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Overview

With its wide, sandy beaches, Santander has long been a popular resort with foreign tourists and Spaniards alike. The city spreads along the western side of the slender Bahía de Santander, with splendid views across the water to mountains and unspoiled countryside. Along the waterfront are breezy esplanades, elegant hotels, restaurants and cafes, and two ports bustling with ferries and pleasure craft. The main attractions are the two long, golden beaches that stretch either side of the headland: Playa de la Magdalena to the south and Playa del Sardinero to the north. The upscale suburb behind the latter is home to a grand casino. There is ...

With its wide, sandy beaches, Santander has long been a popular resort with foreign tourists and Spaniards alike. The city spreads along the western side of the slender Bahía de Santander, with splendid views across the water to mountains and unspoiled countryside. Along the waterfront are breezy esplanades, elegant hotels, restaurants and cafes, and two ports bustling with ferries and pleasure craft. The main attractions are the two long, golden beaches that stretch either side of the headland: Playa de la Magdalena to the south and Playa del Sardinero to the north. The upscale suburb behind the latter is home to a grand casino. There is ferry service across the bay to quieter beaches and stretches of dunes. Atop the headland is Palacio de la Magdalena, once the summer home of Alfonso XIII. Its grounds are now a public park with picnic areas and a tourist train. Among the few sights in town are the cathedral and its crypt, the fine arts museum with portraits by Goya, and, near the port, a good maritime museum and aquarium.

Donna Dailey
About the Expert

Donna Dailey is the author of Thomas Cook’s Ireland driving guide, coauthor of DK’s Back Roads Ireland and several other titles, as well as the author of Thomas Cook’s HotSpots Costa Blanca and a contributor to AA Publishing’s Key Guide Spain.

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Donna Dailey for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Late spring, summer, fall