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9 Best Beaches in Santander

9 Best Beaches in Santander

Explore the best beaches in Santander with us.

Spain is famous for its beaches, with popular coastal destinations including Málaga and the islands of Ibiza and Majorca. What you might not know is that the coastal city of Santander is the perfect destination for a relaxing beach getaway.

Not only are there plenty of gorgeous beaches in Santander itself but there are also some just a short drive away. Whether you’re looking to relax along the main strip or you’re looking for somewhere more secluded, this beautiful area has so much to offer.

Many of Santander’s beaches are found within the city so are easily accessible for those without a car.

However, there are also plenty of gorgeous beaches near Santander if you don’t mind venturing a bit further out. Honestly, there are lots of options if you’re looking to plan a trip here. Not to mention, there are plenty of tourist amenities, such as beach bars, lifeguards, and shower facilities.

If you haven’t already considered it, you may want to rent a car in Spain during your trip to get out to explore all of these stunning Santander beaches. Check out our guide if it’s your first time driving in Spain.

Map of the Best Beaches in Santander, Spain

The Best Beaches in Santander

There are tons of great things to do in Santander if you don’t want to spend all day at the beach. However, when you are ready to relax in the Spanish sunshine, there are plenty of great Santander beaches to choose from.

Many of them are easily accessible, being found right in the city, while others can easily be reached by hire car or public transport.

The more popular beaches can get crowded during the summer months, but there are always some more secluded options, too. Below I’ll take you through the beaches you don’t want to miss.

Of course, most of these places are best when you are planning a trip to Spain in July or August. They are busiest then, but the weather in Santander in the shoulder seasons just isn’t warm enough to sunbathe.

However, if you simply want to enjoy the beaches for walking and get out to explore some of the Camino del Norte here, then visiting in May and September would be better.

1. Playa Sardinero

Playa Sardinero is perhaps one of the most popular beaches in Santander.

Boasting golden sandy shores, deep blue waters, and striking coastal views, it’s not hard to see why people choose to visit. It’s also one of the most popular neighborhoods in Santander to base yourself on a trip to the city.

The waters at Sardinero Beach are relatively calm too making it a popular swimming location. Not to mention, there’s plenty of space for everyone to sunbathe.

Thanks to Playa Sardinero’s location, this beautiful beach is easy to access, even for those with limited mobility.

It’s situated along a scenic seafront promenade, where you’ll find plenty of amenities. These include snack bars, cafes, and restaurants. There’s also a supermarket nearby for those looking to relax with a picnic, as well as public bathrooms.

wide beach with tide out and people walking along it with rocks in the distance at one of the best beaches in santander.

There are so many wonderful beaches to explore right in the downtown area of Santander.

2. Playa de Mataleñas

Playa de Mataleñas is around a 30-minute walk from Playa Sardinero, or a 5-minute drive away. There’s parking along Av. del Faro for those who have a car, but the area can get pretty busy!

Playa de Mataleñas is arguably the best beach in Santander because it’s so beautiful (it’s certainly one of my top picks). As it’s located away from the city center, you may encounter fewer crowds here too, although it still gets busy during the summer months.

It’s also situated in a sheltered cove making it a great place to swim or surf. Surfing conditions vary, so always check ahead of time.

Unfortunately, Mataleñas Beach can only be accessed via a steep set of stairs so it’s not suitable for those with limited mobility. There aren’t many amenities nearby either, but you’ll find bathrooms and showers here, so it’s still a great option for families.

3. Playa de Los Molinucos

Playa de Los Molinucos is one of the more secluded beaches in Santander. It’s located along the coastal walk between Playa Sardinero and Playa de Mataleñas so it tends to be quieter, although it’s much smaller.

With a striking backdrop, golden sandy shores, and a relaxing vibe, Playa de Los Molinucos is the perfect sunbathing destination. Thanks to its location within a cove, it’s also sheltered and the waves tend to be calmer making it a popular swimming spot.

Just be aware that this beach has no amenities, meaning no lifeguards, bathrooms, or showers. Although this may be inconvenient for some, it means Los Molinucos Beach remains unspoiled. Therefore, it’s a very tranquil spot.

It’s also important to note that when the tide is in, there’s not much shoreline to relax on so you’ll want to check the tide times and time your visit accordingly.

dog on the right side of the image standing on the beach at the water's edge where it is crashing very lightly to shore with a large rockface sticking out into the water behind.

The beaches in Santander are magical all year long, but coming in the summer is when you can lay out and catch some rays.

4. Playa de Los Peligros

Playa de Los Peligros is another of the best beaches in Santander, Spain. It’s located right in the city, next to the equally beautiful Playa de la Magdalena. Known for its golden shores, calm waters, and gorgeous coastal views, it’s a beach that you don’t want to miss.

Playa de Los Peligros is a great option for families as there are so many amenities nearby. This includes toilets, showers, a restaurant, and a watersports rental service.

Los Peligros Beach is also wheelchair accessible as there’s a ramp leading down to its sandy shores, as well as a wooden boardwalk (although this tends to only be in place in the busier summer months).

You can easily reach Playa de Los Peligros on foot or there’s parking available for those with a vehicle. 

5. Playa de la Magdalena

There are plenty of Santander beaches to choose from, but I’d recommend spending at least some of your trip at Playa de la Magdalena. This beautiful beach is located between Playa de Los Peligros and Playa de los Bikinis, right next to the Magdalena Peninsula.

It’s a popular spot for sunbathing and swimming, especially since there aren’t too many waves. This makes it another great option for families.

Not to mention, there are ample facilities including bathrooms and showers. There’s also Restaurante Balneario La Magdalena, a popular eatery boasting jaw-dropping sea views.

Magdalena Beach is also known for its watersports, with Club Náutico La Horadada offering various rentals. These include sailing boats, canoes, paddleboards, pedal boats, surfboards, and windsurf boards. It’s also possible to hire wetsuits and snorkeling equipment, and lessons are available for those who don’t have much experience.

Playa de la Magdalena offers disabled access too.

beach with trees around the edges of hte photo and tall white apartment buildings along the edges of the beach at the back. People are walking on the sand but no one is sunbathing.

The beaches in Santander are known for having soft sand and beautiful clean water for swimming and surfing. But it’s never going to be as warm as the Mediterranean.

6. Playa del Puntal

If you’re looking for beaches near Santander, Playa del Puntal is one of my top picks. Famous for its long stretch of golden sand and relaxing atmosphere, El Puntal Beach is a must-visit. It also tends to be much quieter than the more popular Playa Sardinero.

To reach Playa del Puntal, you can take a boat across Santander Bay which takes less than 10 minutes. Frequency varies depending on the time of year, with services being pretty regular during the summer. Alternatively, you can drive to Somo and walk to the beach from there, but this will take much longer.

There aren’t many facilities at Playa del Puntal, but two beach bars are open during peak season.

During your visit, just be aware of the tide as it rises quite a bit. For those who are planning to swim, keep an eye on the current and watch out for the boats that arrive here throughout the day.

7. Playa de Somo

Although there are plenty of gorgeous beaches in Santander itself, I’d suggest heading to Playa De Somo as well. Located just under a 30-minute drive from Santander, it’s easy to get to if you have a car. Public buses also run to Somo if you’d prefer not to drive, or you can catch the ferry.

Playa de Somo is undoubtedly one of the Cantabria region’s best beaches and it’s not hard to see why. First of all, it’s an extremely long beach so there’s plenty of room for everyone (although it does get crowded during the summer).

The surrounding area also has a lot of amenities, including restaurants, supermarkets, and cute souvenir and boutique stores.

However, the highlight of Playa de Somo has to be its surfing opportunities. There are plenty of waves to catch along this beach, and you’ll find a few surf shops nearby, too.

view of a beach from above on a bluff with sand below and larger waves crashing to shore creating white wash along the shoreline.

Get out of the downtown area to the beaches nearby Santander for some peace and quiet.

8. Playa de Langre

Next up is Playa de Langre, which is located further along the coast from Somo. It’s around a 30-minute drive from Santander and car parking is available. Public transport doesn’t run here, which means Langre Beach tends to be much quieter than others in the area.

With its backdrop of steep cliffs, crystal-clear waters, and golden sandy shores, Playa de Langre will take your breath away. It’s the perfect place to take a stroll, catch some rays, or head out for a swim, as well as being a fantastic surfing destination.

Thanks to its secluded location, you can enjoy Langre Beach without the crowds, and there’s even a nudist area here.

Unfortunately, there are no amenities at this beach and you’ll have to traverse some pretty steep stairs to visit. As such, it’s not suitable for those with low mobility or small children.

9. Playa La Salvé de Laredo

Finally, we have Playa La Salvé de Laredo. This gorgeous beach is just a 35-minute drive from Santander and is located in the town of Laredo. Alternatively, you can get here on an Alsa bus, with the journey taking between 45-70 minutes depending on which service you take.

Thanks to the sheer size of this beach, it never seems to get crowded and there’s plenty of space for everyone. Not to mention, there are ample amenities including lifeguards, toilets, and showers, as well as a few eateries in the surrounding area.

Playa La Salvé de Laredo is a great place to relax, but it’s also popular with surfers. Dogs are welcome too so the whole family can come along. Honestly, La Salvé Beach has something for everyone so it’s certainly worth taking the trip here from Santander.