El Sardinero Playa Segunda, Santander City Beaches. When there were firework events the firework base station was at the end of this beach, towards the buildings, so that’s pole position for viewing.
Which Santander city beaches are best?
1: El Sardinero Playa Segunda (photo above)
After exhaustive investigation we concluded that though the sands on all the city beaches were equally spacious, soft and clean – having been manicured every morning – the sea waters were not at equal temperatures.
We had thought that El Sardinero’s beach waters would be cooler as it’s more exposed to Atlantic winds than, for example, large and popular Los Peligros on the harbour shore.
However, practical experience taught otherwise. The waters of Sardinero’s four beaches, Primera, Segunda, La Concha and Camello were definitely warmer than large Los Peligros on the harbour side. Probably because Peligros waters exchange more rapidly and there is a substantial drop-off quite near the shore.
Frankly we didn’t take the other beaches (Magdalena, Bikini) on the harbour side very seriously due to the massive, sharp rock infestation that discouraged ‘proper’ swimming. Fine for kids to fool around in the shallows but adults who want exercise need to look elsewhere.
El Sardinero’s four beaches all have a long, shallow gradient that allows the sea to warm up, assuming the sun has been shining, of course.
2: El Sardinero Playa Primera
El Sardinero Playa Primera and the only beach of the four along this stretch with rental chairs and parasols. Café prices are reasonable.
Soft, light brown sand that doesn’t heat up too much, is comfortable for bare feet and OK for sandcastle construction with a bit a added water. This consistency seems to be the norm for all the local beaches.
4: Playa del Camello
The last beach on the Sardinero strip, Playa del Camello.
Apparently the nearer rock (used to? ) looks like a camel. There’s a little rocky area to the right where snorkeling can be fun. Obviously parking here is convenient if you arrive early enough (before 10am? ), and it’s free, though facilities are more limited/distant than the other three playas.
5: Magdalena beach
Magdalena beach on Peninsula de la Magdalena with the top of the palace just visible behind the trees and a very cool, pretty park to stroll in. Access to facilities is good and a lifeguard is on duty.
Entry to Magdalena park is free and unrestricted, though parking may be difficult.
More of an issue is that at a moderate depth such as that backstroke swimmer is at, there is a forest of quite large, extremely sharp rocks clothed in barnacles off both this beach and the next, Bikini. They are not at all visible at high tide but totally exposed at low tide when kids would enjoy exploring their canyons and rock pools. However, you would NOT want to bump into one of those razored rocks when doing the backstroke, or any stroke for that matter.
6: Playa Bikini
Playa Bikini, the last sand on Peninsula de la Magdalena, so called because when bikinis first appeared their use was restricted to this beach.
Bikini beach also has a sharp rock situation but relatively warm waters as it is both protected and shallow. Los Peligros beach is visible on the distant left.