Venturing further afield: A long weekend in Santander
We love to travel not only locally, but throughout Spain, so I will also include information, from time to time, about where we have visited. Usually these places can either be driven to within a few hours of our home, east of Málaga, or we will have flown there from Málaga (AGP) airport.
It´s pretty easy to pick up some cheap flights from Mágaga to Santander, the elegant capital city of the province of Cantabria, which is located on the northern coast of Spain, between Asturias and the Basque Country, overlooking the Bay of Biscay.
The port city of Santander has many clean, golden beaches and is home to the magnificent coastal resort of El Sardinero, which became popular with the Spanish upper classes during the late 19th century. The wonderful beaches together with the promenade and the Magdalena Peninsula are some of the main attractions for tourists.
Santander fell victim to a great fire in 1941. Fanned by a strong southerly wind, the fire burned for two days, destroying the greater part of the medieval town centre and gutting the city’s Romanesque cathedral. The historic quarter includes a number of majestic buildings which are situated against an incredible natural backdrop of sea and mountains.
In the early part of the 20th century King Alfonso XIII chose this part of the Cantabrian coast as his summer retreat and many fine buildings sprung up to accommodate the needs of the aristocracy and court officials who followed the King and Queen.
Of course, one of the more pleasant things to do in Santander is to bustle along with the locals towards the many superb tapas bars in the old part of the city. It´s amazing what a good glass of Rioja Crianza and a mouthful of seafood can do for you!
We spent our evenings strolling along the streets seeking out the busiest tapas bars – with their customers spilling out onto the pavements outside - and diving straight in there, to try out our next round of scrummy pintxos.
Santander also provides a great base for touring many well-known cities and sights in northern Spain, which are located right on it´s doorstep. There´s the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, the Picos de Europa - wheresome of the highest mountains in Europe are to be found, as well as the gastronomic delights of the picturesque city of San Sebastian in the heart of Basque country – but you´ll have to wait for me to tell you about those another time!
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