Santoña , Victoria and Joyel Marshes Nature Park


Municipalities Ampuero, Argoños, Arnuero, Bárcena de Cicero, Colindres, Escalante, Laredo, Limpias, Noja, Santoña and Voto
Protection figures  Natural Reserve of the Marhes of Santoña and Noja (1992) Nature Park of the Marshes of Santoña, Victoria and Joyel (2006)
Other protection figures  Wetland RAMSAR. Belonging to the Perteneciente a la Natura 2000 network. Special Protection Areas (SPAs) for birds. Site of Community Importance (SCI) or the River Asón.
Access The motorway A-8 Bilbao-Santander there is access to the villages around the park. From village to village there are national roads with cycle paths on some sections. 


The marshes, together with the lagoons, constitue the main coastal wetland, of great ornithological importance. Here fresh water and saltwater converge in shallow areas affected by tides.

On the marshes of Santoña, Victoria and Joyel the estuaries of Limpias, Rada, Escalante and Argoños contribute to organic matter and sediments that allow the development of flora and fauna species. The presence of coastal holm-oak woods such as those on the Mounts of Buciero, Cincho, Brusco, Montehano and El Cueto, are of great value.

The value of this natural space is complemented with great biotopes diversity of tremendous ecological interest (dunes, cliffs, riverside forests and grasslands), all of which contribute to the guarantee the functioning of different ecosystems.

The environmental conditions that favour the marshes area allowed human settlements from Prehistory times.

These settlements have been long and continious. The existing patrimony allows us to acknowledge the settlers different forms of life and economic activities over the centuries.


The submerged vegetation is constituted by seaweed and marine phanerogams. Saline reeds and reedbeds are abundant and there is some dune vegetation. The holm-oak woods on cantabrian mountains is most representative.


This natural area is migrating place for birds that fly south through Europe towards Africa and other places from the Iberian Peninsula, especially duting winter. There is a great number of species that use the wetland to breed through out the year.  Prominent among them are:

Anatidae: the spoonbill, the Nature Park symbol, ows its name to the shape of its bills.

Waders: have beaks and legs that allow them to reach deep in the mud to feed of invertebrates.

Significant species are mallard ducks, dunlins, cormorants, grey herons and more.

Other important group of fish fauna species such as, the Eropean eel or the salmon, swim through the marshes during their migration. The area is also a breeding place for young fish. 

Finally, invertebrates constitute the basic foodstuff for numerous species. Molluscs, crustacean and echinoderms are abundant and have allowed for an important development in the shellfish industry through out history. 

Information and bookings: 942 04 94 38 – 695 59 44 50


–   Fishing port, Beangoa and La Arenilla marshes in Santoña.

–   Victoria watermill, in Noja and Joyel, in Isla.

–   El Ribero*walk, in Bº Ancillo, Argoños. Tinaco* Parkand  maritime walk  in Colindres.

–   Montehano Convent, at the back and foot of Mount Montehano, in Escalante.

(*Bird observatory)


Within the Park´s information boards we find different itineraries:

–   The Buciero Mount (Santoña): “Mount Buciero circuit”, “Ascent to Ganzo and Buciero”, “Ascent to Napoleon fort” y “Ascent to the Atalaya (vantage point)”

–   Ascent to Montehano (Escalante)

–   El Ribero (neighbouhood of Ancillo, Argoños)

–   El Regatón (Laredo)

–   CYCLE PATHS to ride different routes.

–   Argoños-Escalante

–   Voto: from Rada to Bádames

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