Introduction to Santander, Spain
Located north between Gijon and Bilbao on Spain’s north coast, Santander is an elegant city with impressive buildings set against a natural backdrop of sea and mountains.
The Paseo de Pereda, with its typical houses with miradors, has a lively boulevard which separates the coast from the historic quarter of the city.
The nearby Cathedral is one of the oldest buildings in the city. Inside is the tomb of Marcelino Menéndez Pelayo, a work by the sculptor Victorio Macho. Under the main chapel is the crypt of El Cristo, a vaulted chamber where various traces of the Roman era were discovered.
The beaches in Santander are protected from the wind by the bay, resulting in beautiful calm waters. Also worth seeing are the Altamira Caves, situated a few miles from the city; and containing some of the most important cave paintings of Quaternary art.
For seafood lovers, be sure to try the local fried squid or breaded whitebait; or for meat eaters, the cocido montañés (stew made of beans, meat and cabbage) is symbolic of this region of Spain.
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Explore Santander, Spain with Fred. Olsen
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- Explore the Medieval gem of Santillana del Mar with its beautiful old stone buildings and cobblestone streets
- Seek out the attractive town of Comillas, showcasing its modernist palace designed by acclaimed Spanish Catalan architect, Antoni Gaudi
Discover the beautiful Cantabrian villages of Santillana del Mar and Comillas. Santillana del Mar is considered the most important historic site in Cantabria and one of the best preserved old towns in all of Spain.
Arriving in Santillana, you will enjoy a guided walking tour to take in many of the highlights of the area including La Colegiata de Santa Juliana (outside visit only), a result of the expansion of an old monastery in the mid-12th century. It was built by a group of monks to contribute to repopulating the area and create a small chapel in which to expose the relics of the martyred Juliana, which they brought with them. It would be impossible to mention all the palaces, towers and mansions of interest in Santillana del Mar, with many fine examples from different periods: Medieval, Renaissance buildings and Baroque.
Savour free time to explore this beautiful village further. You will then continue on to the next village – Comillas - declared an important historic and artistic centre. It is known as the “Town of the Bishops” as five prelates, the heads of several different dioceses in the Middle Ages, were born here. You can admire magnificent architecture and ancestral mansions carrying the shields that belonged to noble families of the time. Comillas has some of the most important Art Nouveau buildings in Cantabria, which include Sobrellano Palace Chapel and the Pantheon, the Pontifical University and the brilliant El Capricho by the Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí (passing by). Take in a guided walking tour of the area before exploring the village with its cobblestone streets and squares independently.
Is this tour right for you?TOUR NOTES: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking with many steps to negotiate throughout with many inclines and descents. Unfortunately it is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users. Depending on traffic conditions, places of interest may be visited in a different order to that described.
- Santander is an elegant city, which extends over a wide bay with views of the Cantabrian Sea
- Discover the historic quarter with its group of majestic buildings, all situated against an incredible natural backdrop of sea and mountains
Take in many of the highlights of Santander from the comfort of your coach on this panoramic tour.
Leaving the quayside you will enjoy a scenic drive through Santander passing by many of the highlights such as El Sardinero Beach, the promenade and the Magdalena peninsula. The Magdalena, situated between the town centre and El Sardinero, is a beautiful arm of land between the beaches. At the top of the peninsula is where the Royal Palace is located.
Continue on, towards El Faro Lighthouse to enjoy some beautiful views over Santander, before proceeding toward Somo, Isla, Santoña and Laredo.
Laredo is next to the Cantabrian Sea and has an impressive five kilometre (three Miles) long sandy beach and a modern area that contrasts with the historical quarter. Here in Laredo you can enjoy a brief period of time at leisure to explore independently before returning to your awaiting ship.TOUR DESCRIPTION IS CORRECT FOR 2017CANARIES & MED CRUISES
Is this tour right for you?IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves a minimal amount of walking, therefore it is considered suitable for guests with limited mobility and wheelchair users providing guests can board and debark the coach unaided. Depending upon traffic conditions, places of interest may be visited in a different order to that described.
- Discover the village of Potes with its important religious, civil and popular heritage and deep-rooted traditions
- Feel like you have been transported through time as you meander the cobblestone streets and admire the popular large houses
Escape the bustle of the city and head towards a contrasting landscape, the valley of Liébana, surrounded by spectacular mountains and rivers.
Departing from the pier you will travel to the village of Potes, enjoying a panoramic drive through the mountains en route. Protected by several mountains, such as Peña Sagra and the famous Picos de Europa, Potes has a warmer microclimate than the rest of the province. Upon your arrival in Potes, you can enjoy a stroll through the Old Quarter, over the many bridges, discovering buildings and monuments with centuries of history. Take in the ancestral mansions such as the Baroque house-tower of Orejón de la Lama, the ancient bridges of San Cayetano and La Cárcel and the San Vicente Parish Church, with architectural elements dating from the 14th to the 18th century.
After enjoying a guided walking tour you can delight in a lunch, full of Cantabrian dishes in a local restaurant. Feeling refreshed you will return to Santander where you can enjoy a panoramic drive of the city before you arrive back at the quayside.TOUR DESCRIPTION IS CORRECT FOR 2017 CRUISES
Is this tour right for you?
IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves a moderate amount of walking with some steps to negotiate throughout. Unfortunately it is not considered suitable for guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users due to the cobbled terrain and uneven streets encountered. Depending upon traffic conditions, places of interest may be visited in a different order to that described.
Enjoy the Bay of Santander, one of the most beautiful bays in Spain and provides scenery in which the townscape blends harmoniously with the natural beauty of the surroundings.After a panoramic drive passing El Sardinero beach and the lighthouse, you will reach the peninsula La Magdalena - one of the highlights of Santander. On the top of this peninsula is the Royal Palace, a summer residence given by the inhabitants of Santander to King Alfonso XIII in the early 20th century. The monarchs came to the city several times and made of Santander the capital of their kingdom during the summer months. The Palace has lovely stables, big gardens and its own beach. It also has a free access to Municipal Park where a mini-zoo with pools of seals, marine lions and penguins can be seen. Enjoy a walking tour around the peninsula, as well as some free time to explore further if time permits before heading to the city centre to visit the Cathedral.The Cathedral de la Asunción de Nuestra Señora is a historical monument with a Gothic structure, built between the 12th and 14th century. It is located on top of the former Santander Abbey, also known as the Abbey of the Holy Bodies, an old monastery dedicated to Saints Emeterius and Celedonius. It was reconstructed after the great fire of 1941 that razed almost the entire city. Enjoy a visit inside of the Cathedral before returning back to the pier.
- Discover the highlights of the elegant, calm city of Santander
- Admire beautiful views over the sea
Is this tour right for you?TOUR NOTES: This tour involves a moderate amount of walking with many steps to negotiate. Unfortunately it is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users. The Cathedral can be closed at short notice due to religious functions, in which case it will be viewed from the outside only. To enter the Cathedral a compulsory donation of one Euro per person is required. Religious practice requires shoulders and knees to be covered when entering the Cathedral. Depending on traffic conditions, places of interest may be visited in a different order to that described.
- The history of Santoña has always been linked to the sea and is most famous for its anchovies
- Castro Urdiales has all the charm of a small seafaring and fishing village with rich traditions
Take in the atmosphere of Santoña before experiencing the traditional Spanish fishing village of Castro Urdiales.
As you leave the port of Santander, you will travel to the eastern tip of Cantabria to the coastal town of Santoña. Santoña is divided into two zones, an urban plain and a mountainous area, with Mount Buciero at its eastern limit and the beach of Berria to the north. The beach of San Martin comprises its southern limit and the fishing harbour, with the marsh area, at its western limit. Upon arrival, you will enjoy a walking visit through the town, one of the oldest and most authentic seafaring villages in Cantabria. Additionally, for many it offers the best olive and salt-packed anchovies in the world!
Next, you will travel to Castro Urdiales, an old fishermen’s town with magnificent buildings and beautiful promenades that combine the old and the modern. The most important highlight here is the church of St. Mary of the Assuption, a Catholic church built in the Gothic style in the 13th century. You will also be able to see the castle lighthouse, a defensive construction of the village and one of the very few remaining castles in the Cantabrian region and the Roman Milestone, found in Otañes and now located in the small square opposite St. Mary’s Church. You can enjoy a walk through the village and discover its beauty before returning to your ship.TOUR DESCRIPTION IS CORRECT FOR 2017 CANARIES & MED CRUISES
Is this tour right for you?IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves a moderate amount of walking with some steps to negotiate throughout. Unfortunately it is not suitable for guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users. Depending upon traffic conditions, places of interest may be visited in a different order to that described.
- Admire the amazing variety of animals that call the park home
- discover more about the species that occupy the park
- Witness natural behaviours of the animals as they go about everyday life
The wildlife park of Cabárceno covers an area of more than 750 hectares, it is home to over a hundred animal species that roam freely with in the parks limits. The animals coexist amongst each other in large enclosures making the park the largest of its kind in Europe.
Departing from the quayside, you embark on an approximate 30 minute coach journey to the Cabárceno’s Wildlife Park, located in the Cantabrian Mountains; a truly extraordinary surroundings.
Enjoy a guided tour around the park admiring the unrestrained beauty of the animals. Watch animals from all five continents roam freely, and observe there natural behaviour. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for elephants, tigers, lions, bears, and much more.
You will have approximately 30 minutes of time at leisure with in the restaurant where you can purchase a refreshment or a light lunch before setting off again to discover the rest of the park.
THIS TOUR DESCRIPTION IS CORRECT FOR 2017 CRUISES
Is this tour right for you?
IS THIS TOUR RIGHT FOR YOU? This tour involves a moderate amount of walking, therefore it is not considered suitable for guests with limited mobility or wheelchair users. Please note all guests must be able to embark and disembark the coach unaided. Some of the park will be visited on foot over uneven terrain so sensible walking shoes are suggested. Please keep in mind that the sighting of all animals in the park is not guaranteed as they live in semi – free conditions. It is recommended that guests bring binoculars with them as this may aid your chances of seeing the animals. Toilet facilities are available at the restaurant during your time at leisure.
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