Nudist Beaches in Cantabria
The beautiful region of Cantabria in the north of Spain lies between the Cantabrian Mountains and the Bay of Biscay, an area known as Green Spain due to its wet and moderate climate, producing particularly lush vegetation. The influence of the Gulf Stream gives the area a more temperate climate and there are two distinct geographical regions. The coastal region is made up of picturesque green valleys rivers and streams that meet the sea in a mixture of cliffs, coves and estuaries.
Behind this coastal strip the fantastic Cantabrian Mountain range rises abruptly and in places such as the Picos de Europa that reach over 2,500 metres high, can have snow on their peaks all year round. With the beauty of both the coastal and mountain regions, it’s no surprise that Cantabria has 7 natural and national parks. The Picos de Europa National Park is huge and covers an area of over 600km2 that is a haven for nature lovers, hikers, mountain climbers and bird watchers. There are a great variety of hiking and climbing trails of varying difficulty and if you’re lucky you may spot a Cantabrian brown bear or the elusive Iberian wolf. The park is the oldest National Park in Spain and was awarded the UNESCO Biosphere Reserve Designation in 2002. In the heart of the park are the Covadonga Lakes, a place of outstanding natural beauty that is steeped in myth and legend. Access to the lakes starts at the Covadonga Sanctuary where the road winds its way up the mountains, slowly revealing stunning views that just get better the higher you go. At over 1000 metres above sea level you reach Lake Enol that is surrounded by lush green pastures dotted with grazing livestock, and continuing even higher with the colours of the land ever changing, you are finally greeted by Lake Ercina. Many visitors spend their entire vacation exploring this magnificent national park but Cantabria offers a whole lot more.
The important port city of Santander is the region’s capital that has an international airport and the major Santander ferry crossing to Portsmouth and Plymouth in the United Kingdom. There is a lot to see in the city with many trendy shops, boutiques, cafes, bars and restaurants. There is also the elegant archaeological and pre-history museum that has some fantastic showcases, and the Península de la Magdalena that offers great views, a charming little tourist train, welcoming parkland, resident penguins and seals and the Palacio de la Magdelena. The coastal towns and villages of Cantabria welcome visitors with unspoilt beaches, hidden coves, lofty cliff tops and sweeping bays. Although the climate is not as warm as in the south, this means many of the area’s beaches are not over crowded and visitors can enjoy relative peace and quiet or visit one of the 7 official nudist beaches in Cantabria. The area is also one of the top spots in the country for surfing as it forms part of the Bay of Biscay which is one of the most notoriously dangerous bodies of water on the planet, where giant swells come in from the Atlantic, pounding the jagged coastline.
Ribamontán al Mar became the first well known surfing spot in the country during the late 1950’s and was home to Spain’s first surfing school. The various parts of the beach areas offer surfing for all levels of expertise, and for total beginners there are surf schools offering lessons from professional instructors. Another one of the region’s natural parks can be found in Piélagos, called Liencres Dunes Natural Reserve it is home to an interesting range of flora & fauna and a variety of migratory birds that use the reserve as a resting point on their journey. There truly is something for everyone in this beautiful part of the country.