Visit Castro Urdiales
Castro Urdiales is in the province of Cantabria in the Asturias and Cantabria region of Spain. Castro Urdiales is a popular seaside resort on the Bay of Biscay 29km from Bilbao.
Castro Urdiales is a lovely fishing town with a pretty harbour and an attractive centre. It is a popular seaside resort and there are many second homes here belonging to Spaniards from other parts of northern Spain.
The town is dominated by its 13-15th century Gothic Iglesia de Santa Maria built in an attractive pink stone, which is one of Cantabria's finest Gothic monuments, and a lighthouse built within the shell of a Knights Templar castle.
An old medieval bridge links these to an old hermitage and at high tide the sea gushes underneath. The Hermitage of Saint Ana stands on a rocky outcrop and it is possible to climb up it. These buildings all sit together at the end of the harbour and with the galleried buildings around the harbour edge too the whole area is very attractive.
The town square is surrounded by attractive arcaded shops and there are plenty of bars and restaurants to choose from. Also in the old town are many glass-fronted houses called galerias which are traditional to this area. These glassed-in balconies can often be found in the north of Spain and must be lovely from the inside too.
Look out for the Ocharan Palace and gardens. The palace is built in a Gothic style with a Greek influence, notably in its columned portico. It is on Rucabado Leonardo street.
Castro Urdiales has a small town beach but gets very crowded in the summer. Much nicer are the beaches to the east and west. If you are into surfing you will want to head to the Playa de la Arena which is 14km east.
If you have some energy to spare there is a lovely clifftop walk to the Playa Ostenda beach west of town. Playa Ostenda is a blue flag beach with toilets and facilities
Castro Urdiales is a working fishing town and sardines and anchovies are the local specialities. Be sure to try them in one of the many seafood restaurants.
Visit the Pena del Cuco cave, to the west of town, with its pre-historic cave paintings from the Upper Paleolithic period. There are paintings of deer, goats and horses.
Places to Visit Nearby
Laredo is one of the most popular seaside resorts in Cantabria and has a long, sweeping beach and a lovely old-town.
Santona is also a pleasant resort. Be sure to visit the medieval fort above the town for great views over Santona and Laredo on the other side of the bay. Santander is the capital of Cantabria and is an attractive vibrant resort.
Map of Castro Urdiales and places to visit
Castro Urdiales places to visit
See more places nearby in the Asturias and Cantabria guide