There is always a tendency to head south when you first arrive in Santander as you will invariably be met with damp weather, as this area is not called the Costa Verde or Green Coast without reason. If, however, the weather is set fine, this area is one of the finest in Spain and much favoured by the Spanish. No high rise coastal developments here but with a rugged interior,lush green valleys and a coast to die for with pristine white beaches and cliffs and a wildness comparable with anywhere in the world. I also have to mention that it has to be the one of the best places to eat seafood without breaking the bank. The area is huge and naturally one tends to gravitate towards the coast and of course one of its star attractions, the cathedral city of Santiago de Compostela.
With the ferry arriving at Santander at about17.30 you do not really want to drive too far and Ribadesella is a great stopover,at just over an hour from the port and I defy you not to stay more than one day, even if it is raining. You have the backdrop of the Picos and a golden graceful beach, the Playa de Santa Marina backed by elegant villas, built by returning emigrants, who had made their fortunes in the Americas. The kilometre long promenade then leads you into another surprise as it bends around towards the harbour and the town facing you. The river Sella cuts the town in half and on the other side is a promenade giving you a vista of the town and the Playa Santa Marina but climb up to the lighthouse on the other headland enclosing the town and you will be rewarded with the most magnificent view of the whole town and its harbour and beaches. This elegant resort is as far away from the Costa's of Southern Spain than you can imagine. There is no need to make a direct descent but just head towards the direction of the town and you will gradually descend to meet its narrow streets and pretty plazas providing ample places to eat and an opportunity to sample the fine cakes and confectionary and the pungent blue cheeses.
We are in the province of Asturia here but it is a great start to the Costa Verde.
We stayed at
which is conveniently located just off the A8 motorway though the Sat Nav does take you down a fairly narrow road for the final part of the journey but you do need to avoid going through the town, The actual entrance looks much narrower than it is.
The campsite is terraced and though they are narrow access roads it is not too difficult to get to the higher levels, other than really big units, with the views of the Picos, weather permitting.
I can not fault this site, it is on the ACSI list, it has a swimming pool, great sanitary facilities and a motorhome service point and it will provide bread for the morning. There is a restaurant but this has limited opening off season.
It is a short walk turning right out of the site and then the first narrow lane on the left, downhill, past the yapping dogs on the smallholding, half way down and thankfully tied up and it is about half an hour walk.