Santander
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Santander: Santander on Fire 1941 Historic Walking Tour

1. Santander: Santander on Fire 1941 Historic Walking Tour

There are many ways to get to know Santander, the capital of Cantabria. You can visit El Sardinero, the nobility of the Magdalena, eat a Regma ice cream, or visit one of the most beautiful bays in the world. Now, do you know what is really behind all this?  To understand Santander, you must understand its historic center and the history of the great fire of 1941, the catastrophe that razed much of the city. See how Santander has been rebuilt into the city known today on a tour which highlights the locations most significant to the fire. A story full of intrigue, decay, anonymous heroes, and fire and destruction wherever you look. It's promised that you'll never see the streets of Santander the same way again after a couple hours with your extremely knowledgable guide.

From Santander: Flavours of Cantabria Gastronomic Tour

2. From Santander: Flavours of Cantabria Gastronomic Tour

Depart Santander for Santoña at 9:15 AM. This is a small fishing village famous for its anchovy manufacture industry. Visit the anchovy factory of "Conservas Emilia" and discover how their anchovies are prepared. Enjoy the charming streets this beautiful village and the surrounding bay. Next stop at the vineyard of "Bodegas Vidular". Enjoy a relaxing walk along their vineyard while you learn how they produce their white wine. After the tour, taste some of the produce while enjoying the scenic views. Enjoy lunch in a local restaurant in the Pasiego Valleys. Continue towards the viewpoint known as "Mirador de la Braguia" for fantastic views over the valleys. Finally, stop at the largest sobaos factory in the area, "Sobaos Joselín". Visit their museum of “the sobao and the quesada", the local pastries of the region, followed by a guided tasting of their products. Begin the trip back to Santander, arriving at 6:45 PM.

Cantabria: El Castillo Caves & Pasiego Valleys Day Trip

3. Cantabria: El Castillo Caves & Pasiego Valleys Day Trip

Discover the jewels of Cantabria with a visit to the fascinating caves of El Castillo and Las Monedas. Drive through the picturesque villages and rivers of the Pasiegos Valleys. Learn about the region's history at the ethnographic Museum of Vega de Pas. Explore the famous Caves of El Castillo and Las Monedas, both World Heritage Sites by UNESCO since 2008 for their cave paintings. Visit an authentic cave with paintings from the Paleolithic era. Marvel at the legacy our ancestors left us thousands of years ago. Next, take a walk through the town of Puente Viesgo, enjoying views over the Pas river. Make the most of your time in the area by eating at a local restaurant. Then, sit back and enjoy a scenic drive around the Pasiego Valleys crossing valleys, rivers, and mountains until you reach the Mountain Pass of Estacas de Trueba. The landscape on the way is spectacular and will leave you enchanted. Conclude the drive at the waterfall that forms the source of the Yera River. Make your way to Vega de Pas, a small town nestled between mountains, known for being one of the authentic Pasiego villages. Visit the Ethnographic Museum of the Tres Villas Pasiegas. Understand how the Pasiegos used to live from your guide. On the back to Santander, make a stop to soak in the magnificent views over the Cantabrian Mountains offered by the Mirador de la Braguía.

Santoña: Anchovy Factory Tour and Boat Trip

4. Santoña: Anchovy Factory Tour and Boat Trip

You will leave Santander at 9:00 AM, heading for Santoña, a small fishing village famous for its anchovy manufacturing industry. You will first visit the anchovy factory "Conservas Emilia" where you will learn about the process of anchovy production. Afterwards, enjoy a one hour boat trip along the bay up to the famous lighthouse of "El Caballo". On your way to Santoña, you will drive along the marshes of Santoña, Vitoria and Jose. This natural bay is one of the best places in Cantabria for bird watching, and is listed as a protected natural park. Afterwards, you will take a short and scenic tour by car before starting your trip back to Santander. This is a quiet excursion for all ages, and especially for lovers of seafaring cities.

From Santander: Pilgrimage Day to Santo Toribio

5. From Santander: Pilgrimage Day to Santo Toribio

At 9:00am leave Santander for Potes, the capital of Liébana region. To get there you will cross the impressive gorge of the Hermida, part of a set of narrow gorges along the river Deva. Once in Potes, you will have the opportunity to do a short walking pilgrimage to the Monastery of Santo Toribio, 3 km from the village. This walk is roughly 45 minutes. The Monastery of Santo Toribio is, along with Santiago, Rome and Jerusalem, one of the holiest Christian sites, as it is host to the longest piece of the cross on which Jesus Christ died. The Monastery is also well known for celebrating the Jubileum regularly (the next Jubilee Year will be in 2023). It was Holy Toribio of Astorga, custodian of the relics of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem, who transferred a piece of the Cross to Astorga, city of which he was Bishop. This relic was transferred then to Liebana by Christians who wanted to keep it safe from the Muslims who had started the invasion of the peninsula. This place was also a place of pilgrimage, with its own identity due to the curative and miraculous powers attributed to the remains of the Saint of Astorga and to the Relic itself. Once you arrive in Potes, you will have the opportunity to walk the last part of the Lebaniego Way, this is the 3 km route that separates Potes from the Monastery, and attend the Pilgrim's mass at 12:00pm. After the mass, visit the chapel of San Miguel from where you will enjoy beautiful views of Picos de Europa before going back to Potes for lunch. The menu includes a “Cocido Lebaniego”, a stew of chickpeas and meat. This is the perfect local dish to recharge your energy. However, should you prefer another menu, please advise upon booking this tour. In the afternoon you will visit San Sebastian de Garabandal, a small village in the mountains where there were appearances of Virgin Mary from 1961 to 1965. You will have the opportunity here to walk up to the "Sanctuary of Los Pinos", the main place where the Virgin appeared. After the tour, enjoy comfortable transport back to Santander.

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What people are saying about Santander

It is a great route through the history of Santander. The life of its people, how the fire happened and what were the causes that made it lethal for the city. After February 15, 1941, Santander was no longer the same. It was the birth of what we know today, although few of us imagined the disaster caused by that fire. To understand, you have to listen to Héctor and then we will know. Totally recommended.

We really enjoyed the tour. Hector spoke very clearly in Spanish and we were able to follow most of what he said, with our high-level conversational Spanish. The information he imparted gave us new insights into, and appreciation for, Santander. He was enthusiastic and knowledgeable.

Highly recommended. The guide we had was Héctor who gave us a different tour without just telling the history of the city as usual. It shows that he really likes his work and that he transmits to people.

Very interesting trip through the history of Santander! The guide very prepared, friendly and patient! More than recommended!

Very pleasant, friendly, with a lot of information and helps to understand architecture and history of the city