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Santander lies on Spain’s North coast and is the capital of Cantabria. It's also where the ferry service from Portsmouth docks and as well as being ideal stopping off points, either to or from the boat, the best places to stay in Santander are ideal bases for exploring this most historic of cities.
Santander’s origins are Roman, and it owes its existence to the great harbour of the bay of Santander which became the most important port for Castille and trade with the New World.
There was a great fire in 1941 which raged for two days and destroyed the old town, but don't let that put you off there's still plenty to do and see including
- the Cathedral of Santander,
- the Museum of Fine Arts,
- the Palacio (which is quite English in influence),
- El Hotel Real (1917),
- the Gran Casino del Sardinero (1916),
- the lighthouse of Cabo Mayor
There are many beautiful Belle-epoque style buildings, and there's a healthy foodie scene with loads of little tapas bars and restaurants on charming plazas and hidden down side streets. And culturally, there are various festivals from May through August which are worth a visit.
During the early twentieth century Santander became the favoured summer residence of King Alfonso XIII with his Palacio de la Magdalena, and it remains a popular beach resort to this day, with plenty of swathes of golden sand to satisy even the fussiest.
Santander is the birthplace of Seve Ballesteros, probaby Spain's most famous golfer (the airport is named after him). There is also horse racing on the Campa de la Magdalene. And for watersports enthusiasts, there are surf camps for all standards!
The best places to stay in Santander are ideal whether you're here for a few days or simply passing through. But if you're planning a visit during the peak summer months, book well ahead, it's a busy city!
For a value stay in the centre of town
- Jardin Secreto is an extremely comfortable guesthouse with a beautiful garden, in the city centre, close to the fine art gallery. It offers great value for those on a budget and has a reciprocal relationship with the Club Metropolitan Aqua-Floranes spa enabling guests to use the facilities at a reduced rate. Rooms start from just €65 per night!
- Le Petit Boutique Hotel is, unsurprisingly, a small boutique hotel just two miles from Sardinero Beach, Santander. There are seven, simple yet chic, rooms, starting from around £45 per night, plus a breakfast buffet.
Best Hotels in Santander
Le Petit Boutique Hotel 7 rooms from $72Santander (10 Bajo)
This small boutique hotel is located just two minutes away from Sardinero Beach. It features chic, natural palette rooms which include free wifi and an LED TV. A breakfast buffet is served each morning, perfect for setting you up for a day on the beach or for exploring Santander and its sights.Local exploring - Santander Cathedral is less than a mile away and there are a number of other sights within a short distanceActive Holiday - Mataleñas Golf Club is nearby and Sardinero beach has plenty of watersports on offerSights nearby - Explore what Santander has to offerSailing - Sailing available nearby
Jardin Secreto 6 rooms from $74Santander
A cheerful guesthouse located in the centre of Santander. Its six comfortable rooms are all individually furnished, some featuring exposed brickwork and others wood panelling. Just a short walk from Santander's fine art gallery it is perfectly located for exploring the city. A superb value option.Value chic - Well priced, homely option in the heart of townLocal exploring - Perfectly placed for exploring on footSpa - Guests enjoy special rates at the Club Metropolitan Aqua-Floranes Spa.Local markets - Pick your way through the bustling street markets of Satander.