The La Arnia sea cliff close to Santander
During our van based travels of the northern Spanish regions we stayed close to Santander for a few days to explore the beautiful coast line. Earlier I had seen pictures of a climbing area called La Arnia close to the beach of the same name. A sharp slab of rock that darts out into the Atlantic ocean and gets battered by the wind and waves. The rocky islands further out show how rough the elements are - one of them just recently collapsed in a particularly nasty winter storm.
Only during low tide one can reach the small sport climbing sector that features routes ranging from grades 4c to 6a+. Further to the right there are a few trad climbs as well.
Even before arriving we had already decided that a visit to this special spot was a must. So we walked down to the beach and over the dry rocks and between the tide pools over to the wall. There is a way down right by the wall as well that is hard to see from above. You have to walk a bit behind a fence and find a fixed rope (we used this way to get back up again.
Not only is the setting wild the rocks structures are as well. The lower parts are under water at high tide and waves have weathered the rock (there are even barnacles in between the holds). Higher up the rock is less sharp but still grippy and featured. The bolting is okay - only the first bolts are quite high up (again due to the tides). Climbing here is great fun and definitely amplified by the setting.
Even though the area is small and „only“ has routes up to 6a+, this place is the total package. Well worth a visit - just make sure you keep an eye on the rising sea!
Adventurers: Brigitte and Bengt