Nestled in the heart of Cantabria, Santander is the perfect destination for anyone looking for a sunshine and wave filled jaunt to mainland Europe this Autumn.
As September rolls around, perfectly groomed ground swells begin their march from the Atlantic into the Bay of Biscay, eventually landing on the myriad of quality beach breaks that litter Spain’s sun kissed northern coastline. While there are amazing spots along the entirety of the coast, you don’t have to stray far from the centre to find a whole host of top quality beach, point and reef set ups.
However, the allure of the Cantabrian capital extends far beyond it’s waves, with a rich cultural history, great bars and restaurants and picturesque beaches framed by vast mountain backdrops.
The easiest way to get there from the UK (and to get your boards there in one piece) is to get the ferry and drive. You can find out times and crossings here from either Portsmouth or Plymouth.
In the centre of town lies the East facing beach break of El Sardineiro. It’s a perfect option for big or stormy swells, accompanied by W or NW winds which will see some of them more exposed spots blown out. It’s sand bank dependent and can get classic, but usually hosts fun waves all through the tide.
Sitting across the estuary from the city, sits Somo, the most popular spot in the region, offering a long stretch of quality beach break peaks. On it’s eastern end is the island of Santa Maria which hosts a classic, but closely guarded right hand point break which can hold up to 15ft. It’s not for the faint hearted, even at smaller sizes and is generally dominated by the local crew, but can be well worth watching from the headland when it’s on.
Travelling east along the coast from Somo, you happen across Langre, a beautifully picturesque and remote beach break, surrounded by towering cliffs, which provide shelter from W or SW winds. The crowds are usually sparse and the waves fun and punchy.
A short Twenty minutes drive west of the city will take you to Liencres, another beautiful stretch of beach, backed by a vast pine forest nature reserve. It’s super consistent and can play host to classic waves when the banks are good. It’s also the regional swell magnet, so is the place to head when everywhere else is to small.
Further west is the town of Suances, which equally plays host to a fun beachie and a variety of fantastic restaurants, featuring every type of western European cuisine.
Of course these beaches are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to finding waves along the regions long and varied coastlines and one of the real joys of the area is looking on the map and following your nose down the various and farm tracks and bumpy roads which lead from the main roads to the coast.