Magdalena Palace in Santander in Cantabria
Santander It is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful cities of the Cantabrian coast in Spain, which reaches its tourist peak in the summer season.
But the capital of Cantabria It is also an ideal place to visit at any time of the year.
In fact, in recent years I have had the opportunity to do getaways to Santander at different times of the year to enjoy the many attractions of the Cantabrian capital.
Corner of the Sardinero in Santander
What to see and do in Santander
Then I will highlight various corners what to see in Santander, as well as activities to do in the Cantabrian capital.
Stroll through the Sardinero and its beaches
The Sardinero area It is the most frequented by visitors to Santander thanks to the attractiveness of its Beaches and its stately atmosphere.
In the summer holiday season they are the great daily meeting point for the people of Santander and the many visitors who meet in the city.
Sardinero beach in Santander in Cantabria
But these beaches are not only ideal for bathing in summer, but also for walking at any time of the year.
You can take the walk along its sandy beach, or along the promenade that connects the two Sardinero beacheswith the nice ones Piquío gardens as a link between them.
If you still don't know her, I anticipate that the area of Sardinero It is perhaps the prettiest in the city of Santander, where you will findhistoric hotels, As the Real hotel, or leisure establishments such as Grand Casino, which just turned one hundred years old.
On this walk you will also see the numerous palatial mansions which are distributed throughout the residential area of Sardinero, such as the Quinta de los Pinares wave Brown House.
Without a doubt they are a great reflection of the great boom that the city has had as a summer residence of the monarchy.
Magdalena Palace in Santander in Cantabria
Visit the Magdalena Palace
Wander around Sardinero area in Santander It is an invitation to visit what is, perhaps, the most emblematic building in the city, the Magdalena Palace.
Based on the wooded peninsula of the same name, it is the palace that the city council gave to the kings Alfonso XIII Y Victoria Eugenia on the occasion of his wedding in 1906.
From then on, and until 1930,Santander It became a summer residence for the kings.
Owned by the city council since 1977, currently the Magdalena Palace hosts the summer courses of the Menéndez Pelayo University, as well as congresses and other events.
You can visit the palace in Guided visits that take you to know its most outstanding rooms, such as the Alfonso XIII room, he Gala Dining, he Royal Hall or the Family room.
Lighthouse of Cabo Mayor in Santander
Cape Mayor Lighthouse
your visit of the Sardinero area is incomplete if you don't end up arriving at Cape Mayor Lighthouse.
It is a place from where you will have good panoramic views of the cliffs and coastal area that opens from the Santander Bay.
Inside the building you will see a art Gallery with artistic works and objects related to the lighthouses, as well as the private collection of the artist Eduardo Sanz.
Mataleñas Park and Beach
Between the second beach of Sardinero and the lighthouse extends the Mataleñas park, gardens ceded to the town hall at the beginning of the 20th century,
Mataleñas beach in Santander
In addition to a beach, rather a cove, in Mataleñas you find a municipal golf course, which you can enjoy if you are fond of this sport.
La Maruca Beach
Returning from the lighthouse you can approach one of the less known and frequented corners among visitors to Santander, which shows the most rural facet of the Cantabrian capital.
Is about The Maruca, a beach and a small port that is located in the most northern coastal area of the city.
When you are in The Maruca You feel moved to one of the small coastal towns of Cantabria ... but in reality it is a neighborhood of the municipality of Santander.
Due to its location at the entrance of the bay, this area in the past had a military use.
La Maruca in Santander
Thus, next to what was an old battery of the mid-seventeenth century, now the Coast Interpretation Center, where you will find panels with information about landscapes, flora, fauna and other facets of this coastal area.
If you are fond of trekkingI will tell you that there is a path that runs along the sea from the Lighthouse of Cabo Mayor to La Maruca, and that following it would take you to Liencres, already outside the municipality.
If you make it complete you will have traveled more than eleven kilometers after about three hours of walking.
Botín Center and Gardens of Pereda
Also part of the aforementioned cultural ring, in the Pereda Gardens, a symbol of the city that occupies land that in the past was won to the sea, you find the one that has become the main cultural axis of the city, theBotín Art Center.
Botín Center in Santander
It is a large building that was inaugurated in June 2017, and which has come to mark a before and after for the cultural side of Santander.
The design of the Botín Center It shows two large volumes that are joined by open spaces and walkways.
Inside there is an exhibition hall of 2,500 square meters, and outside a terrace from which you will see panoramic views of Santander and its bay.
At Botín Center International art exhibitions are presented and other cultural activities are carried out with film series, guided tours and training workshops.
No doubt its recent inauguration is a good reason to return to visit the city of Santander.
Without a doubt, if you visit Santander at a time other than summer, you will feel an invitation to discover the Santander's most cultural side, less known for being eclipsed by the appeal of the most summery face it represents El Sardinero and its beaches.
From the outset I suggest you visit the Santander Cathedral, where you will discover the curious medieval history of the city, which in the 12th century was a very small coastal population of just 200 inhabitants.
By then in the Somorrostro Hill the so-called Old Puebla, set of buildings among which was an abbey, origin of the current cathedral building.
Santander It started to have a cathedral when in the 18th century it was declared as the main parish of the city.
Entrance porch to the cathedral of Santander
When you visit it you will see that the building has a very curious configuration with two overlapping churches.
In the lower part, the original 12th century, now known as church of Christ, and at the top, the Santander Cathedral-Basilica, Gothic style and finished building in the fourteenth century.
Santander city history
In the bell tower of theSantander Cathedral Do you have theInterpretation Center of the History of the City.
As you climb to the top of the aforementioned bell tower to see panoramic views of the city center, you can learn the history of what in the twelfth century was just a small village.
Remains of the medieval wall of Santander
Santander Cultural Ring
Did you know that Santander has a cultural ring that in just 500 meters of radio allows you to visit seven exhibition spaces and travel a cultural route?
Indeed, in the most central area of the city, around Pereda Gardens, the Porticada square and the Cathedral Square, you can visit various interpretation centers that will allow you to deepen the history of the city.
Santander medieval wall
I want to highlight the visit of the remains of the medieval wall under the floor of the Porticada square,
After some excavations carried out in 2006, this archaeological space has been enabled for a very didactic and recommended visit, which begins with a very interesting multimedia presentation.
Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Santander and Cantabria
I assure you it is worth it.
Santander Fire Route
Or also the historical cultural route Santander fire It happened in 1941, which has marked the subsequent urban development of the city center.
TheSantander Fire Route It allows you to see the ten most representative places of that event, and with the help of black and white photos you can check the urban evolution of the city in the last 76 years.
Air War Anti-Aircraft Shelter
Another exhibition space that you can visit in the so-calledSantander Cultural Ring it's an oldCivil War anti-aircraft shelter.
With an area of 140 square meters, in this enclave you can know the most relevant aspects of life in the city during the conflagration.
Menéndez Pelayo House Museum in Santander
Santander it is also a city of museums, and you have several options to visit if the weather is not adequate to go to the beach, or if you make your getaway in the summer season.
First, the MAS, Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art of Santander and Cantabria, free admission, where between contemporary works you can also see samples from other eras, such as Portrait of Ferdinand VII made by Goya.
On the other hand, in the city cradle of the philologist Menendez Pelayo You can not miss a museum dedicated to his figure, the Menéndez Pelayo House-Museum, also free access.
And next to her, theMenéndez Pelayo Library where more than 42,000 books of his bibliographic legacy are conserved.
Entrance access to the crypt Iglesia del Cristo in Santander
The Santander history you can meet her at interpretation Center What is in the bell tower of the cathedral.
And in the MUPAC, Museum of Prehistory and Archeology of Cantabria you find a large collection of objects from the Paleolithic until the Middle Ages.
Boat Cruise on the Bay
Another of the great attractions that has a visit to Santander is to enjoy a bay cruise what can you do between the months of April and October.
Of course, for other times of the year you always have the option to embark on the maritime route linking Santander with Pedreña and Somo, small towns located on the other side of the bay, which is operational throughout the year.
Mouro Island on the Santander Bay cruise
Already from Easter week you can do the aforementioned Santander Bay cruise one hour long, which leaves from the dock of Gamazo, next to Palace of Festivals of Cantabria.
On that cruise, which I made on my last trip to the Cantabrian capital, you will see beautiful panoramic views of the Puertochico, the Magdalena Peninsula, the Sardinero beaches and, before returning to the port, you will arrive at the natural site of the Mouro Island.
Also from May to September you will also have the option of boat that crosses to Strut from the beach of Somo.
What to do in autumn in Santander
If you choose autumn to make your Santander visit, you can enjoy various activities typical of the time.
When it comes to shows and activities, here you can check the calendar of cultural events, with an extensive program that includes the performing arts, plastic and film.
Typical Cantabrian products in the Esperanza market in Santander
Also, during your visit you will be struck by chestnut locomotivesshowy little trains where this dried fruit is sold in cones.
The chestnuts also celebrate the“Solidarity magicians”, popular events that aim to raise funds for charities.
Finally, on the highly recommended visit to Hope market you can also buy other gastronomic products typical of the autumn season.
Christmas in Santander
In addition to cultural visits, in winter you also have the attraction of enjoying theChristmas activities in Santander, starting with theChristmas lighting that adorns the main streets of the city center.
Typical Cantabrian products in the Esperanza market in Santander
In this regard, on the facade of the City Hall are carried outmultimedia projections with different Christmas motifs, which are changing continuously.
To also highlight theChristmas market what can you visit in the Alfonso XIII square, popularly known as thePlaza de las Farolas.
With up to 70 positions installed, theChristmas market schedule It is from 10 to 22 hours.
You can also visit the traditionalBelen that is installed in the Eastern Market, with hours from 9 in the morning until 11 at night.
Finally, in other corners of the city various solidarity activities, children's workshops or street performances take place, and it should be noted that during the Christmas holidays municipal buses are free.