A City Betrothed to the Sea
On the shores of the Bay of Biscay, or as the locals prefer you call it – the Cantabrian Sea, we find the northernmost city on the
Iberian Peninsula. A privileged enclave nestled between the sea and the mountains, the city breathes everything that is the ocean. The docks sway with fishing boats teeming with fishermen spending their days laboring at sea. In doing so they carry on the age old tradition that is at once the economic motor and primary industry of the city. Alongside the fishing boats are fleets of cargo ships floating manifest to the city’s role as one of the primary supply ports to the country.
Where Santander meets the sea, we discover the emblematic neighborhood called the Sardinero. One of the hottest summer spots on the peninsula, this gorgeous beach played host to summering royalty and aristocracy throughout the XIX century, today preserving its majesty so that all may enjoy its endless beaches. Surfing, snorkeling, paragliding, all sorts of traditional regional sports, are only some of the many activities the locals participate in on a daily basis among the beautiful landscapes.
As is the case in many of the cities along Spain’s northern coast, in Santander the incredible local cuisine is based on the fresh seafood products but also on the great meats and vegetables, thanks to the green pastures and hillsides the province has to offer. Anchovies, spider crab, clams, mussels, and the unique and unrivaled calamari, not to forget the typical breads and cakes you can find. Any Spaniard will tell you, you can’t eat anywhere in the world like you can in the North of Spain.
Santander is the capital of Cantabria, a province that offers incomparable natural and cultural wonders like the Peaks of Europe National Park, the prehistoric caves of Altamira with their iconic paintings , Gaudi’s El Capricho, or the roman ruins at Bárcena de Pie de Concha.
Without a doubt a city that is interesting, beautiful, authentic, historic, and very dynamic, qualifiers that have made it the seat for the 2014 ISAF Sailing World Championships, and that should put Santander and Cantabria on your short list of places to visit!
“Santander, la que crio a Sotileza, la novia del mar.”