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4.5/5Wonderful!(21 area reviews)
Wander through the picturesque gardens and along the coastal boulevard, enter the vast cathedral and examine the fascinating monuments in the heart of Santander.
Vacation in a northern Spanish town that is set amid spectacular natural landscapes and close to an ancient cave system decorated with Paleolithic art.
Use this Santander neighborhood as a good base from which to explore the city's beaches and many cultural and historical attractions.
Reviewed on 1 Jan 2021
Reviewed on 25 Dec 2020
Reviewed on 3 Oct 2019
Cantabria is a fascinating combination of landscapes with deep valleys, mountain ranges, forests, green hills and an unspoiled coastline. Find isolated coves and expansive beaches, hike through natural parks, spot wildlife and study ancient cave art. Inside the coastal towns, investigate ancient buildings and museums.
Santander, the regional capital, is a port city built on hills with a historic centre and several beaches. Tour the 13th-century Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción and wander through the narrow lanes and plazas of the old quarter. Browse exhibits at the Cantabrian Maritime Museum to learn about the city's seafaring traditions. Relax on the soft sands of Los Peligros, near the city centre. Among other popular beaches are La Magdalena and El Camello.
Visit other coastal Cantabrian locations close to the capital, including San Vicente de la Barquera and Castro Urdiales, with Gothic architecture, beaches and the remains of a Roman colony. About 22 miles (35 kilometres) west of Santander is the Cave of Altamira in Santillana del Mar. It is known as the Sistine Chapel of cave art for its abundance of Ice Age paintings. See beautiful depictions of bulls, bison and other animals at the nearby museum, which re-creates part of the cave and its artworks. The cave itself is closed to visitors.
Move inland to explore Cantabria's mountains, valleys and forests. Spot wildlife in Cabarceno Natural Park, with more than 100 animal species, some of them endangered. Look for zebras, elephants, tigers, lions, gorillas and hyenas. Take the cable car from Fuente Dé to the top of the Pico Massif in the Picos de Europa National Park, the country’s first natural park. Hike along marked paths through the park’s mountains and valleys. Select from short and long routes for all abilities.
To experience Cantabria’s spectacular natural scenery and cultural attractions, fly into the international airport at Santander and get around by bus, train or rental car.