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Book a hotel in Santander and explore Cantabria
For many visitors looking to explore the northern coast of Spain, booking a hotel in Santander is the ideal starting point on a journey of discovery. Beyond the bustling port city lies a region of soaring mountains, rolling pastures and some fantastic beaches. It's an area that has not suffered the tourist development of the south, remaining idyllic and welcoming.
Flights and ferries to Santander
Ryanair offers direct flights to Santander from the UK. Fares can usually be found for under £100 return even when you add on all the airline's sundry charges. Alternatively Brittany Ferries operate services from Portsmouth and Plymouth across the Bay of Biscay direct to Santander. The journey time is around 20 hours.
A hotel in Santander is a sensible starting point for a longer exploration of the region, or for a city break in a port that has bags of character. Head down to the fishing harbour area for excellent seafood meals in unassuming restaurants where the fish is always fresh and the costs are reasonable.
Along the coast, some of the most secluded beaches in Spain can be found in Cantabria, along with atmospheric small towns like Comillas and Santillana Del Mar. One of the most spectacular locations is San Vicente De La Barquera, a town that is almost surrounded by the sea, with the mountains looming as a scenic backdrop.
Inland, the Picos De Europa offer a great escape into cooler altitude. The range stretches from Cantabria across to neighbouring Asturias. There are opportunities to explore spectacular gorges, conquer daunting peaks or just arrange an easy walking itinerary taking you from village to village.
Getting around Cantabria
Travelling along the north coast is easy and relaxing, particularly if you avoid the busy highways. Using your hotel in Santander as a base, use the FEVE narrow-gauge railway to take you along the coast, with trains stopping at every small village in the region. In Cantabria there's no need to be in a rush.