5 most iconic beaches on The Basque Country and Cantabria



Written by Tania Ramonde

When planning your vacation in Spain, there’s no way around it – this country has some of the most scenic and spectacular beaches, and you should not skip them when you walk your Camino!

Although to be fair we can make a similar statement when we are talking about Portugal (and those who have walked the Camino Portugues Coastal can attest to it!), on this occasion we are focusing on the North West region of Spain – particularly in The Basque Country and Cantabria.

These beaches make a great rest day for those of you walking the Camino del Norte. If you are looking for beaches for after your arrival to Santiago, or if you’re walking the Camino Inglés or the Camino Finisterre, this is the list our Camino planners agreed upon.

If you are a beach person, choose the Camino del Norte!

The Camino del Norte, or the Northern Way, is also referred to as the Ruta de la Costa. You will walk along the magnificent coasts of the Basque region and Asturias before heading inland toward Santiago.

This Camino route starts in San Sebastian, and it offers some of the most spectacular scenery on Spain’s coast. You’ll be walking by the coast right up to Oviedo, in Asturias. Then, the Camino del Norte joins the Camino Primitivo.

But before that, you’ll discover the amazing cities and towns built by the Cantabric sea – Bilbao, Santander, Ribadesella… The views are delightful, the food is superb and the beaches are like nothing you’ve seen before!

Let’s start our journey in the Basque Country:

Playa de la Concha, San Sebastian

Our journey begins before we even place one foot before the other because Playa de la Concha in San Sebastian is a must-see!

Right in the city center, surrounded by the best pintxos bars and restaurants, you’ll easily find her everywhere you look! Of course, it’s not the quiet, empty beach where you can connect with mother nature – but it’s as cosmopolitan as it gets.

Playa de Itzurun, Zumaia

Our second stop is a favorite among surfers because of the intense waves that it offers, but there’s more than meets the eye!

Playa de Itzurun is framed by spectacular limestone cliffs that are up to 150 meters high that will leave you breathless, trust us! And if once you’re there you get that “I’ve seen this place before” feeling, you probably have- this beach was featured in the HBO show Game of Thrones, along with some other Basque beaches!

Playas de Leikeitio, Leikeitio

One would never guess that the small fishing town of Lekeitio will be the home to one of the most incredible beaches in the region – but it’s right there!

Enjoy a long wild beach and amazing views of the island of San Nicolás. If you get there when the tide goes out, you’ll be able to reach it on foot!

Playa del Sardinero, Santander

Once your path takes you to Cantabria, make sure you have some time to spare in the capital city of Santander. There you will find Playa del Sardinero, right in the city center.

Take a stroll around the promenade, enjoy some ice cream or a drink and discover why Santander is one of the most beautiful cities in the north.

Playa de Oyambre

Between Comillas and San Vicente de la Barquera – two towns worth the visit themselves! – you’ll find Playa de Oyambre. If you’re looking for peace and nature – this is your best shot! This beach is more than 2 kilometers (1.24 miles) long, and away from most tourist areas.

The water is a beautiful emerald color, and the sand shines bright like gold.

If all that isn’t enough to convince you that the Camino del Norte is worth a visit – this wonderful pilgrimage route through Spain has even been added to the UNESCO World Heritage list!

Take the first step towards your Camino and get a free quote for your journey! Ask us all your questions and let us make you a customized itinerary for your trip to northern Spain. Contact us at info@followthecamino.com for any questions about this route or our other Camino de Santiago tours.

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Originally published on 27th September 2022

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