Spain is a popular holidays direction. Sunny weather, monuments and wonderful beaches attract a lot of tourist every year. But why wait for a vacation when you can go there in winter break? It was December, when I received flight tickets confirmation to Santader. Then I realized what actually I had done.In fact, return ticket cost less than 20 €, but the idea of a trip in mid-February was completely devoid of common sense.
Beautifully located Santander – the capital of Cantabria is characterised by a mild and humid climate and there’re more rainy days compared to the south of Spain. For this reason, it is not a popular tourist destination. On the other hand, rather than beaches, Santander is famous for worldwide bank.
As it turned out, the apparent flaws of this place proved to be its advantage. Thanks to the good precipitation, Santander is an incredibly green city. What’s more, a small number of tourists makes it possible to relax and look closer to local life.
The Santander centre is very modern and doesn’t resemble typical Spanish cities. A large part of the historic old town burned down during the 2-day fire in 1941. Authorities have implemented a system of intelligent city management. Traffic, lighting or hydration of vegetation are automatically controlled by numerous sensors. The modern appearance of the city impressed me, but the real surprise was the escalator leading to the vantage point. I must admit, I haven’t seen anything like this even in the United States, although Americans generally use solutions to make life easier.
At the top, there’s a view point – Mirador de la Pila, from which you can admire the beautiful panorama of the bay with mountains in the background.
At first glance, in view of its modernity, Santander doesn’t seem to have specific Spanish character. Modern art galery – Centro Botin is the first building seen on the way from the airport. Its construction was finished in 2017 and it was financed by a foundation belonging to the Botin family – the owners of the Santander Bank. The shape and unique architecture building definitely dominate the appearance of the promenade.
Botin Centre is adjacent to the Jardines & Paseo de Pered, gardens which are a favourite resting place for the Santander residents. Next to it you can see the Monumento a Los Raqueros presenting diving boys.
The main attractions are further from the centre. The promenade leads to a beautiful palace located on Penisula de La Magdalena. On the way there, you can visit a small zoo where you can see seals and penguins.
The Royal Residence is located on a high cliff with an amazing view of the area.
The tour is best to continue to Faro Cabo Mayor. The walking route to the lighthouse is almost 5 km away, but it leads along the most beautiful beaches in Santander. The most popular one is definitely Playa de el Sardinero, which actually consists of two beaches, separated by the rock.
In this part of the city there is also the most luxurious district with beautiful villas and hotels and elegant boutiques as well.
The best route from Playa de el Sardinero to Faro Cabo Mayor runs along the coast. From the high cliff, you can admire a beautiful view of the rugged coast.
The road to the lighthouse leads across the most beautiful beach – Playa de Mataleñas, which is hidden between the two cliffs.
The tour ends at the lighthouse Faro Cabo Mayor, built in 1833.
Cantabria is also famous for excellent food, and the most popular snack here are pinchos. The word “pincho” is used to identify small sandwiches with a variety of local ingredients. In Cantabria you have a wide chice of typical Spanish dishes like: – fried calmares, croquetas, patatas bravas or ensalada rusa. Coffee tastes the best in classic Café de Pombo, located at Plaza Pombo.
The best place to spend the evening with a glass of wine is Mercado del Este.
Transportation from the airport:
From the Seve Ballestros Airport take a bus to the Bus Station in Santander. It runs every half-hour and the ride takes 10 minutes.