Although Cantabria is a region which covers only 5,300 kilometres, curiously, it has a variety of types of climate, fauna and vegetation normally found in a large region.
There is a rich range of fauna and flora. The last remaining refuges of bears, wolves and royal eagles are to be found here, especially in the Saja and Picos de Europa reserves. This contrasts with the coast, with beautiful bays and romantic fishing villages. In the interior, mountain landscapes abound, with beautiful valleys.
The Cantabrian capital, Santander, is on a lovely bay. It is an economically active city and port, with a busy sea port. The summer period offers a wide range of cultural events, thanks to, particularly, the Menendez Pelayo International University and the International Festival. The impressive sports facilities make it an extremely attractive city for leisure.
A few kilimotres away, is Santillana del Mar, a pretty village full of medieval streets and houses, where the famous Altamira Prehistoric Caves are to be found.
In the whole region, it is also possible to visit.other prehistoric caves, as well as the Rupestre (rock-cut) Santa Maria de Valverde Church or Cabárceno Natural Park, where animals from all five continents live in semi-freedom.
Lastly, the traditional Cantabrian local holidays, its handicrafts and gastronomy add to the many attractions that really make this region worthy of a visit. Visitors will certainly not be disappointed and probably in for several surprises.
The local area
On the western coast of Cantabria, 45 kilometres from the capital, San Vicente de la Barquera a town of barely 41 kilometres square, brings together all the values and attractions of Green Spain: a notable monumental patrimony which was declared of cultural interest in 1987, great historic importance, an exceptional natural environment, renowned gastronomy and deep popular traditions which are reflected in its various holiday and artistic displays.
Its fishing port, around which the town has developed, continues to be one of the most important ports of the region.
Tourism and services are at present, the main economic activities of the town and provide a wide and attractive variety for visitors.
San Vicente is at the very heart of the Oyambre National Park, a natural area of great ecological value, made up of cliffs, beaches, dunes, rivers. San Vicente de la Barquera is an important part of the coastal route to Santiago. As a result of its past, the town and its villages are rich in monumental patrimony.