Things to do in
Santander

Our most recommended things to do in Santander

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.

Santander: Picos, Santo Toribio Monastery and Potes Day Tour

2. Santander: Picos, Santo Toribio Monastery and Potes Day Tour

Depart from Santander and head toward Liébana. You will love this region of Cantabria where the landscape is dominated by mountains, forests, and rivers. On the way, prepare to be impressed when crossing the Hermida Gorge, one of the longest gorges in Spain. The first stop will be to visit the Monastery of Santo Toribio de Liébana, a holy place for Christianity that houses the Lignum Crucis, the largest preserved piece of wood from the cross of Jesus. After this very special stop, continue the trip towards Fuente Dé, where there is the cable car station to go up to Picos de Europa. Enjoy at least 1 hour and 30 minutes of free time there to enjoy the place, take the cable car, or embark on a horseback riding experience around the area (optional). If you take the cable car, the trip will only last 4 minutes and will take you to a height of 1,823 m above sea level. The views from there are just breathtaking. 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 enjoy free time for lunch and for shopping in one of its many souvenir shops.

Obregón: Parque de la Naturaleza de Cabárceno Entry Ticket

3. Obregón: Parque de la Naturaleza de Cabárceno Entry Ticket

Discover why the Cabárceno Nature Park near Santander is the perfect family day out with this admission ticket. Discover the beauty of nature and it's creatures, with environments that recreate the natural habitats of the animals inside. Inside the park you will be able to see more than 100 species of animals in semi-freedom. Animals roam freely and their natural instincts are uninhibited. If you want to feel like you're in the wild, come and see Cabárceno Nature Park. Travel through the various enclosures, past beautiful gorges, tranquil lakes, and striking rock formations on more than 20 kilometres of roads that criss-cross the park. The Parque de la Naturaleza de Cabárceno has been created for educational, cultural, scientific, and recreational purposes; you might even learn a thing or two along the way. Make use of the numerous parking areas and trails all over the park that will allow you to appreciate the beauty of nature. Discover the mysteries of flora, fauna, and minerals through a range of activities for all ages.

Santander: City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

4. Santander: City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Rolling hills, towering cliffs, diverse beaches...Santander has now evolved into one of Spain's most popular resorts for wealthy or noble Madrilenos (people from Madrid). Damaged by a fire in 1941, parts of the city have been re-built retaining the original architectural style. The reconstructed area houses Santander's most popular Gothic Cathedral. To make a visit more complete, guests should walk from the immense Palace grounds and then take a route along the Pla de Camel and the Playa Primera de El Sardinero to end at the Jardines de Piquio. Upgrade your experience to include a guided tour of the Magdalena Palace, the former home of the Spanish Royal Family. The upgraded option also includes a round-trip train ticket to the palace. Your itinerary stops: Stop 1 - Paseo Pereda / Centro Botin Stop 2 - Puerto Chico Stop 3 - Museo Maritimo / Playas Bahia Stop 4 - Palacio de Festivales / Planetario Stop 5 - Palacio de la Magdalena Stop 6 - Playa del Sardinero / Casino Stop 7 - Parque de Mataleñas/ Faro de Cabo Mayor Stop 8 - Parque de las Llamas Stop 9 - Estación Marítima Stop 10 - Cathedral

From Santander: Santillana del Mar & Altamira Museum Tour

5. From Santander: Santillana del Mar & Altamira Museum Tour

Depart from Santander at 9:30 AM and head to Santillana del Mar, a beautiful village of the Middle Ages. This village with is one of the best-known cultural and tourist centers of Cantabria. You will enjoy a walking tour along its cobbled streets until you reach its Plaza Mayor where you will see the Collegiate Church of Santa Juliana. There you will visit the museum of the local sculptor Jesús Otero. Afterward, you will have some free time to visit the Collegiate if you wish and do some shopping around. Afterward, you will head to the Altamira Museum. This museum houses a scale replica of the 'room of paintings', the so-called Neocave. This cave was declared World Heritage by Unesco in 1985. To protect its preservation, it currently allows only 5 people to visit it per week and this is the reason they created this replica from the cave. The cave is a natural cavity in the rock, with paintings dated from 35,600 years ago and it stands as one of the most important pictorial and artistic cycles of prehistoric paintings int he world.

Santander: Surf Lessons on Playa de Somo

6. 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.

From Santander or Llanes: Covadonga lakes & Cangas de Onis

7. From Santander or Llanes: Covadonga lakes & Cangas de Onis

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.

From Santander: Potes, Santillana and Altamira Day Tour

8. From Santander: Potes, Santillana and Altamira Day Tour

We pick you up in Santander with our latest low-emission bus, show you the most picturesque corners of Cantabria and then take you back to the start. On the bus, don't fall asleep, the guide's explanations start as soon as you set foot in the vehicle. Can there be a more comfortable journey? Potes Back in 1983, Potes was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest and until relatively recently, in 2020, it was chosen as the most beautiful inland town in Spain by Lonely Planet magazine. Let's discover together why! Let yourself be captivated by its scenic beauty as it is located in the centre of the Liébana region, at the confluence of four valleys and the mouth of the river Deva and its tributary, the river Quiviesa. With so much river, it is only natural that its bridges are so characteristic. In fact, did you know that...? Potes means "Bridge" in Roman. Its old buildings with traditional architecture, wooden balconies, steep streets and the mountains that surround it will make you fall in love at first sight with its medieval air. And be careful with its cobbled streets! Wear comfortable shoes because we are going to get lost in its streets. A comfortable, complete excursion, with history and culture and with free time to enjoy whatever suits you best at that moment. Don't think about it, book now! Santillana del Mar We don't want to tell you too much, just a hint! The town of the three lies has something to do with the fact that it has no cathedral, it is not exactly flat and it has no sea. We'll open a debate and we'll clear it up for you during the tour! The walk along Juan Infante street will start to put you in the right mood. Get ready for a journey back several centuries - welcome to the Middle Ages! The stone houses with wrought iron and wooden balconies full of flowers and family coats of arms and shields carved on their facades will make you feel like you are in a gladiator movie. Here we also have the opportunity to take a guided tour of the Altamira caves. The entrance fee is included in the tour. We enter the reproduction of the Altamira Cave, which uses state-of-the-art technology to create an experience as close as possible to the original, while preserving the real cave from damage caused by the influx of visitors. Quite an exhibition of Palaeolithic cave art.

From Bilbao: La Rioja Wineries Day Trip with Wine Tastings

9. From Bilbao: La Rioja Wineries Day Trip with Wine Tastings

Direct departure to La Rioja to reach Haro, the capital of Rioja wine, where we will visit CVNE, a centenary and emblematic winery in the area where we will take a guided tour including wine tasting. We will then go on a guided walking tour of the historical centre of Haro, walking through Plaza de la Paz. We continue on to the beautiful medieval town of Laguardia, where will start a walk through its picturesque narrow streets and then a guided visit to a small traditional winery where we will be able to learn about the wine making process from a more familiar perspective. After the visit, we will have free time for lunch. Before returning to Bilbao, we will pass through Elciego to discover the building of Marqués de Riscal, an outstanding example of modern architecture and a symbol of La Rioja region.

From Santander: Cabarceno Natural Park Half-Day Trip

10. 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.

All activities

Our most recommended things to do in Santander

Santander: 1-Hour City Cruise Around the Bay

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.

Santander: Picos, Santo Toribio Monastery and Potes Day Tour

Santander: Picos, Santo Toribio Monastery and Potes Day Tour

Depart from Santander and head toward Liébana. You will love this region of Cantabria where the landscape is dominated by mountains, forests, and rivers. On the way, prepare to be impressed when crossing the Hermida Gorge, one of the longest gorges in Spain. The first stop will be to visit the Monastery of Santo Toribio de Liébana, a holy place for Christianity that houses the Lignum Crucis, the largest preserved piece of wood from the cross of Jesus. After this very special stop, continue the trip towards Fuente Dé, where there is the cable car station to go up to Picos de Europa. Enjoy at least 1 hour and 30 minutes of free time there to enjoy the place, take the cable car, or embark on a horseback riding experience around the area (optional). If you take the cable car, the trip will only last 4 minutes and will take you to a height of 1,823 m above sea level. The views from there are just breathtaking. 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 enjoy free time for lunch and for shopping in one of its many souvenir shops.

Obregón: Parque de la Naturaleza de Cabárceno Entry Ticket

Obregón: Parque de la Naturaleza de Cabárceno Entry Ticket

Discover why the Cabárceno Nature Park near Santander is the perfect family day out with this admission ticket. Discover the beauty of nature and it's creatures, with environments that recreate the natural habitats of the animals inside. Inside the park you will be able to see more than 100 species of animals in semi-freedom. Animals roam freely and their natural instincts are uninhibited. If you want to feel like you're in the wild, come and see Cabárceno Nature Park. Travel through the various enclosures, past beautiful gorges, tranquil lakes, and striking rock formations on more than 20 kilometres of roads that criss-cross the park. The Parque de la Naturaleza de Cabárceno has been created for educational, cultural, scientific, and recreational purposes; you might even learn a thing or two along the way. Make use of the numerous parking areas and trails all over the park that will allow you to appreciate the beauty of nature. Discover the mysteries of flora, fauna, and minerals through a range of activities for all ages.

Santander: City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Santander: City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Rolling hills, towering cliffs, diverse beaches...Santander has now evolved into one of Spain's most popular resorts for wealthy or noble Madrilenos (people from Madrid). Damaged by a fire in 1941, parts of the city have been re-built retaining the original architectural style. The reconstructed area houses Santander's most popular Gothic Cathedral. To make a visit more complete, guests should walk from the immense Palace grounds and then take a route along the Pla de Camel and the Playa Primera de El Sardinero to end at the Jardines de Piquio. Upgrade your experience to include a guided tour of the Magdalena Palace, the former home of the Spanish Royal Family. The upgraded option also includes a round-trip train ticket to the palace. Your itinerary stops: Stop 1 - Paseo Pereda / Centro Botin Stop 2 - Puerto Chico Stop 3 - Museo Maritimo / Playas Bahia Stop 4 - Palacio de Festivales / Planetario Stop 5 - Palacio de la Magdalena Stop 6 - Playa del Sardinero / Casino Stop 7 - Parque de Mataleñas/ Faro de Cabo Mayor Stop 8 - Parque de las Llamas Stop 9 - Estación Marítima Stop 10 - Cathedral

From Santander: Santillana del Mar & Altamira Museum Tour

From Santander: Santillana del Mar & Altamira Museum Tour

Depart from Santander at 9:30 AM and head to Santillana del Mar, a beautiful village of the Middle Ages. This village with is one of the best-known cultural and tourist centers of Cantabria. You will enjoy a walking tour along its cobbled streets until you reach its Plaza Mayor where you will see the Collegiate Church of Santa Juliana. There you will visit the museum of the local sculptor Jesús Otero. Afterward, you will have some free time to visit the Collegiate if you wish and do some shopping around. Afterward, you will head to the Altamira Museum. This museum houses a scale replica of the 'room of paintings', the so-called Neocave. This cave was declared World Heritage by Unesco in 1985. To protect its preservation, it currently allows only 5 people to visit it per week and this is the reason they created this replica from the cave. The cave is a natural cavity in the rock, with paintings dated from 35,600 years ago and it stands as one of the most important pictorial and artistic cycles of prehistoric paintings int he world.

Santander: Surf Lessons on Playa de Somo

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.

From Santander or Llanes: Covadonga lakes & Cangas de Onis

From Santander or Llanes: Covadonga lakes & Cangas de Onis

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.

From Santander: Potes, Santillana and Altamira Day Tour

From Santander: Potes, Santillana and Altamira Day Tour

We pick you up in Santander with our latest low-emission bus, show you the most picturesque corners of Cantabria and then take you back to the start. On the bus, don't fall asleep, the guide's explanations start as soon as you set foot in the vehicle. Can there be a more comfortable journey? Potes Back in 1983, Potes was declared an Asset of Cultural Interest and until relatively recently, in 2020, it was chosen as the most beautiful inland town in Spain by Lonely Planet magazine. Let's discover together why! Let yourself be captivated by its scenic beauty as it is located in the centre of the Liébana region, at the confluence of four valleys and the mouth of the river Deva and its tributary, the river Quiviesa. With so much river, it is only natural that its bridges are so characteristic. In fact, did you know that...? Potes means "Bridge" in Roman. Its old buildings with traditional architecture, wooden balconies, steep streets and the mountains that surround it will make you fall in love at first sight with its medieval air. And be careful with its cobbled streets! Wear comfortable shoes because we are going to get lost in its streets. A comfortable, complete excursion, with history and culture and with free time to enjoy whatever suits you best at that moment. Don't think about it, book now! Santillana del Mar We don't want to tell you too much, just a hint! The town of the three lies has something to do with the fact that it has no cathedral, it is not exactly flat and it has no sea. We'll open a debate and we'll clear it up for you during the tour! The walk along Juan Infante street will start to put you in the right mood. Get ready for a journey back several centuries - welcome to the Middle Ages! The stone houses with wrought iron and wooden balconies full of flowers and family coats of arms and shields carved on their facades will make you feel like you are in a gladiator movie. Here we also have the opportunity to take a guided tour of the Altamira caves. The entrance fee is included in the tour. We enter the reproduction of the Altamira Cave, which uses state-of-the-art technology to create an experience as close as possible to the original, while preserving the real cave from damage caused by the influx of visitors. Quite an exhibition of Palaeolithic cave art.

From Bilbao: La Rioja Wineries Day Trip with Wine Tastings

From Bilbao: La Rioja Wineries Day Trip with Wine Tastings

Direct departure to La Rioja to reach Haro, the capital of Rioja wine, where we will visit CVNE, a centenary and emblematic winery in the area where we will take a guided tour including wine tasting. We will then go on a guided walking tour of the historical centre of Haro, walking through Plaza de la Paz. We continue on to the beautiful medieval town of Laguardia, where will start a walk through its picturesque narrow streets and then a guided visit to a small traditional winery where we will be able to learn about the wine making process from a more familiar perspective. After the visit, we will have free time for lunch. Before returning to Bilbao, we will pass through Elciego to discover the building of Marqués de Riscal, an outstanding example of modern architecture and a symbol of La Rioja region.

From Santander: Cabarceno Natural Park Half-Day Trip

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.

Frequently asked questions about Santander

What top attractions are a must-see in Santander?

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What people are saying about Santander

Overall rating

4.6
(190 reviews)

Very good. The guide was very pleasant with very accurate explanations. The chosen locations are interesting. Perfect full day, even the weather was good. As a negative point we did not get the Santillana Restaurant, the Viña or Villa it was called, on the main street.

Our trip was excellent. It was a small, manageable group and our tour guide, Jaro, was very knowledgeable, conscientious and personable. I highly recommend this tour group.

Our trip was excellent. It was a small, manageable group and our tour guide, Jaro, was very knowledgeable, conscientious and personable. I highly recommend this tour group.

Very informative with very friendly, helpful and considerate staff!

Magic!! Highly recommended. Small group made it more special.