Santillana del Mar

By Richard Berner
This item appears on page 87 of the May 2009 issue.
The main square of Santillana del Mar.

During a March ’07 exploration of the Basque region within France and Spain, we reserved a room for two nights at Casa del Organista (phone 942 84 03 52, in Santillana del Mar, two hours west of Bilbao, Spain. We liked it there so much, we extended our stay to three nights. Our spacious room, at €55 (the current price range for a double room is €56-€89), had a balcony and was pleasantly decorated. They had a very complete breakfast (€4.50), and the personnel were helpful. This hotel was definitely a find and a bargain when compared to the two pricey state-run paradores in town. Santillana del Mar (its main square is pictured above) is a quaint stone village with many nice restaurants and friendly people. It does not have many tourist attractions, other than the town itself and its 13th-century church, but it’s a good base for exploring the region of Cantabria.