Things to do in
Santander

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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.

From Santander : 4.5-Hour Cabarceno Natural Park Tour

2. From Santander : 4.5-Hour Cabarceno Natural Park Tour

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

3. 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

4. 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

5. 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.

From Santander: Flavours of Cantabria Gastronomic Tour

6. From Santander: Flavours of Cantabria Gastronomic Tour

Depart Santander for Santoña at 9:15 AM. This is a small fishing village famous for its anchovy manufacture industry. Visit the anchovy factory of "Conservas Emilia" and discover how their anchovies are prepared. Enjoy the charming streets this beautiful village and the surrounding bay. Next stop at the vineyard of "Bodegas Vidular". Enjoy a relaxing walk along their vineyard while you learn how they produce their white wine. After the tour, taste some of the produce while enjoying the scenic views. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant in the Pasiego Valleys. Continue towards the viewpoint known as "Mirador de la Braguia" for fantastic views over the valleys. Finally, stop at the largest sobaos factory in the area, "Sobaos Joselín". Visit their museum of “the sobao and the quesada", the local pastries of the region, followed by a guided tasting of their products. Begin the trip back to Santander, arriving at 6:45 PM.

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.

Santander: Surf Lessons on Playa de Somo

8. 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.

Santoña: Anchovy Factory Tour and Boat Trip

9. Santoña: Anchovy Factory Tour and Boat Trip

You will leave Santander at 9:00 AM, heading for Santoña, a small fishing village famous for its anchovy manufacturing industry. You will first visit the anchovy factory "Conservas Emilia" where you will learn about the process of anchovy production. Afterwards, enjoy a one hour boat trip along the bay up to the famous lighthouse of "El Caballo". On your way to Santoña, you will drive along the marshes of Santoña, Vitoria and Jose. This natural bay is one of the best places in Cantabria for bird watching, and is listed as a protected natural park. Afterwards, you will take a short and scenic tour by car before starting your trip back to Santander. This is a quiet excursion for all ages, and especially for lovers of seafaring cities.

From Santander or Torrelavega: Soplao Cave Excursion

10. From Santander or Torrelavega: Soplao Cave Excursion

Start with pickup in Santander or Torrelavega and travel to El Soplao Cave in the Cantabrian mountains. Admire the scenery of valleys, forests, and mountain peaks throughout the journey. Upon arrival, take a one-hour guided tour of the different chambers, or "galleries", of the cave. First, learn more about its discovery in the early 20th century. Be amazed by a natural geological wonder of spectacular stalactites, stalagmites, washes, columns, cave pearls, and other interesting features. After visiting the cave, continue the trip towards the beautiful viewpoint of Tina Menor located outside the town of Pechón. Enjoy the wonderful views of the Cantabrian Sea and the beaches below.

Other Sightseeing Options in Santander

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What people are saying about Santander

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 190 reviews

Yes it's wonderful. May be the trip duration could be more and giving more time on the top of Fuente de. But The view and experience at the top is beyond explanation. Gabriella is very knowledgeable and explained in details.

Gabriela ha sido una excelente guia, súper responsable y muy explicativa con cada uno de los puntos que visitamos. La experiencia de todo el tour fue excelente, lo recomendaría y lo volvería a hacer sin dudas.

The excursion was great, Gabriela super kind showed us the park acting as a guide and explaining its history and various anecdotes about the animals. Highly recommended.

Great tour x Cabárceno. highlight the guide (Rafa) very nice and knowledgeable about the park. We had a great afternoon. Thank you very much. Highly recommended.

That was beautiful. I would repeat without a doubt.