continues along to the Magdalena. Lots of hotels, restaurants, fast food places and bars nearby. Moderate waves, sunshades and sunbeds to rent, showers, carparking facilities, lifeguards, toilets and access for handicapped people At the end nearest the Magdalena each Sunday morning locals meet to play “palas”, a game played with wooden bats and a small ball in which couples hit the ball to each other in long rallies.
- Playa El Camello: Blue flag, 200m. Small beach with showers and basic facilities, very popular during high season.
- Playa Mataleñas: Beautiful bay on the outskirts of Santander. Overlooked by green fields and rocky cliffs. Golden sand, clean waters and a nice coastal walk, despite being quite isolated this is a very popular beach. Public toilets and showers but no other on-beach facilities.
- Playa de la Magdalena: 900 mts., golden sand and some rocks, life guards, toilets, showers, public phones, access for handicapped visitors, mooring facilities and boat hire.
- Playa de los Bikinis: Presumably Bikini Beach was where the more daring tourists used to go when the bikini started to be an acceptable item of beachware towards the end of Franco’s regime. 250 m., golden sand, calm sea, toilets, showers, Red Cross emergency services and public telephones.
- Playa los Peligros: Which translated means “Dangers Beach” . 200 m., very popular, golden sand and moderate waves. Emergency services, car park nearby, toilets and showers.
- Playa Virgen del Mar, Playa La Maruca and Playa El Bocal are all small, uncrowded beaches just a short drive (or busride) from Santander. El Bocal is sandy, the other two are rocky beaches. None of them have any on-beach facilities.
- Playa El Rostro: Small, quiet beach with golden sand and calm waters just opposite Santander. No on-beach facilities, ideal for people looking for a quiet day out away from the crowds.