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Noja travel guide

About Noja

Noja, in Cantabria, is a fantastic example of the beauty of Green Spain - a small town of stunning 17th century architecture surrounded by lush countryside, majestic mountains and gorgeous beaches.

Famous for its two sandy beaches, Ris and Tregandin, Noja is in a perfect coastal location that is popular with families but quieter than nearby Santander. The beach at Ris, in particular, is a Blue Flag family-friendly beach of fine golden sand. Set against a backdrop of encircling mountains, it is no wonder that the town is at the heart of many religious myths and legends. One local legend even suggests that Noah's Ark washed up on one of the mountains nearby. Explore the town and its wonderful architecture, especially the palaces and villas of Spain's rich in days gone by. Or, why not head out to sea and visit the Isla San Pedruco, where the hermitage of San Pedruco lies at its heart of tangled and overgrown trees?

Full of independent stores and markets of fresh produce, Noja also has a surprise in store with the nuns at the Convento de Sta Maria de la Merced in the town making and selling delicious cakes. Alongside the nuns remarkable produce, seafood and traditional meats and stews are on the menu here - this is a town of homely food and good wine to be enjoyed together. Nearby are the coastal towns of Santoña, Castro Urdiales and Laredo, the glorious city of Santander and the Reserva Natural de las Marismas de Santoña y Noja, one of the most important natural parks on the Iberian peninsula for the conservation of birds.

Why visit Noja?

  • The Beaches
  • The Nature Reserves
  • Food and Drink
  • The Architecture


  • Country: Spain
  • Region: Cantabria
  • Province: Cantabria
  • Population: 2,000
  • Coordinates: 43.481013,-3.521633

Coordinates shown are based on the WGS84 system, please check driving directions before departing.

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Nearby places of interest


Cantabria's elegant capital, Santander, has many stunning beaches and is a great place for shopping with several stylish shopping districts. La Magdalena peninsula and the magnificent Palacio de la Magdalena are well worth a day trip with the family.


Famous for its anchovies in olive oil, Santoña is one of Cantabria's oldest fishing towns. However, it also has a strong military past with 3 forts around the town that show the town's importance in defending the coast. The Fort of El Mazo (sometimes called 'Napoleon'), on top of Mount Buciero, affords magnificent views of the surrounding area.

Castro Urdiales

A pretty seaside town, Castro Urdiales has many good beaches, including the beautiful Brazomar beach, and is popular with local Spanish tourists. The 13th century church, the Iglesia de Santa María, is well worth a look - a striking example of Cantabria's Gothic architecture - along with its neighbour, the Castle-Lighthouse, which can be seen from anywhere in the town. Castro Urdiales is also famous for its cave paintings found in the Cave of Peña del Cuco depicting deer, horses and goats.


This fishing town is known throughout Spain for its beautiful 5km beach, La Salvé, and is split into an old town of narrow streets lined with mansions, and a modern commercial centre. The Battle of the Flowers (la batalla de flores) in August is a vibrant festival of colour for which the town is known.

Reserva Natural de las Marismas de Santoña y Noja

The area around Noja and Santoña is important for the conservation of wild birds, with many different species living here permanently or during migration. The wetlands and marshes are perfect for birds and are also a great place to go walking. Discover the tide mills or walk around the mountain of El Cincho, or maybe even walk up it if you're feeling adventurous!

Noja's top attractions