In the northern central part of Spain lies the autonomous region of Cantabria. This verdant part of the country is surrounded by various historical regions such as the Basque community to the east and then surrounded by Castile and Leon to the south with Asturias on the west. Travelers going around for historical tours on these major areas of Spain can add a detour to the countryside of Cantabria, which is well known for its mountains and lush vegetation.
Many will find Cantabria fun due to its profusion of travel opportunities. Hiking is not the only recommended activity here, as there are also cultural tours available in the archeological sites of the area. Tourists going here will find the climate relatively pleasant due to a moderate oceanic climate. Although it can be a bit wet, the payoff for the trip is the thriving surroundings in the mountains, part of which UNESCO declared as World Heritage sites.
What to see & do
There are many sides to Cantabria that tourists will appreciate. One of the areas to see is Southern Cantabria, a nature paradise, which offers fine panoramic views of high peaks and deep river valleys welcome tourists. Those going here might forget about the inconvenience of the narrow country roads and bask in the beauty around them. After checking out the lush surroundings, one can head to Reinosa, the main town, for replenishment of resources. From here, one can visit nearby historic sites such as the Yacimiento Arqueologico de Camesa Rebolledo. A Roman villa is located here, which was buried beneath a Visigoth necropolis and a cemetery in the Middle Ages.
Those looking for beaches can head to Eastern Cantabria, where a 95-kilometer stretch of coast allows tourists to spend a lazy day by the water. Playa del Puntal, a beach near Santander, makes an ideal destination, as well as Playa de Somo, and a number of other places by the water. Natural landmarks also abound in the area such as Cueva de Covalanas, a listed World Heritage site, due to its several animal paintings dating back to around 18,000 BCE. Cueva de Cullalvera is also another fine attraction, having an impressive array of primitive yet beautifully rendered sketches of horses, bisons, and other animals.
Those who want to view more archeological pieces can check out Altamira, the center of prehistoric art in Spain. To preserve the legacy of the old cave which was closed off due to the high number of visitors trampling through, a replica cave in the Museo de Altamira was opened to let everyone see the paintings more than 10,000 years old or so.
Santander, the capital of Cantabria, makes another destination to explore for its modern amenities. Although not as traditionally beautiful as other Spanish cities, it has its own charms mainly featured by the beaches in the surrounding area. Those going here can also visit the Jardines and Paseo de Pereda. Named after famous writer Jose Maria de Pereda, this park features a stone fixture honoring his greatest work, Escenas Montañesas. From here, visitors can then head to the Museo de Arte Moderno y Contemporaneo to view some great collections of Spanish art.
How to get around
Travelers will find a fairly comprehensive transportation system in Cantabria. Bus and trains transfer passengers to various destinations around the area. Boats take care of those who want to go by the coasts, while cars are available for hire for travelers who want to reach remote parts of the region. Cycling is also popular here, enabling those who prefer to indulge in active pursuits.
How to get there
Those who want to visit Cantabria can schedule regular or seasonal flights to Santander Airport. Airlines serving here include Iberia, Ryanair, and Vueling which transport passengers between a number of major destinations around Spain, which includes Madrid, Barcelona, Alicante, Valencia, and Seville, among many others.