Santillana del Mar

Santillana del Mar is a picturesque town in Cantabria, Spain, renowned for its medieval architecture. The area around Santillana del Mar has been populated for thousands of years and there are traces of some of the earliest inhabitants at the Altamira Caves about two kilometres from the town. Unfortunately, the village has become a bit of a tourist trap, and is so swamped with new developments around the outskirts, that on arrival you might be forgiven for wondering what all the fuss is about.

However, the original kernel of the medieval village still survives in the centre, although the beauty of the winding streets and yellow sandstone buildings is rather marred by the abundance of shops selling tourist nick-nacks that have proliferated into almost every doorway. The highlight of the town is the Colegiata de Santa Juliana - a lovely medieval church with a walled cloister that can be found in the heart of the town. The entrance fee is €3.

For the more adventurous, there are some lovely walks in the small hills around the town that afford stunning views of the Picos de Europa and ??? mountain ranges, as well as the coast of the Bay of Biscay..

There is a very modern and helpful tourist office in the town that provides lots of useful information

Get in

Santillana is 15 ml (24 km) from Santander.

By plane

The next airport is Santander Airport (Santander - Parayas, Aeropuerto Internacional de Santander) Aptdo de Correos 097, E-39600 Maliaño/Cantabria, tel. 942 202100, fax 942 202152, email:

By train

The next FEVE railway station is Puente San Miguel, about 3 ml (4 km) from Santillana-del-Mar.

The next RENFE railway station is Torrelavega, about 6 ml (10 km) from Santillana-del-Mar. Autobuses Garcia operate bus services from Torrevelaga to Santillana del Mar and back.

By bus

There are buses to Santillana del Mar from Santander, with the journey taking about half an hour. There are up to seven buses a day in July and August, although fewer outside of these months.

The bus from Santander drops you just outside of the town. When leaving beware that, although there is a bus shelter just outside the town where you will be dropped off on your way in, the bus back actually departs from the steps in front of the town hall?, about 50 metres closer to town.

The bus station is at Av, Cantabric s/n, tel 942891954.

By car

Distances from Santillana del Mar:


The whole town, old and well-preserved, is worth visiting.



Houses and Palaces

Further out

Bison in the Altamira cave


Local Festivals

Epiphany: Santillana, 5 January. Medieval Festival: June. Folia: Variable, San Vicente de la Barquera, 30 km. Procession for Santa Juliana: 28 June, Santillana del Mar. San Roque: 16 August.


There are beaches at


Typical pastries include sobao pasiego and quesadas (a light sort of cheesecake)


A trip to northern Spain must include a sampling of sidra, or hard cider, which is typical of Cantabria as well as Asturias and Basque Country. It is traditional to pour the cider into the glass from a height of about three feet. Your bartender will know how if you are hesitant to try the feat yourself.



Go next

The bus to Santander departs from the steps in front of the town hall?.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, September 19, 2015. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.