CantabriaCantabria is one of the smallest in Spain (400 km. of borders, 172 km of coastline and an area of 5,289 km2), but it makes up for this in the variety and beauty of its countryside, the rich diversity of its valleys and its numerous famous men and women: artists, writers, soldiers and scientists. From the mouth of the Deva in the west, to the small Ontón estuary in the east, the Cantabrian coast offers a beautiful mixture of sea and mountains, fauna and flora, villages, ports and human activity over a stretch that measures 174 km as the crow flies, but which would measure thousands of kilometres if every inlet and peninsula were included.History Cantabria became one of Spain's self-governing regions following the approval of its Statute of Self-Government in 1981 and, having been known as the province of Santander until then, was officially renamed Cantabria a year later. In the north of Spain,it covers an area of 5,289 square kilometres between the mountains of the Cordillera Cantabrica and the Cantabrian Sea. Unlike the rest of Spain, most of the population of Cantabria entered the modern period under the statute of nobility, i.e. belonging to blood nobility, with all the advantages and exemptions that this impliedCuisine The Cantabrian sea supplies the region with its most characteristic food: the finest fish and seafood. The turbulent waters provide goose barnacles, all kinds of crab, clams, lobsters, crayfish and king prawns, not to mention squid of the highest quality, also sea bream, scorpion fish, anchovies and roast sardines (traditional in the region) served on a simple wooden dish. These waters also provide some of the most renowned Cantabrian dishes: hake in salsa verde, maganos encebollados, or baked clams.
Beef is the finest Cantabrian meat, in particular the beef of the Tudanca cow. Also, the largest livestock fair in Spain is held in the region: the Feria Nacional de Ganados in Torrelavega. There is also high quality game: wild boar and a variety of venison. Pork is a key ingredient of the "cocido montañés", which also includes beans, cabbage, rice black pudding and other ingredients.
The desserts are also particularly delicious, especially the "quesadas pasiegas" (cheesecakes). Pastries are also traditional and are given different names in different areas: Corbatas in Unquera; Polkas in Torrelavega; or Sacristanes in Liérganes.
RECIPES -Traditional Dishes
Cocido Montañés (Mountain Stew) - Main dish
Maganos Encebollados (Squid and Onion) - Starter
Bocartes a la Cazuela (Baked Anchovies) - Starter
Fillet Steak in Tresviso Cheese Sauce - Main dish
Hake in Salsa Verde - Main dish
Quesada Pasiega (Cheesecake) - Dessert
Along the coast of Cantabria there are more than 60 different beaches. You could visit a different one each day for two months without repeating. Large, small, urban, rural, quietly enclosed or open to the Cantabrian Sea: all of them have fine white sand, crystal clear water and a certain something.
Cantabria faces the ocean from the high, broken coastal plains to the foothills of the mountains. Where the rock is softer, the sea has broken through and caused the collapse of enormous cliffs, forming promontories and islands. Wherever the rock formation and the action of the waves has combined with the effect of the turbulent river waters, nature has built deep inlets and estuaries banked by wetlands.
These places were so favourable to sustaining human life that most of the population concentrated around them in far greater numbers than the rest of the country. However, there are still numerous estuaries, wetlands, inlets and beaches in Cantabria where nature is untamed and undisturbed.
The presence of nature is so strong along these coasts that, even in areas where man and his excesses are concentrated, the beauty of the landscape is still enough to overpower the senses, as at Castro Urdiales, Laredo, Santoña, Noja, the bay of Santander, Suances, Comillas or San Vicente de la Barquera.
Blue flags are synonymous with clean safe beaches. In Europe, the concept dates back to 1985. Twelve of these flags, the same colour as the sea, fly over beaches in the region.
Salvé Beach in Laredo is the longest and most heavily visited sandy beach on the whole of the Cantabrian coast.
These beaches, near the Santander city centre, are some of the most popular beaches in the region.
This magnificent beach is protected by a wonderful seafront promenade. It consists of fine golden sand and is ideal for surfing. Activities/Adventure
Adventure tourism has combined a growing interest in outdoor holidays, the rapid growth of equipment manufacture and the increased capacity of commercial operators, including clothing and equipment wholesalers, to provide a wide range of "activity" holidays.
Nowadays, adventure tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors in the tourist industry and has increased its presence and attraction in the world of tourism and international travel. The variety and easy availability of adventure tourism products for a wide range of interests and abilities seems to be limitless.
We propose this heady setting for your adventure of choice: paragliding, hang-gliding, abseiling down a rock face or pot-holing in underground caverns. The heights come courtesy of the Cantabrian landscape, one of the largest protected areas in Europe; all you have to do is bring the adrenalin and chose your form of descent. Just let yourself go. More
Santander International Festival29th July to 29th August Useful information
Palacio de Festivales de Cantabria
Calle Gamazo, s/n 39004 Santander (Cantabria)
Tel. +34 942361606 /Fax +34 942364061 Festivals in SpainPopular Holidays in Spain
Music and Dance in Spain. Classical Music Concerts & Events in SpainThe Santander International Festival fills Cantabria with concerts, shows and art. Throughout August, various historic venues in this northern Spanish region, along with the Cantabria Festival Centre, host the cultural agenda for this major event, which has been held since 1948. Dance, theatre, music, ballet, opera and recitals in their most traditional, but also their most avant-garde and innovative versions, make up the programme. 30 days in which churches, gardens, palaces and even caves are the stages for some of the most significant artists from different spheres of the performing arts from around the world.
Outstanding in this year's edition are performances of the operas, The Sleepwalker and Tosca, along with concerts by tenor Andreas Scholl, Liza Minnelli and the Boston Ballet, amongst othershttp://www.festivalsantander.com/
NatureCantabria has one Parque Nacional, five Parques Naturales and one Reserva Natural, as well as numerous other protected areas.
Parque Natural Saja-Besaya: this Parque Natural includes the largest national hunting reserve in Spain, developed between 1948 and 1966. It covers most of the western part of Cantabria.
Parque Natural de Oyambre: This area of marshland and woodland behind a four-kilometre beach has a wide variety of aquatic and migratory birds. Large whalebones frequently appear on the beach, since whales were slaughtered here from medieval times onwards; the watch-tower from which they were spotted on the horizon still stands.
Parque Natural de las Dunas de Liencres: This covers the magnificent dune system formed in the estuary of the river Pas.
Parque Natural de Peña Cabarga: this protected area covers the mountain range of the same name, which rises over the bay of Santander.
Parque Natural de los Collados del Asón.
Reserva Natural de las Marismas de Santoña y Noja: Also declared a national sanctuary for aquatic bird life. Pantano del Ebro: National sanctuary for aquatic bird life
Parque Nacional de Picos de Europa: Established in 1995, over an area of 700 km2, it includes ten mountain municipalities in three autonomous communities: Asturias, Cantabria and Castilla-Leon. It is the biggest national park in the country, consisting of three limestone massifs that were formed during the Carboniferous period and includes some of the deepest chasms in the world. It is one of the national parks most frequently visited by tourists, mountaineers and climbers, and offers a wide range of mountain accommodation and refuges.PLaces to Visit
1.Caves of Monte Castillo Mount "El Castillo" is the location of the most significant Palaeolithic heritage site in Europe, consisting of the caves of El Castillo, Las Monedas, La Pasiega and Las Chimeneas. A modern interpretation centre provides an enjoyable and educational insight into prehistory.More Caves2.Roman Baths of Camesa Rebolledo An interpretation centre for the rich heritage of the south of Cantabria. It includes a visit to a Roman villa with a bath area, next to a necropolis and an early medieval churchMore Heritage3.Maritime Museum Whales and sharks, galleons and transatlantic liners, sailors and fishermen all come together in this space dedicated to the sea and maritime culture. The visit includes a large aquarium containing the enormous variety of species in the Cantabrian Sea. More4.House of José Mª de Cossío Casona de Tudanca In a traditional and well-preserved mountain village, declared a site of historic and artistic interest, are the most prestigious family homes in the Mountain. Among the treasures to be found is the major collection of manuscripts by the most emblematic authors of the generation of '27, including García Lorca, Alberti, Aleixandre and Gerardo Diego.More5.Palace of Sobrellano This majestic building completes the monumental work undertaken by the Catalan architect Joan Martorell for the Marquis of Comillas. Next to the palace is the family Pantheon and El Capricho, one of the first works of the great Antonio GaudíMore Special EventsJubilee Cantabria.
The Camino de Santiago pilgrim routes in Cantabria. Pilgrims travelled across Cantabrian lands from the sea ports.Lebaniego Jubilee Year.
Jubilee celebrations in the monastery of Santo Toribio of Liébana date back to the 16th century, but papal documents from that time state that they are from "time immemorial".
Route of Carlos V.
This route follows the footsteps of Carlos V over Spanish lands.
"The Carlos V March" is one of the events organised to commemorate the disembarking of the emperor in Laredo in 1556. More
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