Castro Urdiales is a small and charming coastal town located in Cantabria, near the border with the Basque Country. There are many beautiful beaches both in the town and nearby, from natural and wild ones to those great for surfing and those hidden rocky coves. Here are our picks for the most beautiful.
Playa Ostende is Castro Urdiales’ main beach, and is one of Cantabria’s 13 Blue Flag beaches. Measuring 900 metres long, it has soft dark sand and plenty of facilities such as changing rooms and cafés.
Playa de Sonabia
Playa de Sonabia is located in Liendo, around 17km west of the town of Castro Urdiales. Nestled between two huge green hills, it’s a small and isolated beach, which slopes towards the water’s edge. It’s also a popular spot for nudists, so you don’t even need to remember your bathing suit when you visit this one. With no buildings, bars or facilities, Playa de Sonabia is completely wild and natural.
Playa de Oriñón
Southeast of Sonabia, along the coast, you’ll find the small village of Oriñón and the Playa de Oriñón, tucked in between a pretty green inlet and surrounded by a rugged rocky shoreline. Covered with fine golden sand, it sits at the mouth of the River Agüera. There is plenty of parking, as well as lifeguards in summer.
Playa de Brazomar
A 400-metre crescent of golden sand, Brazomar Beach is located in the town of Castro Urdiales itself and is surrounded by rolling green hills. At one end there’s a park with a diving board and water slide for children, and at the other a rocky outcrop. It also has a lovely area for swimming.
Playa de Pocillo de los Frailes
Tucked in between the cliffs on the edge of Castro Urdiales, you’ll find the hidden cove of Playa de Pocillo de los Frailes. There’s no sand, just rocks and pebbles, and no man-made facilities – everything here is completely natural. It’s best for true nature lovers who like nothing more than the sound of the waves.
Playa de Mioño
Also known as Playa de Dícido, the beach is located in Mioño, just south of Castro Urdiales. Framed by verdant green hills and backed by farmhouses, it’s a wide sweep of toast-coloured sand mixed with small pebbles. There aren’t many facilities as most of the beach has been left to nature, but there are lifeguards here in the summer.
Playa de la Arena
Situated between Muskiz and Zierbena, east of Castro Urdiales and across the border into the Basque Country, you’ll find Playa de la Arena. It’s a favourite beach with surfers, offering excellent swell and wave conditions, as well as a surf centre that offers lessons. Other activities you can do here include kite surfing, kayaking, windsurfing and volleyball. Beach bars, lifeguards and changing rooms are also found here.