If you organize a getaway to Cantabria, which is part of Green Spain, a trip full of nature, good gastronomy and unique artistic displays awaits you.
The fact is that this northern area has prehistoric caves such as Altamira, the most famous of all, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and known as the “Sistine Chapel of Rock Art”. Cantabria is also part of the well-known Camino de Santiago and its towns have beautiful monuments such as the Palacio de la Magdalena de Santander, the Monastery of Santo Toribio de Liébana or the Capricho de Gaudí de Comillas.
Also get ready to admire spectacular landscapes, because along the Cantabrian coast you will find more than 60 beaches of fine white sand in tourist destinations such as Laredo or San Vicente de la Barquera. And inland, in addition to several Natural Parks, don’t miss the Picos de Europa National Park, perfect for practicing adventure sports. An added incentive for the visit is its gastronomy. You will be able to savor characteristic recipes such as mountain stew, sobaos and quesada pasiega. And to rest, nothing better than one of its famous spas.
Santillana del Mar
Located on the northern route of the Camino de Santiago, Santillana del Mar is a beautiful medieval town that developed around the Collegiate Church of Santa María. Several defensive towers and Renaissance palaces make Santillana one of the most important historical sites in Cantabria.
However, this Cantabrian town houses its greatest treasure on the outskirts: the Altamira Cave, known as the “Paleolithic Sistine Chapel” and declared a World Heritage Site.
City that seems taken out of a story and whose life revolves around its bay, recognized as one of the most beautiful in the world. In the north of Spain, it unites green mountain landscapes with the white sand of its beaches, stately buildings and palatial buildings with avant-garde architecture and an unmistakable echo of its fishing tradition. A city that contains many cities, perfect to discover.
City of kings and fishermen
The aristocracy and royalty of the late 19th and early 20th centuries made Santander the ultimate vacation destination. A walk through the historic center, with its majestic buildings, transports us to that distinguished past, whose best witness is, without a doubt, the Magdalena Palace, the jewel of the city. A visit to this emblematic building, located at the highest point of the peninsula of the same name, is one of the essentials of Santander and allows you to contemplate (and photograph) an impressive panoramic view of “the bride of the sea”, as it is popularly known to the city, framed between the beach and the mountains. Santander fuses this magical palatial atmosphere with a tradition of fishermen that today can be enjoyed especially in the so-called fishing district of the city: the ideal place to taste the most traditional local cuisine, so closely linked to the sea, with dishes such as rabas (squid fried), the maganos (squid) onions or the clams a la marinara. This identity of contrasts is completed by the “new” Santander, the one that has been steeped in the latest cultural and artistic trends and that you will find portrayed in the modern Botín Center, designed by the architect and Pritzker Prize winner, Renzo Piano.
Santander is a perfect city to spend a family vacation because, in addition to the tourist and gastronomic attractions, it offers some ideal alternatives for the little ones, such as boat excursions that cross the entire bay, a walk through the mini zoo of La Magdalena or a visit to the Maritime Museum. Enjoying a sunny day on one of its beaches is another of the essential plans of the place: don’t miss those of El Sardinero, el Camello, Mataleñas, La Concha or Los Peligros.
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