Santillana del MarSpain, 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
The next airport is
The next FEVE railway station is Puente San Miguel, about from Santillana-del-Mar.
The next RENFE railway station is Torrelavega, about from Santillana-del-Mar. Autobuses Garcia operate bus services from Torrevelaga to Santillana del Mar and back.
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.
- La Cantabrica, Nav 5, El Campon, Penacastillo, tel 42342701, 942720822 fax 942346988 operates bus services from Santander Bus Station (estación de Autobuses de Santander) to Santillana del Mar from Sep 1 until Jun 30 at 10.30 and 11:30AM, 1.05, 5, 6.15, 7.15 and 8:30PM. Journey time: 40 minutes, price: € 2.25 single (December 2009).
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.
- Autobuses Garcia operate services to and from Altamira and Torrevelaga.
- from Santander: take the highway to Torrelavega - exit “Requejada”, go ahead to Barreda, turn right on road CA-131 to Santillana del Mar, or exit “Puente San Miguel” and take the CA-133 road to Santillana del Mar.
- from Asturias: take the “Autovía del Cantábrico” (Cantabrian Highway) or N-634 to Puente San Miguel, then the CA-133 road to Santillana del Mar.
- from Madrid, Bilbao, Burgos, Palencia or Valladolid: take the highway to Torrelavega, then as above
- from Comillas: take the CA-131 road.
Distances from Santillana del Mar:
- Suances 6 Km.
- Torrelavega 6 Km.
- Comillas 16 Km.
- Santander 30 Km.
- San Vicente de la Barquera 30 Km.
- Parque de Cabárceno 30 Km.
- Picos de Europa 70 Km
The whole town, old and well-preserved, is worth visiting.
phone: +34 942818004, +34 639830520address: El Cruce
Museo Jesús Oterophone: +34 942818806address: Plaza de Francisco Abadmuseum of the Cantabrian scultpor Jesús Otero
phone: +34 942818005
Museo de la Inquisición el Solarphone: +34 942840273address: Escultor Jesús Oteromuseum displaying torture tools and "instruments for public humiliation"
- El Museo de la Tortura or Torture Museum contains an impressive collection of instruments of torture from around Europe, including those used in the Spanish Inquisition. The museum is interesting and rich in history, but be warned that it is not for the faint of heart!
address: Calle El Cantón
Collegiata de Santa Julianaabbey dating to the 12th cent, beautiful Romanesque church, in ancient times one of the most powerful monasteries of Spain, attracting many noble families who built their houses in Santillana del Mar
Claustro de la Colegiataphone: +34 639830520address: Plaza del Abad Francisco NavarroRomanesque cloisters dating to the 12th and 13th cent with scenes from the Bible and fighting scenes
Convento de las Clarisasaddress: Rúa Jesús Tagle
Convento de las Dominicasaddress: Calle Antonio Niceas
Houses and Palaces
Casas del Águila y la Parraphone: +34 942818398address: Calle Juan Infante
Casa de los Sánchez Taglephone: +34 942818141address: Calle de Velasco
Palacio de Velardeaddress: Plaza de las Arenas
Casa de los Quevedoaddress: Calle del Río
Palacio de Peredo - Barreraphone: +34 942818171address: Santo Domingo
Casa de los Hombronesaddress: Calle Cantóndecorated with Baroque coat of arms saying 'Un bon morir es onra de la vida' - A good dying honours life
Casa del Marqués de Santillanaaddress: Calle Cantón
Casa de los Bustamanteaddress: Calle de la Carrera
Casa de los Villaaddress: Calle Santo Domingo
Plaza Ramón Pelayo o del Mercado
Casa de los Barreda - Brachoaddress: Calle Santo Domingo
Torre del Merinoaddress: Plaza Ramón Pelayo
Torre de Don Borjaaddress: Plaza Ramón Pelayo
Casa de la Infanta Pazaddress: Plaza Ramón Pelayo
Casa de la Archiduquesaaddress: Calle Río Cantón
AltamiraA cave with prehistoric paintings, inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
San Vicente de la Barquera
Oyambre National Park
La Barca de Calderónaddress: Carretera de Santillana del Mar a Vivedahouse of the Calderón de la Barca family, 15th cent
Santa María de Viaceliaddress: Cóbreces, on the road from Santillana del Mar to Comillas
Complejo del Monte Castilloaddress: Cuevas del Castillo
Cueva de Covalanasphone: +34 942645504address: Ramales de la Victoriarock paintings, more than 15000 years old
Cueva de Chufinphone: +34 942727457address: Riclones (Rionansa)
Ecomuseo Saja-Nansaaddress: Puente Pumar (Señorial Valle de las Poblaciones)
Suancesaddress: Ría de San Martín
phone: +34 942818125, +34 942840175address: Ctra. Puente de San Miguel
Local FestivalsEpiphany: 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
- Ubiarco (5 km),
- Cobreces (10 km),
- Comillas (17 km),
- Oyambre (20 km) and
- Suances (10 km)
Los Blasonesphone: +34 942818070address: Plaza de la Gandara 8old fashioned restaurant,
Casa Cossiophone: +34 942818355address: Plaza Abad Francisco s/n
Café Concanaphone: +34 942840161address: Calle los Hornos
La Joracaphone: +34 942840137address: Los Hornos
Altamiraphone: +34 942818025address: Cantón
Taberna del Chusphone: +34 942818122address: Calle del Río
Los Noblesphone: +34 942818042address: Calle Carrera
El Catillophone: +34 942818377address: Plaza Mayor
Casa Ángelphone: +34 942818227address: El Cantón
Parador Gil Blasphone: +34 842818000address: Plaza de Ramón Pelayo
phone: +34 942818025address: Calle Canton 1, 39330 Santillana del Mar, Cantabria
phone: +34 942028028address: Plaza Ramon Pelayo 11ancient mansion of the Barreda-Bracho family, with wooden floors, traditional furniture and 28 rooms
phone: +34 942840194address: Calle La Robleda 20, 39330 Santillana del Mar, Cantabria
- Tourist Information (Oficina de Turismo) Calle Jesus Otero 26, tel 942818812
Guardia Civilphone: +34 42 818 010address: Avda. Antonio Sandi, s/n
Centro de Salud Altamira (Health Center)phone: +34 942838515, +34 942820684address: Barrio La Teja, s/n, 39530 Puente San Miguel
Hospital de Sierrallana (Hospital)phone: +34 942847400, +34 942847402, +34 942847403, +34 942847505 (urgencies)address: Ganzo, s/n, 39300 Torrelavega
Farmacia (Pharmacy)phone: +34 942 818 369address: Jesús Otero, s/n
- La Cantabrica operates bus services from Santillana del Mar to Santander Bus Station (estación de Autobuses de Santander) from Sep 1 until Jun 30 M-F at 7:15AM, daily at 10:15AM and 3:45PM, M-F at 6PM, Sat and Sun at 7.30 pnm. Journey time: 40 minutes, price: € 2.25 single (December 2009).
- Autobuses Garcia C/H.Alcalde del Rio, 2 Bajo, Torrelavega, tel 942891640 fax 942891104 operate bus services from Santillana del Mar to Torrelavega.