Cantabria faces the ocean from the high, broken coastal plains to the foothills of the mountains. Where the rock is softer, the sea has broken through and caused the collapse of enormous cliffs, forming promontories and islands. Wherever the rock formation and the action of the waves has combined with the effect of the turbulent river waters, nature has built deep inlets and estuaries banked by wetlands.
These places were so favourable to sustaining human life that most of the population concentrated around them in far greater numbers than the rest of the country. However, there are still numerous estuaries, wetlands, inlets and beaches in Cantabria where nature is untamed and undisturbed.
The presence of nature is so strong along these coasts that, even in areas where man and his excesses are concentrated, the beauty of the landscape is still enough to overpower the senses, as at Castro Urdiales, Laredo, Santoña, Noja, the bay of Santander, Suances, Comillas or San Vicente de la Barquera.
Blue flags are synonymous with clean safe beaches. In Europe, the concept dates back to 1985. Twelve of these flags, the same colour as the sea, fly over beaches in the region.
Salvé Beach in Laredo is the longest and most heavily visited sandy beach on the whole of the Cantabrian coast.
These beaches, near the Santander city centre, are some of the most popular beaches in the region.
This magnificent beach is protected by a wonderful seafront promenade. It consists of fine golden sand and is ideal for surfing.