Santander Bay, one of the most beautiful bays in the world

Since 1997, member of the prestigious Club of the most beautiful bays in the world.

The Bay of Santander, located on the north coast of Spain, has been part of the select Club of the most beautiful bays in the world since 1997, Association les plus belles baies du monde (APBBM). This recognition not only highlights the natural beauty of the bay, but also its historical, ecological and cultural importance.

Life in Santander is closely linked to the Cantabrian Sea and its bay. The fishing tradition, seafood-based gastronomy and nautical activities, both professional and recreational, are fundamental to the city's identity. Santander has strategic infrastructures that allow residents and visitors to fully enjoy these activities, consolidating its reputation as a maritime and cultural centre. It is also a unique enclave in our country as it is the only bay in the north of Spain that faces south.


The inclusion of the Bay of Santander in the APBBM highlights the value of this unique environment in which the city is committed to maintaining its ecological and landscape value. The sustainable management of its resources and the promotion of environmentally friendly practices are essential to preserve this natural treasure and is part of Santander's commitment to promote sustainable tourism.


A natural and cultural treasure

The Bay of Santander is the largest estuary on the northern coast of Spain and is home to stunning beaches , historic harbours and architecture that reflects the city's deep connection to the sea since the time of the Roman Empire.

This estuary has witnessed the industrial and commercial development of Santander, consolidating itself as a strategic port in Spain. The city, once the summer destination of the Kings of Spain, has seen its tourism intertwine with the bay and its coastline, creating a unique synergy between natural beauty and historical heritage.

In addition to its historical and cultural importance, the Bay of Santander is an outstanding example of ecological and landscape value. It is the most important wetland in Cantabria for wintering waterfowl, according to censuses carried out by SEO/Birdlife. This recognition highlights the bay as a sanctuary for biodiversity, attracting birdwatchers and nature lovers.

The Bay of Santander, with its combination of history, natural beauty and ecological value, is truly one of the most beautiful bays in the world. From the moment we begin to admire this environment, right at the Muelle de La Albareda, we find a combination of elements that look out over the Bay, such as the Botín Centre, whose architect, Renzo Piano, did not hesitate to take advantage of the location to create a building that respects the panoramic view and from which it offers a spectacular view.

Vista Centro Botín

To admire the Bay of Santander is to enjoy its history, as told by the Stone Crane or the monument to Los Raqueros, and its architecture, where the impressive Botín Centre is succeeded by beautiful buildings such as the Embarcadero Palace and constructions that emerge above the waters, such as the Royal Maritime Club.

All this makes up a promenade that has inspired sculptors and writers to whom the Bay of Santander has undoubtedly left its mark. Among them, the poet José Hierro, who remains portrayed by Gema Soldevilla in Corten steel, or the costumbrista José María de Pereda, who portrayed in his books with total fidelity the Santander characters who frequented this promenade.

Finally, Puertochico, the fishing port where seafaring activity was concentrated during the 19th and early 20th centuries. Nowadays, it is an important tourist attraction, with visitors attracted by its views and restaurants.


The entire promenade offers magnificent views of the bay, its southern shore and the mountains. From the Maritime Promenade you can also see the fishing villages of Somo and Pedreña, the impressive rock of Peña Cabarga and the long sand bar known as El Puntal beach, which juts out into the bay. Further inland, the eastern mountains of the valleys through which the rivers Miera and Asón flow, with peaks such as Porracolina and Castro Valnera rise up on the horizon.

Association les plus belles baies du monde, an exclusive club

The APBBM Club is an international association that brings together entities representing a community that has a waterfront on an exceptional bay on the world's coastline.

Spain has two bays that belong to this select club: the Bay of Roses and the Bay of Santander.