You might want to consider the Parador de Gil Blas
in Santillana del Mar
. There's a new Parador in Limpias (just south from Laredo). I have stayed in Hostals, Pensiones
and with private family in the Center of the City and at Hostal Paris
in el Sardinero but never in 3 or 4 star properties in Santander. Hostal Paris
is nice but
there were two Discos behind the Gran Hotel Sardinero
and the noise of the Motorcycles at 3:00AM when the Discos cosed down woke us up every night.
If you go down to Liebana (Potes), Hostal Picos de Europa
is nice. When I stayed there in 2001, the owner's son, an Haute Cuisine Chef
had moved to a 5-star Restaurant and left his dad 'high and dry.' So they were just serving Continental breakfast. Just follow the road south from Unquera. The drive through the gorge of the rio Deva
is a 'white knuckler.'
Other sites in the area that may interest you are Comillas, San Vicente de la Barquera, Laredo, San Sebastian de Garabandal
site of reported Marian apparitions in the early '60's - a few KM south of Cabezon de la Sal, Llanes (Asturias), Covadonga
and other historical sites. The people of Cantabria insist that Don Pelayo
, who was victorious over the Moors in the battle of Covadonga, was Cantabro
. The largest known fragment of the Cross on which Christ was crucified is guarded in a Monastery, Santo Toribio, 2km from Potes. The relic was smuggled there by Toribio, Bishop of Astorga. Of course the people of the Principality of Asturias claim Pelayo as Asturiano
The University of Cantabria (actually in el Sardinero
is named Universidad Internaciónal de Menendez Pelayo (UIMP)
) and is correctly pronounced 'wimp,' in Spanish or in English.