Clean Breaks, Empty Coasts


Clean Breaks, Empty Coasts

Whoever comes to Northern Spain might wonder or be pleasantly surprised that many parts of the coast are not cluttered with hotels and other infrastructure nor is there any trash to be found on the wide sandy beaches. It’s pristine coastal landscape – unspoiled. Around Langre many people come with their buses and vans and enjoy that circumstance. It’s a campers dream, there, in between green rolling hills, the beaches and the mostly gentle waves of Cantabria.

“The reason for the coast being like this here is a law – enected somewhen in the nineties: No buildings closer than 500 meters are allowed to be constructed. All the houses closer to the coast have been build before.” Juan explains. He recently moved from the busy south to the tranquilo north of Spain and owns a nice, little hostel there some meters off playa de Langre.

Many farmers wish it was differently – now that tourism gains momentum in the region their grasslands for their cows right next to the beaches would be worth a fortune. But instead of hotels there are still just the cows grassing, here and there grows some corn. “For me that’s no problem,” Juan continues, “and it shouldn’t be a problem for the guests to walk a couple of minutes! Or do you prefer to go the Adria, where there is no place left along the coast, everything full with buildings instead of nature? See? I didn’t think so!” and grins.

“The beaches are wonderful! I am here almost everyday!” Marisa says gesticulating euphorically while hopping up the steps of playa de Langre. The vivid elder lady lives in the next village, Galiza, supposingly “…the only village in the area with a own newspaper. We are very proud of it!”

She regularly checks out the beaches if there is trash lying around, if rocks have broken down again and maybe destroyed parts of the narrow path that leads down to the break. “Our politicians are horrible! Horrible! Even though the area is protected and nothing can be built around here there’s nobody to clean up the beaches or care for the infrastructure. I mean – there are – but they are supposed to do it for free because the city council has no money for that. Horibile!”

So in fact volunteers are doing the job. They clean up the trash that gets left behind by campers and beach goers or comes with the curents and the sea. Our message here: Please make their lifes easier. Stay in small hostels from time to time, don’t leave trash behind, be at least a good camper. Makes people happy.