If you have come this far because you are preparing a 5-day trip to Cantabria, you are in luck, since here we offer you a five-day trip through this wonderful region of northern Spain.
Visiting Cantabria in 5 days is probably not enough for you, because you have many places of interest to visit in the four cardinal points of Cantabria, but you can get an idea of the most important things to know.
To enjoy this 5-day trip to Cantabria, we recommend that you book your accommodation in the center of the community to be close to all the places that we are going to propose. Santander or Santillana del Mar are two perfect places for it.
What to see in Cantabria in five days
What to visit on the first day in Cantabria
We are going to dedicate the first of the five days that we are going to have to visit Cantabria to its capital, Santander, where there is much to visit. If you stay here you can take advantage of the end of each day to get to know more about the city.
In Santander we can distinguish two very different areas, that of the historic center and that of the beaches.
In the historic center, where we can start the visit, we have the Plaza del Ayuntamiento and the Cathedral of Santander, which are really two superimposed temples.
Nearby are the Pereda Gardens, one of the most beautiful in Santander, next to which we find several very interesting buildings and squares such as Plaza del Pombo or Plaza Porticada. In these streets we recommend getting lost and enjoying.
After visiting this area, we can go to the Magdalena Peninsula, where we can visit the impressive Royal Palace, current headquarters of the Menéndez Pelayo University.
The area of beaches also begins there, among which we highlight the most famous, Playa del Sardinero.
The Casino and the Parque del Piquio would be our last destinations on this tour of Santander, although there are many other very interesting places to visit.
After the visit to Santander we can go to another of the essential places to visit in Cantabria in 5 days, Santillana del Mar, not far from the capital. It is one of the most impressive Cantabrian towns and it will surprise you.
In it you have to go through the historic center where we can enjoy the Plaza Mayor, its cobbled streets and the Collegiate Church of Santa Juliana, which represents the most outstanding and famous monument of Santillana del Mar. The visit is completed with the beautiful palaces that are throughout the town.
The Altamira Museum is another essential visit to Cantabria. Most likely, this full day will not have more time and you will not be able to visit it.
But sign it up for any of the other days to have a slot and visit it. If you stay in Santillana del Mar you can do it first thing in the morning.
What to see in Cantabria on the second day
We are going to dedicate the second of the days that we have in Cantabria to get to know the western towns of the region. You must organize yourself well so that you have time to visit them all. If you do, we assure you that you will.
First we will go to Comillas, the most beautiful of these towns and where there are more places of interest.
In Comillas we can initially visit the Plaza de la Constitución and its surroundings before heading to the modernist monuments of the town, the best known.
These include the Palacio de Sobrellano, the Panteón de los Sobrellano Chapel and, of course, the Capricho de Gaudí, the most interesting place and a must-see.
Among the modernist monuments, the Pontifical University should also be highlighted.
After the visit to Comillas we will go to San Vicente de la Barquera, another of the essential places to see in Cantabria in 5 days.
To do this, we will cross the Oyambre Natural Park, with spectacular landscapes that will surprise you.
In San Vicente de la Barquera we can enjoy very interesting buildings and monuments such as the Castillo de Rey, the famous Puente de la Maza or the Church of Santa María de los Ángeles.
After her we will retrace our steps and go to Suances. We have left it for last in case you don’t have time to visit the previous two, since we consider them more interesting and it is true that this second day is very complete.
In Suances you can enjoy its beaches and the best sunsets you can have in Cantabria.
What to do on the third day in Cantabria
We still have a lot to visit in Cantabria and this day we are going to go to the opposite end of the region and get to know the eastern towns.
The first of them, and perhaps the most beautiful, is the furthest from Santander. We refer to Castro Urdiales. And if you arrive in Cantabria from Bilbao you can also visit it on the way and save time.
Castro Urdiales has a very special charm thanks to the complex formed by the Old Bridge, the Church of Our Lady of the Assumption and the Castle of Santa Ana.
We also recommend you to visit its old town and its port enjoying one of the most important towns to visit in Cantabria in 5 days.
The next destinations are Laredo and Santoña, located next to each other and very different. In them you will also have many places to visit although if you do not have time do not go crazy either because, although they are beautiful, they are not essential either.
Once you have visited the 3 eastern towns, you can spend your time visiting some of the most beautiful beaches in Cantabria. Among them we highlight two.
One of them is Playa de Langre, possibly the most beautiful in Canabria and you will like it even if you don’t like beaches.
Don’t miss out on the nearby Playa de Somo, located in front of the city of Santander, so you can enjoy beautiful views of the city and the Magdalena Peninsula, as well as a beautiful sunset that you won’t forget.
If you have time left over, Ajo, Noja and Isla are also in this area.
What to see on the fourth day in Cantabria
We arrive at the fourth day in Cantabria and finally we are going to enter the interior of the region and visit its mountains.
This day we are going to visit the Comarca del Liébana and the Picos de Europa. To get there we will take a road from Unquera that will leave you speechless thanks to the beauty of the Hermida Gorge, some great views.
Before arriving, make a short stop to admire the Church of Santa María de Lebeña, one of the beautiful pre-Romanesque churches found in northern Spain.
Fuente De will be our final destination on the route where it is necessary to take the cable car and overcome the 753 meters of difference in level between the Parador and the Mirador de El Cable. You can make a small route through this area of the Picos de Europa or simply enjoy the journey and the views from the viewpoint.
We will start our way back. But we have not yet finished the visit to the places of this fourth day. We will first stop at the picturesque village of Mogrovejo, one of the prettiest in the Liébana region, and later at the Santo Toribio de Liébana Monastery, one of the great Christian pilgrimage centres.
But we are still missing the great jewel of the region, one of the best things to visit in Cantabria in 5 days. We are talking about Potes, which we will have left aside before to visit it at the end.
In Potes we can admire the Torre del Infantado and the cobbled streets of its old town whose beauty is complemented by its bridges and mansions.
Thus ends the fourth day in Cantabria. But there is still another day to enjoy.
Fifth day in Cantabria
We have reached the last day in Cantabria and we are going to dedicate it to two very different plans that you will love. Of course, if you haven’t had time the previous days, visit the Altamira Museum first, because you can’t spend 5 days in Cantabria without visiting this essential place.
The first of these two places that we are talking about is the Cabárceno Park, an enclosure where we can enjoy animals in semi-freedom, a zoo that is different from what we are used to seeing.
Located in an old iron mine, Cabárceno Park can be visited on foot, by bicycle or by car, stopping at each viewpoint along the way to admire the animals that appear before your eyes.
The second plan that we recommend is to enter the interior of the most unknown Cantabria and reach one of the most beautiful towns in Spain, Bárcena Mayor, a place that will transport you to another era and that will surprise you.
In Bárcena Mayor it seems that time stopped one day. And so we can find this picturesque town with a very typical architecture and a special charm only broken by the number of visitors it receives.
In addition, the town is located in the Saja-Besaya Natural Park, where you can do all kinds of activities.
This is how our 5 days in Cantabria end. It has not given us time to see everything that this region offers us, but we have known the fundamentals.
You can find more information on the official Cantabria tourism page.