Interested in Santander?
We'll send you updates with the latest deals, reviews and articles for Santander each week.
Santander Airport is located only a 15 minute shuttlebus ride out of the city centre, with buses leaving both the stop outside the arrivals hall and the main bus station in Santander every 30 minutes during the day, with tickets available from the bus driver for 2.10 Euros single (return tickets not available). There are also buses run by ALSA to other cities across the north of Spain. The first phase of a major improvement project is currently underway at the airport, as airtraffic is ever-increasing. It is served by several national and international airlines including Iberia, AirNostrum and Ryanair, who now fly to 17 destinations in Spain and all over Europe from Santander. For details of transportation around Santander click here. The airport has car rental facilities by all major car rental partners, and there is a small tourist information stand in the arrivals area. There is a brand new restaurant area next to the departures area, a small bar airside, and a small giftshop selling magazines and some local produce. There are also cashpoints available near the shop, and a taxi rank (around 15 Euros to the centre) outside the arrivals lounge. There are no hotels directly in the vicinity of the airport, the best option is to choose one close to the bus station in Santander.
Santander is just off the main A8 motorway which crosses the north of Spain along the coast, the next cities being Bilbao to the East and Oviedo to the West. There are now several short bypasses into and around Santander, including the S20 which goes down towards El Sardinero beach area, and the new S30 which links the S20 directly with the A8 in the Bilbao direction. The A67 motorway heads south towards Torrelavega, Reinosa and Madrid beyond. Following signs on the main A8/A67 for Santander will eventually take you right into the centre of town, alongside the ferry port. Both the Ferry terminal and the Airport are clearly signposted off all motorways.
Driving in Santander itself holds the dangers of driving in any Spanish city, cars double parked, lane changing with no indication, and lots of blowing of horns. With regard to parking in Santander, there are plenty of underground car parks in the city (all charging and often with areas reserved for residents), and there is plenty of free parking up near the Sardinero beaches. Street parking in the city centre is near impossible, and you may be towed away if you find yourself parked in the wrong place.
Santander is well served by both RENFE and FEVE train connections. Both stations are located opposite the bus station in Santander.
RENFE runs two types of services out of Santander, Long Distance trains and Cercanias (local) trains. The Long Distance trains run twice daily and stop in Torrelavega and Reinosa in Cantabria, before continuing on to Madrid (5 and a half hours) (via Palencia and Valladolid), with the morning train continuing on to Alicante (around 8 hours). The Cercanias trains run 8 daily from Santander to Reinosa, stopping at all stations along the line, including Torrelavega and Los Corrales, taking around an hour and a half to reach Reinosa.
FEVE is the narrow gauge railway, which runs several lines out of Santander. The first provides 3 trains an hour to Torrelavega, with many continuing on to Cabezon de la Sal, and two trains a day continuing on to Oviedo in Asturias. Another service runs a daily train to Bilbao, and further trains run to El Astillero and Lierganes, southeast of Santander. FEVE also organise special train trips and the Transcantabrico and La Robla services.
The bus station in Santander is opposite the RENFE and FEVE train stations in the centre of the city. Buses run from here all over Cantabria, Spain and beyond. The station is well equipped with information points, ticket sales, and food outlets, and buses leave from the bottom floor, with the exception of some city buses and the airport shuttle, which leave from outside the building at street level (to the left of the entrance). There is a taxi rank outside the station. For buses times to anywhere from Santander, see here, this encompasses all of the many companies which provide the services.
Santander is served by a regular ferry service from the UK from March to November run by Brittany Ferries, the departure points being either Plymouth or Portsmouth, both on the south coast. The journey time from Plymouth is around 20 hours with one departure per week in each direction, and from Portsmouth around 24 hours with twice weekly departures in each direction. There are two boats used on this route, the huge Pont Aven, whose facilities include cinemas, a swimming pool, sun decks, shops, restaurants and entertainment, and the new Cap Finistere. For more info on the route click here. The ferry terminal in Santander is right in the centre of town, opposite the Jardines de Pereda park, and the main tourist office, and is just a short walk from the train and bus stations.