You never know when you hear high praise for a place, whether it will meet your expectations or if your imagination is stronger than the best pictures and words you've researched, leaving you a little let down, when you finally walk the land yourself. Santillana del Mar easily surpassed our highest expectations!
"A medieval town arrested in time, a treasure without equal in Spain, Santillana del Mar is just minutes from Altamar, and I cannot think of two more rewarding visits." Penelope Casas
"The prettiest village in Spain" Jean-Paul Satre
We traveled across the Astrias region of Spain, to Cantabrias, yet another beautiful area of "Green Spain", where Santillana del Mar is located. We love ancient, authentic golden villages, full of charm and enchantment, so of course, this place appealed to us.
We stayed at a nice campsite in the countryside within walking distance to the village. We enjoyed the beautiful scenery and bucolic life. There is a sense of eternity here and it lulled us into another time and place as we watched nursing baby cows and horses on our way to the small cobbled streets of the classic village. Sure, there is some tourism, but mostly, village life goes on as it has for centuries, in a very simple way. Or at least that was our experience in late June.
The sun was shining so we were in good moods, enjoying an ideal day in a fairy tale town, learning a little history in a most pleasant way.