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Featured Cantabria Hotels  /  Cantabria  Private Tours  /  Cantabria B&B's
Cantabria Self-Catering Accommodation

Cantabria Travel Guide

Cantabria Holidays - Santander Tourist Attractions   by Steve Greenwood

Cantabria is an autonomous community of northern Spain with a coastline that overlooks the Cantabria Sea. The region is bordered by the Basque Country to the east, Castilla Leon to the south, and Asturias to the west. Cantabria has much to offer visitors to the region with a mixture of mountainous massifs, rolling lush meadows and picturesque fishing ports. Santander is the region's capital and is the best place to start any venture around the province as most places can easily be reached within a 3-hour car drive.

Santander, capital of Cantabria Santander is a modern commercial city and one of Spain's main ports of arrival for ferry passengers from Britain. In 1941, Santander fell victim to a great fire, which burned for 2 days fanned by strong southerly winds. 

Picos De Europa, Cantabria, Spain, Europe
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Only one person was killed while the city was plunged into chaos and much of the historic centre was destroyed. The oldest remaining building to be found in Santander today is the cathedral.

Cantabria Holiday Attractions

Much of the tourism that comes to the region head towards the summer holiday resorts to be found along the northern coastal strip. El Sardinero near Santander is one of the most popular beaches for visitors to the capital city. It can get busy along its 1.3km length during the summer months, but the wide promenade, which is one of the prettiest in Spain, runs the whole length of the beach and there is a good supply of hotels and eateries to choose from. At one end of the beach can be found Magdalena Park, which offers a beach playground, mini zoo and train circuit. The town of Comillas has a picturesque sandy beach with plenty of parking nearby and a fishing port at one end. The beach at Laredo is over 4km long and has fine golden sand overlooked by a long promenade. It also offers good conditions and lifeguard facilities for those interested in surfing.

Cantabria National Parks

Cantabria has many national parks for those interested in the flora and fauna Spain has to offer. The Parque Nacional de los Picos de Europa was the first Spanish national park to receive this classification in 1935.
The Picos De Europa Near Potes, Cantabria, Spain
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The Picos de Europa Mountains are spread over the three provinces Asturias, Leon and Catalonia and contain 3 massifs characterised by constant rainfall and often snowfall on the peaks. The Nature Reserve offers some fantastic extremes of landscape including vertical drops of over 2km, hillside forests of oak, beech, maple and walnut trees, meadows of green pasture land and the great Covadonga lakes.

This northern region of Spain is a great destination for discovering some of the natural delights of this diverse country. Beautiful beaches and dramatic sheer cliff faces dominate the coastline, while the Picos de Europa can be found just 25km from the coast.

Cantabria has a good selection of Nature Reserves both within the mountainous areas and along its northern coastal stretch. With fantastic scenery and a wonderful diverse range of flora and fauna, these offer some excellent walking and hiking opportunities for visitors who want to experience the more rugged side of Spain.

Featured Cantabria Hotels  /  Cantabria  Private Tours  /  Cantabria B&B's
Cantabria Self-Catering Accommodation

About the Author: Steve Greenwood invites you to visit for Cantabria Property For Rent accommodation and holiday attractions in Pamplona and Navarre. Visit for accommodation and holiday information in all the regions of Spain including the Canary Islands and Balearic Islands.


Exterior Views Parador de Fuente Dé, Santander Province
This modern mountain refuge located on the foothills of the Picos de Europa and opening onto the fertile Liébana valley, shows nature in total freedom. It is surrounded by the dramatic slopes of the Picos de Europa, woods and hillsides, in a region which is split into modest hamlets. The building is located at the bottom of the cable car which goes up to the Áliva viewpoint, at a privileged meeting point for lovers of outdoor activities. The classical mountain style and the warm wood and leather furniture recreate the much-appreciated home warmth, to which are added the homemade dishes of traditional Cantabria cuisine.  With such dishes as Liébana stew, cockerel salad, sirloin steak with Tresviso cheese, venison with blueberries sauce, veal chop, and tea mousse. 
Parador de Limpias (Cantabria)
The new Parador in Limpias is located in the Palace of Eguilior estate, which was the summer headquarters of King Alfonso XIII's Council. The palace belonged to Don Manuel de Eguilior, the Count of Albox, and is attributed to the architect Emilio de la Torriente.  Rooms are large in size, decorated in a classical way, not forgetting any details of modern facilities.  Restaurant is well decorated in a classical style.  Dishes such as marmita de bonito (stew made with bonito tuna) cocido montanes (traditional white bean and pork sausage stew), other white and red bean stews, plus a variety of cheeses, and sweets such as the famous Corbatas de Unquera, sobaos pasiegos, or Pantortillas de Reinosa are just a few of the delights diners will enjoy. 
Hotel Torre de Ruesga, Valle de Ruesga
Hotel Torre de Ruesga is perfectly renovated 17th century palace which now hosts a charming hotel in a wonderful location,  surrounded by pretty gardens on the banks of the river Asón. The hotel's interior features 19th century frescos by the Catalan painter, León Criach. The palace has retained the original sitting room with open fireplace and also has a snooker room, sauna and a gym.  The cuisine is a blend of traditional Cantabrian and international dishes. This is a peaceful place un unwind and relax. The guestrooms are spacious and elegant, with modern fabrics, wood floors, satellite TV, radio, minibar and many little extras.


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Hotel Real, Santander
The Hotel Real is a beachfront hotel located in Santander, Spain, 300 metres from the Magdalena Palace.  Situated on a hill overlooking the bay of Santander, this hotel is built in a neo-French style and is surrounded by gardens.  Hotel Real features a lobby with television, bar and spa services at the Thalassotherapy centre.  The El Puntal restaurant, decorated in bright colours with a stained glass window feature, is open for meals daily and offers regional and continental dishes. Guests can relax with a drink in Bar Theros.  The Thalassotherapy centre is a luxury health spa located on three floors of the hotel.  Air-conditioned guestrooms at the Hotel Real feature sleek marble bathrooms and restored original 19th century neo-French features.
Hotel Santemar, Santander
Located 50 metres from the beaches of Sardinero, this high-rise hotel is set amongst lush plant-life beside the Bay of Santander.  Those wishing to explore the city will find that Santander features many historical buildings, such as neoclassical monuments and the Gothic cathedral, which is three kilometres from the hotel.  The Pre-historic and Archeological Museum is within two kilometres of the hotel and the Museo de Bellos Artes is a three-kilometre bus ride. The hotel's range of amenities includes a restaurant, cafeteria, parking, shopping centre, children's area, and discotheque.  All 350 guestrooms feature decor of floral drapes and soft colours, and all rooms come with cable television, minibars, safes, and fully-fitted marble bathrooms with complimentary toiletries.
Sercotel Palacio del Mar, Santander
The Hotel Palacio del Mar is located in Santander, Spain, 200 metres from the Municipal de Exposiciones exhibition centre and 250 metres from the El Sardinero beach.  Situated in a quiet residential area, Hotel Palacio del Mar is set in a modern, five-storey building featuring spacious areas with natural light. A piano bar and a pub offer live music in the evenings. Complimentary use of the Valdesport Centre is offered, including use of the indoor swimming pool, fitness centre, sauna, and Turkish bath.  A buffet breakfast is served each morning at the hotel and a coffee shop is open throughout the day. Restaurant Neptuno specialises in seafood dishes and opens for lunch and dinner. All 67 guestrooms are air-conditioned and soundproofed, and are decorated in a modern style. 
Vincci Puerto Chico, Santander
The Vincci Puerto Chico is a modern seven-storey hotel with a glass and brick façade set on the Santander bay, offering views across the adjacent marina, located 500 metres from the Festival Palace. After breakfast, guests can browse through the complimentary newspapers in the lobby and ask the concierge for sightseeing assistance. Guests can relax with a drink in the café or cocktail bar, or sunbathe on the terrace overlooking the bay. There is also a contemporary hotel restaurant, Mirador, which serves an à la carte selection of regional and international dishes. Other hotel amenities include a gift shop, nearby parking, and 24-hours room service. The 51 air conditioned guestrooms are decorated in soft blues and beiges with wooden floors, blue fabrics and contemporary furnishings.
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Hotel Casa del Marques, Santillana del Mar
The Hotel Casa Del Marques is housed in a renovated 16th century Gothic building with stone façade and iron-finished wood doors, set in medieval Santillana Del Mar and is the former residence of the first Marquis of Santillana. Guests can relax in the public areas of this 16th century Gothic building, which preserves some of the original features and is divided into the Ladies Hall, the Nobleman's Hall and the Reading Hall.  Guests can unwind with a drink in the furnished garden and patio area or relax with a good book in the hotel library. The 14 guestrooms feature traditional French rustic-style decor with exposed brick, wood beams, cherry-wood floors and painted wood furniture.
Dining Parador de Santillana, Santillana del Mar
This newly built manor house conserves the typical architecture of the area, blending in perfectly with the architectural surroundings of this beautiful locale. Comfortable rooms with a pleasant atmosphere help the guest to find peacefulness and rest.  The restaurant and bar, located in the Parador Santillana Gil Blas offer guests the opportunity to sample Cantabrian cuisine's most traditional dishes.  We strongly recommend you the 'cocido montañés': a dish of boiled white beans, vegetables, bacon and sausages... Also enjoy the grilled sirloin steak with Tresviso sauce, Cantabrian hakefish with green asparagus, 'sorropotún', and 'quesada' (kind of pudding). 
Parador de Santillana Gil Blas Santander Province
The Parador is installed in the beautiful Barreda-Bracho ancestral home, in the Santillana del Mar plaza, a town declared a National Monument, whose origins date back to the 8th century. The main entrance precedes diaphanous, friendly rooms, with wooden floors and traditional decoration for the furniture and the ornamental details.  The bedrooms are comfortable and in harmony with the Parador's overall atmosphere.  The dining room serves highland and Liébana stews, grilled baby beef sirloin, hake from the Cantabrian Sea over green asparagus, the famous 'sorropotún' (bonito and vegetable stew), and the typical dessert 'quesada pasiega' (cheese pastry). 

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