Stroll down sweeping sandy beaches and waterfront promenades in this magnificent seaside city that has lured vacationers since the 19th century.
Santander is Cantabria’s major hub and an exciting seaside city in northern Spain. The city has broad appeal for its wide beaches, boutique shopping and vivid dining scene. Check the surf or explore the busy city harbors. The city’s historic district is a charming neighborhood with belle époque grandeur and elegant civic landmarks.
Wide beaches and a series of harbors border Santander’s northeastern area, alongside the mouth of the gorgeous Bahía de Santander. This bay area is where you’ll find the popular seaside resorts for which the city is now known. Visit the handsome beachside neighborhood of El Sardinero to see some of the city’s most exquisite heritage architecture. The waterfront has a wide promenade with a collection of beautiful buildings, including hotels, restaurants, cafés and the impressive Gran Casino del Sardinero. Stroll along the broad promenade or check out 0.8 miles (1.3 kilometers) of golden sands on Sardinero’s popular beach. Swim in the gentle waves or relax on the sand. Other popular beaches in the Santander municipality include Los Peligros and San Marcos.
The southern part of Santander is where you’ll find the city’s preserved historic district, where a selection of buildings survived the fire that raged through the city in 1941. Among the downtown treasures are the Cathedral of Santander and the Palacio de la Magdalena. Walk out toward the bay’s headlands to see the Cabo Mayor Lighthouse and explore the grassy coastal park. Walk along the Paseo de Pereda to find cafés with bayside views. Try delicious local seafood dishes that include the region’s specialties: clams, squid, sardines and seabream.
Learn about the region’s history at the Cantabrian Regional Museum of Prehistory and Archaeology or check out the Cantabrian Maritime Museum.
Santander is the capital of the Cantabria region. Reach the city via its airport or make use of the network of trains, buses and ferries that connect the city to other major Spanish hubs. Choose from Santander’s wide range of accommodations, from luxury resorts to charming seaside villas in the wider municipality. The city is a popular vacation spot for Spaniards, so visit outside of peak periods to avoid the crowds.