According to the Royal Academy of the Spanish Language, a “mirador” (or vantage point) is “a place which is well-located to contemplate a landscape or event”. We would say that looking over the horizon and seeing the extraordinary views of Cantabria is an event or experience not to be missed. Of course, we cannot see all of Cantabria from a single vantage point. That is why today, in this blog about the Infinite Cantabria, we would like to propose nine viewpoints to contemplate the wonders of Cantabria. These are places where you can calmly take a mental picture, or a real picture, and create unique memories, with all the time in the world.
As you will see, we have included both the coastal and the inland areas in this list, so you can choose your favourite spot. We will visit the nine tourism districts in our region on our tour, and for the sake of convenience, three of the vantage points will be on the coast and six inland. Ready? We are going to enjoy some of the best panoramic views in our region.
We start at the Mirador de la Concha viewpoint in Suances. Here we will walk along its recently renovated walkway to enjoy the magnificent views of La Concha beach. The Cantabrian Sea and this beach combine to create a delightful panoramic view to be enjoyed all year round —though if you don’t like crowds you might want to skip the summer.
Our second stop takes us to the Trasmiera Ecopark, or more precisely to the Cincho viewpoint, located on the mountain of the same name and housing the remains of an ancient Celtic fort (or “castro”). This viewpoint is located in a unique structure consisting of a stone tower with an external wooden staircase. From here you have one of the most incredible views of the Ecopark, from the Cantabrian mountains to the coast.
Our last stop overlooking the sea is the Peña Cabarga viewpoint. Located on the top of the rock of the same name, 568 metres above sea level, it offers a magnificent panoramic view of Santander Bay, its surroundings and part of the Cantabrian coast. A perfect place to discover the city of Santander in all its dimensions.
We now move away from the coast and take a look at six landscapes inland, so you have something for everyone.
We begin our tour in the heart of the National Park of Picos de Europa, at an altitude of 1,823 metres, at the Fuente Dé viewpoint. This is one of the most famous and photographed places in Cantabria. Due to its open-air structure, it is not suitable for people with a fear of heights. Access is via the cableway of the same name, which goes up 753 metres in less than four minutes. From the top station, visitors will be taken aback by the breathtakingly beautiful scenery. If you are lucky, you can experience moments when you feel as if you are floating above the clouds.
From the Liébana district, we head to the eastern area to visit the second of our viewpoints with a cantilevered structure, the “Cascadas del Gándara”, also known as the Queen’s Viewpoint. The rapids of the River Gándara, at this point just a few kilometres from its source, create a spectacular landscape that includes the dramatic waterfalls or “Cascadas del Gándara”, all of which can be seen from this remarkable viewpoint.
The third of the viewpoints —none of which are for the faint-hearted— is Santa Catalina on Mount Hozarcu in Peñarrubia. From its structure you have the best view of the deepest section of the famous La Hermida gorge. This viewpoint is located on the ruins of the early mediaeval castle of Bolera de los Moros, strategically placed to control the gorge, on a flat and easily accessible high point connected to the historic road from Carmona to La Hermida.
Now we go from Peñarrubia to the Valles Pasiegos to discover our fourth inland viewpoint and the seventh on our list. We reach La Braguía pass and the viewpoint of the same name. From this exceptional spot, you can look out over Selaya and enjoy the picturesque qualities and shades of green that characterise our Valles Pasiegos.
We now arrive at La Cardosa viewpoint, another very popular spot to take photographs of our region. Here we are in the heart of the Saja Besaya Natural Park. You can enjoy stunning views from this remarkable balcony, next to the deer sculpture. It is a perfect place to take photos and to listen to the rutting of the deer in early autumn.
The last viewpoint on our list, La Peñuca, is not so well known but it offers a unique view of Torrelavega and its surroundings. Located on the road leading up from Torrelavega to the village of La Montaña, it is an essential stop on the traditional climb in albarcas (traditional wooden sandals) to La Montaña, which takes place every year on the occasion of the San Blas festival, the first pilgrimage of the year in Torrelavega, held at the end of January.
These are only nine of Cantabria’s viewpoints. Of course, there are many more – and in fact, Cantabria itself is one huge viewpoint, as we have discovered. Would you like to visit them? Have you visited any of them or do you know of any others? If so, share your experiences with us on our social media profiles on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram with the hastag #ComparteCantabria.
Come and enjoy the best panoramic views of your life in Cantabria. Look no further!