GMT/BST +1 hour
1 hour 50 minutes
Small but perfectly formed, Cantabria is the jewel of Spain's northern coast-line. Easily accessible either by plane, boat or as part of a driving holiday, Cantabria is the ideal holiday destination for those looking to explore and experience Spain's rich culture and countryside on your own terms and in your own time.
Cantabria is part of 'Green Spain', so-called because of its lush vegetation and areas of natural beauty. Despite the region's small size, it is home to seven natural or national parks, each offering a different view of the Cantabrian climate and countryside. The most important of these, the Picos de Europa National Park, contains the highest peaks in the Spanish mountains. For a family day out, you could go wildlife spotting in the Parque del Macizo de Penacabarga. Cantabria is also a region of great historical and cultural interest and boasts an almost endless list of museums, monuments and even caves that are open to visitors. As with all Spanish regions, Cantabria also hosts regular local and regional festivities. August is a good month to visit if you want to take part, but there are so many different and exciting celebrations that no matter when you arrive, you are bound to find yourself celebrating something with the locals.
Cantabria's beaches are among the most beautiful of all on offer with Spanish holidays. There are so many of them along the Cantabrian coast that you'll be spoiled for choice. If you are driving, take a trip along the Costas Trasmiera or Esmerelda or, if you feel like staying put, Santander Bay is one of the largest and most welcoming of Cantabria's beaches. Surfing holidays are a popular choice, but the beaches are just as well-suited to swimmers and sunbathers alike. For those looking for total rest and relaxation, Langre beach is paradise; calm, secluded crescent of golden sand and warm, welcoming sea.
The capital city of Cantabria is Santander, a vibrant, colourful centre of arts and culture in the region. The city hosts several festivals during the summer months and is an ideal base for a holiday in Cantabria. Slightly further afield, the town of Noja is rapidly gaining a reputation as the place to go to enjoy the best beaches in the region, while the port town of Suances is the place to be if you are looking to take part in water-sports and other outdoor activities. The location of Cantabria also means that you are not far from the Basque city of Bilbao. Find out more information about a holiday in Bilbao.
Cantabrian food is traditional and delicious. Meat is a staple choice, and Cantabrian beef is a recognised and protected speciality. Meat is often slow cooked and served in a stew with vegetables and bread. In addition, Cantabria is famous for its fish and sea food, in particular dishes such as rabas, fried calamari, and cachon en su tinta, or cuttlefish cooked in its own ink. It may sound unappetising, but it's as fresh as can be and just as tasty. The region also produces various cheeses, for which the production is protected to the Cantabria region. To really get into the spirit of the region, try some of the local apple cider or orujo, a pomace liquor, made in the Cantabrian town of Liebana and available in many different varieties.
Cantabria has something for everyone. Whether you're looking to surf, swim or to enjoy the natural beauty of the region, a holiday to Cantabria promises to deliver everything you want and more. Easily accessible and ideal for solo, romantic or family holidays, Cantabria Holidays are becoming more popular by the minute, so take advantage of the great value holiday deals at lastminute.com and start your holiday to Cantabria.