With breathtaking landscapes and rich ancient history, the region of Cantabria is a rare gem that should not be missed by those visiting the country of Spain. As a small province on the northern coast of Spain, Cantabria features lush green mountains and valleys as well as beautiful beaches and picturesque villages.
One of the richest places in the world for history, the Cantabrian Mountains are pitted with amazing caves where prehistoric peoples once inhabited and quite literally left their marks.
Declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO, the Cave of Altamira is a prime example. Located near the midieval town of Santillan del Mar, Altamira is the first cave in which prehistoric cave paintings were discovered.
In the town of Puente Viesgo, the Cave of El Castillo bears the artwork of prehistoric peoples in the form of animal paintings and human hand prints. Many visitors especially enjoy this cave because they can see the paintings up close, an experience which leaves a lasting memory.
The Cave of El Soplao, discovered in 1910 by lead miners but kept a secret until the 1970's, is considered unique because of its white, bizarre formations.
Also of historical importance are the Roman ruins of Juliobriga in the village of Retortillo, near Reinosa. Including a church and visitor’s center, Juliobriga encompasses the remarkable ruins of a Roman villa with columns and water works. The site also offers a breathtaking view across the valley and mountains.
For religious interest, the Monastery of Santo Toribio de Liebana is a 17th century monastery housing what is believed to be a splinter from the crucifixion cross of Jesus Christ.
Cantabria has many beautiful and cultural cities among which is its capital city, Santander. Set on a lovely bay with surrounding beaches, Santander offers visitors many things to see and do.
Carmona is one of the most charming cities in the area with its whitewashed buildings and cobblestone streets.
Comillas is known for its fantastic architecture of Antoni Gaudi. Some of the most notable works are El Capricho which resembles a fairy tale castle and Palacio de Sobrellano which offers a stunning view from the top of its palace.
Santona holds the Carnaval Marinero, or Sailor Carnival, in February where people dress up as fish.
Cabezon de la Sal celebrates Cantabria Day in August with traditional Cantabrian music, bowling championships and ox pulling competitions.