I’d be lying if I said I made this visit for any other reason than to visit a castle where my favorite Spanish telenovela was filmed.
This adorable beach town/port city would be ideal to visit in the summer months or even late spring, but I found a cheap ticket and hotel in January so I couldn’t pass it up.
If I had a million dollars, I’d buy a cute apartment looking out onto the Cantabric Sea. There’s one main road that lines the coast and has impeccable views of the water, also the apartment buildings are something take straight from an architect’s daydream.
I took a train from Madrid, and after a beautiful scenic 4 hour ride, I arrived in Santander. I quickly dropped my bag off at the hotel and started walking. This was a record-breaking fitbit weekend. I think I hit over 30,000 steps over the course of the day, that’s like over 10 miles.
Location. It’s in the north of Spain on the coast of the Cantabria Sea.
History and Architecture:
The great fire of 1941 destroyed most of the city and this dramatically changed the architecture. Instead of old small stone and wood buildings, large concrete and stone buildings were built for apartments and businesses alike.
Palacio de la Magdalena. (More than just the recording site of the Spanish tv show, Gran Hotel.)
This palace was constructed from 1908-1912 to be a seasonal residence for the royal family. King Alfonso XIII and his family vacationed there for about 15 years. Now it’s being used as a university and you can take classes and live there during the summer. Umm, where do I sign up?
Food: The north is very famous for pinxos (small plates of food), basically the same as tapas. I found a really great restaurant with a mini cheeseburger and a variation of the Spanish tortilla. YUM
Santander is a perfect day trip or a nice weekend getaway. It’s very easy accessible as I took a train from Madrid. And then I took a bus to Bilbao–my next feature on Spanish day trips.