Top things to do

Top Choice Cave in Eastern Cantabria

Cueva de Covalanas

Discovered in 1903 (second only to Altamira among Cantabrian caves with prehistoric artwork), the Unesco World Heritage–listed cave of Covalanas is home to several breathtakingly beautiful red-hued paintings of deer…
Top Choice Tapas in Castro Urdiales

Bar Javi

¡Advertencia! The warning on the napkins at this sweet local tapas bar says it all: 'We take no responsibility for addiction to our pintxos'. Indeed, with daily specials ranging from delicately fried baby-squid croq…
Beach in Castro Urdiales

Playa de Sonabia

About 14km east of Laredo, small, wild Playa de Sonabia is tucked into a rock-lined inlet beneath high crags, above which rare griffon vultures circle the sky. Drive through tiny Sonabia village and turn left direct…
Fusion in Laredo

Somera

Run by an ambitious, attentive young team, Somera specialises in highly creative Cantabrian-Asian fusion cooking full of local ingredients. Delicate starters include fried-egg and sushi-rice pinchos (snacks) and eno…
Church in Castro Urdiales

Iglesia de Santa María de la Asunción

The haughty Gothic jumble that is the Iglesia de Santa María de la Asunción stands out spectacularly above Castro Urdiales’ harbour. It was built in 1208, but additions continued until almost the 20th century. The c…
Visitor Centre in Eastern Cantabria

Centro de Interpretación Collados del Asón

The Centro de Interpretación Collados del Asón, 20km southwest of Ramales de la Victoria, organises guided hikes in the Alto Asón district and has info on local activities, as well as a fantastic, precipitous lookou…
Beach in Santoña

Playa de Berria

Head 2.5km north along the CA141 to Playa de Berria, a magnificent sweep of blonde sand and crashing surf on the open sea, linked to Santoña by frequent buses (€1.45, five minutes).
Beach in Castro Urdiales

Playa de Oriñón

This broad sandy strip, just off the A8 16km west of Castro Urdiales, is set deep behind protective headlands, making the water calm and comparatively warm. The settlement here consists of ugly holiday flats and car…
Cave in Eastern Cantabria

Cueva de Cullalvera

The main draw at Cueva de Cullalvera is the jaw-dropping vastness of the cave itself (enhanced with some rather overdone light and water displays). Guided visits last 45 minutes; book ahead. Note that Cullalvera's c…
Fortress in Santoña

Fuerte de San Martín

Santoña is dominated by two fortresses, the most accessible of which is the imposing, horseshoe-shaped Fuerte de San Martín, built in the early 17th century but much remodelled since. It’s at the eastern end of the …