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Santander

Travel Guide Europe Spain Cantabria Santander

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Introduction

Santander, Banco de Santander

Santander, Banco de Santander

© All Rights Reserved Herr Bert

Santander (website in Spanish) is the capital of Cantabria, in between Asturias and Basque Country. It is located on the central northern coastline and has just over 180.000 inhabitants. The city itself is situated on a peninsula that on one side is bordered by the Cantabrian Sea, which is part of the Atlantic ocean and on the otherside by the Bahia de Santander (Bay of Santander.) The visitor is likely to switch regularly between the Old City that is located near the Cathedral and the Town Hall, and the area that is called Sardinero, where most of the beaches can be found. These two parts of the city are connected by the Avenida de la Reina Victoria.

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Sights and Activities

Beaches

Santander, Playa de Sardinero

Santander, Playa de Sardinero

© All Rights Reserved Herr Bert

Santander holds a couple of beautiful beaches. All of them can be found on the eastern side of the peninsuala. The Playa de Sardinero is the most famous, and biggest of them all. Nearby you will find pletty of bars and restaurants, and also the Casino. Besides this beach there are a couple more. The Playa de Peligros, lies on the beautiful Bay of Santander, where the water is a bit calmer then on Sardinero. Along the Camino Peatonal you can find a couple of small beaches, which you don't need to share with a lot of people.

Parque de la Magdelena

The Parque is a small peninsula, that has the Atlantic coast on one side, and the Bahia de Santander on the otherside. On the peninsula you will find the Palacio de la Magdelena, built here for one of the former Kings that liked to reside in Santander. You will also find a little zoo, with some sea lions, seals and penguins. There is also a little train running around the place.

Faro de Cabo Mayor

A little bit out of the town on the Major Cape (Cabo Mayor) stands a lighthouse. It is a nice destination for walk along the Camino Peatonal. (which starts are the end of Sardinero beach. go up the steps on the right of Cafetaria Corona.) The lighthouse now serves as an artmuseum. From the lighthouse a path leads to the actual cape. From here you have some nice views towards Santander, the cliffs and to the Atlantic Ocean.

Cathedral

Santander, Cathedral

Santander, Cathedral

© All Rights Reserved Herr Bert

The Cathedral of Santander are two churches on top op eachother. First you will find the entrance to the Church, and when you climb the stairs on the rightside of the Church entrance you go to the very nice courtyard, that grants you access to the Cathedral.

Museum of Prehistory and Archaeology

The museum of Prehistory and Archaeology is a museum with some highlights, including Roman finds from and around Santander, and copies of Prehistoric art, as it can be found in the many caves in the region.

Maritime museum

As the name suggest it is a museum about all the things connected to the sea. It also includes an aquarium.

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Weather

Summers are usually quite warm and sunny though this area sees more rain in summer compared to most of Spain. Temperatures from June to September are generally averaging around 26 degrees Celsius during the day and around 16 degrees at night. Winters last from December to March with days of around 10 to 13 degrees and nights between 6 and 9 degrees. Most of the rain falls during the wintermonths, July and August are the driest months with still around 50mm of rain.

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Getting There

Santander, Faro de Cabo Mayor

Santander, Faro de Cabo Mayor

© All Rights Reserved Herr Bert

By Plane

Santander Airport serves a number of European destinations, including Brussels - South, Dublin, Frankfurt-Hahn, London Stansted, Bergamo (near Milan), Weeze (near Düsseldorf and Rome with Ryanair. Ryanair also has a couple of inland flights to Madrid, Alicante and Reus (in between Barcelona and Valencia. Iberia serves domestic destinations including Madrid, Málaga, Seville, Valencia and the Canary Islands of Tenerife and Gran Canaria.

From the airport there are Alsa busses that take you to the bus station, which is in front of the train station in 10 minutes. The bus stop is on the rightside, when you leave the airport. A ride costs 2 euros, and busses run approximately every 10 to 15 minutes. The same is true for the other direction.

By Train

RENFE, the Spanish railway company, has trains to Madrid via Avila. There are also trains to Valladolid. FEVE, another railway company, has trains to Oviedo and Bilbao. And makes many stops on the Camino del Norte, one the pilgramroutes to Santiago de Compostela. For more information and timetables, check the website of Renfe.

By Car

The main road in Cantabria is the coastal highway, A-8 that runs from Bilbao in Basque Country to Gijon and beyond. When coming from the south the A-67 is the best choice. It starts near Palencia, as a split from the A-62. When driving into the mountains in the winter, it is more than advisable to have snow chains with you.

By Bus

Eurolines has connections to and from other bigger and smaller European cities, and has a stop in Santander. Other buslines that connect Cantabria with other parts of Spain, are Alsa and Avanza. Frequent buses travel to Madrid (5 hours) and Burgos (3 hours) as well as Bilbao (1,5 hours) and Donostia-San Sebastian (3 hours).

By Boat

Brittany Ferries carries out a direct connection with Plymouth and Portsmouth in the United Kingdom and Santander.

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Getting Around

By Car

Getting around by car is a pretty good option, except on days when the weather is really good and everybody is rushing to the beach. Also expect some traffic jams, during rush hours. Avoid the Calle del Marques de la Hermida at these times, and choose the Avenida de los Castros (passing the universities.) to get to Sardinero.

By Public Transport

There are several buslines that are connecting all parts of the city with eachother. Most of these lines start and terminate at the busstation in front of the trainstation.

By Foot

Distances in Santander are not too big to walk, but from the old centre to the beaches of Sardinero it is still about 2 kilometres.

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Sleep

Budget

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Apartamentos EntremaresGutierrez Solana 11 Avd. Parayas km 3.5Apartment-
Apartamentos Las BrisasAvda. Castañeda 17Apartment-
Apartamentos MimiCuesta del Hospital 7Apartment85
Hospedaje MagallanesMagallanes 22 EntloGuesthouse88
Hostal Cabo MayorCádiz Nº 1, 2ºGuesthouse87
Hostal GolfPol. la Cerrada nº 32Guesthouse-
Hostal la TorreAvda de los Castros 53Guesthouse86
Hostal RocamarAvenida de los Castros, 41Guesthouse-
Hostal San GlorioRuiz Zorrilla 18Guesthouse85
Hostal Vistapark1 Bernardo Lavin Street., 5th floor El AstilleroGuesthouse90
Hotel Las BrisasCalle La Braña 14 El Sardinero, SantanderHotel86
Hotel San JuanBarrio Bardalon 21 Revilla de CamargoHotel85
Pension Madrid 21C Madrid 21Guesthouse79
Posada Carpe DiemBº La Costera, 19Guesthouse-
Posada El Remanso de TriviecuC/ Cuatro Caminos 2. Barrio de Arriba, La Cavada.Guesthouse-
SurftoLive HouseCalle Cayuso 33, Somo, SantanderHostel-

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Keep Connected

Internet

Internet is widely available within Spain. Most airports have wifi-zones and in most towns there are internet cafés or shops where you can use internet for a fixed price. Wi-Fi points in bars and cafeterias are available after ordering, and most hotels offer Wi-Fi connection in common areas for their guests.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The international access code for Spain is +34. The emergency number for police, ambulance and the fire brigade is 112.

In cities you can find plenty of public phones, and 'locutorios'. The latter are small shops where you can use the phone and use internet. Most of them also sell prepaid cards for mobile telephones. These shops are used a lot by foreigners to call to their mother country.

The main mobile network operators in Spain are Yoigo, Vodafone, Movistar and Orange, as in most of Europe voice and data coverage is generally good in urban areas however it can be patchy in rural locations. Cheap mobile phones (less than €50) with some pre-paid minutes are sold at FNAC or any phone operator's shop (Vodafone, Movistar, Orange). Topping-up is then done by buying scratch cards from the small stores, supermarkets, vending points (often found in tobacco shops) or kiosks.

Post

If you want to post a card, you can head to the post office (Correos). The Spanish post is not yet as efficient as colleagues in other countries so receiving a card can take a bit longer than the number of days that it should take. On the website of Correos, you can find the locations of nearby post offices.
Post offices are generally open from 8:30am to 2:00pm, although times will vary according to the size of the city/town and the main post offices might be open until the early evening. Most will also open again on Saturday mornings, but in the smaller towns will close as early as 12 noon. When posting a letter, look for a yellow box and, if possible, post at the post office itself where there will also be divisions for local, national and international mail. Be prepared for long queues at the post office. This is why tobacco shops sell stamps and many will also have the facility to weigh packages. Standard letters/postcards of up to 20 grams sent within Spain are €0.34. However, non-standard letters/postcards of up to 20g are €0.39. Letters/postcards of 20 to 50 grams are €0.45. In the case of international shipping, the price is €0.64 to most countries within Europe for standard envelopes (letters/postcards) up to 20g, for a few European countries and outside Europe it is €0.78. If you want to send a package you are probably better off with a private courier company like TNT, DHL or UPS, as they offer quick and reliable services against competitive prices.

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This is version 25. Last edited at 8:47 on Jul 10, 13 by Utrecht. 29 articles link to this page.

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