Discover the Medieval Beauty of Santillana del Mar from the Hotel Antoyana in Santander

La Colegiata de Santa Juliana de Santillana del Mar

When it comes to exploring historical gems in Spain, few places can compare to the wonderful Santillana del Mar. With its medieval architecture, cobbled streets, and an atmosphere that transports you to times gone by, this picturesque town is a must-stop on your travel itinerary in northern Spain. And if you’re looking for the perfect place to stay while exploring this gem, look no further than the Hotel Antoyana in Santander. This charming hotel not only offers comfort and hospitality but also a strategic location at the entrance of Santander and near one of the main transportation hubs in the region, allowing you to move quickly throughout the area and visit Santillana del Mar and other points of interest with ease.

Santillana del Mar: The Medieval Jewel of Cantabria

Just a short 20-minute drive covering the 23 kilometers from the Hotel Antoyana will lead you to Santillana del Mar, a town that will make you feel as though you’ve traveled back in time. With its cobbled streets and perfectly preserved medieval architecture, this place is an open-air museum. Some of the points of interest you won’t want to miss include:

Santa Juliana Collegiate Church:

La Colegiata de Santa Juliana de Santillana del Mar
The Collegiate Church of Santa Juliana in Santillana del Mar. Photo: Wikimedia
Claustro de la Colegiata de Santillana
Cloister of the Collegiate Church of Santillana. Photo: Wikimedia

The Santa Juliana Collegiate Church is an iconic monument in Santillana del Mar. This 12th-century Romanesque church is a prominent example of medieval religious architecture in Spain. Its façade, carved with intricate details, is a masterpiece of Romanesque sculpture. Inside, you’ll find impressive architectural elements like decorated capitals and a cloister that transports you to another era. The Collegiate Church is a place that evokes spirituality and admiration for history.

Regina Coeli Diocesan Museum:

The Regina Coeli Diocesan Museum houses a valuable collection of religious art and historical objects that tell the story of the region. Here, you can admire paintings, sculptures, goldsmithing, and other artistic treasures dating from different historical periods. Additionally, the museum displays religious relics that offer a fascinating insight into religiosity in Cantabria throughout the centuries. Strolling through its halls is an immersion in the rich cultural heritage of the region.

Main Square: The Medieval Heart of Santillana del Mar

The Main Square of Santillana del Mar is a place of great history and beauty. It has witnessed countless historical events over the centuries. In this square, iconic buildings such as the Town Hall and the Merino and Don Borja towers stand majestically. In its center, a statue of a bison symbolizes the town’s connection with nature and the passage of time in the area, from human settlements dating back to prehistory in Altamira to the present day. A meeting point between the ancient and the modern, the impressive square adorned with beautiful flowers that add color and charm to the place invites you to explore the historical and cultural richness of Santillana del Mar.

Altamira Cave:

The Altamira Cave, known as the Sistine Chapel of prehistoric art, is a place of global importance. This cave is famous for its prehistoric cave paintings, depicting bisons, horses, and other animals dating back approximately 22,000 years. Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is an astonishing testament to prehistoric cave art and a window into the lives of our ancestors. Currently, the Altamira Cave has a controlled and highly limited public visitation regimen. This regimen allows a maximum of five people per week, which is 260 people per year. Will you be one of the fortunate ones? If luck doesn’t smile upon you and you can’t visit the cave’s interior, don’t worry. The Altamira Cave is located within the National Museum and Research Center of Altamira, where you can visit, among many other things, the…

Altamira Neocave:

The Altamira Neocave, also known as the “Neocave of Santillana del Mar,” is a rigorous three-dimensional replica of the famous Altamira Cave. It is located in the vicinity of Santillana del Mar, within the premises of the original Altamira Cave and the National Museum and Research Center of Altamira. Due to the fragility of the original cave’s paintings and in an effort to preserve them, access to the real cave is restricted. However, the Altamira Neocave was created as an exact replica of the original cave, allowing visitors to experience the beauty and historical significance of the cave paintings in a controlled environment.

The reproductions of both the paintings and the geological formations in the cave are extremely faithful to the originals and are set in an environment that simulates the real cave. Additionally, the site features exhibits and multimedia that explain the archaeological significance of Altamira and the lives of the ancient inhabitants of the region. This site is an exciting way to explore prehistoric cave art and learn about the region’s history. The Altamira Neocave has become a significant tourist attraction and is an excellent alternative for those who wish to experience the cave paintings without jeopardizing the preservation of the original Altamira Cave.

Santillana Zoo:

Female albino tiger at the Santillana del Mar zoo. Photo: MariaPardodeS

Santillana Zoo offers an exciting experience for all ages. Here, you can admire a wide variety of animals, from exotic species to native ones, in spaces that recreate their natural habitats. Observe majestic lions, friendly lemurs, curious meerkats, and many other creatures. In addition to enjoying animal watching, the zoo also provides educational activities that allow visitors to learn more about wildlife conservation and the importance of preserving biodiversity.


Santillana del Mar is a historical treasure worth exploring, and the Hotel Antoyana in Santander is the perfect place to start your discovery journey. This comfortable and elegant hotel provides the perfect base for exploring the medieval wonders of Cantabria and enjoying a unique experience at Santillana Zoo. From here, you can take daily excursions to these points of interest and return to the comfort and exceptional service of the Hotel Antoyana in Santander.

What are you waiting for? Pack your bags, book your stay in Santander at the Hotel Antoyana, and get ready for a unique experience exploring the historical beauty of Santillana del Mar. We guarantee that you’ll be enchanted by everything this region has to offer!