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Santander

Culture & history

Our most recommended Santander Culture & History

Santander: Picos, Santo Toribio Monastery and Potes Day Tour

1. Santander: Picos, Santo Toribio Monastery and Potes Day Tour

Depart from Santander towards Fuente Dé at 8:30 AM. Arrive at 10:30 AM where you will be able to take the cable car to the upper station, if you wish, price not included. The ride lasts 4 minutes and will take you to a height of 1,823 m above sea level. Spend about an hour at the top to take in the breathtaking views and explore the station surroundings. If you do not wish to go up, you can walk around. Afterward, visit the Monastery of Santo Toribio, a holy place for Christians which houses the Lignum Crucis, the largest preserved piece of wood from the cross of Jesus. Finally, arrive in Potes, the capital of Liébana and considered one of the most beautiful towns in Spain, with its cobbled streets, bridges and medieval tower, Torre del Infantado. Take a short walking tour of the town and you will have free time to eat and shop if you wish in one of its many souvenir shops.

From Santander: Lakes of Covadonga Guided Day Trip

2. From Santander: Lakes of Covadonga Guided Day Trip

Asturias is the region that has it all. Find out why they say that paradise is in Asturias on a full-day trip that takes you past its blue lakes, green hillsides, and stunning coastline. Marvel at the mountains of Covadonga and learn the secrets that they hold. The tour starts from Santander and takes you past many Asturian and Cantabrian treasures. Learn about the history of this region as you drive into Covadonga Mountain National Park and up to Mirador de Entrelagos – the viewpoint between 2 lakes – where you'll take in Ercina and the Enol below. After visiting the Lakes of Covadonga, venture down to the Royal Site of Covadonga, home to the Virgen of Covadonga. Popularly known as La Santina, this site has a majestic Basilica built from stones from the surrounding mountains. The next stop is Cangas de Onís. Once the capital of the Kingdom of Asturias, this small town is home to a charming bridge with an incredible history. Learn all about this town from your guide and snap a picture of the famous victory cross. The last stop of the day is Santillana del Mar. Wander through one of the most charming towns of Cantabria and marvel at its unique cultural heritage. After the visit, return to Santander by bus.

Santander: Santander on Fire 1941 Historic Walking Tour

3. Santander: Santander on Fire 1941 Historic Walking Tour

There are many ways to get to know Santander, the capital of Cantabria. You can visit El Sardinero, the nobility of the Magdalena, eat a Regma ice cream, or visit one of the most beautiful bays in the world. Now, do you know what is really behind all this?  To understand Santander, you must understand its historic center and the history of the great fire of 1941, the catastrophe that razed much of the city. See how Santander has been rebuilt into the city known today on a tour which highlights the locations most significant to the fire. A story full of intrigue, decay, anonymous heroes, and fire and destruction wherever you look. It's promised that you'll never see the streets of Santander the same way again after a couple hours with your extremely knowledgable guide.

Cantabria: El Castillo Caves & Pasiego Valleys Day Trip

4. Cantabria: El Castillo Caves & Pasiego Valleys Day Trip

Discover the jewels of Cantabria with a visit to the fascinating caves of El Castillo and Las Monedas. Drive through the picturesque villages and rivers of the Pasiegos Valleys. Learn about the region's history at the ethnographic Museum of Vega de Pas. Explore the famous Caves of El Castillo and Las Monedas, both World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 2008 for their cave paintings. Visit an authentic cave with paintings from the Paleolithic era. Marvel at the legacy our ancestors left us thousands of years ago. Next, take a walk through the town of Puente Viesgo, enjoying views over the Pas river. Make the most of your time in the area by eating at a local restaurant. Then, sit back and enjoy a scenic drive around the Pasiego Valleys crossing valleys, rivers, and mountains until you reach the Mountain Pass of Estacas de Trueba. The landscape on the way is spectacular and will leave you enchanted. Conclude the drive at the waterfall that forms the source of the Yera River. Make your way to Vega de Pas, a small town nestled between mountains, known for being one of the authentic Pasiego villages. Visit the Ethnographic Museum of the Tres Villas Pasiegas. Understand how the Pasiegos used to live from your guide. On the back to Santander, make a stop to soak in the magnificent views over the Cantabrian Mountains offered by the Mirador de la Braguía.

Santander: Comillas and Capricho de Gaudí

5. Santander: Comillas and Capricho de Gaudí

Your tour will begin by departing from Santander towards Comillas at 9:30AM. The village of Comillas is a model of Catalonia modernism. With its scant 18.6 square kilometers of western Cantabria Comillas, it encompasses all of the elements necessary to satisfy any tourist and lover of modernist architecture. On your way towards Comillas you will stop to enjoy a 5-minute walk around the small Sequoya Forest of Cabezón de la Sal. Once in Comillas, you will enjoy a guided visit to the Chapel of the Sobrellano Palace, entry tickets included. Afterwards, you will discover the "Capricho de Gaudí" through a guided visit. This is a mansion built by the famous Catalan architect Antonio Gaudí, and is in fact one of the few constructions of Gaudí out of Catalonia. Before leaving, you will enjoy a scenic drive through the city to see the Palace of Sobrellano, the Old Cemetery with its magnificent sculpture in the “Ángel Exterminador”, and the beautiful beach and port of Comillas.

From Santander: Santillana del Mar & Altamira Museum Tour

6. From Santander: Santillana del Mar & Altamira Museum Tour

Depart from Santander at 9:30 AM and head to Santillana del Mar, a beautiful village of the Middle Ages. This village with is one of the best-known cultural and tourist centers of Cantabria. You will enjoy a walking tour along its cobbled streets until you reach its Plaza Mayor where you will see the Collegiate Church of Santa Juliana. There you will visit the museum of the local sculptor Jesús Otero. Afterward, you will have some free time to visit the Collegiate if you wish and do some shopping around. Afterward, you will head to the Altamira Museum. This museum houses a scale replica of the 'room of paintings', the so-called Neocave. This cave was declared World Heritage by Unesco in 1985. To protect its preservation, it currently allows only 5 people to visit it per week and this is the reason they created this replica from the cave. The cave is a natural cavity in the rock, with paintings dated from 35,600 years ago and it stands as one of the most important pictorial and artistic cycles of prehistoric paintings int he world.

From Santiago: 5-Day Private Tour of Northern Spain

7. From Santiago: 5-Day Private Tour of Northern Spain

Day 1: Santiago de Compostela Your local guide will pick you up at your hotel and take you on a 4-hour visit of Santiago de Compostela, including the cathedral. Enjoy free time for lunch before the driver will picks you up and leads you for a visit to the Costa da Morte on the Galician coast. Stay overnight at your hotel. Day 2: From Santiago to Oviedo Your driver will pick you up at your hotel in Santiago de Compostela and drive you towards Oviedo. On your way, discover the coastal regions of Galicia and Asturias, including the As Catedrais beach, Ribadeo, Mirador La Regalina observation deck, and the Lighthouse Cabo Vidio. Enjoy a lunch break in Cudillero. After lunch, drive to Oviedo where you will meet with your local guide and enjoy a guided visit to its old town. Sleep in Oviedo Day 3: From Oviedo to Santander Your driver will pick up you up at your hotel in Oviedo and drive you towards Santander. On the way, stop to visit the Holy Cave of Covadonga and basilica followed by a lunch break in Llanes. Take a scenic drive through San Vicente de la Barquera and stop in Comillas to enjoy a guided visit to the El Capricho de Gaudí. Sleep in Santander. Day 4: Santander and Santillana del Mar Your guide will pick you up at your hotel to show you the nice city of Santander and its bay on a 3-hour tour. Take a lunch break in Santander, after which you will go to one of the nicest villages in Spain, Santillana del Mar. Enjoy some time to walk around and visit the Neo-Cave of Altamira in the Altamira Museum. Day 5: Santander to Bilbao Your driver will pick you up at your hotel in Santander and drive you towards Bilbao. Meet with your local guide and enjoy a guided tour of the city and a 4-hour visit to the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao. Take a lunch break in Bilbao and have free time to visit the so-called "Hanging Bridge" linking Portugalete and Las Arenas. The final drop-off will be at your hotel in Bilbao where the tour will end.

From Santander: Flavours of Cantabria Gastronomic Tour

8. From Santander: Flavours of Cantabria Gastronomic Tour

Depart Santander for Santoña at 9:15 AM. This is a small fishing village famous for its anchovy manufacture industry. Visit the anchovy factory of "Conservas Emilia" and discover how their anchovies are prepared. Enjoy the charming streets this beautiful village and the surrounding bay. Next stop at the vineyard of "Bodegas Vidular". Enjoy a relaxing walk along their vineyard while you learn how they produce their white wine. After the tour, taste some of the produce while enjoying the scenic views. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant in the Pasiego Valleys. Continue towards the viewpoint known as "Mirador de la Braguia" for fantastic views over the valleys. Finally, stop at the largest sobaos factory in the area, "Sobaos Joselín". Visit their museum of “the sobao and the quesada", the local pastries of the region, followed by a guided tasting of their products. Begin the trip back to Santander, arriving at 6:45 PM.

From Santander: Pilgrimage Day to Santo Toribio

9. From Santander: Pilgrimage Day to Santo Toribio

At 9:00am leave Santander for Potes, the capital of Liébana region. To get there you will cross the impressive gorge of the Hermida, part of a set of narrow gorges along the river Deva. Once in Potes, you will have the opportunity to do a short walking pilgrimage to the Monastery of Santo Toribio, 3 km from the village. This walk is roughly 45 minutes. The Monastery of Santo Toribio is, along with Santiago, Rome and Jerusalem, one of the holiest Christian sites, as it is host to the longest piece of the cross on which Jesus Christ died. The Monastery is also well known for celebrating the Jubileum regularly (the next Jubilee Year will be in 2023). It was Holy Toribio of Astorga, custodian of the relics of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem, who transferred a piece of the Cross to Astorga, city of which he was Bishop. This relic was transferred then to Liebana by Christians who wanted to keep it safe from the Muslims who had started the invasion of the peninsula. This place was also a place of pilgrimage, with its own identity due to the curative and miraculous powers attributed to the remains of the Saint of Astorga and to the Relic itself. Once you arrive in Potes, you will have the opportunity to walk the last part of the Lebaniego Way, this is the 3 km route that separates Potes from the Monastery, and attend the Pilgrim's mass at 12:00pm. After the mass, visit the chapel of San Miguel from where you will enjoy beautiful views of Picos de Europa before going back to Potes for lunch. The menu includes a “Cocido Lebaniego”, a stew of chickpeas and meat. This is the perfect local dish to recharge your energy. However, should you prefer another menu, please advise upon booking this tour. In the afternoon you will visit San Sebastian de Garabandal, a small village in the mountains where there were appearances of Virgin Mary from 1961 to 1965. You will have the opportunity here to walk up to the "Sanctuary of Los Pinos", the main place where the Virgin appeared. After the tour, enjoy comfortable transport back to Santander.

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What people are saying about Santander

Overall rating

5.0 / 5

based on 2 reviews

This is a great day trip, helped by the fantastic weather (a bit too hot for me, but better than rain and low cloud in the mountains). Jairo was friendly and informative, particularly on nature and ecology. We had an all English-speaking group and there were 6 of us plus Jairo in a 7 seater vehicle. The cable car ride is an extra cost but absolutely worth it and the highlight of the day. Good value for money.

it was a fantastic full day out, very educational and fun. our guide Sonia was brilliant and the driver super professional. there is nothing bad I can say about this trip it really is worth every penny and more. thank you for this unforgettable day with my family. we truly fell in love with cantabria and asturias.

A very complete excursion for a very good price, tight schedules to be able to make all the visits The spectacular Gema guide, both for her professionalism and for her friendliness and kindness

Excursión excelente: se visita Covadonga, Cangas de Onís (recomiendo comer cachopo en "el Abuelo), y Santillana del Mar.

Recommended experience, the Gema guide very well and the driver Luis a 10. We had a great time.