Santillana del Mar, a beautiful medieval town in Cantabria

Why not take advantage of the weekends and the autumn-winter bridges to do rural tourism? Spain is not only full of incredible natural spaces, including 15 beautiful National Parks, but it also hides charming towns. In addition, there are them for all tastes, coastal, medieval, on rocks, in the mountains …

Today at Vuela Viajes we want to tell you about one of the most beautiful towns in our country. It is Santillana del Mar , which is located in the autonomous community of Cantabria. Specifically, this villa is located in the Comarca de la Costa Occidental. It is known as “the town of the three lies”, since it is neither holy, nor flat, nor does it have a sea. Of course, we want to comment that although the town does not have a sea, the municipality does. Do you want to discover Santilla del Mar more thoroughly? Well, we recommend that you do not miss anything that we tell you below!

On the northern route of the Camino de Santiago

Declared a Historic-Artistic Site in 1943, the town of Santillana del Mar is considered one of the most touristic and visited towns in Cantabria. For this reason, a large part of the inhabitants of this municipality live from tourism: hotels, rural accommodation, shops selling typical products … And do not think that its tourist attraction is only due to its beautiful and rich heritage , but because it is located in the northern route of the Camino de Santiago.


Santillana del Mar’s greatest treasure

Although the historic center of Santillana del Mar is really worth it, the truth is that the greatest treasure of this town is located on the outskirts. We are referring to the Altamira Caves, considered by many as the " Sistine Chapel of the Paleolithic ." Of course, these cave paintings have been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Santillana del Mar heritage

Just to discover the Altamira Caves, the visit to Santillana del Mar is worth it. Of course, you should know that in this cobbled town of streets and medieval buildings you can find many interesting monuments such as, for example, the Collegiate Church of Santa Juliana, from the 12th century, one of the most important exponents of Romanesque art in Cantabria. Also noteworthy are the towers of Merino and Don Borja, old civil constructions of great interest, the houses of Águila and la Parra, the palace and the tower of Velarde, the house of Leonor de la Vega, the palaces of Barreda, Tagle and Villa …



How could it be otherwise, we also have to talk about gastronomy. And it is that in this town you will be able to taste some of the most important dishes of Cantabrian cuisine . The lebaniego and montañés stews, the yearling sirloin, the sea bream and the hake on green asparagus stand out. We cannot forget its tasty cheeses, the typical Santillana sponge cake and the sobaos pasiegos.

Other attractions of Santillana de Mar

Beyond the Altamira Caves, its heritage and its gastronomy, Santillana del Mar surprises with its intense cultural activity. In fact, throughout the year you can enjoy its museums and exhibition halls. In addition, you will find numerous artisan workshops. On the other hand, we want to comment on the municipality offers a magnificent coastline that is worth knowing, whether you are a lover of fishing or of quiet beaches. In addition, in the surroundings of the town you will find a beautiful natural heritage.

Then we leave you with our gallery , where you will find more images of this wonderful medieval town of Cantabria. Do not miss it!

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