Travel

Travel Spotlight : Cantabria

todayMarch 3, 2022

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As someone once said, “You can’t buy happiness but you can go to Spain and that’s pretty much the same thing!”. Spain is a country offering rich and vivacious culture and atmosphere. It is the most visited country by the citizens of the UK, estimating at least 18 million before the covid pandemic hit. One place, however, did pique my interest. That place is called Cantabria (/kænˈteɪbriə/).

Cantabria is an autonomous community to the north of Spain, also considered a historic community. It is also a part of Green Spain, which is the lush green area in Northern Spain. It has really unique geography, with the beaches and river estuaries and a karst mountain range which is parallel to the sea. Not only does Cantabria have an ethereal landscape to offer, but also wonderful architecture and fascinating history.

One of the main places to visit, if you’re a history fanatic, is the Cave of Altamira. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site where there are incredible charcoal and ochre paintings depicting prehistoric hunting scenes and of animals such as bison and deer. The most distinctive feature of the cave is the Polychrome Ceiling, where the artist had used the natural ridges of the cave and diluting pigments to give the paintings a 3D effect, which earned the cave its title as the Sistine Chapel of Paleolithic Art. Another place to visit with historical importance would be Palacio de la Magdalena. This is a palace in Santander, the capital, and was a gift from Santander to the Spanish royal family in 1912 as a seasonal residence. It has a combination of English, French, and Spanish architectural styles.

If you’re looking for a break from the tiring hubbub of the mundane world, then surely you will be transported when you visit the various natural sites of Cantabria. Those who love to hike can take the routes of Langre and Loredo, which overlook the cliffs and provide you with a vista of breathtaking views. Another hiking path is the Camino Lebaniego or the detour of Camino de Santiago. The best place to hike is in Picos de Europa, the oldest park in the country, home to various flora and fauna and provides one with a scenic experience. Beaches like Berria Beach, Los Locos beach, and the Oyambre beach are so beautiful with wide reaches of white sands and brilliant blue waters. Beach lovers, there are your to-go spots!

Cantabria is not often popular amongst the visitors to Spain, who mainly come for Seville, Ibiza, or Barcelona. Cantabria has its own charm and certainly is a wondrous place to visit.

Written by: jaimmynanayakkara@yahoo.com

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