Santander brings together all sorts of assets: it is close to nature, the shoreline is perfect for swimming, its cultural and architectural heritage is
In brief +
From surfing and skiing to golfing and potholing, Cantabria offers countless activities. It is one of the regions in the world that has the most archaeological sites. Its nature is as varied as its culture. Travelling around Cantabria is highly pleasant; its extraordinary landscapes come together with top quality gastronomy.
Cantabria is one of Spain's major holiday resorts for nature lovers because it offers the opportunity to enjoy all sorts of sports. Peaks, forests, valleys, meadows, beaches, cliffs, rías (estuaries), etc. The landscape is both magnificent and varied. The natural and historic heritage of this region gives it specific character, just like that of its people, who are friendly, welcoming, and in general very proud of Cantabria, of their gastronomy, their landscapes, and their traditional hymns.
Cheese, meats, preserves, fish and seafood, desserts, etc. Cantabrian gastronomy is as varied as it is delicious. The rich produce of this fertile land (from the sea and the mountains to the orchards), and the traditional preparation of casseroles and ancestral recipes unite to create exquisite cuisine, characteristic of the region. Eating in Cantabria is truly delightful! The pleasure can only be enhanced if we make a reference to each region's specialty. In Santander, opt for a seafood dish, such as mayuelas or morqueras, or fish, like anchovies, calamari, or sea bass. In Castro Urdiales, do not miss out on the famous besugo a la prevé (roast) or the snails. In Laredo, try the tuna, and in Santoña, the anchovies (of world renown) and why not some grilled lobster? In Liébana, the speciality is a traditional meat and vegetable stew, but also vegetables, quesucos (regional cheeses), a local grappa, and honey. In Saja-Nansa, you simply can't miss out on the mountain stew and Tudanca beef. Salmon, trout, eel? These can certainly be found in the valley of Asón. As for desserts, the best known ones are sobaos pasiegos, which are typical of Cantabria in general and the Valleys of the Pas in particular. Several Cantabrian products are protected by designations of origin and quality: AO Queso de Cantabria (Cantabria cheese), AO Picón de Bejes-Tresviso, AO Quesucos de Liébana, and IGP Carne de Cantabria (Cantabria meat).
If you want to hold onto a pleasant reminder of Cantabria, remember to take home a few culinary souvenirs. A small tin of anchovies, a bag of sobaos pasiegos, a tin of tuna in oil, a quesada (a typical dessert), cheese, etc, will help you remember the flavours of Cantabria. Santander, like any other capital, has several shopping streets that boast all of the major trendy brands. If you are looking for hand-crafted objects, you will find little shops in Cantabria's most tourist-frequented villages selling sandals, wooden clogs, houseware (vases, ladles, pitchers) also made out of wood, and baskets (to be carried on the back).