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Best Beaches in Santander (Spain)

Home > The Worlds Best Beaches > Santander Holiday

With a new ferry crossing to Spain arriving in Santander from Portsmouth from 2009, now is a great time to explore this less well known part of Spain. Not only is Santander one of Spain's most beautiful cities, it has a wonderful coastline with some great beaches and so makes an excellent place to visit on holiday.

In general the beaches in Santander are clean, easily accessible, have plenty of facilities and never get quite as crowded as those on the Mediterranean side of Spain although on hot Summer days they can get quite crowded.

Spanish Flag Playa del Sardinero, Santander, Spain

Sardinero Beach, Santander, SpainThis blue flag beach is over a kilometer long and is Santander's longest and most popular beach, especially families and water sports enthusiasts. On a sunny day, especially if it is on the weekend it can get very busy.

The facilities at Sardinero beach are good with showers, car parking facilities, lifeguards, toilets and access for handicapped people. You can hire sunshades as well as sun beds and at one end of the beach, there is a park as well as a promenade, which takes you to Magdalena. There are plenty of places to eat, drink as well as hotels near the beach.

On Sunday mornings locals meet to play a game of palas, which I guess you would call beach tennis, played with wooden bats.

Spanish Flag Rostro Beach, Santander, Spain

Rostro Beach, Santander, SpainBest beach to get away from it all

Playa El Rostro is a small beach with golden sands and calm waters. Even though it is located near Santander it is usually pretty quiet. This is mainly because there are no facilities on the beach, so you will have to bring your own.

It is an ideal beach for people looking for a quiet day out away from the crowds and is a great place for a beach picnic. It is also a good beach for both surfing and windsurfing.

Spanish Flag Playa de la Magdalena, Santander, Spain

Playa de la Magdalena, Santander, SpainMagdalena beach has been awarded the European Community's Blue Flag and sits within a bay with some fantastic views out over it. The beach is 350 meters long, with fine golden sand and it is popular throughout the year.

There are plenty of facilities including life guards, toilets, showers, public phones, access for handicapped visitors, mooring facilities as well as boat hire. Some watersports are available including windsurfing. For safety reasons, both wind-surfers and boaters have to say within a restricted area.

As with most of the beaches in Santander this beach is cleaned daily.

Spanish Flag Playa de El Bocal, Santander, Spain

Playa de El Bocal, Santander, SpainEl Bocal beach is about 3km north of the Santander city centre, but still within the city limits. It is a quiet beach and is a good place to get away from the crowds. Early mornings and late afternoons are a great time to enjoy a stroll on this beach.

The beach is pretty well sheltered as it lies between two headlands, Punta Cortada to the west and Punta Vergajo to the east.

The beach has its own parking area and life guards during the weekends when it gets a little busier. It is cleaned daily and there are bins for your rubbish.

Spanish Flag Playa de los Bikinis, Santander, Spain

Bikini Beach, Santander, Spain Playa de los Bikinis, translated into english means beach of the Bikini, or Bikini Beach and was probably named as such because of the foreign students at the Universidad Internacional Menendez Pelayo, who would wear bikinis before they became a common sight on beaches in Spain in the 1950's.

Bikini beach is located on the eastern point of Santander and is over half a kilometer long and runs almost all the way along the south side of the peninsula. There are two islands opposite the shore to the south, the Torre (Tower Island) and the Horadada.

The beach has a car park as well as showers and life guards and is cleaned daily.

Ferry to Santander

If you are interested in visiting Santander, or to explore this part of Spain, Portugal and Southern France, one of the best ways to get here is by ferry. With no baggage allowances, your own car and a restful nights sleep, take a look at the Beach Holiday Guide on Car Ferries to Spain.

Other Beaches in Spain

Below are some more of the best beaches in Spain that may be of interest to you:

Spanish Flag Las Islas Cies beach in Galicia, Spain

Worlds Best Beaches