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San Vicente de la Barquera

San Vicente de la Barquera

QUICK LINKS: Spain Guide - Spain Discussion Forum - Spain Property Listings


San Vicente de la Barquera (not to be confused with San Vicente de Alcantara or San Vicente de la Sonsierra) is on the Northern coast of Spain, in the Cambrain region.

Although the weather here can be cooler than the year-round mildness of Southern Spain´s Mediterranean climate, the city is a beautiful example of the picture-postcard scenes that Spain is able to offer up.

Getting There

The nearest airport is Santander, around 47 km from San Vicente de la Barquera. Santander airport is the budget airline airport, with Ryanair using it as it´s ´Bilbao´ landing point. Bilbao airport is actually 130 km away from San Vicente de la Barquera, which gives you an idea of how inconvenient a budget flight can actually be!


There are very few expatriates living in San Vicente compared to the number of holidaymakers and ´halfpats.´ A halfpat is a lucky soul who is able to live six months of the year in Spain and six months of the year in his or her home country, usually the UK or US. Nonetheless, San Vicente has plenty to offer: The beautiful beach and bay, golf course, surf school, sailing, horse back riding, canoing, fishing, and of course the snow capped Picos de Europa as a backdrop.


There are no international schools in San Vicente. The closest are in Bilbao, 130 km away. In San Vicente there are private schools that cater for primary and secondary students, and these may offer some classes in English with the rest being conducted in Spanish. Unlike international schools, however, Spanish private schools run on a Spanish curriculum.

Getting Around

There are extra buses and trains laid on in summer, but by and large public transport is limited at best in the sleepy, picturesque seaside town. A car is advisable in winter, but in the warmer months a ´moto´ (motorscooter) is a great way to zip through the holiday traffic.

Settling In

If you speak Spanish, or are comfortable learning, it is easy to settle in to San Vicente de la Barquera. Once you have become accustomed to siesta and the slower pace of life that exists in Spain, as opposed to other Western European countries, San Vicente is a pretty enchanting place to be. Prepare for slightly more unkind winters than you may expect in Spain though, as the Northern regions can offer similar weather to that of neighbouring France.


San Vicente de la Barquera is a popular holiday destination, as well as a popular area for those halfpats we talked about earlier. The property prices reflect this popularity, even in the midst of an economic recession. Nonetheless, prices overall are much lower than in other developed countries and you can buy a beautifully equipped four or five bedroom bungalow home perched on a hillside (amazing views of the bay) for about 335,000 Euro. Rents follow in a similar vein: A three bedroom, well appointed apartment can be leased for about 500 Euro per month.

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