Walk towards the tomb of the apostle Santiago along the Cantabrian coastline and immerse yourself in Picos de Europa through the Lebaniego Route.
Following the so-called Camino del Norte (North route) that leads to Santiago, our route begins in the Cantabrian village of Limpias. The Parador is located within a palace in the Ansón ria, a place that invites you to relax and get lost in other neighbouring villages and enjoy their wonderful caves, beaches, landscapes and historic complexes. The urban centre of the village forms a beautiful setting you will love wandering through. But Limpias is a perfect starting point for visiting fishing villages such as Castro Urdiales, Laredo, where La Salvé, one of the largest and most beautiful beaches of the region, is located and take a boat ride to Santoña to try some potes with some of its famous anchovies. You can enjoy different routes in Natural Parks such as a Los Collados del Asón or the Marismas de Santoña. And if you are travelling with children, a visit to the Natural Park of Cabárceno is a must: 750 hectares with over a hundred animal species from the 5 continents in a semi free setting. It is also an excellent base camp for some artistic-culinary getaways to Santander and Bilbao, where you could discover the Botín Centre and the Guggenheim Museum and try the popular calamari or the colourful pintxos.
Santillana del Mar, one of the most beautiful villages of Spain, is a true gift for travellers. A medieval village built around the Colegiata de Santa Juliana, the most distinctive building of the Romanesque style in Cantabria. You should go for a relaxed walk around its cobblestone streets, discover its splendid palaces and mansions and visit interesting museums such as the Religious Art Regina Coello or the Solar, about the torture instruments during the Inquisition period. Just two kilometres away is the Altamira Cave, the “Sixtine Chapel” of prehistoric art. Although it is closed to the public, you can visit the Neocave, an exact replica of the Palaeolithic cave. You could also visit the university city of Comillas, with remarkable medieval, Baroque and modernist buildings. On your way to Asturias, stop in the geological wonder of El Soplao cave or villages such as the beautiful San Vicente de la Barquera.
We leave the Camino del Norte to delve into the wild Picos de Europa through the traditional route that entered Liébana from the coast and went along the Nansa river and Valle de Lamasón. From there, there used to be two paths, one through the Collado de Pasaneu to the Bedoya valley and the second one through the Collado de Arceón to Lebeña. Both routes reconnect in Castro and go up the course of the Deva river up to Potes. Surrounded by the imposing verticality and the idyllic landscape of the mountains in the National Park of Picos de Europa, you will find the Parador de Fuente Dé which, next to the popular cable car -you should take it to enjoy some wonderful panoramic views from 2,000 metres high- is the entry gate to magical forests, slopes and lookouts, which form a natural paradise of unrivalled beauty. The Gothic Santo Toribio de Liébana church is the most important religious building in the valley, where the Lignim Crucis is venerated, the biggest piece of the Cross of Christ that is still preserved. It would also be interesting visiting Potes, the Mozarabic church of Lebeña and the San Tirso chapel. Having cocido lebaniego (traditional dish of chickpeas, potatoes and cabbage) is a wonderful way to restore your energy when you get back from your excursions. You can’t forget to try the singular Picón Bejes-Tresviso cheese either, which is matured in caves.