Comillas – Art, History and Beaches

Comillas is a lovely town on the Cantabrian coast, just half an hour’s drive from Santander. That makes it a great place to rest for a day or two before or after a ferry across the Bay of Biscay! It’s easy to walk around most of the town and there are some great places to explore. Unusually, the town has an excellent website full of information in English.

You can’t stay at a seafront town without exploring the coast itself. The beaches of Comillas are lovely, but keep an eye on the tide times. The water does come all the way in so be a bit flexible with your sunbathing plans! Walking along to the harbour is lovely and if you’re lucky you’ll see the colourful sight of fishermen unloading their catch. It’s all very accessible for the camera-touting tourist. There are some lovely old buildings and very evocative statues. A few walking trails continue along the peninsula, or head away from the water to Park Guell y Martos to see the Marquis de Comillas monument.

The town itself is very pretty with a maze of narrow streets and open squares in the historic centre. The central fountain is a great place to note so that you don’t get lost! There are plenty of restaurants and bars to keep you occupied and you’ll find all sorts of unusual trinkets in the souvenir shops. It is possible to walk out to the impressive University but at the time of writing it was closed to visitors.

The magic of Gaudi is alive and well in Comillas. He may well be better known for his architectural projects in Barcelona, but what you see here is no less spectacular. In fact, El Capricho de Gaudi is in many was better because you really can get up close and personal with some of his work. At €7 to go in, we thought it was very good value for money. There’s also the chance to sit on a bench with the man himself – a great selfie opportunity!!

We stayed at the amazing Josein Hotel which is perched right on the clifftops meaning every room has an amazing view of the sea. It was a real treat and we would definitely stay there again. There’s even free parking right outside the front door, and it’s just a short but interesting stroll into town or along the seafront to the harbour.

And if you are a Spanish film buff, the 2011 pelicula Primos” (Cousins) was filmed around the town.
It has a great tagline: “Girlfriends drop you … cousins pick you up.”

If you are lucky enough to be there in early August, you might catch the classical music festival known as Caprichos Musicales de Comillas. NB. The link shows you the 2021 programme but if you go on to the calendar, they do have the 2022 schedule too!

Have you been to Comillas? Let us know what we missed that you recommend.

2 thoughts on “Comillas – Art, History and Beaches

  • 9th August 2022 at 12:35 pm

    im going to san Sebastian next February but there’s no direct flights to Bilbao, i was looking at flights to Santander then a bus, this article dropped in my in-box this morning so that looks like my mind is made up. comillas looks like an ideal place to lay over, thank you.

    • 9th August 2022 at 12:44 pm

      Hope it lives up to expectations. Never had good weather in the north in February!


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