This, again, is not a beach on its own, it’s actually “glued” to the beach of Salinas in Castrillón. Glued might not be the right word, they are actually the same big one called The Espartal, a 3 km long sandy beach like very few in Asturias.
But since the Western one belongs to the town of Salinas and the Eastern one belongs to the village of San Juan de Nieva, then from the administrative point of view we also have two beaches here (this is why this side of the cove is also know as San Juan de Nieva beach or San Xuan). From the geographical point of view there is only a continuous one.
The Espartal Shell (La Concha de Espartal) is a protected area due to being surrounded by dunes. This is not unique to Asturias (saw them at Xagó, Vega, Los Quebrantos, Playón de Bayas and so on), but these dunes are quite spectacular and, most of all, fragile.
In San Juan de Nieva they are quite imposing being pretty big and you can see that they are being protected mainly because around the beach a lot of wooden promenades were built in order for visitors to NOT walk on the dunes directly.
This is not so obvious at the Salinas beach because it’s mostly surrounded by a promenade and authorities allowed a lot of constructions to be built around the beach – as a consequence it has very few (and decaying) dunes and only on its Eastern side.
Even so, El Espartal is a beach with plenty of amenities (showers, toilets), lifeguard during the summer months, a few parkings (never enough in the summer, though…) and it’s accessible for people with limited mobility.
Together with the Salinas beach, San Juan de Nieva beach was awarded with the Blue Flag eco-label, being one of the 14 Asturian beaches that won it in 2015.
It’s a place with strong waves, making it one of the most popular beaches in Asturias for practicing surf and surf related sports.
It is also a good fishing point, or so I heard.
Being an urban beach and so close to both the town of Salinas and the village of San Juan de Nieva, this beach is close to plenty of bars (there is actually a beach bar right near the parking), restaurants, hotels, surf schools and campings.
Salinas, especially, is a very popular town in Western Asturias so I am sure you won’t lack anything.
Towards East you will see a lighthouse, it’s called San Juan de Nieva lighthouse (or The Lighthouse of Avilés) and you should pay it a visit if you have time 🙂
If you wish to explore the area and find all the nearby beaches, make sure you download AsturPlaya – our app with all the beaches of Asturias.
Weather at the San Juan de Nieva / El Espartal beach
Video: San Juan de Nieva beach in Asturias