Home to golden beaches bathed by temperamental azure waters and luscious emerald hills, Cantabria is northern Spain’s best kept secret. The region is easily accessible by plane or ferry from Portsmouth and its unspoilt beauty makes it a wonderful holiday destination. This is a land almost untouched by developers that hosts a myriad of fishing towns and medieval stone villages perfect to explore as a family.
Its capital, Santander, is a stylish coastal town surrounded by inviting beaches and activities that will delight those who crave for a bit of urban decadence. The many towns in the area boast some stunning medieval architecture, such as Santillana del Mar with its ochre stone buildings and narrow cobbled streets that will transport you back to the Middle Ages.
Not just a pretty littoral region, Cantabria has some of the most impressive hiking trails to be found in the north of Spain as well as some delectable local cuisine. Its many food markets full of fresh produce will make a self-catered apartment really worth your while.
Holiday in Cantabria
Whether you prefer relaxing beaches, bustling nightlife or luscious green forests, Cantabria has something for everyone.
The region is home to Altamira caves, UNESCO site that host a treasure trove of prehistoric caves and Palaeolithic paintings. Picos de Europa national park will delight nature lovers, with stunning gorges, daunting precipices and alpine lakes that can only be explored by the most intrepid hikers. Those who prefer a quieter stroll along the countryside can head towards the Ucieda forest where more accessible but equally beautiful walking trails are open throughout the year.
Santander and its surrounding areas is an incomparable destination if you prefer to discover some gorgeous beaches whilst enjoying a bit of urban flavour. A very child-friendly city, the little ones will find plenty to do. Santander’s Magdalena beach with its mild current and turquoise waters is perfect to visit with children. There is a large playing area in the adjacent Magdalena peninsula, home to a magnificent palace, an animal enclosure and vast open spaces that are ideal to settle down with a picnic under the gentle shade of imposing oak trees before heading back to the beach.
Despite its tranquil setting, Santander is no bore. Head to Plaza de Cañadio where you can find a terrace table during the day to sample some excellent tortilla de patata. In the evening however, the square becomes jam-packed with young people ready to hit the town and its many wine bars. If you prefer more decadent entertainment, why not try your luck at the elegant beachfront casino?
Cantabria hosts many cultural festivals and lively fiestas all year round. If you visit during the summer you can party all day during the Semana Grande festivities.
Renting holiday accommodation in Cantabria
A holiday rental in Cantabria will give you the freedom to plan your stay the way you want it and to meet some of the amiable local people. With a choice of modern apartments and self-catered rural homes, renting holiday accommodation will give you the perfect excuse to get to know the locals and find the best places to explore, as only they can give that insider knowledge that can make a wonderful holiday truly special.
After a soothing day at the beach or exploring steep canyons and quaint villages you deserve the luxury of enjoying your own space with a refreshing glass of wine and a friendly chat with your neighbour who will tell you where to find the juiciest tapas in the area.