We take you to discover what to see in Laredo, east of Cantabria. A place full of history and beautiful landscapes of the Cantabrian Sea.
We arrived in Laredo, this city located next to the Cantabrian Sea and full of history, as we were going to discover when visiting it. Let’s discover what can we expect to see in Laredo, Cantabria.
Where is Laredo?
Laredo is located to the east of Cantabria, about 46 kilometers from Santander. Easily accessible from the Parador de Limpias if you are staying there.
Origin of the name of Laredo
In México there is the city of Nuevo Laredo and in the United States there is a Laredo. Both municipalities bear this name due to the Laredo that we were visiting in Cantabria. In the city we found that the origin of the name is somewhat imprecise and there are several theories:
- It comes from LAURETUM, corresponding to the Lauretana province
Another says that it comes from GLARETUM, which means “sandy, full of pebbles”
Or that it comes from the Basque LARRE ON, which means “good meadow”
And many more. The truth is that Laredo is a place with a lot of its own history, regardless of whether the origin of its name is not precise.
What can you expect to see in Laredo, Cantabria?
Arriving in Laredo
We managed to park in front of the court building, which is known as the Casa de las Cuatro Témporas, a building that dates back to the mid-19th century. We walked a little to the old Town Hall building where we can see a statue of Carlos V. From here you can take the nice Chu-Chu Train to visit the most important points of the city, though we decided to walk through Puebla Vieja.
The old town
In the so-called “vieja puebla” (old town), we can see constructions made during the 13th to 17th centuries. This area is made up of six streets, which come from the times in which Alfonso VIII gave jurisdiction to Laredo, all located at the foot of the Gothic-style Church of Santa María de la Asunción.
Walking through its narrow streets, we find mansions, palaces, towers and churches. We also see several paintings scattered throughout the old town that pay homage to the workers who have been a fundamental part of the city; we have, for example, the sardine saleswoman, the fisherman, the blacksmiths and many more.
Among the historic buildings, there is a house that was the abode of Juana I of Castile, , called “la Loca” (the mad). In 1496 she sailed from Laredo for Flanders, the home of her future husband. Juana’s story is quite sad, since she spent a large part of her life locked up, first by her father, then by her son. All so that she could not serve as queen. By the time she was in Laredo, let’s just say she was far from her fatal lockdown.
Church of Santa Maria of the Assumption
Considered an Asset of Cultural Interest, it was built during the 13th, 16th and 17th centuries. It is in the gothic style. When visiting it, you can notice the changes it has undergone over time, for example: doors that have become walls. Inside, you can see some very nice golden altarpieces, but the Virgen de la Soledad was my favorite, her image is very expressive and although she looks distressed, she is very pretty.
The beach of la Salvé
A few steps from the historic center, you can see the Salvé beach and the park of the three fishermen. The beach is extensive, VERY EXTENSIVE, it is approximately 5 kilometers of sand.
But, as there is always a but, having the beach before our eyes, we must not try to turn back, to the left, to avoid seeing the pile of buildings, 70’s style that were built on the edge of the sea. They are ugly, very ugly.
If you have more time
If you have more time in Laredo, visit Playa El Regatón, which is a bit wilder than Playa de la Salvé. You can also visit the enclave of La Atalaya, which contains the Rastrillar Fort, that was in service until the beginning of the 20th century.
Where to eat in Laredo?
In the old town there is a wide variety of restaurants. For lunchtime you can take menus that contain starter, main course, dessert, bread, drink. Excellent.
Laredo, a good time
We spent a little more than half a day in Laredo and it was very nice to walk through its old center. The beach looked pretty good. There is something for all tastes and options to see and do in Laredo, this town in Cantabria. Oh and of course, we couldn’t leave without the classic photo of the sewer manhole 😀