From the coast to the mountains, Cantabria offers an infinity of experiences. The charm of the beaches, cliffs and fishing villages all merge into a sea of sensations with the Cantabrian Sea as backdrop. In contrast there is the elegant bustle of the capital, Santander, the valuable environmental heritage of the Picos de Europa National Park, and the beautiful valleys of deepest Cantabria with their roots lost in the mists of time: a whole world waiting to be discovered.
Cantabria, one of the smallest autonomous communities in Spain, is located in the centre of the Cantabrian coast. It is bounded by Asturias to the west, the Cantabrian Sea to the north, Vizcaya to the east, and Burgos, Palencia and Leon to the South. The topography has two very distinct areas: the coastal region, where the altitude doesn't exceed 500 metres, and the mountains, which gradually gain height to become the Cantabrian Mountains.
The climate of the Atlantic coast is characterised by mild temperatures, abundant rainfall and a limited temperature variation. The average annual temperature is 14º C. The southern region has a mountain climate, with warm days and cool nights.
The coastal location, coupled with valley areas with mild microclimates and rich pastures result in a varied cuisine based on strong local cheeses with careful curing processes, Cantabrian fish and seafood and excellent beef. Pork is the key ingredient of one of the most typical dishes of the region: cocido montañes - a meat, and bean stew. As for sweets, many local specialities are made from puff pastry highlights. Then there are quesadas, a type of cheesecake, and sobaos pasiegos, a sort of rum sponge cake. The perfect accompaniment is the strong liqueur, orujo, which is often made very locally.
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