San Vicente de la Barquera
Just the place name makes you happy: San Vicente de la Barquera, that sounds delicious. And it certainly is, San Vicente is very tasty. An absolute We Wander Why favorite. WIe don’t often go back to the same place, but San Vicente we visited 3 times last year and that really says enough anyway.
San Vicente de la Barquera was originally a small picturesque fishing village on the Cantabrian coast. With its beautiful beaches and the covered mountains of the Picos de Europa in the background, it is no wonder that this place has become increasingly popular in recent times. From Spanish families, lifers to surfers: San Vicente is here for everyone. That is precisely what makes this place so immensely nice.
As if radiant beaches, imposing cliffs and the mountains as a viewpoint were not enough, it also has a very nice center. The downtown was declared a cultural heritage site in 1987 due to the various monuments you will find here, including the church of Santa Maria de los Angeles. So what are you waiting for! Book that bite and go with it!
Where is San Vicente located?
This beautiful surf spot can be found in northern Spain just past the city of Bilbao. From France . It belongs to the Spanish province of Cantabria in the region of Cantabria and has just over 4,000 inhabitants. So nice and cozy. The city has a perfect location for seeing more of the surrounding area, so you’ll be in Bilbao, Santander or making a trip to the Picos de Europa in no time.
What to do in San Vicente
- Grab your board and go surfing or book a surf lesson too leaky
- Enjoy a wonderful day at the beach
- Visit the city center and admire, among other things, the magnificent Santa María de los Ángeles church
- Take a hike along the cliffs at
- Also visit Picos de Europa
- Or take a trip to Bilbao or Santander
Surfing at Merfin Surf School
I (Desi) am still a bit of a pooch when it comes to surfing in the sea. So a surf lesson was desirable for me again anyway. After some sleuthing, I ended up at Merlin Surf School and how pleased I am with this find. You can book a group lesson or, for 2 tens more, a private lesson. I chose the latter option and was so enormously pleased with this. For 2 hours you will go into the water with surf pro who will have all the time for you to go through the process with you step by step. And yes indeed even this pooch stood on the board for a long time a few times and most importantly yet regained some confidence. No spon by the way, just a super satisfied person here!
If you really want to brush up on your surfing skills then you can also book a surf camp. How cool! You then go surfing, eating and partying with a group for a few days. 2 times a day you will dive into the water and learn how to catch those waves in no time.
Enjoy a wonderful day at the beach
You are on vacation or travel dear people, enjoy a day of rest. Hit the beach, grab a book, or bake. Take an occasional dip and, above all, enjoy yourself for a while. It is stunningly beautiful here and there are still plenty of days where you can get active.
Also fun, go to the beach a little later, bring a bottle of wine, picnic blanket and some goodies and make it a romantic sunset picnic. Perfect way to end the day.
Hotspots & food in San Vicente
- La Osteria San VIcente: slightly more expensive, but oh so delicious. Magnificent views and star-worthy dishes
- Madabria Gastrobar: tucked away on a very cozy street. The place for a cheese board and a nice wine.
- El Rayo Verde: drink with the very best view!
- Le Ascanda Horno De Pan: score the tastiest sandwiches here
- Delicatessen: fill your picnic basket with lots of goodies here
- Restaurante Merón: the place where all surfers end the day
- Nampa Zampa: for burger cravings
- Restaurant Boga Boga: must visit seafood restaurant
Also read the article “San Vicente Hotspots”
Best time to travel to San Vicente
We visited northern Spain and thus San Vicente in June, and we found that to be an absolutely wonderful time to visit this region. The first few days we had some rain, but then only sunshine. But best of all, it’s not that crowded yet. This does mean that a lot is still closed.
In the summer we went back to the same places and it was really a world of difference. Still a wonderful place, but with a lot more people. Should you have the chance we definitely recommend traveling to this place before summer.
Which budget do i need in San Vicente?
In total we spent 5 days in San Vicente and made about 350 euros, and daily budget of 70 euros per day (can be much cheaper).
- Motorhome site: 10-15 euros per night (you can also wild camp several places here, but there are stricter controls in summer)
- Dining out: 20 – 40 euros (with a big outlier at La Osteria San VIcente where we had to pay 100 euros. A 3-course meal and lots of wine though)
- Groceries: 7.5 per day
- Gasoline: 50 euros in total
Practical information about San Vicente
- Wild camping is strictly controlled during the peak season. Parking around the town is also a bit more difficult then.
- Buy a surfboard and wetsuit in advance. You can also rent a surfboard and wetsuit, but after 5 days you are almost more expensive. After all, a beginner’s board does not have to be so expensive. Tip! Buy your board secondhand through marketplace or take a look at Decathlon
- Try to avoid toll roads as much as possible. The toll in Spain is huge. We paid about 30 euros for an hour’s drive. You also miss the most beautiful spots this way.
- Use the app campercontact or park4night to find the nicest RV sites and campsites
- We have already had 2x per breakdown on the road and then were very I with the ANWB. This year we even opted for the complete package, since last year we got stuck in Germany for 8 days and only spent 80 euros per day on accommodation
- Download the foreign affairs app and stay up to date with the latest travel advice
- Attention Orange Travel Advisory. Also, if you travel through an orange area, your insurance can deny charges. If there is an orange travel advisory regarding Corona, the insurance will only not cover costs related to Corona (please check, because this is not the case everywhere).
- Refueling is cheaper in villages. So never fill up your tank on the highway
- If you want to withdraw money in Europe, you often have to pay a small fee to your bank. We recently switched to Knab, which charges no additional fees
- Credit card is really handy to have with you. For example, purchases are extra insured and in some places you can only pay by credit card.
What are nice places to stay in San Vicente?
Staying overnight with a view of San VIcente
Perhaps one of the most beautiful places we have had the pleasure of staying is on a hill near San Vicente overlooking the sea and the city. The land belongs to a farmer who comes in the evening to collect 10 euros for the overnight stay. You’re standing Scotch but with a view like that WHO CARES! There is even a toilet (super clean) and an outdoor shower. No power, so solar panel is handy. Check out the spot on Park4night.
We do read many reports that camping on the rock is no longer possible because it is in a national park.
Camping and motorhome site El Rosal
Another place where we spent a few days with our Captain VANtastic is El Rosal camping and RV site. For the camper place you pay 15 euros per night (in high season I think even 20 euros). Unfortunately, no amenities. At the campsite, you spend about 10 euros extra and then you get to use the plumbing. So not very cheap, but the location is really great! You walk straight to the beach and the town is also just a 2 km walk or bike ride away. In June we spent 2 nights in the campground with a beautiful view of the bridge. It also has a small restaurant. If you want a little more luxury, this is definitely recommended.
Hotels in San Vicente le
If you are not into glamping or camping anyway or fancy some extra luxury then we also have some great hotel suggestions for you. Plus we always like a booking through We Wander Why. You pay nothing extra and we get a very small fee for each booking. So if you are happy with this article and would like to receive more We Wander Why content in the future, please make us very happy with a click to our friends at Booking.com.