The Best Beaches in Northern Spain

Playa De La Concha, San Sebastian Beach, Spain
Playa De La Concha, San Sebastian Beach, Spain | © evantravels / Shutterstock
Esme Fox

It’s not just the Costa del Sol, the Canary Islands and the Balearic Islands that have some of Spain’s best beaches; northern Spain has its fare share too. Think wide and clean urban beaches, sandy shores within national parks, and some that can even be liked to those of the Caribbean. Here are our picks of the best beaches in Northern Spain.

Playa de la Concha, San Sebastián

Playa de la Concha is San Sebastián‘s main city beach. It hugs the sweep of the city bay and is lined by elegant buildings. Surrounded by natural features, such as the green Monte Urgull castle-topped hill, it offers the best of both natural and city beaches. Lie on the sand or paddle in the calm surf while admiring the picturesque views over Santa Clara Island, standing in the middle of the bay.

Playa de la Concha, San Sebastián, Spain

Playa Karraspio, Lekeitio

Karraspio Beach is located just to the edge of the town of Lekeitio in the Basque Country. It lies between the larger cities of Bilbao and San Sebastián, and can be reached by train from Bilbao in one hour and 20 minutes. The beach offers a long crescent of golden sand, backed by lush green hills and bisected by the River Lea.

Lekeitio, Spain

Praia das Catedrais

Praia das Catedrais can be found between the beaches of Augasantas and Carricelas on the northern Galician coast. It’s called As Catedrais, or Cathedral Beach, because of its huge rock formations, arches and flying buttresses, which look like giant, stone cathedrals. While this beach may not have your typical soft, white sand and facilities, it’s amazing to explore and look around.

Visit Praia das Catedrais in Galicia, Spain

Playa el Sardinero, Santander

Playa el Sardinero is Santander’s main beach. It comprises two long sweeps of sugar-soft sand, each around one kilometre (0.6 miles) long, lined with graceful 20th-century architecture. There are plenty of bars and cafés to refresh yourself on the sand, while the sea offers excellent surfing conditions too.

Visit Playa Sardinero in Santander

Playa de la Magdalena, Santander

Playa de la Magdalena is another of Santander’s beaches. It’s a little less crowded and a little more natural than El Sardinero though, as it’s located on the Magdalena Peninsula, just outside of town. The beach features golden sand and a dedicated sports area.

Playa de la Magdalena, Santander, Spain

Playa del Silencio, Asturias

Playa del Silencio, or the Beach of Silence, is located just outside the tiny village of Castañeras, along the Asturian coastline, 15 kilometres (9.3 miles) west of Cudillero. It’s a natural beach, framed by towering cliffs and covered in silvery sand. The beach isn’t accessible by car, so you have to hike the last 500 metres (0.3 miles) down to the beach.

Playa del Silencio, Spain

Praia de Rodas, Islas Cies

Praia de Rodas is one of the best beaches in the whole of Spain. It can be likened to the Caribbean due to its flour-white sand and clear, turquoise waters. It lies off the western coast of Galicia on the Cies Islands and is actually part of a protected natural park.

Playa de Rodas, Galicia, Spain

Playa de Oyambre, Comillas

Playa de Oyambre lies within the Parque Natural de Oyambre near the town of Comillas in Cantabria. The beach measures a whopping 1,800 metres (1.1 miles) and is covered with fine grains of golden sand. Backed by dunes and verdant rolling hills, it’s as picturesque as a postcard. The area is popular with windsurfers, because of its excellent wind conditions.

Playa de Oyambre, Cantabria, Spain
culture trip left arrow
 culture trip brand logo

Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip

meet our Local Insider


women sitting on iceberg


2 years.


It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.


I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!

culture trip logo letter c
group posing for picture on iceberg
group posing for picture on iceberg

Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.

map of volcanic iceland trip destination points
culture trip brand logo
culture trip right arrow
landscape with balloons floating in the air


Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.

Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.