Based in Suances, famous for its stunning beaches, this tour takes in the highlights of Cantabria. Located in the more unspoiled north, this region is the proud home to some of the jewels of Spain – amazing landscapes, charming beaches, exciting cities, cultural treasures and one of the most wonderful natural parks in Europe.
Day 1 We travel to Plymouth for the afternoon Brittany Ferries mini cruise to Santander in Northern Spain. The evening is free to relax and enjoy the many onboard facilities of this superb cruise ferry (meals payable on board).
Day 2 After a lunchtime arrival in Santander, make the short journey to our hotel in Suances, where we stay for seven nights dinner, bed and breakfast. We enjoy a glass of sangria and traditional tapas on arrival.
Day 3 A Today is at leisure relaxing in our resort, perhaps heading to the lovely sandy beach for which Suances is famous.
Day 4 This morning we explore the glorious Cantabrian coastline and visit the picturesque seaside town of San Vincente de la Barquera. Set against the backdrop of the stunning Picos de Europa mountain range, we have time to relax on the beach or explore the charming Old Town, including the Castillo del Rey and the 32-arch Maza Bridge in the bay.
Day 5 We spend today at the wonderful Parque de la Naturaleza de Cabárceno, one of the major attractions of Northern Spain. Set amidst the most spectacular scenery, this is an ideal place for the wildlife park, where the animals have an exceptionally large area to roam. A local guide joins us as our coach takes us across more than 20 kilometres of roads, crossing the beautiful and primitive landscape of the park, which is home to various species from five continents, including bears, elephants, lions and giraffes!
Day 6 Today we travel to the engaging capital city of Cantabria, Santander. Full of fine beaches, shops, cafés and some intriguing cultural attractions, there is plenty to take in here. The Palacio de la Magdalena, once the royal summer residence, lies at the mouth of the Bay of Santander on the rocky La Magdalena Peninsula, whilst the city centre is home to Santander Cathedral, with its octagonal cupola and Gothic cloister. We have a half-day driven guided tour and the rest of the day is free for your own exploration.
Day 7 Today we make our way through the Spanish countryside to the Picos de Europa National Park’s Sotama Visitor Centre for some free time to explore. We then travel on to Fuente Dé, with free time for lunch before travelling on the Fuente Dé Cable Car, for a spectacular ride that allows you to experience the magnificent heights and spectacular views of this mountain range.
Day 8 We head to the pretty village of Santillana del Mar, where we spend time at leisure exploring its cobbled streets and admiring the honey-coloured churches. We enjoy a lunch stop at the visitor centre at the Cave of Altamira, which boasts a spectacular reconstruction of its remarkable prehistoric cave paintings. In the afternoon we continue to Comillas, home to many types of neo classical buildings and a beautiful cemetery declared a Site of Cultural Interest. This evening we enjoy a disco and a glass of cava.
Day 9 We depart our hotel after breakfast and travel the short distance to Santander with free time to further explore this picturesque coastal resort. Later we board the Brittany Ferries sailing for Plymouth (meals payable on board).
Day 10 On arrival in Plymouth mid-afternoon. We rejoin our coach for the return journey to the local area.
Our vessel represents the very latest in cruise ferry technology and offers unrivalled levels of comfort. Accommodation in two-berth inside cabins (bunks) equipped with private shower, WC and washbasin is included. Two-bedded cabins are available at a supplement. Meals on board are not included.
The Gran Hotel Suances is set on a hill 700 metres from the beach and is an impressively grand, brilliant white Victorian style building. This elegant hotel is incredibly fresh and bright throughout, with marble flooring and decorated in stylish fabrics. The air-conditioned bedrooms are decorated in light colours and equipped with a TV, telephone, WiFi, hairdryer and safe. All bedrooms have views either of the sea or of the beautiful countryside. The hotel has a lift.