North coast of Santander

Travelling around the city

This area is one of the city's best kept secrets, which here loses its identity as the capital to enhance its more rural side.

You can start this walk at the Cabo Mayor Lighthouse, with more than 30 meters high, it is the most important lighthouse in Cantabria. Built in 1839 in the same place where, since ancient times, ships were signalled with flags during the day and with fire at night.

Nearby you can visit the Panteón del Inglés, a small construction in memory of William Rowland, a British man who died at this point during his visit to José Jackson, who was in charge of Cueto's signal semaphore for ships.

Two of the beaches most frequented by surfers are Bocal Beach and Rosamunda Beach, these beaches are quite secluded and stand out for their tranquility. To get to them, you will have to walk a couple of kilometers leaving the small neighborhood of Cueto and entering the neighborhood of Monte on foot. They are not accessible by car from Cabo Mayor.

One of the places in the municipality with the most marine atmosphere is La Maruca Beach, where you can see little boats moored in the small estuary of San Pedro del Mar and enjoy some of the delicacies that are prepared in its seafood taverns. In this area, the rural environment of Monte and the entire north coast in general can be clearly appreciated. Next to the estuary is the small and rocky beach of La Maruca, and next to it there is a path that leads to the sea.

The Coastal Interpretation Centre is located there in the old defence battery of San Pedro del Mar in La Maruca. This 1660 fortification was built to protect Santander from pirate attacks and remained active until after the War of Succession between Bourbons and Austrias (1702-1713). Previously in ruins, it was rebuilt becoming the current Coastal Interpretation Centre. It houses the permanent exhibition Patrimonio Litoral de Cantabria.

Walking along the path that runs next to the beach in the direction of the sea, the Battery of San Pedro del Mar is reached.

Near this the Corbanera Castle of the s. XIX. Today it is closed, but if you walk around you will see how some of its neighbours took advantage of the wall to save one of the walls of their houses.

On one of the sides of the San Pedro del Mar estuary there is a bridge to the other shore, the Molino de Mareas Bridge, the only thing that remains of the Aldama mill, in use until the s. XIX. Leaving it behind, you arrive at Punta La Mesa. Here you have to take the second deviation to the right to reach the viewpoint from which you can admire the shape of the coastline, recognized by the European Union as a Special Conservation Area.

A few meters away in a privileged environment such as the Virgen del Mar, there is a large park, Rostrio. Here, in addition to enjoying the beach, you can practice sports on its large esplanade, as well as baseball on its field of more than 6,600 square meters, bike or running on their respective circuits or pétanque on one of its courts.

The Pozonas de San Román were recently recovered, this wetland is an important place of passage for migratory birds and in it an ecosystem of great scenic, ecological and cultural richness can be appreciated.

As a result of Carlos III's mandate to enable cemeteries outside the city walls, the Ciriego Cemetery was built. It is one of the best examples of the wealth of funerary production in Spain, especially that of the famous master stonemasons of Cantabria, who carried out works for the pantheons, tombs and monuments of Ciriego. Included in the European Cemetery Route, recognized by the World Tourism Organization for its innovation, dissemination and interpretation of European heritage.

Leaving the Ciriego Cemetery behind, on the left is La Virgen del Mar, an island in the municipality of Santander located in the town of San Román de la Llanilla. It has access to the mainland through a bridge.

On the island stands a hermitage dating from the late fourteenth century. Due to its location, the hermitage has suffered, throughout its history, the harshness of storms. Its most important reconstruction took place in the 17th century and was due to José Calderón from Santander.

The temple consists of a single nave divided into three sections covered by vaults. In its altarpiece is the Virgen del Mar, a 55 cm high Gothic-style carving. The mantle of the Virgin, a gift from the Spanish Queen Elizabeth II, was restored in 1993. As a curious fact, legend has it that the Virgin appeared floating among some rocks, which could be due to the fact that she was a galleon Virgin from some ship that had been wrecked in the vicinity.

The Virgin of the Sea has been the patron saint of the city since 1979 and her festival takes place 51 days after Holy Saturday (Whit Monday). The celebration consists of a procession from the parish of San Román to the hermitage of the Virgen del Mar. Once there, a mass officiated by the Bishop of Santander takes place. The area is home to the Virgen del Mar beach, and the entire island is part of the Costa Quebrada, a stretch of coastline some 20 km long that, in addition to being an important geological setting, is a source of recreation for the senses, which is why it has been included by the International Union of Geological Sciences (IUGS) among the most relevant geological sites on our entire planet.