Santillana del Mar: Spain’s “Prettiest” Village

Posted by on Jan 11, 2013 in Blog, Cantabria, Spain | 8 comments

When a Parisian, (from arguably one of the world’s most elegant cities) comes to your town and calls it “the prettiest village in Spain”, their judgement must hold some clout, right? When that Parisian is Jean-Paul Sartre, an author whose words won him a Nobel Prize in literature, what he says surely holds some value. Though opinions are subjective, this Sartre guy was really on to something. Santillana del Mar is indeed pretty, not to mention one of the best-preserved medieval towns that exist in Iberia.

I went to Santillana del Mar for just a few hours after my weekend in Santander. For a small town, it does have some buildings of historic interest, but honestly I went on a whim without researching anything (the horror!) and just wanted to wander around with my camera and walk along its cobblestone streets.

As it turns out, sometimes the best plans are the ones we don’t make. Apparently it tends to swarm with tourists in the high season, but I went in December when there were no crowds. You already know I love low-season travel, and Santillana del Mar was the perfect town to get lost in for the afternoon.

A beautiful doorway in Santilla del Mar

A beautiful doorway in Santillana del Mar

A shop selling ceramic and leather goods.

A shop selling ceramic and leather goods.

A view of the countryside in Santillana

A view of the countryside in Santillana

Lavender plants in Santillana del Mar

Lavender plants in Santillana del Mar

A gorgeous stone house

A gorgeous stone house

The center of town

The center of town

Some of the buildings in the center.

Some of the buildings in the center.

A house dripping in flora.

A house dripping in flora.

La Colegiata de Santa Juliana

La Colegiata de Santa Juliana

Fresh milk for 1 Euro per glass

Fresh milk for 1 Euro per glass

Every street is covered in cobblestones.

Every street is covered in cobblestones.

An old stone wall.

An old stone wall.

How to get to Santillana del Mar:

Catch a bus from Santander to Santillana del Mar. For hours and rates, click the link.

 

8 Comments

  1. I went to Santillana in 2011 and thought it was so pretty! Great pictures, too!
    Ashlee D. [Polyglottony] recently posted…The one with the Ghanian police officerMy Profile

    • Thank you! Isn’t it such a gorgeous little place!?

  2. What a gorgeous village! I also like to travel without making too many plans before hand, but sometimes you can really kick yourself if you missed something important then. Some villages that have a strong summer tourist season don’t have everything open if you visit in the winter, did you have this problem at all?
    Katherine recently posted…evening in piazza colonna, romeMy Profile

    • There’s definitely pros and cons to traveling within each season. I didn’t have this problem with Santillana, but then again there weren’t any sites that I just had to see. It’s always a good idea to look up this info before-hand!

  3. Great images! love the cobbled stones! I agree with low season travel but much like Katherine I often find things are closed as well, which is pretty disappointing! however this place does look beautiful
    creative nomad recently posted…where in the worldMy Profile

    • The only thing I’ve found close this time of the year in Northern Spain have been a few restaurants (it’s typical that they take off the holidays, and some take off all of January too!) Santillana was a gorgeous village and there wasn’t anything closed that I tried to enter.

  4. ok so definitely going there. i’ll have to email you later. I definitely want to go to Santander and obviously now have to go here too

    • I’m a sucker for the small towns. Incredibly picturesque.

Leave a Reply to Katherine Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

CommentLuv badge