The Cantabria region lies on the Atlantic Coast of Northern Spain, located between the Basque Country and Asturias. The whole area is one of natural beauty, with short, gushing rivers cutting through the wild, unspoilt countryside, carving their way past stunning sandy beaches on their way onto the Atlantic. Any Cantabria guide will split the area into two distinct regions, the Cantabria coast and the inland Cantabria Mountain range. Largely overlooked by the tourist crowds, the Cantabria region really is a hidden gem.
Cantabria accommodation was the pick of the Spanish Royal Family for much of the early 20th century, and it is remarkably easy to see why. The countryside is simply spectacular, with the Picos de Europa (Peaks of Europe) offering some of Spain’s best walking, hiking, mountain biking and horse riding holidays. Anyone who loves nature will be right at home in a Cantabria villa or cottage. The Picos de Europa National Park is one of the very last places you can see wild wolves, eagles and bears in Spain. The forested mountains, dramatic gorges and salmon filled rivers create the perfect habitat for many creatures, and those taking a holiday property in Cantabria are perfectly located for some of the finest outdoor activity terrain in Spain. The Cabarceno Nature Reserve is well worth visiting from any Cantabria property too, as it is home to 500 semi-wild species, including elephants, lions and kangaroos.
The Cantabria region of Spain is also loaded with historical monuments of huge importance in Spain’s development. There are many vast caves in Cantabria, often adorned with cave paintings which date back up to 15,000 years. The oldest paintings can be seen in the huge Altamira Caves, and the Sanctuary of St Toribio, located near Spain’s deepest caves, is the reputed location of a large part of the crucifix Jesus died upon. Beautifully preserved medieval villages, ancient dolomites and regal architecture are just some of the magnificent sights you can find from a Cantabria villa.
All along the Cantabria coast you will discover wonderful little cove beaches, secluded by deep valleys and thick forests. Not only is the sand soft and golden in colour, but the scenery of these beaches is simply breathtaking. If you are hoping to conquer the Atlantic swells on a surfboard, a Cantabria villa is the ideal choice.
The capital of the Cantabria region is Santander, where the majority of British tourists arrive if travelling by ferry. There are numerous museums and interesting historical monuments which make Santander worth visiting from any accommodation in Cantabria. Villas of regal design, summer Palaces and the Grand Casino of El Sardinero all help give Santander its exclusive, elegant atmosphere. The El Sardinero beach is one of the most fashionable beaches on which to be seen, although there are many more secluded beaches to be found from a Cantabria villa in Santander.
Temperatures can reach up to 40°C during the heat of the summer, making Cantabria villas with pools a huge luxury. During July and August, most visitors to Cantabria accommodation come for the remarkable beaches, with cultural, natural and sporting holidays usually occurring in the spring and autumn months when temperatures are around 30°C, and rain is still uncommon. However, due to the undulating terrain, weather conditions can be unpredictable, so packing a jacket for your stay in a Cantabria cottage is advised.
Due to the weekly flights to Santander Airport (SDR) from Liverpool and London, reaching a holiday apartment, cottage or villa in Cantabria could not be easier. RyanAir provide cheap flights to Santander Airport, which acts as the central transport hub for the whole of the Cantabria region. Ferry services also arrive into Santander.