San Vicente de la Barquera travel guide

Cities and towns

About San Vicente de la Barquera

San Vicente de la Barquera, in Cantabria, is a picturesque town on Cantabria's coast with wonderful beaches, a pretty Old Town and an astounding backdrop in the Picos de Europa mountains.

Known for its maritime tradition, San Vicente de la Barquera was once used as a base for the seafaring exploits of the Spanish under Alfonso VIII with expeditions setting sail from here including the reconquest of Seville and the discovery of Newfoundland.The town can trace its roots back to Roman Times but was most powerful during the Middle Ages, before the plague and several fires caused a decline.Today, San Vicente de la Barquera is a fishing port known as a site of Cultural Interest because of the beautiful and interesting monuments in the Old Town such as the Church of Santa MarÍa de los Angeles, the Castillo del Rey and the 32-arch stone Maza Bridge that stretches across the Ria.

Built on a Ria, a large natural estuary formed by a flooded river valley, San Vicente de la Barquera has a number of lovely beaches. You'll also find local fish markets filled with fresh seafood and quaint shops and restaurants where you can try the local speciality of Sorroputún, a stew of tuna and potatoes. This dish is famously served for free at 'la Barquera y el Mozucu' festival at the beginning of September. Other festivals in the town include La Folia, a celebration on Easter Tuesday where a statue of the Virgin de la Barquera is carried through the streets and sailed to the chapel, the Sanctuary of la Barquera, and the Contest of the Sailor Song, a festival of choirs singing traditional seafaring songs.

The Oyambre Natural Park is right on the doorstep of San Vicente de la Barquera with the coastal towns of Comillas, Suances and Llanes all nearby. Santander is only 45 minutes away.

Why visit San Vicente de la Barquera

  • The Beaches
  • The Architecture
  • Oyambre Natural Park
  • Food and Drink

Overview

  • Country: Spain
  • Region: Cantabria
  • Province: Cantabria
  • Population: 4,500
  • Coordinates: 43.392076,-4.399338

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

Find a holiday

Brittany Ferries holidays include return ferry travel with your car so you can explore at your own pace. What's more, you can pack everything you need to make the most of your time away - from bikes to surfboards and even the family pet.