Santander is the capital of Spain’s northern Cantabria region. Nestled on the coast, it has a great setting surrounded by mountains and countryside, and while a popular holiday resort, it has a quite different feel from the towns and beaches of the south. The old city was devastated by a fire in 1941 but there is still plenty to discover here, from elegant oceanfront palaces and promenades to an impressive cathedral and picturesque squares and parks. There is also a very modern side to the city, characterised by the striking Renzo Piano-designed Centro Botin, an arts centre on the waterfront. With our great holiday packages and holiday deals to Santander, this intriguing city is yours to explore.
Things to know before visiting Santander
Santander is one hour ahead of the UK. If you’re catching a flight from London to Santander or a flight from Manchester to Santander then you’ll fly into Santander Airport. This is the only airport in Cantabria and is located just three miles south of the city. It’s a ten-minute taxi or car ride – car hire companies are located in the terminal – or you can catch an airport express bus service. Compare holidays today and book your flight and hotel to Santander.
What is the weather in Santander?
Santander has a pleasantly mild climate. The best time for a holiday to Santander is during summer (including September) when there are many sunny days, though it can also be cool and cloudy, especially in the morning. Average daytime temperatures are around 23 degrees Celsius and rarely exceed 30 degrees. Autumn and spring temperatures fluctuate between 15 and 20 degrees. Winters can be cool, with average daytime temperatures around 13 degrees but because of the coastal location, it never gets really cold. Rainfall is most frequent in autumn and winter. Book a flight to Santander with our great flight and hotel deals.
What to see in Santander?
Don’t miss our top ten sights on your holiday to Santander:
Palacio de la Magdalena – an early 20th century oceanfront palace.
Santander Cathedral – a mainly Gothic church complex.
Porticada Square – an elegant neoclassical square
Museo de Prehistoria y Arqueologia de Cantabria – a museum of prehistory and archaeology, with extensive exhibits from across the region.
Museo Maritimo del Cantabrico – a fascinating maritime museum and aquarium.
Centro Botin – a contemporary waterfront arts centre.
Faro – lighthouse and art gallery.
Jardines de Piquio – pretty gardens with spectacular sea views.
La Magdalena peninsula – open space and beaches for walking, cycling, swimming and picnicking.
El Sardinero – beach and entertainment area with great facilities, promenade and water sports.
To experience all this and more, take a look at our amazing holiday packages.
What to visit around Santander?
Santander is an excellent base from which to explore the Cantabrian coastline, where you’ll find lovely beaches, picturesque towns and villages, and beautiful natural parks. Here’s our pick of the best nearby attractions:
El Parque de la Naturaleza de Cabárceno – a beautifully landscaped natural park in an old mining area, with bears, rhinos, leopards, elephants and other animals.
Santillana del Mar – a charming medieval village with cobbled streets, Renaissance palaces and towers.
Cave of Altamira – a famous cave with prehistoric rock art, close to Santillana del Mar.
Comillas – a coastal town with historic architecture, including Gaudi’s El Capricho.
Castro-Urdiales – a beautiful medieval town with a pretty marina, historic houses, beaches and a lighthouse.
Laredo – gorgeous beaches and an elegant old town.
You can either travel independently or book tours to attractions around Santander. Browse our choice of package holidays and holiday deals to Santander today.
What to eat in Santander?
As you might expect from a major Spanish coastal city, Santander is renowned for its seafood. It’s a great place to try out freshly caught lobster, and all kinds of shellfish and sea fish. Popular dishes include baked sardines, pickled anchovies, mussels with olives, and Santander-style rice and fish, known as arroz Santanderino. You’ll also find hearty stews and soups more traditional to the surrounding countryside, such as cocido montanes. For dessert, of course, there is flan al caramel (cream caramel). Find a menu of holiday packages and holiday deals to Santander to inspire you.