Spain Vacations - The Emerald North Coast

The wonderful beaches of the famed Mediterranean are certainly a popular choice for Spain vacations. What is not so well known is that there are many marvellous, secluded coves on Spain s somewhat forgotten north and north-west coasts.

Delight in their picturesque fishing villages ... in their beaches brimming with olde-worlde charm. Be hypnotized by the Cantabrian Sea pounding against jutting rocks. The back-drop of lush green hills and valleys is spectacular!

You will encounter several splendid hotels, along with quaint boarding houses ... good gastronomy, too. So ... if you are a little weary of the bustling beaches of Spain s "hot spots", seek out the cooler, peaceful hideaways which abound on Spain s northerly "green" coast!

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The coastline corresponding to the Region of the Basque Country - right up in the north of Spain and to the west of France - is known as the "Costa Vasca". This littoral overlooks the Cantabrian Sea and has the stunning Pyrenees running behind it.

Tourism has always been part of the Basque Country, with its rugged coasts and emerald backdrop, and it is here that the Royals spend their summers. For many other Spaniards it has also long been a popular choice for escaping the heat of city life.

Donostia-San Sebastian is the summer capital of Spain, lying just 21 kms west of the French border, against the Bay of Biscay. As well as being the capital of the Province of Guipuzcoa, it is a tasteful resort with three excellent beaches: la Concha, Ondarreta and la Zurriola.

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To the west of the Basque Country - in the Regions of Cantabria and Asturias - is the "Costa Verde" or "Green Coast".

Also washed by the waters of the Cantabrian Sea, this shore offers some of the most breathtaking views available for Spain vacations: it is jam-packed with quiet coves, surrounded by magical settings.

In the Province of Cantabria are the cities and larger ports of Santander, Castro Urdiales, Lared, Santo a and Comillas, all popular summer destinations, with nearby beaches.

Moving further west, to the Province of Asturias, we find vast beaches mixed with picturesque fishing ports - Luarca, Cudillero, Luanco, Cand s, Lastres and Tazones - all well-complemented by attractive "New World" architecture.

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R as Altas or "High Estuaries" is the name given to the winding coastline of the Province of La Coru a - overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, in the north-west of Spain s Region of Galicia.

Here, you will encounter tiny coves, sheltered harbors and gorgeous, sandy beaches all flanked by high cliffs and dunes.

The coastline here really is superb but ... in one particularly rugged spot, where the ocean is often temperamental, you will find the infamous "Costa de la Muerte" or "Coast of Death" - so called because of the number of tragic shipwrecks it has witnessed.

The capital of this province - A Coru a - has some very pleasant hotels for Spain vacations, with beautiful beaches at Riazor, Bastiagueiro and Santa Cristina.

Pontedeume also has a fine, long beach; Valdovi o is wonderful, with its dunes and sea birds; and Cedeira is a pretty fishing port.

The nature areas of Ortigueira Beach and Capte Estaca de Bares - where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Cantabrian Sea - are also impressive.

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Along the coastline of the Province of Pontevedra - in the Region of Galicia, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean - are the magical beaches of "R as Bajas" or "Low Estuaries".

The water here is slightly warmer than the R as Altas and the beaches wider and more open, but the scenery is still very rugged and extremely picturesque.

It is said that the R as Bajas is the mark left by the hand of God when he washed his fingers after creating the world!

Towards the capital - Pontevedra - are pretty hidden coves and inlets such as San Sim n, Ald n, Bueu and the Crucero de Hio, all ideal for "different" Spain vacations.

You also have the superb nature areas of A Lanzada and O Grove, famous for its beaches and healing waters.

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So, if you like a coast with character but free from tourist traps, pack your rod and go join the little fishing boats of the north for your Spain vacations!

All about the beaches of Spain s south coast.

All about the beaches of Spain s east coast.

All about the beaches of the Balearic and Canary Islands.

A general overview of Spanish beaches.

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