If you have a week to visit Cantabria you will be able to get to know the most important things in the community. Undoubtedly the most important of Cantabria will be at your fingertips because it is a small region with affordable distances to visit Cantabria in 7 days.
The best way to visit Cantabria in a week is to stay in a central area of the autonomous community, such as Santander, or in an area near the capital.
Here we are going to tell you the best things to see in Cantabria in 7 days in a visit that you must make by car to make the most of it and get to know everything.
What to see in Cantabria in 7 days
Days 1, 2, 3 and 4 in Cantabria
For the first 4 days in Cantabria of our visit, we recommend reading our article with the best things to see in Cantabria in 4 days where you will discover in a more detailed way everything you will know in this fantastic land. In short, it will be the following.
The first day will be dedicated to getting to know the city of Santander. You can start your 1-day tour of Santander in the Plaza del Ayuntamiento to visit its surroundings where you can also find the Cathedral of Santander, the Pereda Gardens and the streets and squares of the city center such as Plaza Porticada or Plaza del Pombo..
Walking towards the area of the beaches we will arrive at the Magdalena Peninsula and the Sardinero Beaches, where the famous Santander Casino or the Piquio Park are also located.
After the visit, we can go to the town of Santillana del Mar, to take a walk through its fantastic streets, visit the Collegiate Church of Santa Juliana and also visit the Altamira Museum.
The second day of our one-week visit to Cantabria can be dedicated to the western coast of the community, visiting its fishing villages as well as its beaches and beautiful landscapes.
To the west of Santander we find towns as beautiful as Comillas, where you can visit its modernist monuments, such as the Capricho de Gaudí, the Palace of Sobrellano, its cemetery or the Pontifical University. Nearby is San Vicente de la Barquera and the natural wonders of the Oyambre Natural Park.
Suances would be the last of the beautiful towns in western Cantabria, a perfect place to enjoy the sunset over the Cantabrian Sea.
If the previous day we visited the western coast, on the third day we will go to the eastern coast, the east of Santander, where we will continue visiting its fishing villages.
Among these fishing villages of Cantabria we have Castro Urdiales, the one that is closest to the Basque Country, where its Old Bridge stands out. Other towns in this area are Laredo and Santoña, a must-see, and of course Noja, Isla and Ajo, some very touristic towns.
You should not miss some of its spectacular beaches on the eastern coast, such as Langre or Somo.
The fourth day of our 7-day trip through Cantabria we are going to dedicate to the region of Liébana and the Picos de Europa in one of the most fascinating car trips you can do in Cantabria, crossing the Hermida Gorge and admiring some landscapes that in few places you will find.
On this day we will visit the Church of Santa María de Lebeña before reaching one of the most beautiful towns in Cantabria, Potes. We will also get to know the Santo Toribio de Liébana Monastery, small villages such as Mogrovejo and the touristic Fuente Dé, from where the cable car that takes you to the Picos de Europa leaves.
If you have time, doing a short route through this area of the Picos de Europa would be perfect to end the day.
What to see in Cantabria on the fifth day
After 4 intrepid days we arrive at day 5, another day in which we are going to try to get to know the best of Cantabria and some of its most spectacular corners. We are going to dedicate this day to touring the Valles Pasiegos, in one of the best routes by car that you can do in Spain.
This tour through the valleys of Pas must begin in Castañeda, made up of several small towns and where the incredible Collegiate Church of Santa Cruz stands out, the most beautiful monument we will find on our route through the valleys of Pas. It is a Romanesque construction dating from the 12th century that will leave you speechless.
The next point on our route by car through the Valles Pasiegos is Puente Viesgo, one of the most touristic towns in the area thanks to the thermal waters of its spa but also to the beautiful caves that are around it, the Cuevas de Monte Castillo, which compete in beauty with that of Altamira. These are 4 caves with cave paintings that are worth a visit.
We continue our journey to Alceda, crossing other pretty villages in the middle of a beautiful green valley that you will not want to stop photographing. In Alceda we find a series of mansions and palaces built between the 16th and 18th centuries.
The next destination in the Valles Pasiegos is Vega de Pas, one of the “3 Villas Pasiegas”, where there is a museum dedicated to them where you can learn about the customs of the Pas Valley. This town is the cradle of Pasiego sobao and a perfect place to get to know the typical Pasiega houses.
From here we start the way back to our starting point, but on other roads with many curves and from where we have beautiful landscapes, and we arrive at Selaya through the Puerto de la Braguía, where the Mirador de la Braguía is located, the place from the one with the best views of the Pas Valley.
The last destination on our route is Liérganes, possibly the most beautiful town in the Valles Pasiegos and where you will enjoy its Casco Viejo as well as the Puente Mayor, on whose side is the statue of the Man-Fish. Liérganes is full of mansions and palaces and taking a walk through its streets is one of the best experiences you will have on your 7-day visit to Cantabria.
Do not leave Liérganes without visiting the Fluviarium, a small museum dedicated to nature and where you will learn about the flora and fauna of the Valles Pasiegos. Thus ends our fifth day in Cantabria, one of the most intense.
What to visit in Cantabria on the 6th day
Our penultimate day in Cantabria arrives and we return to make a route by car through the interior visiting charming towns as well as incredible landscapes. This day we are going to visit the Cabuérniga Valley, where one of the most beautiful villages in Spain is also located, Bárcena Mayor.
However, we are going to start the tour in a place that does not belong to this valley, in Cueva El Soplao, one of the most interesting caves in Cantabria that you can visit on a spectacular guided tour that will take you to the bowels of the earth. Cantabrian. It was discovered during the works that were carried out in the nearby mines and one of the attractions when visiting the cave is to enter an old mining train.
After the visit to the cave we will go to Cabezón de la Sal, the gateway to the Cabuérniga Valley and where the famous Sequoia Forest is located, where we can get lost in a forest made up of almost 1000 specimens of this gigantic tree.
Now we can go into the Cabuérniga Valley and get to know the towns that you will find on your journey. The first of them where you should make a stop is Ruente, with an incredible architectural ensemble that you should know about and where you can find La Fuentona, a beautiful natural spring that emerges in a cave that is well worth a visit.
A little further on, if we go along the road that crosses the valley, we turn right and arrive at the town of Carmona, another of the most beautiful towns in Spain where we can enjoy the typical architecture of Cantabria. When you get there you will understand that it was worth deviating from the route. After the visit, you retrace your steps and finally head to the great jewel that we will visit this day.
Bárcena Mayor is finally our next destination. Located in the Saja-Besaya Natural Park, being the only town in it, it is one of the most beautiful towns in Spain, and for good reason. You will arrive through a road that only goes to this town and after leaving the car at its entrance in the parking lot that is enabled, you can start enjoying the town on foot.
Bárcena Mayor stands out for the architecture of its typical houses, the bridge that crosses the Argoza River and for the Cocido Montañés, its most typical dish and which you can taste in all its restaurants. We recommend arriving early to be able to park and enjoy the town with almost no visitors.
What to see in Cantabria on the 7th day
There is still much to see in Cantabria but we only have one day left and we will want to return. But with this 7-day visit you will have practically enjoyed the most important things in Cantabria.
This last day we are going to dedicate fundamentally to Cabárceno Park, a different zoo located in an old iron mine where animals live in semi-freedom and that you can enjoy in a very different way.
Cabárceno Park is immense and to visit it you must go by car (or bicycle). On foot it is almost impossible. You will have to go from enclosure to enclosure in your car and thus be able to see each of the animals that live there up close, although for some you will have to have patience or a sharp eye.
Another of the great experiences to live in the Cabárceno Park is to ride in its cable cars and see the animals and landscapes from a different perspective. Without a doubt, something that you will possibly never forget.
The visit to Cabárceno Park will take you more than half a day. Even the whole day if you entertain yourself in each of the venues, so you won’t have much more time in Cantabria for this last day.
But if you still have the afternoon, the best thing you can do is go to the Costa Quebrada, an area near Santander where you will find paradisiacal beaches at the foot of immense cliffs. One of the most beautiful areas of Cantabria although it is not one of the best known.
On the Costa Quebrada do not miss the beaches of Arnía, Covachos or Liencres, although there are many more that you will not have time to discover in a place that is a true marvel of geology.
This is how our 7-day car tour of Cantabria ends. You can find more information on the official Cantabria tourism page.