Cantabria & Northern Spain holidays

Forested hillsides and cobbled fishing villages

Set against a landscape of mountains and forests, the coastline of Cantabria is sprinkled with fishing villages and coves. This part of Spain is lush and unspoiled, earning it the title Espeña Verde, or ‘Green Spain’. Stretching for three kilometres, Playa de Berria is one of Cantabria’s most prized beaches. Wild, windswept and often deserted, it’s hard to believe you’re in a Spanish seaside resort.

For culture and history buffs, Cantabria’s UNESCO World Heritage cave and rock art rank among the finest in the world, while its churches and palaces range from the Romanesque to modernist El Caprichgo. Busy Santander is the region's capital, vying for your attention with the rolling hills and soaring mountains of Picos de Europa National Park in the west.

Most people come to Cantabria for the unspoilt coastline and wide-open spaces, but the region has some beautiful cities and fabulous UNESCO World Heritage sites too.

With its rich culture and royal connections, Santander is the summer city of choice for the Spanish royal family. The grounds of their grand Palace de la Magdalena are open to the public, as is the beautifully restored 12th century Santander Abbey. The seafront Maritime Museum of the Cantabrian Sea illustrates the region’s long history with the sea.

Experience the wild side of Cantabria with a visit to spectacular Picos de Europa National Park. The park was given UNESCO Biosphere Reserve status in 2003 and supports a huge variety of plant and animal life including two of Spain’s most special and prized species – the brown bear and the Iberian wolf.

Most visitors fly to Bilbao, which takes just under an hour from the UK.

Yes, you can take the overnight ferry from Plymouth to Santander, departing the UK in the afternoon and arriving in Santander around lunchtime the next day.

Regional food in Cantabria includes speciality cream cheese, delicious Sobao pastry and abundant fish and seafood which is often caught, cooked and eaten the same day.

Cantabria is a region of Spain that’s situated on the north coast overlooking the Bay of Biscay.

Cantabria is known for its relatively mild climate and lush green vegetation. Cantabria also features sections of the Picos de Europa mountain range and prehistoric artwork found in the UNESCO-listed Altamira cave.

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