Attractions

Top Choice Museum in Altamira

Museo de Altamira

The museum’s highlight is the Neocueva, a dazzling, full-sized re-creation of the real Cueva de Altamira’s most interesting chamber, the Sala de Polícromos (Polychrome Hall), which is covered in exquisite, 15,000-ye…
Top Choice Historic Building in Comillas

Palacio de Sobrellano

In hillside parkland stands the Marqués de Comillas’ fabulous neo-Gothic palace. With this 1888 building, Modernista architect Joan Martorell truly managed to out-Gothic real Gothic. On the 25-minute guided tour (in…
Top Choice Architecture in Comillas

Capricho de Gaudí

Antoni Gaudí left few reminders of his genius beyond Catalonia, but of them the 1885 Capricho de Gaudí is easily the most flamboyant. This brick building, one of Gaudí’s earliest works and originally a summer playpa…
Top Choice Beach in Comillas

Playa de Oyambre

The 2km-long, soft-blonde Playa de Oyambre, 5km west of Comillas, is a sandy dream protected by the Parque Natural Oyambre. It has some surfable waves, a couple of year-round campgrounds and a dash of intriguing his…
Church in Santillana del Mar

Colegiata de Santa Juliana

A stroll along Santillana’s cobbled main street, past solemn 15th- to 18th-century nobles’ houses, leads to this beautiful 12th-century Romanesque ex-monastery. The big drawcard is the cloister, a formidable storeho…
Architecture in Comillas

Antigua Universidad Pontificia

Modernista architects Joan Martorell, Cristóbal Cascante and Lluís Domènech i Montaner all had a hand in this complex 1892 former seminary, with Domènech i Montaner contributing its medieval flavour. It’s now an int…
Church in San Vicente de la Barquera

Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles

The outstanding monument in San Vicente’s old town is the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de los Ángeles, commissioned by Alfonso VIII in 1210. Although Gothic, it sports a pair of impressive Romanesque doorways. Inside, …
Cave in San Vicente de la Barquera

El Soplao

This extensive 20km cave system, exploited as a lead and zinc mine before 1979, makes for a popular outing inland from San Vicente. The one-hour visit goes 400m into the cave in a mine train, then continues on foot.…
Cemetery in Comillas

Cemetery

Comillas’ old parish church, in ruins, now forms part of a cemetery down near the beach. It’s overlooked by a white-marble statue of a guardian angel by Catalan sculptor Josep Llimona, and has a distinctly spooky au…
Chapel in Comillas

Capilla-Panteón de Sobrellano

On a grassy hillside beside the Marqués de Comillas’ summer palace is the marquis’ family tomb, an intricate ‘mini-cathedral’ designed by Joan Martorell. Completed in 1881, it was the first Modernista building to ap…