Website URL:

Cantabria travel guide

About Cantabria

Along its 130 miles of gorgeous Atlantic coastline there is a panorama of beautiful beaches and picturesque coves many of which are blissfully free of development. Add rugged green headlands for invigorating walks, sweeping estuaries, pretty fishing ports to wander around and cafes to refuel in. This is a seaside experience that's difficult to better.

There are handsome seaside resorts, fine restaurants and a whole host of rewarding outdoor activities suitable for all ages. And because of its compact size and excellent roads, Cantabria is day-trip heaven; nothing is very far away and there is so much to see and do.

Inland, there are deep valleys with villages untouched by time; forested hills rise to green pastures and then higher to mighty limestone mountains; the landscape is laced with rivers that flow to the coast with the lowlands shaped by centuries of small scale agriculture.

Historical and cultural diversions

To compliment natural splendour, there are cultural gems a- plenty. Santillana del Mar, near the coast and Santander, is a perfectly preserved pedestrian-friendly medieval village.

Read more

A few minutes' drive away is something very much older: the Altamira Cave. It's here that some of the world's best examples of ancient rock paintings were discovered - the depictions of animals are 14,000 years old. A little further west at Comillas, you'll find some striking architecture including Gaudi's Caprichio nestling in the hills overlooking the resort.

Outdoor pursuits

With such a superb natural setting, it's no surprise that there are lots of ways to get active; top pursuits are hiking, mountainbiking, horse-riding, kayaking, white water rafting, surfing and sailing. Indeed Santander will host the 2014 Sailing World Championships. And as for golf... well, this is the home of the late great Seve Ballesteros and a string of emerald courses.

Why visit Cantabria?

  • Beautiful rugged coastline and beaches
  • Stunning caves including Altamira cave
  • Mountains and beaches for great day trips
  • Get outdoors at the Picos de Europa National Park

Getting to Cantabria

Brittany Ferries offers two convenient ferry services to Cantabria between Portsmouth to Santander and from Plymouth to Santander.

Cantabria user ratings

Please rate Cantabria below and help other travellers decide whether Cantabria is worth a visit!

  • Average rating

  • Cantabria travel guide 3.5 out of 5 based on412 ratings.
  • based on 412 ratings

Places in Cantabria

  • Santander
    7 out of 10, based on 241 ratings

    Santander, the capital of Cantabria, is an elegant city…

  • Potes
    6 out of 10, based on 274 ratings

    Potes in Cantabria is a pretty medieval town beside the stunning…

  • Noja
    5 out of 10, based on 253 ratings

    Noja, in Cantabria, is a fantastic example of the beauty of…

  • Santillana del Mar
    6 out of 10, based on 95 ratings

    Santillana del Mar in Cantabria is often considered one of the…

  • See all places in Cantabria

Attractions in Cantabria