It Rains In Spain

Guide to Santander

Oviedo      Gijon      Santander      The Picos de Europa


Introduction to Santander

Right, so you’ve heard of the bank, and you know that most ferries heading to the north of Spain dock at Santander. But there is a lot more to the capital city of Cantabria than first meets the eye, it’s an oddly engaging place, elegant and aloof, with a tragic history and a preetty waterfront. If you’re planning on getting the boat here, don’t just get in the car and motor off, give Santander some of your time.

Santander is a wealthy city. It smells of old money and links to the nobility and aristocracy of Madrid have long been forged in this part of Spain. Come in summer and you’ll find hoardes of wealthy Spanish visitors spending the hot months here buy the relative cool of the coast and taking advantage of the spectacular Sardinero beach. The principal waterfront is elegant and points back to a time of sea-faring wealth and prestige, whilst the old town, mainly destroyed in a ravaging 1941 fire still retains an air of clean prosperity.

Urban cool this is not. Stunning old town neither. But Santander retains an air of grandeur, and with it’s fine smattering of eateries and bars, combined with the stunning coastal views and sea air, deserves a visit.

Santander City Guide….Don’t Miss

  1. Visit the Catedral de la Asunción by strolling along the Paseo Pereda, taking in the ocean views on your way.
  2. Explore the Sardinero area of the city, playground of the wealthy in Summer, with it’s wide and immaculate beach.
  3. Visit the Museo Maritimo Cantábrico (link in Spanish only) – a fascinating insight into the Maritime history of Cantabria
  4. Treat yourself and your tastebuds to an elegant meal or simply stunning tapas at Restaurante Cañadio
  5. Take the boat across towards Somo on the other side of the bay, to wander along the Playa del Puntal beach

What to Drink and Eat in Santander

We know how tough it can be in a bar or restaurant when you’re visiting a foreign country. Here’s our guide of what local specialities to look for on the menu in Santander.

  1. Fish! Salmonetes (red mullet), Lubina (bass) and Sardinas (sardines) are all exquisite
  2. Cocido de cerdo, morcilla y alubias (Pork and Black pudding stew with beans)
  3. Pastries – Santander is well known for it’s wonderful delights for the sweet-toothed visitor.

Where to stay in Santander

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Reader’s Tips

This section is specifically designed for our readers to share their top tips with other would-be travellers. If you visited a particularly wonderful restaurant, or stayed in a fantastic hotel, or even ate a tremendous local dish, please let us know here! Any tip whatsoever will be greatly appreciated by our Spain loving community of travellers.

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