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Visiting Cantabria in July

Storrington, United...
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Visiting Cantabria in July

We are keen to visit the north of Spain (I was there years ago and my other half loves Spain as well). We are restricted on times of the year because I work at a school, so would probably have to look at around 10th July. One option we are considering is the ferry to Santander, but we're not sure that we would like to stay there. That said, we would rather avoid renting a car so somewhere within about 30-40 kms would be ideal.

Does anyone have any ideas on a location that would tick these boxes: walking, lovely scenery, beaches not necessary as we're not sunbathers, interesting town with a good choice of restaurants, a river would be perfect but perhaps a bit too much to ask for.

We would be grateful for any advice, thank you.

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Blakeney, United...
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1. Re: Visiting Cantabria in July

Hello 'Clumsy1960',

I have been to this region on holiday many times over the past 35 years, and would suggest taking the ferry to Santander. Depends if you are planning to take a car, if not, fly into Santander, Bilbao or even Oviedo.

Cantabria offers some great scenery, wonderful beaches and mountains, as well as some charming riverside and coastal towns such as Comillas, and San Vincente de la Barquera. If you dont mind traveling slightly further west, you can cross into the Kingdom of Asturias, visit Cangas de Onis and take some of the mountain roads up to Covadonga.

I am visiting Cantabria at the end of July for 10 days and staying in one of the villages 20 minutes outside of Santander. A good place to stay is the coastal town of Pedreña, where you can take the ferry across the bay to the city of Santander, where you will find good shopping and no shortage of great places to eat and drink.

Last week in July is lively as its fiesta time across the whole province of Cantabria, as its ' Big week' (festival of St. James). Its the best region of Spain by mile's in my opinion.

Best wishes

Michael.

Edited: 28 May 2012, 11:19
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Storrington, United...
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2. Re: Visiting Cantabria in July

Thank you Michael, that's really useful information and I hope you have a wonderful time.

Best wishes, Clumsy

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3. Re: Visiting Cantabria in July

Sorry I seemed to have missed this message previously!

Well, 30-40kms away by public transport, you also have:

Lierganes, spa town on river with Sunday market and nice old quarter, lovely scenery and some walking available directly from the town. Connected to Santander by the FEVE train line.

Santillana del Mar, touristy town famous for its caves and beautifully preserved town centre, lots of places to eat and stay, bus connections to Santander, Comillas, Torrelavega and San Vicente de la Barquera.

Comillas, as Michael said, is a pretty seaside town, with lots of interesting architecture, a variety of places to eat and again, on the Santander-San Vicente bus route.

San Vicente de la Barquera, principally a fishing and tourist town around a river mouth and estuary, is further away, but also reachable by bus from Santander (more frequently than those above as it is also a stop by the ALSA buses on the way to Oviedo). Good choice of restaurants, several walks around the area and long beaches, lots of accommodation and fairly well connected in terms of getting to Potes (1hr and a bit by bus), Oviedo, Llanes, Comillas, Santillana etc.

Pedreña and Somo are both options too, as Michael said, both reachable by boat from Santander, however there isn't much to do there apart from enjoy the beach and eat (as he said, very well), although their ease of access to Santander maybe counteracts this, and to be honest you could do them by day trip from Santander. Somo restaurants are fairly shocking in comparison to Pedreña though (in fact in my experience in comparison to most places, considering it's quite an upmarket second home town).

Santoña, a little further away but well connected by bus from Santander is another place which you would like, a fishing village tucked behind a beautiful mountainous headland with 4 or 5 well marked stunning walks of different lengths. The town has good restaurants, it's famous for its anchovies, wetlands surrounding, and is at a river mouth, with a boat service (in summer) over to neighbouring Laredo. Next to Santoña is the lovely Berria beach, and you can walk over the next headland to the next beach at Noja too. The walking on the headland really is recommendable, and the best you're going to get within walking distance of a town.

Puente Viesgo is another town, a little more complicated to reach by public transport, but it's a beautiful riverside spa town with riverside walk, swimable river, and wonderful bike/walking track in both directions. Some walking available around the town, with some marked tracks, including up past the very impressive prehistoric cave complex in the mountain overlooking the town. The restaurants here are good, some cheaper and some top class, and the spa is nationally famous as the place where the Spanish football team have their week of rest and recouperation. It is a lovely place where personally we spend a lot of time wandering and eating when we get the chance. This one definitely would tick all your boxes, but it is more difficult by public transport.

If you have the possibility, I would hire a car, it will make your stay much more flexible, Cantabria has so many little villages, towns, mountain roads and natural parks to explore, you will be missing out on some spectacular areas and scenery if not.

For public transport in Cantabria, check out: www.transportedecantabria.es

If you want any more info, please get in touch!

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Cantabria, Spain
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Cantabria, Spain
Comillas
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Cantabria, Spain
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Cantabria, Spain
Oviedo
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Asturias, Spain
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Cantabria, Spain
Llanes
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Storrington, United...
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4. Re: Visiting Cantabria in July

Wow, thank you Raton - that's fabulous information. We have in fact arranged something else this year now but the north is definitely on our list and with all this deatil you have given us we can plan carefully. Really fantastic, thank you once again and have a great summer.

5. Re: Visiting Cantabria in July

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