The mean-shift (MS) algorithm is applied for reducing speckle noise and segmenting synthetic aperture radar (SAR) images. Two coastal images acquired by Envisat's advanced SAR (ASAR) [European Space Agency (ESA)] are used. Studies of the MS parameters are carried out according to the desired product: a speckle filtered image where textures and edges are preserved, or a segmented image, where land and sea are distinguished, as a previous stage for obtaining a land mask and detecting the coastal line. In all cases, Gaussian kernels are used. Speckle filtering results are compared with those obtained using uniform kernels, proving that the former provides better results than the latter. A segmentation approach based on the positions and frequencies at which the MS converges is applied. The use of a combined spatial-range processing and the corresponding bandwidths makes the MS suitable for the two proposed problems. The solid theoretical basis of this procedure allows designing a guided search of the best parameters according to the desired solution, avoiding a tedious trial-and-error process. Although the used images have different characteristics, results prove that similar sets of parameters can be used, showing some degree of robustness with respect to the image, for a given sensor and image acquisition mode.