Noja is a town in Northern Spain, in the region of Cantabria, located amongst the wetlands of the Santoña, Victoria & Joyel Marshes Natural Park and the Cantabrian Sea in the Bay of Biscay. Its privileged location provides the visitor with plenty of opportunities for birdwatching, cycling (with a public bicycle lending system available for visitors) and trekking in nature, as well as for bathing and practicing water sports in its two Blue Flag awarded beaches, Ris and Trengandín.
With a history dating back to the Middle Ages, Noja has been a mainly agricultural and fishing community through the centuries, where its population has long enjoyed the fruits of both land and sea for its nourishment. Noja boasts several churches, palaces and “casonas” (traditional country houses), built between the XVI and the early XX century, with its oldest landmark being the Church of St. Peter, built in Gothic style in 1500 over the remains of a medieval monastery, located in the highest point of the town.
Positive aspects 2015:
- Extensive protected area in the destination, covering 75% of its surface, which is included in the most important wetlands of Northern Spain.
- Great opportunities for birdwatching, with many guided and signaled routes.
- Both the destination’s beaches were awarded a Blue Flag, with water quality rated as “Excellent”.
- Through its Tourism Competitiveness Plan it has established a model for quality tourism to be followed in the future.
Points for improvement 2015:
- Efforts should be made to reduce the very high seasonality, with the overall majority of visitors coming during 6 weeks in the summer, from mid July to the end of August.
- More efforts are needed to promote sustainability efforts amongst business enterprises in the destination, in areas such as energy consumption.