Between the mountains and the sea lies Santander, a coastal city in northern Spain; a popular holiday destination for its mild weather and pretty beaches, it also has a historic quarter filled with important buildings. Stroll along the Gran Casino, Plaza de Italia, and Piquío Gardens; don't forget to visit the beaches of Biquinis, los Peligros, and la Magdalena!
Some of the most beautiful nature reserves are in Santander, like the Cabárceno Nature Park, the Natural Parks of Oyambre, and the Picos de Europa National Park, which is home to diverse wildlife. Santander is also part of the Pilgrim's Route to Santiago de Compostela, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and home to the cathedral where Saint James the Great (one of Jesus' apostles) is supposedly buried; you'll see lovely towns like Castro Urdiales, Santoña, and Santillana del Mar on the way. Another World Heritage Site is the Altamira Caves, which contain wall paintings dating back to 2 million years!
After all that exploring, grab a bite from any of the local eateries; specialties include the hearty cocido montañés (beans, meat, and cabbage stew), rabas (fried squid), and various seafood. El Puerto in the Barrio Pesquero fishing quarter is hailed for its lobster cocktail (salpicon de bogavante) and steamed barnacles (percebes); Bodega Cigaleña is known for its breaded whitebait (a small fish eaten whole), as well as its tapas and wine. Have a quesada (cheesecake) or sobaos pasiegos (spongecake) at any of the cafés to top your Santander holidays off!