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Things to do in

Cantabria

Our most recommended things to do in Cantabria

Santander: 1-Hour City Cruise Around the Bay

1. Santander: 1-Hour City Cruise Around the Bay

Make your visit to the city an unforgettable experience by embarking on this 1-hour cultural highlights tour of Santander Bay, considered to be one of the most beautiful bays in the world. Beginning and ending at the pier in Santander, you'll pass along the coast, towards the interior of the bay, through Puertochico. Observe, among other points of interest, Magdanela Palace, the Sardinero, Loredo, Somo, and El Puntal Beaches, until you reach the Botín Center, an internationally renowned art center and meeting place in Santander. Listen to your live guide, who will provide information about the history and the local culture, in English and/or Spanish. Move between the sheltered part of the boat to the uncovered section where you'll have amazing panoramic views of the bay from the top of the boat.

Comillas: Gaudí’s El Capricho Entrance Ticket & Tour Option

2. Comillas: Gaudí’s El Capricho Entrance Ticket & Tour Option

Visit one of only three buildings designed by Gaudí outside of Barcelona, the stunning El Capricho. Choose a ticket-only option to explore on your own, or select a guided tour to dive deeper into Gaudí’s life and work. Discover this colorful mansion surrounded by sunflowers, where every detail has meaning. Enjoy access to all the exterior and interior spaces, as well as audiovisual materials and exhibitions to explain this great work of art. With the guided tour option you’ll learn more about the secrets and history of El Capricho. The tour starts outside and takes you through the mansion’s main floor. Afterwards, you’re free to explore the rest of the site on your own.

From Santander: Cabarceno Natural Park Half-Day Trip

3. From Santander: Cabarceno Natural Park Half-Day Trip

Visit Cabarceno Natural Park with a guide to understand and see what makes this park so unique. Once an open-cast iron mining operation, the park was reclaimed and turned into a conservation and also provides environmental education. The park is home to almost 150 species of animals from the five continents that live in a semi-freedom and are distributed in large enclosures. Explore the park by minivan and also have the opportunity to see it from the air as you take a short trip on a cable car. During your visit, see a large variety of animals including, but not limited to gorillas, tigers, bears, and elephants. Depending on the season and weather conditions have the chance to see flight demonstrations of raptors, as well as a demonstration of sea lions.

Santander: Picos, Santo Toribio Monastery and Potes Day Tour

4. 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

5. 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

6. 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

7. 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.

Cantabria: Wine and Liquor Tasting Guided Tour with Snacks

8. Cantabria: Wine and Liquor Tasting Guided Tour with Snacks

We are an artisanal distillery. We distill in "Alquitara" a very ancient way that permit us get the best hard liquor "Aguardiente de Orujo" a wonderful Gyn with international prizes, Classic Gyn and tropical (pink), and in one year and a half, we will have the first Whisky distill in Alquitara of the world!!! Nowadays, our clients can taste a fantastic " Hard liquor of malt". During our tour, we explain the elaborate of our products in each room: Distillery, Wines deposit, barrels room ...for finishing with a especial taste of all of our products and others "delicatessens" like: cheeses, chorizo, gourmet marmalades... all delicious. Get ready for an amazing Experience!!!

From Oviedo: Ribadesella, Llanes, and Santillana del Mar

9. From Oviedo: Ribadesella, Llanes, and Santillana del Mar

The guided tour of Ribadesella will take us to many of its most typical and emblematic buildings. We will visit its historic center and also the Portiellu neighborhood, to better understand the history and tradition of this Asturian town. One of the most characteristic and beautiful things are its picturesque streets, where, scattered around, some of the houses and palaces appear that have gradually become a must-see. Thus, the Palace of Pietro Cutre stands out, a jewel of the Asturian Renaissance, the Casa Ardines, or the Palacio de la Atalaya, in the square of the same name. One of the things that we have to see in Ribadesella, yes or yes, is its Hermitage of the Guide, where the patron saint of sailors rests. In addition, from this place, you get some of the best views of Ribadesella and also of the Bay of Biscay. Our itinerary continues towards Llanes, about half an hour away. This is one of the most chosen summer destinations in Asturias, both for its leisure offer and for the beautiful places that can be visited here. Again following our guide we will learn more about the most important places, its Casino, its tower, from the 13th century, the Palace of the Dukes of Estrada or the Gates of Llanes. There will also be time for well-known spaces such as the “Parres Sobrino” square, which rose to fame with the movie “El Orfanato”, which was shot in Llanes. Here we can enjoy free time to continue exploring a bit on our own, or to return to the places that we liked the most. The last stop will be Santillana del Mar, one of the places that you cannot miss if you are in Cantabria. We will be able to walk quietly through its alleys to see, for example, the Town Hall, the Palace or houses as imposing as the House of the Marquis of Santillana or that of the Archduchess Margarita of Austria. During all the visits we will be assisted by the advice and recommendations of the guide, who will show us where to eat, what dishes are the most typical or what are the purchases that cannot be missed. It runs along the coast of Eastern Asturias, yes, places are usually sold out, so reserve your places now!

Santander: Surf Lessons on Playa de Somo

10. Santander: Surf Lessons on Playa de Somo

Learn to surf with experienced instructors from one of Europe's most prestigious surfing schools. Ride the waves off on the shores of Playa de Somo, located just outside the city of Santander. Choose from 3 lesson options: Beginner: Learn to surf in a way that is quick, safe, and fun with experienced and qualified teachers. Within a small group, learn the basics of surfing in a relaxed way. Intermediate: Improve your surfing skills with intermediate lessons. Correct your failures, hone your technique, and develop your own surfing style. Advanced: Expand your range of maneuvers, and improve your style with advanced tutoring. Get prepared for competitive surfing and master the advanced elements of the sport.

Other Sightseeing Options in Cantabria

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What people are saying about Cantabria

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 226 reviews

We had a great experience on our trip to Covadonga. The tour guide Susana was fantastic, very knowledgeable and friendly, and the bus driver very professional. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is looking to spend a great day outdoors.

Great experience, with a good organization in the minibus pick-up, a great and pleasant guide, and with more time than expected, since they distribute each member of the excursion where it best suits them.

It was a great way to visit Santander's coastline while learning about some of its landmarks. The tour was great, although finding a parking space there was a nightmare.

We loved the walk through the bay of Santander, the day was clear and it was very beautiful.

Our guide was excellent. Very knowledgable and efficient.