Photo of Laredo

Visit Laredo

Laredo is in the province of Cantabria  in the Asturias and Cantabria region of Spain. It is situated between the towns of Bilbao to the east and Santander to the west.

Laredo is one of Cantabria's most popular beach resorts.

Explore Laredo

Laredo has a fantastic beach - the Playa de la Salve -  it sweeps round in a 5km long curve and as Laredo sits on the edge of a sheltered inlet, from the beach you are looking across the water to the tree coloured hills above Santona on the other side of the inlet. It really is a delightful spot and the reason why Laredo has become one of northern Spain's most popular holiday resorts.

The beach is very popular with kitesurfers on windy days and also with windsurfers. In the summer the beach has lifeguards making it a good beach for families.

At one end of the beach is the lovely old port of Laredo dotted with small boats and sheltered by a rocky outcrop of land on the other.

As well as its beach Laredo has an attractive medieval centre, Pueblo Vieja,  where some of its original defensive walls can be spotted. These were originally built to defend the town from attack by pirates. With narrow streets dotted with 16th and 18th century houses and many of the balconied houses typical of Cantabria it is a pleasure to explore.

The streets lead upwards to the 13th century church of Santa Maria de la Asuncion, inside of which is a magnificent Flemish altar and some excellent carvings.


If you can, visit Laredo on the last Friday of August when Laredo has its Battle of the Flowers fiesta. Large floats decorated entirely in flowers lead a procession through town. At the end of the festival a giant sardine is buried on the beach.

Be sure to walk up the cliff path behind the town to the old fort, the Fuerte del Rasrillar, as the views from up here are excellent. There are views over the bay of the river Ason, the town of Santona on the other side of the bay and the village of Laredo down below.

The path starts behind the church of Santa Maria de la Asuncion

Laredo has a good selection of hotels, bars and restaurants and a lively night scene.

Places to visit nearby

On the other side of the bay is the small beach resort of Santona.

The nearby village of Sonabia has a beach above which, on the mountainside, are bizarre rock formations known as the 'devils eyes'.

This stretch of coast has a number of pleasant coastal towns to visit. One of the favourites is Santillana-del-Mar with a stunning medieval centre.

Also be sure to visit the Altamira caves, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the 'top treasures' of Spain according to a Spanish TV competition.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Asturias and Cantabria guide.

See also: 

Map of Laredo and places to visit


Laredo places to visit



Santona is a fairly busy holiday resort and fishing town. It has a nice sandy beach and its bay is surrounded by hills.

Santona guide
Castro Urdiales

Castro Urdiales

Castro Urdiales is a fishing town with an attractive harbour. It is a popular holiday resort.

Castro Urdiales guide


Santander is the lively capital of Cantabria and has a popular seaside suburb of El Sardinero.

Santander guide
Puente Viesgo

Puente Viesgo

Puente Viesgo is a lovely village in a beautiful setting and has some excellent caves full of stalagtites, stalagmites and lots of prehistoric paintings.

Puente Viesgo guide
Santillana del Mar

Santillana del Mar

Santillana del Mar is perhaps the highlight of a visit to this part of Spain. It is one of the best preserved medieval towns in Europe.

Santillana del Mar guide
Altamira Caves

Altamira Caves

Some magnificent pre-historic art is in these UNESCO-listed caves. The wonderful paintings are amongst the best prehistoric paintings in the world.

Altamira Caves guide

...or see all our recommended places to visit in Asturias and Cantabria