Castro Urdiales is one of those unexpected Spanish delights you may find on the go. Although it is possible to visit the town in half a day, we recommend spending the night strolling peacefully and enjoying its excellent gastronomy and lively nightlife. You should know that Castro Urdiales is a popular destination on the Northern Coast of Spain. If you are planning a trip to discover Cantabria or even the Basque country, take a minute to read this article. Here you will learn about the best places in Castro Urdiales so you may consider the option of visiting this hidden gem.
What to expect from Castro Urdiales
Castro Urdiales is in the Eastern extreme of Cantabria region in Spain. The Romans named the town Flaviobriga. Currently it is on the border with the Basque Country and you will be able to hear Basque language on the street since many people live in Castro Urdiales and work in Bilbao. The mixture of cultures and backgrounds is one of the assets of the town.
Castro Urdiales is a fishing town and an important trade port on the Cantabrian coast due to its magnificent port. The beaches and the coastal landscapes are valuable for tourists. The historical and cultural heritage is very much appreciated by culture lovers. We recommend visiting Castro Urdiales during the off season. In summer it is a very busy town where you can barely find a place to park your car. Otherwise, during regular days or even on Autumn, Winter or Spring weekends the town is very vivid and very much enjoyable. The visitor can expect to enjoy its delicious gastronomy with fresh fish and seafood dishes of the season and appetizers like anchovies or mussels.
The best places in Castro Urdiales
Viewpoint of Castro Urdiales Bay
The Viewpoint of Castro Urdiales Bay is a summary of what you can get from the town at the first glance. Castro Urdiales is very much on the sea and the views of the seafront and the cultural heritage from this point are perfect. Indeed, this is one of the best places to visit in Castro Urdiales and, in addition, no entrance ticket is needed.
Castro Urdiales Port
Castro Urdiales Port still looks like an old school fishing harbor since you can still see many small boats there. It has a steep slope, the San Guillén dry dock ramp, which is used to repair boats and which fills up with places to bathe or sunbathe in summer. The port is small and picturesque and you cannot miss it if you approach the seafront. Take a look around and you will spot it!
Town Hall Square
Castro Urdiales has a small but beautiful Town Hall Square. It has some historic arches and it is always vivid. During the day you can take a walk and join the families and the kids playing in the middle. In the evenings, you can melt with the youngsters eating tapas and starting with the first drinks of the night while filling the terraces under the arches.
The Medieval Bridge in Castro Urdiales dates back to the 15th Century and it is an icon of the town. It is very visible in the historical center of Castro Urdiales next to the Santa Ana Castle and Santa Maria de la Asunción Church.
Santa Ana Castle
Santa Ana Castle is the main castle in town. It has a lighthouse that helped the orientation of the ships for the first time in 1853. The castle dates back to 1163 and it is currently visitable in the morning from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and in the afternoon: 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Santa María de la Asunción
This is a Gothic temple that dates back to the 13th Century. From the area of the Santa María de la Asunción Church you will be able to spot the historical port and the seafront of Castro Urdiales. It is an excellent location to get into a Medieval religious building and to have one of the best panoramas of the town. The entrance is free.
San Juan, Belén and Escorza Streets
Google them and start enjoying the best appetizers in town. Those streets are full with tapas bars with terraces. They are old school, meaning no luxuries are expected but all the taste and good service is guaranteed. If you are there for the weekend, probably you may need to be quick hunting a table or keep an eye on the first that might be emptied.
Playa de Brazomar is one of the best around Castro Urdiales. It is just a bit further from the seafront walking South direction. It is beautiful and has good town views. In season, you have to keep in mind that it is not a large long Mediterranean beach and may be too full to enjoy it calmly.
Playa de Ostende is at the North of the old town of Castro Urdiales. It is as beautiful as Playa de Brazomar but it has the same problem as that one. There are an overwhelming amount of tourists that could be found there.
It follows the length of the Amestoy Park and it is itself a showcase of the beautiful wite maritime buildings of Castro Urdiales. It is a popular place for all kinds of people, families, runners, couples. You can enjoy some of the best “rabas” (squid tapas) in town in one of its terraces.
El Pedregal is a natural spot where kids and young people use to have a bath in summer. It had been very popular since old times and there were statues of children jumping into the water as it was very popular traditionally. From this spot you can admire a street art mural. This is a tribute to fishermen since fishing was the traditional economic activity of the town.
The Ocharan Palace is not open regularly to the public. From time to time the Town Hall organizes tourists visits to the castle grounds, declared an Asset of Cultural Interest.
La Barrera Square
Plaza de la Barrera is a traditional porticoed square in the north of Spain. You can visit it after touring the promenade as a previous step to enter the streets full of bars inside this beautiful Cantabrian town.
How to get to Castro Urdiales
Castro Urdiales is well-connected by road with two important provincial capitals. Santander is 75 km away and you can get there in one hour by CN-634 highway or by the A-8. Bilbao is 35 km away and you can arrive in 25 minutes by the A-8 motorway.
Santander and Bilbao have airport and good national and international connections.
Castro Urdiales bus station is on Leonardo Rucabado street. There are buses to Castro Urdiales, mainly from Santander and Bilbao. It is also possible to get to Castro Urdiales from Torrelavega, San Sebastián, Vitoria, Gijón and Pamplona.
Where to stay in Castro Urdiales
In Castro Urdiales there are more apartments than hotels. Many of them are good but others can be a tourist trap, just check your options and make sure you are paying good value for your money.
- Pension Catamaran: Cheap and convenient. Small rooms in a good location to park if you come by car. It is not outstanding but you would sleep in a clean functional place.
- Las Rocas Playa Hotel: This is a classic hotel with all the services and standards for a nice vacation. In summer it is better to have a reservation in advance.
Enjoy our discounts in the place
Dear Traveller! Thanks for reading the latest article! If you wouldn’t like to miss any of our travel stories, destination ideas, vacation plans, holiday inspirations, do not forget to subscribe here.