Cantabria- Exploring Spain’s little-visited North Coast

Cantabria is located on the Iberian Peninsula’s north coast. The place gives you a completely different vision of Spain. Though it is unknown to outsiders, it is a perfect place for spending vacations. You can enjoy prehistoric cave paintings,  beautiful beaches, and one of the most spectacular and overlooked mountain ranges, the Picos Europa.

Santander

At the center, there is Cantabria’s resurgent capital city, Santander.  It is the best starting point. Here, you can visit a cultural center named Centro Botin that was designed by Italian architect Renzo Piano. It has become the new focal point and the most popular place for the locals to hang out. The terraces and elevated catwalks offer a panoramic view of the bay and the city skyline.  You can go for a stroll or spin on the merry-go-round. Santander is an engaging place as there are a wide variety of activities to keep you busy for a day or two.

Stunning Coastal Scenery, Coves, and cliffs

The region has a stunning and undulating coastline that offers the best vision of Spanish beach life. It is better for nature lovers to visit the stunning beaches of Cantabria. The beaches are accessible on foot. You can surf, hike and enjoy thrilling activities on the beaches.

There is a stunning coastal walk down to Playa de sonabia that is tucked into a wave-sculpted cove at the foot of a formidable bluff. You can climb beyond the beach to enjoy the scenery through the Ojas de Diablo that is a pair of natural rock arches high above the shorelines. Near the Austrian border, there is another series of beaches where you can enjoy sunbathing and boardwalk through endless sweeps of powdery sand.

Gardens and Churches

There are a number of other attractions in Cantabria that will make you spend your entire vacations here. Two famous places to visit are Santillana del Mar and Romanesque monastery. Santillana de Mar is a pretty village. You can see fine and robust brick houses that are covered with beautiful terracotta tiled roofs and decorated with wooden balconies and iron lanterns. The most impressive church is the Collegiate Church of Saint Juliana.

Camino Lebaniego (Mountain Hiking)

The Camino Lebaniego is a pilgrimage through the Cantabria Mountains. You can hike through the mountains and can enjoy the beautiful landscapes of the region.  The hiking trail is a mix of rocky, cloud-kissed peaks, and greener slopes covered in forests and meadows.  The whole of the mountain range is dotted with beautiful red brick towns. You can also stop at a local bar to take rest and recuperate by a mountain stream.

Monasterio de Santo Toribio

It is an attractive monastery in the beautiful mountains. It is worth visiting. It is home to the largest surviving piece of the True Cross known to man. Thus, it is an important place for pilgrimage.

Altamira Museum

The Altamira Museum showcases the lives of subterranean dwelling ancestors and also tell the story of Sautuola. The paintings were reproduced using the same old techniques that can be viewed in the museum. It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Cantabria.