Favourite Places in Spain, Santillana del Mar in Cantabria

santillana del mar

“Le plus joli village d’Espagne”  –  Jean Paul Sartre

In my last post as I left Trujillo in Extremadura I made reference to my favourite places in Spain so I thought I might take some time to share these with you.  I begin with Santillana del Mar in Cantabria, almost four hundred miles north of Trujillo and in a very different part of Spain.

Santillana del Mar is a most picturesque town and often appears in any top ten of best villages in Spain. This may of course have something to do with the fact that the French writer, philosopher and all-round clever dick, Jean Paul Sartre declared it to be the prettiest village in Spain, although I am not absolutely sure just how much of Spain he visited and just what he was comparing it with or how he came to this rather sweeping judgment.  Perhaps it was just a lucky guess!

Click on an image to scroll through the gallery…

There is apparently an old saying that Santillana del Mar is The Town of Three Lies, since it is neither a Saint (Santo), nor flat (llana) and has no sea (Mar) as implied by the town’s name. However, the name actually derives from Santa Juliana (or Santa Illana) whose remains are in the kept in the Colegiata, a Romanesque church and former Benedictine monastery.

29 responses to “Favourite Places in Spain, Santillana del Mar in Cantabria

  1. When can we expect your favourite places in Australia posts Andrew?????


  2. It looks abandoned . . . my kind of town!


  3. Looks a nice kind of place, Andrew. Love that balcony! Never read much Sartre though 🙂 🙂


  4. been there my best friend still is from there, and we had jorge martinez “Santillana” Real Madrid CF! but the French do not know Spain lol!!!


  5. Looks my kind of place, Andrew!


  6. Your pictures reflect the charm and beauty of the place.


  7. Splendid, enticing, gallery


  8. Love the images 💞


  9. We spent 3 days there in the early sixties when a tremendous storm flooded the town and we were marooned in the Parador. I presume it’s still the same, a convent which would have been delightful on warm days with cool, whitewashed walls and spartan furniture, but was a nightmare in a cold, damp, October. We couldn’t even leave the place to wander around as everywhere was knee deep in water, so sadly, I missed the beauty that you found. Maybe one day I’ll go back!


  10. Also looks like it would have good food….


  11. I think I stayed here on my st jacques de compostella northern route hike.. great photos..


  12. The top middle shot on your gallery, Andrew, looks like it would make a good setting for a horror movie! –Curt


  13. It looks quite old. We don’t have much in the way of properly aged edifices around here! O_o


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