A St. Valentine’s day trip that won’t break the bank.

Why not take that special person somewhere romantic for Valentine’s day? Santillana del Mar, near Santander in Cantabria, northern Spain, has been acclaimed Spain’s prettiest village, according to the Cantabrian tourist office’s website (http://www.turismodecantabria.com/).

Just inland from the coast, this quaint, attractive ‘pueblo’ has perfectly maintained its medieval buildings, centred around the region’s most important Romanesque church, the Colegiata de Santa Juliana. Santillana is one of Spain’s most visited locations.

The impressive Cuevas de Altamira are located nearby, containing some of the world’s most beautiful pre-historic cave drawings. Although it is not possible to visit the caves themselves for conservation reasons, Santillana del Mar houses an exact reproduction of the original caves so that visitors can enjoy their magic.

And, of course, you have the opportunity to savour the wonderful local gastronomy with a romantic meal for two in one of the village restaurants. Fish and seafood lovers will not be disappointed. Prices of a double room at the Posada Camino Altamira start from €50 per night with lunch or dinner for €12.50 (http://www.caminoaltamira.es/)

Ryanair flies to Santander from London Stansted and Dublin. A flight leaving from Stansted on Friday the 11th February and returning on Wednesday the 16th, costs just under £40 if you book before midnight on Thursday of this week.

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