Castro Urdiales is a coastal town at the easternmost end of the region of Cantabria, close to the border with the Basque Country. It stands 75 km from Santander and 35 km from Bilbao and is linked to both cities by the CN-634 main road and the A-8 motorway. In recent years the town has become a popular recreational area and services centre with numerous second homes, as well as attracting weekend and seasonal tourism. However, the history of this coastal enclave stretches back more than two thousand years.

The proximity of the iron deposits at Otañes and Mioño led the Romans to create the colony of Flaviobriga, vestiges of which can still be seen in the town today. The oldest remains date from the reigns of Tiberius and Claudius, in the first half of the first century CE. However, it was not until the era of Vespasian that the pre-Roman settlement of Portus Amanum or Samanum was elevated to the category of a Roman colony.

Although the remains of the old Roman city are largely buried under the old quarter of today’s Castro, traces of the town’s Roman past can be seen at a site on Calle Ardigales, which is now the Flaviobriga Interpretation Centre.

Remains of the Roman road that once ran from the coast to Pisoraca (Herrera de Pisuerga) can be seen in Otañes and two milestones are on display, one in the square in Otañes and the other inside the Castle/Lighthouse in Castro. The Chorillo trail guides visitors along the route of the Roman aqueduct—a listed monument—running 500 metres from a natural spring to the area of the Roman harbour. Along the way, the conduit gathers water from several other springs. Visitors to the town can also take a tour of some of the old mines in the municipal area, offering a splendid chance to combine heritage and nature.

PORTUS AMANUN FLAVIOBRIGA – Castro Urdiales, Cantabria

Portus Amanum Flaviobriga
Portus Amanum Flaviobriga

Interpretation Centre – FLAVIOBRIGA Archaeological Site

Interpretation Centre - FLAVIOBRIGA Archaeological Site

Former Roman city founded in the first century CD, possibly by Emperor Titus Flavius Vespasianus. We can see the junction between a side alley and one of the main streets, which has a footpath. On either side, the rooms of three different homes can be seen. The ruins are partly covered by an artesian well and a drain, both dating from the Modern Age. Visitors can follow a walkway running along the perimeter of the site to see from close up these features of the original streetscape of Flaviobriga

FLAVIOBRIGA Archaeological Site
Calle Ardigales, 5-7
39.700 Castro Urdiales

GPS Coordinates:
Latitude: 43.3829098
Longitude: -3.2210441

http://turismo.castro-urdiales.net
Phone: +34 942 87 15 12


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Timetable

From Tuesday to Sunday

  • From 11:00 to 14:00 h. and from: 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
  • Closed Monday

Summer

  • Every day from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and from 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

El Chorrillo Historical Channel

El Chorrillo Historical Channel

This archaeological site is a listed national monument. It includes a work of hydraulic engineering dating from the Roman period which was used for capturing and channelling drinking water to the city.

The water came from a number of springs located in nearby calcareous areas. From there, it was piped along channels made with interlocking blocks of dressed stone pointed with hydraulic mortar. The pipes were encased with low stone walls and mortar.

It has a series of accumulation tanks and sinks to regulate the flow and decant off any impurities. The sinks are rectangular in plan with a barrel vault and are built with rough ashlar blocks secured with mortar. The inlet at the top has an ashlar cover.

Subida del Chorrillo, s/n
39700 Castro Urdiales

GPS Coordinates:
Latitude: 43.382439
Longitude: -3.224174

http://turismo.castro-urdiales.net
Phone: +34 942 87 15 12


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Timetable

Open all year long

La Loma Roman Road

La Loma Roman Road
La Loma Roman Road

In the La Loma neighbourhood, a section of the old Roman road between Flaviobriga (Castro Urdiales) and Pisoraca (Herrera de Pisuerga) can still be seen.

La Loma Neighborhood
39700 Castro Urdiales

GPS Coordinates:
Latitude: 43.367074
Longitude: -3.2158710

http://turismo.castro-urdiales.net
Phone: +34 942 87 15 12


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Timetable

Open all year long.

Section of wall and remains of the King’s Palace

Section of wall and remains of the King's Palace

The remains stand next to the Church of Santa María de la Asunción (St Mary of the Assumption). They are currently undergoing restoration.

Timetable

Open all year long.

Archaeological classroom

Archaeological classroom

Take a trip from the Palaeolithic to the Medieval period, illustrated by some of the archaeological finds in Castro Urdiales.

House of Nature (first floor)
Avda. de la Playa s/n
39700 Castro Urdiales

http://turismo.castro-urdiales.net
Phone: +34 942 78 29 06


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Timetable

From Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Roman milestone of Nero Claudio

Miliario Romano de Nero Claudio

The Roman Milestone of Nero, was in the Trinity Hermitage at Otañes and dates from the year 61 AD. Indicate the distance between the place where it was found and Pisoraca (one hundred and eighty miles).

It was located on the square in front of the church of Santa María, but currently is inside the castle of Faro, in which there is a showroom for the expositions and also cultural events such as concerts or concerts are celebrated.

Castillo Faro

Timetable

Summer (April-October)

Monday-Sundey:
Morning: 11:00-13:30.
Afternoon: 18:00-20:00.

Winter: (Novenber- March)

Monday-Sunday:
Morning: 11:00-13:30.
Afternoon: 16:30-18:30.

Tourist Office

Avenida de la Constitución
Parque Amestoy, s/n
39700 Castro Urdiales

castrourdiales@srtcantabria.es
Phone (+34) 942 87 15 12

Tourist Office

Timetable

  • Monday to Sunday from 9.30 am to 2 pm and 4 pm to 7 pm
  • Holy Week from 9.00 a.m. to 9.00 p.m.

Getting to Castro Urdiales

CASTRO URDIALES lies at the easternmost end of the province of Cantabria, between Santander (75 km) and Bilbao (35 km).

By road

If you are travelling by car, take the CN-634 main road or A-8 motorway. From Santander, take Junction 151 and follow the signs for Castro Urdiales – Allendelagua. From Bilbao, take Junction 147 and follow the signs for Castro Urdiales – Samano. If you are travelling from inland (from the meseta), there are two ways of joining the A-8: Via the A-67 at Torrelavega; or by following the N-634 (secondary road) and accessing Castro Urdiales by either of the local roads, AC-520 or AC-250.

There are also regular coach services from Santander, Bilbao, Torrelavega, San Sebastian, Vitoria, Gijón and Pamplona. The bus station in Castro Urdiales is on Calle Leonardo Rucabado, Telephone number: (+34) 942 86 71 45

By rail

There is no rail service in Castro Urdiales. The nearest stations are in Santander and Bilbao-Abando. From there you can take a bus or car.

By air

The nearest airports to Castro Urdiales are Bilbao (http://www.aena.es/es/aeropuerto-bilbao/index.html) and Santander (http://www.aena.es/es/aeropuerto-santander/index.html).

Public Transport

Airoports and railways   

Bus 

Taxi

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