Noja Travel Guide
Noja is strategically located between the Brusco point and the Quejo estuary. Originally, the town was referred to as the village of Nolia, and this is how Noja is referred to in a written document that dates as far back as 1122.
One of the first structures of the town is the monastery of San Pedro de Noja, in the year 1084. Being blessed with a healthy land and cascading waters, the locale’s main source of livelihood is fishing and agriculture. At present, the town is slowly getting known as a tourist attraction for visitors of the Cantabarian beaches.
Noja has a remarkable industrial history of its own. The tidal mill is one of the most fascinating features of most of the town’s buildings. The ingenuity of these mills is just incredible. It had been the town’s innovative discovery during its early years. The residents use a system of dykes utilizing tidal currents which, in turn, move the mill’s levers and rotors. Beginning with such a simple concept, the tidal mill improved over the years. Most of these structures are commonly seen in the places of Helguera, Garvois, Ris and in Velasco.
Places of Interest
Noja boasts of its unique artistry as manifested in most architectural structures of the town. The town, just like all places in Cantabria, is also proud of its architectural masterpieces scattered around town.
During the 17th and 18th century, Noja gave rise to glorious mansions particularly in the village of Palacio. The Zilla Palace, where the Marquis of Albaicín stays, is an exquisitely designed abode truly fit for royalty. The Trengandin’s Velasco tower is also a sight worth seeing.
The line-up of traditional houses in Pederoso displays the town’s historical beginnings. Among these ancient homes, the Garnica House is the most famous.
Noja is also blessed with a number of natural features. The Santoña and Noja Natural Wetland Reserve is a sanctuary of interesting and unique earth species, in all its diversity. The 38 sq. km. of land envelops the Victoria and Jovel wetlands. Occasionally, unique birds from far away places migrate in the reserve. Aside from the fauna, the beautiful greeneries and water forms complete the beautiful panorama. Coastal landscapes, dunes and beaches, wetlands and estuaries provide a tranquil background to nature’s activities.
The town of Noja is also one of the places that Camino del Norte (North Road) passes through. The long pilgrimage road passes fascinating historical sights from the town of Santoña, Comillas and Santillana Del Mar and the four coastal towns of San Vicente de la Barquera, Santander Castro, Urdiales, and Laredo. The road is an alternative route to go to places aside from the main road. Just for leisure, tourists love walking this long trail. Improvement on the road is underway to accommodate trekking and mountaineering activities.
Just between Isla and Noja is the Joyel Wetlands, which is a sanctuary for magnificent birds. The site is situated just below Mount Cincho. The place has fascinating, aged-old tide mills that Noja is famous for. You can always find one structured all over the town.
The Quejo Estuary, where Joyel Wetlands are located is also a natural wonder. It is actually a sea inlet, contrary to the usual perception that it is a river mouth.
Just fronting the Ris Beach, are the islands of San Pedro and La Oliva. These are tranquil pieces of land connected to the mainland, but only during low tide. The islands’ small haven of ecological convergence adds magnificence to the Ris Beach.
The town’s coast, like any of the beaches in Cantabria, promises everyone a relaxing experience underneath the sun. One of the main attractions of the place is its coastline, scattered with uniquely shaped rocks that pose a continuing curiosity to anyone who sees it. Tourists will be delighted to abundant accommodations lining up the cozy beaches of the town. A good choice of resorts will surprise you with delight. Noja‘s picturesque sights are one of nature’s best. Soaring cliffs and endless shorelines is just the perfect vacation on any special occasions, especially during summer.
Noja’s Trengandin is quite a calm beach with clear waters making it an ideal place for scuba divers. Nature’s collection of wonders can be seen under the sea with beautiful coral reefs and school of fresh fishes, a sure delight to any diver. Trengandin’s shoreline stretches out as far 6 kilometers, with fine golden sands that glimmers whenever the sun’s rays hits them. During low tide, natural rock pools appear, creating a wide area of shallow water. Because of the level of the water, it is best and safe for children to splurge in the water.
The Ris Beach, a little smaller than Trengadin beach, attracts many tourists because of its accessibility and enhanced facilities. During high tides, Ris is a haven for surfing, with high waves one can’t get enough of. Canoeing is also a popular activity. If you’re just lazing in the beach, you may find hundreds of seagulls not far from the place, a main stay from the Island of San Pedruco.
You might also be interested in checking the El Brusco beach.