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Cantabria Holidays - Santander Tourist Attractions
Cantabria is an autonomous community of northern Spain with a coastline that overlooks the Cantabria Sea. The region is bordered by the Basque Country to the east, Castilla Leon to the south, and Asturias to the west. Cantabria has much to offer visitors to the region with a mixture of mountainous massifs, rolling lush meadows and picturesque fishing ports. Santander is the region's capital and is the best place to start any venture around the province as most places can easily be reached within a 3-hour car drive
Santander, capital of Cantabria
Santander is a modern commercial city and one of Spain's main ports of arrival for ferry passengers from Britain. In 1941, Santander fell victim to a great fire, which burned for 2 days fanned by strong southerly winds. Only one person was killed while the city was plunged into chaos and much of the historic centre was destroyed. The oldest remaining building to be found in Santander today is the cathedral.
Cantabria Holiday Attractions
Much of the tourism that comes to the region head towards the summer holiday resorts to be found along the northern coastal strip. El Sardinero near Santander is one of the most popular beaches for visitors to the capital city. It can get busy along its 1.3km length during the summer months, but the wide promenade, which is one of the prettiest in Spain, runs the whole length of the beach and there is a good supply of hotels and eateries to choose from. At one end of the beach can be found Magdalena Park, which offers a beach playground, mini zoo and train circuit. The town of Comillas has a picturesque sandy beach with plenty of parking nearby and a fishing port at one end. The beach at Laredo is over 4km long and has fine golden sand overlooked by a long promenade. It also offers good conditions and lifeguard facilities for those interested in surfing.
Cantabria National Parks
Cantabria has many national parks for those interested in the flora and fauna Spain has to offer. The Parque Nacional de los Picos de Europa was the first Spanish national park to receive this classification in 1935. The Picos de Europa Mountains are spread over the three provinces Asturias, Leon and Catalonia and contain 3 massifs characterised by constant rainfall and often snowfall on the peaks. The Nature Reserve offers some fantastic extremes of landscape including vertical drops of over 2km, hillside forests of oak, beech, maple and walnut trees, meadows of green pasture land and the great Covadonga lakes.
This northern region of Spain is a great destination for discovering some of the natural delights of this diverse country. Beautiful beaches and dramatic sheer cliff faces dominate the coastline, while the Picos de Europa can be found just 25km from the coast. Cantabria has a good selection of Nature Reserves both within the mountainous areas and along its northern coastal stretch. With fantastic scenery and a wonderful diverse range of flora and fauna, these offer some excellent walking and hiking opportunities for visitors who want to experience the more rugged side of Spain.
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