Located 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 belle-époque elegance of Estadio El Sardinero underlines the engaging qualities of Cantabria’s capital.
The Palacio de la Magdalena, once the royal summer residence, sits on the rocky peninsula, while the city centre is home to the octagonal cupola and Gothic cloisters of the Catedral de Santander. Inside is the tomb of Marcelino Menéndez Pelayo, a work by the sculptor Victorio Macho, and under the main chapel lies the crypt of El Cristo, a vaulted chamber with artefacts from the Roman era.[ReadMoreMob]
Nearby, the Paseo de Pereda promenade runs along one side of the Jardines de Pereda gardens; the houses with their miradors (balconies) are a favourite feature of this lively boulevard. The beaches in Santander are protected from the wind by the bay, resulting in wonderful, calm waters. Many visitors also come to discover the region's prehistoric caves, situated a few miles from the city, which contain some of the most important cave paintings of Quaternary art.
For seafood lovers, the local fried squid or breaded whitebait are a treat, while the popular cocido montañés (stew made of beans, meat and cabbage) is symbolic of this region of Spain.
Surrounded by spectacular mountain ranges, green valleys and countryside, the streets of Santander wind up through the hilly landscape to afford fantastic views of the Cantabrian Sea. In addition to breathtaking landscapes, Santander has a number of beautiful beaches to offer visitors.
Caves and Palaeolithic Cave Art
The Cave of Altamira is renowned for its numerous parietal cave paintings, featuring charcoal drawings and polychrome paintings of contemporary local fauna and human hands, created during the Upper Palaeolithic. The earliest paintings in the cave were executed around 35,600 years ago. Altamira was the first European cave for which prehistoric origin of the paintings was suggested and promoted.
Although the Cave of Altamira has been closed to the public for several years for conservation reasons, an excellent replica is located nearby. Here you can learn more about the cave and its fascinating paintings.
Cruises to Santander
Departs: Dover • Thu 08 Apr 2021
9 nights • Bolette • T2107
- Step on board Bolette for this nine-night French and Spanish city discovery and you’ll unravel the rewards of some of Europe’s most beautiful, culture rich regions.
- Visiting northern Spain’s Galicia, Asturias and Cantabria regions, you can marvel at unspoilt coastal scenes, uncover prehistoric caves, sample traditional regional flavours, see famous landmarks and much more.
- In France, visit the beautiful Normandy region and historic Honfleur; and take the chance to explore the rich history and wine heritage of enchanting Bordeaux.
From £1,249ppFares Explained | What's Included
Departs: Southampton • Thu 20 May 2021
8 nights • Braemar • M2111
- A medley of rewards awaits you, from fine wine and culinary delights to diverse architecture and art, as Braemar takes you closer to the highlights of four culture-rich cities in Spain & France.
- You’ll sail the gorgeous Gironde and Garonne rivers straight into Bordeaux, where you can explore the city’s UNESCO-listed centre and sample world-famous wine culture from the moment you step ashore.
- In Spain, visit Santander, gateway to many of Cantabria’s treasures; Avilés, for contrasting architectural gems and delicious Asturian cider; and La Coruña, the jewel in Galicia’s crown.
From £1,149ppFares Explained | What's Included