Few European destinations can match Santander for drama and beauty. Fit for a king (and the rest of the Spanish royal family) Santander’s gorgeous beaches are framed by snow-peaked mountains that rise majestically from the hinterlands. The capital of Cantabria, Santander’s royal palace and gothic cathedral are major draws for visitors including the many Spanish holiday makers who choose to take their vacation here. For a slice of the real Spain, as opposed to the Costas, visit Santander. An ideal gateway for northern Spain and Portugal.