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What to see in Cantabria

Located on the north coast of the Iberian peninsula, Cantabria is steeped in the Cantabrian Sea. It has a coastal climate, giving mild pleasant temperatures all year round.

Beautiful beaches and sheer cliffs are the features of the region's long coastline which stretches for 160km. It is the ideal spot for water-sports enthusiasts.

Moving inland, its mountains and valleys are an ideal setting for relaxing tourism and also any number of nature-based sports. The mountains of Cantabria with their leafy forests and turbulent rivers are an attraction for lovers of hunting and fishing.

Cantabria is nature

Even though it is not one of the biggest regions, Cantabria still boasts an impressive number of protected areas: nature parks, 8 specially protected areas for birds (ZEPAS) and 21 places of importance for the community (LIC). Amongst the most important are:

  • Picos de Europa National Park: it is an area of high mountain and Atlantic forest ecosystems situated on a karstic geological surface. The park hosts fascinating vegetation and animals.
  • Cabarceno Nature Park: located in an old iron-mine there are over 100 species of animals from all 5 continents roaming semi-free in their enclosures covering large areas in which 2 or 3 species co-habit.

Cantabria is culture

Culture is another essential feature of Cantabria. Religious art appears all over the region and the presence of a spectacular Romanesque route is particularly noteworthy with its most impressive piece being The Monastery of Santo Toribio de Liebana - this is one of the four places in the world (along with Rome, Jerusalem and Santiago de Compostela) where they celebrate the Jubilee.

Some places which are a "must" see:

  • Santander,the capital of the region, is located strategically between the sea and the mountains and easily be reached by air, land or sea. There's plenty to do to make your stay an unforgettable one. Not only does the city boast beaches, views, parks and walks but it also has an excellent range of restaurants, cultural and leisure activities making it the ideal place to spend your holidays.
  • Santillana del Mar is a living museum of a mediaeval town built up around the Collegiate of Santa Juliana. Most of the houses in the town preserve the architectural style of the 14th to 18th centuries.
  • San Vicente de la Barquera and its port are to be found in the heart of the Oyambre Nature Park. It's a protected nature reserve of great ecological value comprising rias, cliffs, beaches, dunes, meadows and woods which host an impressive variety of fauna and flora.

Cantabria is heritage

Cantabria is the world's richest region in terms of archeological remains of the Later Paleolithic. The cave paintings of the Altamira Altamira Caves are considered the most representative examples of Paleolithic Art in the world and it has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, along with nine other caves in Cantabria.

The Soplao Cave is also worthy of a mention. It is considered one of the foremost treasures of the geological world and is a veritable paradise of natural formations.

Cantabria is cuisine

Cantabria has its very own gastronomical style with seafood, vegetables, meat, pastries and dairy produce. It boasts a natural cuisine with raw materials of the highest quality.

For more detailed information about what to see and do in Cantabria, visit www.turismodecantabria.com

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