From the misty green inlets of the north-west to the dusty south, via the rolling plains of the centre, Spain is nothing if not incredibly varied in terrain and temperature. Which is precisely what…
Santander city on the Northern coast of Spain is home to 13 beaches – and that’s just the tip of the iceberg as the region of Cantabria boasts another 80 and each is prettier than the last. We’ve shortlisted 14 beaches to whet your appetite for the golden sand and refreshing waves amidst the green countryside that is so sought after by Spanish holidaymakers!
1. Los Peligros Beach in Santander
The closest Santander beach to city centre makes for a great stroll from Puertochico’s bars and restaurants. Take the Maritime Walkway beside Centro Botin and walk past Gamazo’s viewing platform to the beach. This stretch of water is wave-free and there’s a safe swim area protected by a floating platform and barrier which is perfect for young swimmers. Views of the bay and the Puntal sand bank are wonderful. You’ll also find a Stand-Up Paddle (SUP) activity centre nearby. Ample parking. Retire for a drink and food to the modern Caseta de Bombas Bar & Restaurant at Gamazo.
Caseta de Bombas Restaurant, Calle Gamazo, 39004 Santander, Cantabria. Tel: 942 74 26 68. Lacasetadebombas.es
2. Magdalena Beach in Santander
Fabulous white sandy Santander beach that’s reached from Los Peligros beach or a slip-road by the Royal Tennis Club. Excellent views of the bay and the modernist sailing school on Isla de la Torre. Parking nearby.
3. Los Bikinis Beach in Santander
Inside the grounds of Magdalena Palace – the former Spanish royal summer residence – you’ll find a charming beach with wonderful views of the mountains and the bay, plus extensive parkland for picnics and strolls. There’s an excellent playground with a slide down onto the beach. Handy snacks and drinks at the Caballerizas Café which was the stables for the Royal Palace. Ample parking at the entrance to the Palace.
4. Camello Beach in Santander
Named after a rock formation in the shape of a camel which has been partially eroded over time, this stretch of Santander’s coastline is very popular with families who enjoy exploring rock-pools. Views here are of the open sea and the Magdalena mini-zoo. Here is where you’ll get to see and hear a traditional game of ‘palas’ being played by 2-3 players using wooden racquets. Parking by the beach.
5. La Concha Beach in Santander
Right alongside the Sardinero Beach, the Concha is popular with swimmers all year long. You’ll find great views of the Sardinero beaches and the open sea. After your swim, retreat to the BNS bar with its year-round outdoor terrace for tapas and adjoining Balneario restaurant for more substantial meals and amazing panoramic views behind glass. Use the carparking by Playa del Camello.
Balneario de la Concha Restaurant, Av de la Reina Victoria, 46, 39004 Santander, Cantabria. Tel: 942 29 09 19. Balneariodelaconcha.es
6. The First Sardinero Beach in Santander
The most fashionable Santander beach during the 19th and 20th centuries as evidenced by the grandeur of the Casino and many belle-epoque buildings. Great views of the bay and the elegant Piquio Gardens. Dozens of bars and cafes in this area and long lines of people waiting for the eternally popular Regma ice-cream kiosk. You’ll find lockers, deck chairs, parasols and surf gear for hire. Parking in the area. After your swim, try a vermouth with local squid at the outdoor terrace run by Atalaya de Mayte behind the Gran Hotel Sardinero. For something more formal, jump in a cab or walk uphill along Calle Duque Santo Mauro to Restaurante Deluz.
Atalaya de Mayte Restaurant, Av. los Infantes, 95, 39005 Santander, Cantabria. Tel:942 50 39 06. Laatalayademayte.es
Deluz Restaurant, Calle Ramón y Cajal, 18, 39005 Santander, Cantabria. Tel:942 29 06 06. Deluz.es
7. The Second Sardinero Beach in Santander
The choppier of the two Sardinero beaches – you’ll find plenty of teenagers with surfboards and body boards and on quieter days kite-surfers too. There’s a playground and you’ll find lots of beach volleyball on the go also. Great views of Mouro Lighthouse. On the other end of the beach, you can talk a cliffside walk around the peninsula with amazing views back down onto the Sardinero also. (Take the steps from behind Cafeteria Coronna on Calle Gregorio Maranon, 1.) Lots of bars and cafes service this Santander beach including a few informal restaurants built right on the edge of the beach – perfect for seafood platters served with garden-fresh salads and a refreshing beer or glass of red, white or rosé.
8. Molinucos Beach in Santander
A favourite for the best views of Mouro Island and lighthouse is the very charming Molinucos Beach. Park or walk to Mataleñas Park and take the steps down to this Santander beach. It’s a tiny cove so do go early to enjoy the place to yourself.
9. Mataleñas Beach in Santander
The jewel in the crown for many Santanderinos who rate this as their favourite Santander beach. You’ll need to walk down some steep steps so this isn’t for the faint-hearted. If you are driving, follow signs for Forestal Park (a zipline activity centre great for kids and teenagers) and park when you see the ice-cream van. Climb down to steps and dive into the secluded turquoise waters. If you’re looking for refreshments there are a few restaurants nearby and the views from the lighthouse café are wonderful, especially at sunset.
Ready to leave the city of Santander? Here are 5 more great beaches in the Ribamontan area closeby the Villa Bahia.
10. Somo Beach in Ribamontan al Mar
Huge long strand with high waves that are great for surfing and bodyboarding. You’ll find a real surfing vibe in the entire Ribamontan area but especially here in Somo with plenty surf shops and atmospheric bars, diners and restaurants. The Surf Café in Somo on the waterfront is great for drinks and light snacks. Drive to Magnolia in Suesa for meals and more.
Magnolia Suesa Restaurant, Calle Calabazas, 26, 39150 Suesa, Cantabria. Tel: 942 50 43 06
11. El Puntal Beach in Ribamontan al Mar
This sand bank offers wonderful views of the city, the Palace and the entire bay – without the crowds. You also have a wonderful vantage point of all the sailing action and get to witness the Brittany Ferries ferry navigate the very narrow channel beside the beach! Two open-air beach bars serve snacks, seafood, salads and lunches during the Summer months – El Puntal Tricio is the one nearest to the jetty. If you’re travelling by car, you can either drive into Santander and park at the Alfonso XIII carpark (by Centro Botin) before alighting on the passenger ferry or drive to Somo, park at the beach or by the pier and walk the 2km from Somo Beach out onto El Puntal itself.
El Puntal Tricio Beach Bar, Calle el Puntal, Tel: 619 109631. Chiringuitoelpuntal.tricio
12. Loredo Beach in Ribamontan al Mar
Wonderful views of the mountains and the city of Santander as well as the bay from this beach where a horse-racing derby has taken place on the sand every July since 1957. Surfing is very popular here also and you’ll find a few surf schools to hire boards or take a class. If you need a snack after catching a few waves (or a swim) you’ll find a few cafes in the town.
13. Langre Beach in Ribamontan al Mar
Great cliff walks and benches with views up over the beach where you’ll see many Camino de Santiago walkers take a break from their trek to admire the views. This is a quiet beach with very few facilities by the water – so drive onto Somo or Loredo for shops etc but the cliffside drama makes a visit here worthwhile. Make sure to walk to the viewing point on the western side of the beach. Parking at the top – which gets busy in high season so go early and avoid the crowds.
14. Galizano Beach in Ribamontan al Mar
More rustic and less built-up than many of its neighbouring beaches, Galizano is a charming cove with a beach bar operating in the Summer months. Choppy waves and open sea but lots of rock pools for the smaller members of the family to explore. Park in the nearby carpark and take the charming wooden platform bridges to the beach. The mini-market in Galizano village is handy for picnic essentials.
During the Summer season, Somo’s Curros&Co on Calle Isla de Mouro, 4 is a perfect place to pick up picnic treats for all the Ribamontan beaches. In Santander head for the delis such as Mantequerias Cantabras on Calle Joaquín Costa, 47 and Diferente on Calle Joaquín Costa, 28 (near the First Sardinero). Gastrobars in the city centre will also be able to organise tapas, wines and even Spanish paellas or tortillas to go with delivery options available.
Array (  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 64306 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2019-07-23 20:56:14 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-07-23 20:56:14 [post_content] => From the misty green inlets of the north-west to the dusty south, via the rolling plains of the centre, Spain is nothing if not incredibly varied in terrain and temperature. Which is precisely what makes the range of Spanish wines produced so diverse, lively and interesting. Here’s our 101 guide to some of the top Spanish wine regions to help you explore this fabulous country through one of its very finest assets: its grapes.
Spanish Red Wines
RiojaRioja is without a doubt, Spain’s best known red. Stretching away across three valleys – the Rioja Alta, Rioja Alavesa and Rioja Oriental – to the south of the Cantabrian Mountains, it’s a relatively small area that nevertheless packs quite a punch when it comes to global wine production. Some numbers, then: it’s Spain’s oldest wine (with written records dating back to the 9th century); there are more than 600 wineries and nearly 15,000 grape growers spread across 65,000 hectares of vineyards. Made from a variety of grapes it comes in three age classifications: Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva. All are full-bodied and generally best served with food. One thing to look out for is whether the Rioja was aged in American oak, French oak or a mixture of both barrels, with each having their distinct tastes. A Rioja winery you must visit: Bodegas López de Heredia - in the town of Haro, it's one of the older wineries in La Rioja. By appointment only. More information: Lopezdeheredia.com.
Ribera del DueroThe ‘other’ great Spanish wine beginning with R. Only the best Tempranillo grapes are used to make polished Ribera del Duero wines, and there are many in Spain (and outside) who prefer the, frequently, softer more delicate taste, than that of their cousins from Rioja. Wines from Ribera del Duero are usually 100% Tempranillo and are mostly aged in French oak; they have the same age classification as Rioja (Crianza, Reserva and Gran Reserva). A Ribera del Duero winery you must visit: Matarromera - in the town of Valbuena del Duero, a trip to this winery can also include a visit to their museum, the EMINA Wine Museum. More information: Matarromera.es.
PrioratPriorat is probably Spanish wine’s greatest secret. With a wine growing history dating back to the 12th century, this southern Catalonian region these days produces some of the finest and fullest bodied reds in Spain… of which most people outside of Spain have never even heard. The terrain here is tough (even by Spanish wine region standards), so the vines are forced to search for water in the soil, making yield low - and prices high. The most common grape varieties used are: Garnacha, Cariñena with Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah. A Priorat winery you must visit: Alvaro Palacios - the name that practically singlehandedly spearheaded Priorat's ascent to the summit of Spanish wines back in the 1980s is still one of the leading wineries in the region. More information: Aseuniv.com.
Spanish White Wines
Rias BaixasOn the border of Portugal in the north-west of Spain, the Rias Baixas region of Galicia is cool, green and crisp – not unlike its white wine. The crowning glory of this wine-growing region is Albariño, which is clean, with occasional floral notes, and is absolutely ideal paired with the sublime local seafood. A Rias Baixas winery you must visit: Far from the largest, it's the setting of this family business - in the grand, fortified country house of Finca La Moreira - that makes it one the more atmospheric wineries in Spain. More information: Marquesdevizhoja.com.
CavaFrom the northeast of Spain above Barcelona, Cava is Spain’s most famous sparkling wine. Labelled with brut (dry) or semi-seco (semi sweet), Cavas can be white or rosé, and are usually made from Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel-lo grapes. A Cava winery you must visit: Dating back to the Middle Ages, this Empordà winery certainly doesn't lack for provenance - and it's got the grand castellated headquarters to prove it. More information: Perelada.com.
SherrySherry is made from grapes grown within Cadiz's ‘Sherry Triangle’ between Jerez de la Frontera, Sanlucar de Barrameda, and El Puerto de Santa Maria in Andalucia. It comes in sweet and dry varieties. Dry Sherries like Fino or Manzanilla are crisp and acidic, and make for the perfect accompaniment to fish and seafood; Oloroso is caramel-like and nutty and goes well with meat, while medium-dry Amontillado is perfectly paired with chicken or game birds. A Sherry bodega you must visit: Bodegas Tradición is not the oldest bodega in the Sherry Triangle by a long chalk (that honour goes to Domecq), but it is one of the most insistent on traditional techniques. More information: Bodegastradicion.es.
RiojaWhite Rioja is made with Viura; sometimes on its own, other times blending with Chardonnay or Garnacha Blanca amongst others. Most white Riojas are young but are still full-bodied to taste.
Malaga WineMalaga has a long and distinguished wine-making history, with wines having been made in the region since the Phoenicians were in southern Spain, before the Romans picked up the baton. British wine merchants were sending Malaga wines back to sweet-toothed Victorians in the 19th-century. These days, made from Moscatel or Pedro Ximenez grapes, vinos de Malaga are fortified and naturally sweet. Coming in both red and white, they’re at their best served with a ripe local goats’ cheese. A Malaga winery you must visit: Bodega F. Schatz - it's entirely in keeping with the international past of the Spanish wine industry that one of the best wineries in Malaga should have been founded by a German. More information: F-schatz.com.
RuedaThe most commonly drunk white wine in Spain can be just a little disappointing to a new world white wine drinker. The Rueda region is in Castilla y Leon and its wines are usually made with Verdejo grapes. It produces very aromatic wines, often with tropical fruit and fresh grass hints, that’s fresh with just a hint of bitterness.
Things to Look Out For with Spanish WineThere are several wine classifications in Spain, each holding specific criteria. The ones to look out for are Denominacion de Origen (DO), Denominacion de Origen Calificada (DOCa, DOC or DOQ) and DO Pago (only for single winery estates). On the bottle you’ll see the words Joven, Crianza (aged at least 2 years and 12 months in oak barrels), Reserva (aged at least three years with at least 12 months in oak barrels), or Gran Reserva (aged for a minimum of two years in oak barrels, and more than three years bottled before they’re sold). Like the sound of these wine regions in Spain and want to experience some of the very best wines they produce? Stay with The Luxury Villa Collection and you can order the finest Spanish wines direct to your villa, or arrange a tasting or tour through our concierge. [post_title] => A Brief Introduction to Spanish Wines [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => spanish-wine-regions-guide [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-07-24 05:40:03 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-07-24 05:40:03 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://theluxuryvillacollection.com/?p=64306 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )  => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 42015 [post_author] => 5 [post_date] => 2019-04-11 15:08:18 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-04-11 15:08:18 [post_content] => Sun and sand: the two things for which Nerja is most famous. And many visitors to the area don't get beyond them. Which is a shame, really, as there's much more to the area than just a great flop and drop break. From wonderful walks to fabulous fiestas and, yes, some of the most beautiful beaches around, we've picked out just a few of the very best things to do in Nerja. Happy exploring.
1. Laze on the BeachThere's a pretty solid chance that if you're after tips for what to do in in the vicinity of Nerja, then a beach day is going to be fairly high on your checklist. Thankfully, there are no fewer than 12 beaches to choose from in and around Nerja. Three of our favourites in town are Playa de Calahonda, Playa de Burriana and Playa El Chorrillo.
2. catch the sunset from the Balcon de EuropaAfter a long, lazy afternoon on the beach, there's only one place to head: the Balcon de Europa. Grab an ice-cream, saunter down to the end of the promenade and watch the sun slowly melt into the Mediterranean. Altogether now... WOW.
3. Be amazed by the caves of NerjaFunnily enough, the sun doesn't even shine in Nerja's biggest attraction. But that doesn't make it any less spectacular. The Caves of Nerja is a 5km complex of caverns that includes the largest stalagtite in the world, some Bronze Age remains and, it's thought, mankind's oldest artwork - which dates back some 42,000 years. Remarkable. (Carretera de Bajada a Playa de Maro, s/n, 29787 Nerja, open 0930/1000-1530.)
4. Go Snorkelling from One Cove to AnotherJust a mile or two to the east of Nerja the sparkling coves of the Acantilados de Maro-Cerro Gordo Natural park stretch away. Snorkeling, sea kayaking or paddle boarding (see below) trips set off from Playa Burriana or Playa Carabeo for you to enjoy the crystal-clear sea teeming with sea life.
5. explore the coast by paddle BoardThe beaches of Nerja itself are urban, which comes with the distinct plus side of there being plenty of bars and restaurants on hand to choose from. But running away to the east is a stunningly wild, cove-lined coast that's great for exploring via paddle board. Rental and guided tours are available from Playa Burriana and Playa de Maro.
6. get out to a nearby villageVenture from Nerja and the idyllic whitewashed mountain villages of the Axarquia are within easy reach. Competa, Maro and the lovely Frigiliana (pictured) are some of the most inviting.
7. Eat Fresh Fish Cooked on a BBQ on the BeachEspetos de sardinas - sardines skewered and cooked on a BBQ until they're deliciously tender - are a local delicacy. One of the best spots to try them in Nerja is at the far westernmost end of town in Chiringuito Mauri (Playo Playazo, 29780 Nerja). Best washed down with an icy beer or two, of course.
8. walk the rio chillarEven by southern Spanish standards Nerja is surrounded by some pretty top-notch walking. Soaring above the town are the jagged peaks of the Sierras de Tejeda, Almijara and Alhama Mountains. For something just a little less adventurous, the most famous walk around Nerja is up the Rio Chillar. You follow a beautiful, ankle-cooling river as it babbles its way down from the hills, discovering narrow ravines, waterfalls and rock pools along the way.
9. Devour Baby squid at El PulguillaOK, so you don’t have to have baby squid - although we highly recommend you do - but you definitely should grab a quick tapas and a beer/wine in this stalwart of a restaurant in Nerja. Elegant fine dining it ain't, but it is a great way to experience a typical Malaga fish restaurant. (Calle Almte. Ferrándiz, 26, 29780 Nerja; 952 52 13 84)
10. View the AqueductThis 19th century aqueduct was built to supply the surrounding sugar cane factories with water. During the summer it's a sweaty 10-minute walk from the centre of Nerja, but (as you can see in the image above) it makes for a spectacular photo opportunity when you get there.
11. Pause for Thought in Ermita de las AngustiasBuilt in 1790 this church is the home of Nerja’s patron saint, Our Lady of Anguish (Plaza de la Ermita, 11, 29780 Nerja). It might not be the grandest of churches, but it is a lovely, cool little spot to catch your breath in for five minutes or so on a hot summer's afternoon.
12. Plan a Trip Around a FiestaNerja is in Andalucia. Which means, inevitably, it's a place that's serious about letting its hair down every once in a while. The five festivals that Nerja goes for in a big way are Easter, Carnival (February), San Isidro (May), Virgen del Carmen (July 16th) and the Epiphany (5th January). Nominally religious they may be, but trust us, they're also really just a good excuse to P-A-R-T-Y.
13. See Authentic FlamencoNearby Velez-Malaga has one of the most vibrant flamenco scenes in Malaga province, thanks to the efforts of local flamenco-cultural initiative, Flamenco Abierto (Flamencoabierto.com). So if you want to catch some real flamenco, as opposed to the tourist nonsense that's so often served up, the Peña Flamenca Niño de Vélez on a Friday evening is the place to head.
14. Eat at SollunBefore opening this lovely little restaurant in Nerja chef Juan Quintanilla helped put Skina in Marbella on the Michelin-starred map. As soon as you sit down, though, it's clear that Sollun is an even more personal project. If you choose to work from the short menu, the chef himself will come out of the kitchen and recommend what's particularly good that day. The tasting menu is a thing of beauty: it features a selection of dishes with a heavy local focus, each paired with a suitable wine. (Calle Pintada, 9, 29780 Nerja; 653 68 94 52) Like our pick of things to do in Nerja and looking for more recommendations on the Costa del Sol? Have a browse through a few of our favourite Marbella day trips. Alternatively, if you're after a beautiful country villa nearby, check out our Axarquia luxury villas collection, here. [post_title] => Things to Do in Nerja that You Just Can't Miss [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => things-to-do-in-nerja [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-05-01 08:13:09 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-05-01 08:13:09 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://theluxuryvillacollection.com/?p=42015 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) 1