- Dec 15, 2021
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Cantabria is an impressive and charming region, as one of its tourist slogans says, Cantabria is infinite and although it may seem exaggerated, it is not far from the truth. It is practically impossible to visit all its wonderful places in a single trip, but we can guarantee that after the first visit, you will want to repeat the experience many more times.
One characteristic that sets Cantabria apart from many other regions is the contrast of its landscapes. You can go from being in the impressive Picos de Europa, to the wildest beaches, prehistoric caves and charming stone villages. Tourism in Cantabria is tourism in a region where nothing is lacking.
Cantabria is a mountainous and coastal region with an important natural heritage. Its energetic relief means that 40% of its surface area is above 700 m above sea level and a third of the region has slopes of more than 30%. There are three morphologically well differentiated areas:
A coastal strip of low, wide and smoothly shaped valleys, about 10 km wide, whose altitude does not usually exceed 500 m. It borders the sea, forming steep cliffs that are broken by the appearance of river mouths, generating estuaries and beaches.
It is a long barrier of abrupt mountains parallel to the sea that make up part of the Cantabrian mountain range. The highest elevation in Cantabria is located at the peak of Torre Blanca (2,619 metres).
CAMPOO AND THE SOUTHERN VALLEYS
With a more continentalised climate, it has an optimal development of forest masses.
Although the Autonomous Community of Cantabria covers an area of only 5,300 square kilometres, it offers the curious differences in climate, fauna and vegetation typical of a large region. Its fauna and flora are extremely rich, with one of the last refuges of bears, wolves, capercaillies, black woodpeckers, wallcreepers and golden eagles, especially in the Saja and Picos de Europa reserves.
On the Cantabrian coast, dotted with fishing villages, beaches and small coves, you can enjoy beautiful landscapes. Inland, mountainous landscapes abound, with beautiful valleys.
The most unique mountain in Spain is in Cantabria, the Peña Labra mountain range, a peak that hardly stands out among the surrounding mountains, but which nevertheless has the peculiarity that a drop falling on its summit can fall into the Atlantic Ocean, the Cantabrian Sea or the Mediterranean. This is the reason for its name of Pico de Tres Mares (Peak of Three Seas), because from here the Pisuerga River starts, which later becomes the Duero, flowing into the Atlantic Ocean; the brave Nansa River flows into the Cantabrian Sea; and finally the Hijar, which will soon become the Ebro and then flow into the Mediterranean. From this singular summit, mountain excursions are often undertaken and the Ebro can be descended by canoe.
The Cantabrian capital, Santander
A few kilometres from the city is Santillana del Mar, a beautiful town with medieval streets and houses, where the renowned Prehistoric Caves of Altamira, declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, are located. Other prehistoric caves of great importance can also be visited throughout the region. The rich historical and artistic heritage of Cantabria is completed with interesting cave churches (in the valley of Valderredible), Roman ruins, Mozarabic churches, Romanesque collegiate churches and other monuments of great antiquity.
But Cantabria not only shows us monuments made by the hand of man, but also those made by the hand of God, nowadays preserved as natural parks.
The traditional festivals of Cantabria, its handicrafts and its gastronomy round off so many attractions that make this region truly worthy of a visit, which will not only not disappoint but will bring fascinating surprises.