Any trip to Northern Spain should include the visit of Cantabria, the land of wild and jagged coast, lined with picturesque fishing ports and numerous beaches, coves, and bays. Here you will find authentic jewels such as the Altamira Caves, Palacio de Magdalena in Santander, the Santo Toribio de Liébana Monastery or Gaudí’s Capricho in the village of Comillas. Cantabria is also noted worldwide for its food, boasting six Michelin star restaurants. Join one of our Cantabria tours to share the locals’ passion for food, and marvel at how Cantabria is still Spain’s best-kept secret.

What to see in Cantabria?


We start with Santander, an attractive city on the northern Spanish coast, which has one of the most spectacular bays in the world and a beautiful old town. The zone is pedestrianized, with narrow winding streets and ancient churches.
Promenading in style, the port’s Gran Casino del Sardinero building is known for its lively flamenco performances. Take a walk, surrounded by nature in a blink of an eye from the city centre and visit the Palacio de la Magdalena, which was the summer residence of Alfonso XIII and his family.

Santillana del Mar and Altamira Cave

With its natural enclave, this municipality is one of the most beautiful and culturally rich in Cantabria. Strolling its cobbled medieval streets, you can find multiple artisan workshops. However, the village’s main attraction is the Altamira Cave. Prehistoric art in Altamira (UNESCO) has for years stirred up visitors’ imagination, looking at the bison, horses, and mysterious signs carved and painted into the limestone 22,000 years ago. The cave is one of the 49 places declared a World Heritage Site in Spain. As the cave is closed to the public, you can visit a replica of the original in the Altamira Museum. A fascinating and 100% recommendable visit.

Source of the Ason River

A towering waterfall, a leafy valley and plenty of viewpoints to enjoy it, what more could you ask? The source of the Asón River flows through a 70 meters high waterfall. It is a spectacle highly recommendable during the winter and spring when the river has its maximum flow, and the surroundings show us its best face. But this area has much more to offer, for example, the birth and rapids of the Gándara River, viewpoint Mirador de Aja, or caves Cullalvera and Coventosa. Join one of our Cantabria tours to discover them all!

Lighthouse Farro del Caballo

Very close to Santoña, we find this lighthouse where the crystal clear waters and high cliffs merge to create an incomparable landscape. The lighthouse was built in 1863 on Mount Buciero in Santoña. Mount Buciero is a 600-hectare peninsula that preserves the best Cantabrian oak forest in all of Spain. Although the trail with 763 steps to reach to lighthouse it’s not simple, the views will reward your effort. 

When to visit Cantabria?

If you travel to Cantabria in winter, you will be able to see the Three Kings’ festivity in Santillana de Mar. Or you see the carnivals, especially well-known in Santoña. If you are travelling in the spring, you will witness the ceremonies of Holy Week and the cattle festivals. In summer, the festival of San Juan, patron saint festivities and Dia de Cantabria is celebrated. In autumn, there are multiple local festivals, but we recommend taking Cantabria tour in the summer, when there are more probabilities for sunny and warm days.

What to do in Cantabria?

Travelling through this region, one of Spain’s least-visited will genuinely reward you with natural parks and coastal views, historic villages, and charming, distinctive cities.

Enjoy nature in the Sequoia forest

What is a sequoia forest doing in the Cantabrian territory? The explanation is simple. Franco’s government decided to plant more than 800 specimens in 1940 to make the wood profitable. However, when they reached the perfect size, they were no longer of interest. The result? The trees continued to grow higher and higher, and the forest was declared a Natural Monument in 2003.

Tour the wild beaches of the Costa Quebrada

Magnificent scenery make the Costa Quebrada (broken coast) in Cantabria one of the most visited stretches of Spanish coast. Today it is a geological park that includes coves, golden sand beaches, cliffs, arches, islets, dunes, coastal arrows, estuaries and, of course, the famous urros (rock islets). Don’t miss it!

Discover Gaudí's architecture

If you think that only Catalonia enjoys the magnificent modernist works of the well-known architect, Antonio Gaudí, you are wrong! In Comillas Gaudí left his mark in a fanciful and colorful palace called El Capricho de Gaudí. A preciousness. While visiting Comillas don’t miss out on the nearby Playa de Oyambre. With its picturesque dunes, surrounded by a beautiful landscape, It is one of the best-preserved beaches in the region.

Gastronomy of Cantabria

One of the strengths of Cantabria, apart from the beauty of its landscapes, is its gastronomy. Although it is a small region, the gastronomy of Cantabria stands out for the variety, quality and richness of its dishes. Let’s name just a few of them:

Anchovies from Santoña

The anchovies from Santoña became famous outside of Spanish borders as a real delicacy. They are made by hand. After a long and meticulous process, they are preserved in olive oil, ready to be served. 

Fish and shellfish from the Cantabrian Sea

Apart from Atlantic bonito, other fresh fish that you can taste in Cantabria are sea bass, sea bream and turbot. The hake in green sauce is a typical dish of Basque cuisine but also very common in Cantabria. Also, don’t miss out on the variety of seafood such as lobster, spider crab, clams marinara style, mussels… There is a variety for all palates!

Cantabrian cheeses

Speaking of cheeses, you cannot leave without trying some of the most typical cheeses from Cantabrian cuisine. Cantabria has three types of cheese with protected designation of origin. The cream cheese or Cantabria cheese; the cheeses of the Liébana Valley and Bejes-Tresviso cheese.

Drinks of Cantabria 

Orujo is a typical alcoholic drink of Cantabria to lower the food. It is a brandy made from the Lebaniega grape and is usually taken after dessert. There are several types of different flavours: herbs, honey, cream… Orujo lovers should not miss a visit to the Orujo Festival in the village of Potes, the second weekend of November.

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