Golden beaches, turquoise water and blue sky-is that a piece of heaven or the north of Spain’s city Santander. It is a fun-packed place especially during summer season. There are numerous museums to allow both fun and education. There is a museum that fascinates tourists about the civilization of the Paleolithic period. Not only this, there is also a Contemporary museum of art. The most impressive building in the city is the Gothic styled Cathedral which is renovated recently and has become a mix of Gothic yet modern building. If you take a look at the city from a hill top or aero plane, you will be surprised to find a beautiful contrast of blue and green. The water makes it blue and mountains to a side, makes it dark green.
Santander was a popular tourist 19th century tourist spot, dedicated to nobility, politicians and landlords. There are still amazing and exotic gardens, palaces, old hotels and cafes and casinos etc. Apart from airplanes, trains, buses, cars options, one can also choose ferry boats and ships that arrive at the harbor from England.
To the northern side of Santander are the stunning beaches of Sardinero. They open their arms from Magdalena Peninsula to Matalenas. These breath-taking beaches are a great combination of beach and garden as there are fresh and blossoming Piquio gardens. Traditionally, it is Sartandar’s best resorts zone. These gardens offer majestic view of Magdalena Palace and the peninsula.
The seafront terraces of Sardinero do not need any description. They are fresh, breezy and cool. It offers various fun activities to the public from strolling to sunbathing and from sea-side dining to surfing. There are colorful beach umbrellas and bright sun parasols arranged in a uniform manner on the beach. There is also an exciting boat club for boating lovers.
About three kilometers away from Sardinero are two great places worth a watch, Puente Forado, a natural bridge-like limestone rocks formation and Cape Cabo Mayor with its towering lighthouse at one end.
Beside La Magdalena Peninsula, are the gardens and shimmering beaches of Playa de Magdalena. It is marked as a “Blue Flag” beach with cool and calm waters safe for all types of activities such as swimming and surfing. The swimming parts have buoys and signposts everywhere for security of swimmers. There is also marina that has boats, yachts and all other water sport stuff for rent. There is also an open air snack area where one can eat snack at peace. The Magdalena beach has everything a visitor may need from lounge chairs to parasols and vibrant umbrellas etc.
Magdalena Peninsula also has many attractions such as the International University of Santander that conduct courses during summers. The university is on King Alfonso XIII’s Royal palace that was inhibited by him during summers. The palace is constructed in a mix of British and French construction style. IN the garden of the Royal Palace, one can find a small zoo area to watch many beautiful birds and animals such as galleons, seals and penguins etc. In 1982, the Royal Palace and its garden were declared as Spain’s Cultural site.
The Cantabria was famous for its maritime culture in history. To pay tribute to them, a museo is built in Santander, “Museo Maritimo del Cantabrico”. It has a vast area dedicated to all ancient sea-related stuff such as ships, boats models, sea documents, fishermen’s objects, tools and equipments etc. It showcases sea world to the tourists. The museum gives an in-depth knowledge about the relationship between sea and human beings throughout history. It covers various related disciplines such as fishing technology, marine biology and sea history. There are a café for refreshments, a gift shop and guides for tourists who can be helpful for visitors.
For astronomy lovers, Santander has an exciting place known as Planetarium. It is located at Calle de Gamazo. It is basically part of the Nautic University that has a lot to exhibit about the unknown, mysterious world of astronomy from different galaxies, constellations, solar systems, planets and stars etc. It offers great scientific knowledge about these things. You can also ask questions and clear confusions about the sky-world, the universe and beyond at Planetarium.
If you are interested in the Iron Age or Paleolithic era, the Santander’s museum is for you. Located at Calle Hernan Cortes, the museum exhibits more than 1000 objects and items belonging from the Cantabria caves. “Batons de commandement” is one of such artifacts. It also has many antique pieces from the Roman era cities of Castro Urdiale and Juliobriga. There are also many artifacts belonging from the Celtic times and Medieval period. And there is a lot more.
A guide that can speak your language can easily help you take a walk in the museum.
Other famous attractions of Santander include: Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción, Quiet Beaches in Puerto Chico, Biblioteca Menéndez y Pelayo and Ermita de la Virgen del Mar etc.
Whereas famous restaurants of the city to order these dishes are: El Serbal, located at Calle Andres del Rio, this restaurant has a name. Food, hospitality, cleanliness, presentation and exterior- all of these can be found in the restaurant. Bodega del Riojano is another high quality restaurant. It is an old restaurant of the city with a great collection of old wines and chef’s special recipes. Frida Street Food is yet another big name among restaurants of the city. It is small but exquisitely furnished and offers good food with good manners.
Among hotels, La Petit Boutique Hotel which is a modern style hotel only three minutes away from the Sardinero beach, the clean and spacious rooms help relax tourists and the staff is extremely generous, friendly and cooperative who also helps making trip decisions in the city. Another wonderful hotel near the Sardinero beach is the Gran Hotel. There are luxurious rooms with comfortable beds and couches, mini bars and beautiful view of the sea. However, if you want staying in a budget, Estudios Aranzazo can be a great choice. Located at Calle Mies del Valle which is about 10 minutes away from the train station and 15 minutes from the famous Cathedral, Estudio is a contemporary styled hotel with good food, courteous staff and cozy rooms.
Santander nightlife is as vibrant and shinny as its sunny day life. There are various pubs, clubs, discos and other attractions for you to enjoy. With great music, cocktails and skilled artists all around one can never want daylight to appear again. Little Bobby Speakeasy, El Bulin, Bar La Barruca, Moon Dog, Kings Pub, Opium are some of the most popular places for entertainment.
And besides Santander’s places, its cuisines are also worth a try. They are delicious and a mix of green mountainous cuisines and sea green water dishes. Do not find your country’s food in the city, instead try the city’s special, “Rabas” (squid fry), “Cocido Montanes”(beans, cabbage and meat stew), “Bocartes Rebozados”(whitebait), “Quesada”(cheesecake), Corbatas” (puffed pastry cake) and the list goes on.