Being a coastal region, Cantabria is certainly not short of beaches. There are stretches of sand for every type of beach fan: quiet, secluded corners for a private walk or swim, or bigger, busier resort style beaches (such as those in Santander). Cantabria’s beaches are some of the best in Spain and define a region known for its maritime history. These are some of the best beaches to head to away from Santander.
Suances is a seaside town which lies to the west of Santander. Accessible by bus from Santander or Torrelavega (check transportedecantabria.es for times) the town is also close to Santillana del Mar and half an hour from Cantabria’s mountains. There are a couple of beaches in the area which can get busy in the summer as the resort town fills with Spanish tourists. However, on the odd warm sunny day the rest of the year it can be a peaceful place to go and enjoy the views and catch some rays.
The owner of the guesthouse Posada Rural Ochohermanas recommends Covachos, which sits in the small town of Soto de la Marina outside Santander. The beach is considered to be one of Cantabria’s finest thanks to the isthmus, which at low tide allows visitors to walk to the nearby Isla del Castro. Access to the beach, which is surrounded by cliffs, is by foot down some stairs. There are several buses a day between Santander and Soto de la Marina. This is a popular beach with nudists.
Somocuevas is another beach recommended by Ochohermanas, which is located just along the coast from Covachos, nearer the town of Liencres. There are multiple buses each day to Liencres from Santander, allowing easy access to the beach, which is a six minute walk from the centre of the small town. The beach sits in its own small cove sheltered from the open sea by a rocky strip.
Pur Diaz, who has lived in Cantabria all her life believes Oyambre is the best beach in the region, situated at the opposite end to Santander, near San Vicente de la Barquera. The beach is set within a nature reserve and has a bird watching base nearby. There is also a golf course. The views are spectacular as mountains surround the beach.
Although not in Cantabria, Gulpiyuri, which is close to Llanes in Asturias is a curious enough beach to warrant a mention. Just off the Autovia del Cantabrico, at Naves, this beach can only be described as a natural phenomenon. It doesn’t sit on the coast, but is a cove which lies inland. It definitely has to be seen to be believed.