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Located on the north coast of Spain, Santander is a vibrant city that beautifully amalgamates urban vigour with the serenity of the Cantabrian Sea. Known for its opulent Belle Époque architecture, stunning beaches, rich cuisine and warm hospitality, Santander is an alluring destination that seamlessly blends tradition and modernity. Its picturesque landscape, embellished with verdant mountains, sprawling green valleys, and a scintillating coastline, offers a treat for nature lovers. For those with a cultural predilection, the city hosts various museums, monuments, and world-renowned festival, Semana Grande.
Around Santander, various must-see places can be conveniently covered while driving. Picos de Europa, a formidable limestone range with peaks soaring over 2500 meters, is a two-hour drive from the city. The mountains are ideal for adventure enthusiasts, offering opportunities for trekking, climbing, and wildlife spotting. Another hour-long car tour will take you to the historic town of Santoña, where the unspoiled beaches are a haven for surfers, and the marshlands attract thousands of birds, creating a bird-watcher's paradise. Further west, a 45-minutes drive would lead to the dynamic city of Bilbao, known for its avant-garde architecture and the Guggenheim Museum.
For those with an inclination towards exploring historical sites, Santander has many jewels in its arsenal. The Royal palace of La Magdalena is an architectural marvel with exquisite early 20th-century design, located at the highest point of the peninsula, offering spectacular views of the Cantabrian Sea and the city. The Santander Cathedral, with its stately gothic bell tower and stunning interiors, imparts the city's rich historical profundity. Venturing just 10km from the city centre, the Altamira cave, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, contains some of the most critical prehistoric paintings globally.