Don't let the end of summer stop you from traveling to the hidden gems of the world. Tucked inside the historical region of Cantabria, Spain, lies the port city of Satander. Satander offers a balance of urban and rural with the oceanic climate as the old town is popular with its bars and restaurants near the beach. It houses several historical landmarks, mostly in Romanesque or Gothic architecture such as the Centro Botin or the Cathedral of Satander. Our very own Lomographer Julija, a.k.a. neja shares her experience with the Spanish paradise through her own words and images:
A year ago, in September of 2018, our small family decided to meet up in the North of Spain, In Santander. I flew to Valencia where my brother currently lives and we drove to Bilbao to collect my partner who flew there from London. We then went to the capital of Basque Country, Vitoria Gasteiz, to spend a couple of days with an old friend of mine, the famed Lomographer @disdis, before going back to Bilbao to collect my mother who flew in from Saint Petersburg. It can be complicated to be a global family:)
Santander is rumored to be "the next big thing" and the "Lisbon effect" is mentioned often. Despite being capital of Cantabria region, the city itself had quite a relaxed and slightly rundown feel about it. It is famous for food and for our first lunch we had, among many other things, the giant tomato salad. Honestly, it was the biggest tomatoes we've ever seen, and very tasty indeed, very different from the supermarket stuff we normally get. Apparently, you can't easily buy them either, some certain restaurants seem to be getting allocations.
There are many beaches around Santander and each of them is famous for something: surfing, sunbathing, wedding photography, etc. I set out to visit all of them so every day I'd open a map on my phone, choose the yellow spot, aka beach, and ask my brother to drive us there.
You can see the best sunsets from Playa de Valdearenas/ Liencres, and Playa de Somos is very famous among surfers. Playa de Loredo has a mixture of people just chilling and riding waves and if you drive a bit further, there is a secluded scenic beach which can be only accessed with a long staircase, Playa de Langre. But you shouldn't worry if you don't have a car, there are plenty of beaches within the city borders: Sardinero, Playa de Los Bikinis and Playa de Magdalena, just to name a few.
Had enough of sightseeing? Then it's time to eat! For those giant tomatoes and freshest seafood, try Toñin Y Bruma Smoked Bar. For the "Lisbon effect," try La Caseta de Bombas, a restaurant occupying an unusual building that once housed the machinery used to pump out water from the adjoining dock (don't forget to explore the museum underneath the dining room). If you don't want to eat here, grab a coffee and enjoy the view.
Near our Airbnb, we found an interestingly looking cafe with an obligatory freshly squeezed orange juice, coffee and some baked goods, La Gallofa. If you are after something more traditional than Bodega Cigaleña is the place. There, hams dangle from ceilings covered in ancient wine bottles at this old-school bodega – part wine ‘museum’, part vibrant pincho and raciones stop. Famous for meat and they also have plenty of low intervention wines (no suplates+no hangover).
Santander turned out to be big on craft beer, too, so go and explore, before it becomes too hip!
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