Holidays in Costa Verde

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Costa Verde Overview

Visiting The Costa Verde

High snow-capped mountains, deep mysterious caves and wide open spaces. Whichever way you look at it, Spain’s Costa Verde is wild, beautiful and most of all – green!

Set between the mountains and Atlantic Ocean, Costa Verde is dotted with elegant seaside resorts, picture-perfect medieval towns and thought provoking modernist gems. 

Savour the peace and quiet of endless beaches and mountain gorges, join the hustle and bustle of city life and unleash your inner party animal in the region that loves to fiesta!

Feel The Costa Verde

Breathe in all that fresh air – mountain breezes, aromatic pine forest and Atlantic Ocean spray. Take in the view from rugged mountain tops.  Step back in time in prehistoric caves and narrow cobbled streets. Tune into music festivals, new languages and the silence of mountain gorges.

Explore The Costa Verde

Feeling energetic? Get your boots on and hike the mountain trails of the Picos de Europa or take up the challenge of the wild Atlantic rollers on your surfboard.  More of a fresh air and exercise kind of a person?  Then saddle up for a pony trek, tee off on the golf course or wander through mountain meadows and along deserted beaches.  Interested in history, art and culture – you’ll be spoilt for choice with traditional old towns and eye-popping modernist architecture.

Places to visit - Sightseeing

Spain’s Green Coast is so much more than simply a stopping-off point; it offers a rich history and quite stunning scenery, together with some fascinating towns and cities:

Bilbao
While it is best known for modernist gems such as the Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao is also home to a wealth of stunning Gothic architecture including the lovely 15th century Cathedral of St James. An unmissable, cosmopolitan city all round.

Santander
A bustling port city which is also the capital of Cantabria, Santander also offers museums of Fine Art, Archaeology and Pre-History, together with its conversation-piece cathedral, built from two conjoined 13th century churches.

Santoña
This ancient port is still a major part of Spain’s fishing industry and offers not just a delightful old town area, but also access to the marshy plains that form the Nature Reserve of the Marshes of Santoña, Victoria and Joyel, in the shadow of Mount Buciero.

Liendo
While many visitors come to Liendo for the famous San Juliana beach, Liendo also has a number of interesting sites to visit, including 17th century church of Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, the Los Tomillos cave, and the ancestral home of Joseph Albo.

Laredo
One of the most popular tourist towns on the Costa Verde, Laredo offers visitors a charming old village area, as well as many grand 16th century homes within its picturesque streets and the delightful church of Santa María de la Asunción.

Noja
Combining modern amenities with historic architecture, it’s little wonder that Noja is so popular with those camping on the Costa Verde. Not only is the beach superb, there are many sights to enjoy here, including the grand Palace of Castañeda Quintana.

Santillana del Mar
One of the best-preserved medieval towns in all of Spain, Santillana del Mar really does take you back in time, with its wealth of cobbled streets and sleepy atmosphere. It’s worth the trip for the Romanesque Colegiata Church alone.

San Sebastian
Just a short drive away, you will find the elegant resort of San Sebastian, in the heart of Basque country, where you will find not just splendid beaches and a friendly atmosphere, but also an entirely different language and culture.

Great for younger kids

Santillana del Mar Zoo
A delightful zoo that takes conservation issues very seriously, here you will see some of the world’s rarest primates in a tropical jungle setting, as well as lions, tigers and bears. Younger guests will also enjoy the petting zoo here.

Cabarceno Animal Park
An unusual animal park, set amidst the former mines of Sierra de Carbarga, the zoo offers the chance to see hyenas, bison, jaguars, tigers and hippos, as well as to enjoy sea lion and bird of prey shows.

Great for older kids

Karting Los Molinos
Always popular with teens as well as adults, this impressive karting facility offers the chance to drive 270cc superkarts around a challenging 525m long outdoor track. Definitely one for speed demons only.

Places to visit - Activities & events

Surfing
Less well-known than the beaches of the Vendée, the beaches of the Costa Verde still benefit from the huge Atlantic rollers that hit the entire Bay of Biscay, and you will find tuition and surfboards for hire at many beaches here.

Golf
The verdant countryside of the Costa Verde allows the creation of courses that are much like Scottish links courses, but with the added bonus of endless sunshine. Both Gijon and Oviedo offer a choice of excellent courses.

Horse riding
The gentle scenery of the Costa Verde is ideal riding country, and you will find a number of equestrian centres offering both instruction and organised pony treks here.

Hiking
The Picos de Europa was the first National Park to be created in Spain, and it offers walkers not just a choice of easy trails, but also dramatic scenery and the chance to see creatures such as chamois and vultures in their natural habitat.

Unmissable events on the Costa Verde

International Jazz Festival, Getxo
Held in early July for more than 30 years now, this highly respected jazz festival attracts a stellar cast of musicians such as David Sanborn and Dave Douglas.

Bilbao Live Festival
Usually held in early July, this international pop and rock festival goes from strength to strength, attracting world-famous acts such as Coldplay, Metallica and the Kaiser Chiefs in recent years.

Festival Internacional de Santander
One of Europe’s most cultured festivals for more than 60 years, the Festival Internacional de Santander hosts a wealth of classical and operatic productions every August.

Fiestas in Noja
They love their fiestas here, and you can enjoy the fun of no less than five spectacular fiestas in Noja every year between the end of June and the end of August. Just watch out for the signs around the town.

Places to visit - Eating out

Offering the contrasting cuisines of mountain and coast, the Costa Verde has a number of enjoyable specialities for you to discover:

  • Fabada – A delicious bean and sausage stew containing butter beans, oak-smoked sausages, ham hock, chorizo and morcilla.
  • Oricio – Sea urchin, which is often cooked with garlic, but can occasionally be found served raw.
  • Cabrales – The famous blue cheese of the Costa Verde is quite delicious and can be found in many dishes here, even being melted onto steaks.
  • Wine – You can never go wrong if it says Rioja on the label, so the wines here are guaranteed to be excellent, whether red or white.

Campsites in region

Playa Joyel, Noja, Costa Verde
Playa Joyel | Noja

Arrive at Playa Joyel parc on the Costa Verde and you might not know which awesome natural sight to take in first. The parc sits between the Atlantic Ocean and the Cantabrian Mountains, with direct access to a glorious, sandy beach.

View parc

Location reviews

Costa Verde reviews collected by Reevoo

Overall rating
8.4
Scores 8.4 out of 10 based on 44 reviews
Reviews and scores from the last 12 months.
7 out of 10

Tracey

Guisborough
Beaches, mountains and some lovely towns and resorts - overall scenery !
Confirmed stay: 28 August 2013
8 out of 10

Caroline

Welwyn
A lovely unspoiled part of Spain, beautiful coastline, not too crowded. Popular with the Spanish!
Confirmed stay: 25 August 2013
9 out of 10

Robin

Carlton
Beautiful coast and very friendly people. I think we were lucky with the weather which was beautiful. I believe it is the green coast for a reason but we only had 2 rainy days. The rest of the time it was hot with a lovely cool breeze.
Confirmed stay: 24 August 2013
10 out of 10

Judith

Not too hot but warm and relaxing.Loved Bilbao, animal park near Santander and Santona. Beaches are fabulous and although have now spent two holidays here , will come again!
Confirmed stay: 19 August 2013
8 out of 10

stephen

Churchdown
Wonderful scenery and clean beaches.
Confirmed stay: 19 August 2013
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