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A blue sky over a beach along the coast of Santander, Spain

Compare the best Santander car hire deals

Although largely overlooked by foreign tourists, the Spanish have been enjoying holidays in Santander for centuries. Rent a car in Santander and you too can experience this popular haunt of the Spanish Royal Family.

Why go?

A mixture of dramatic scenery and superb beaches create the perfect holiday cocktail for relaxation...

Santander is the largest city in Cantabria, and is increasing in popularity for its attractive environment, well maintained beaches such as Camello and modern culture. It has been a favourite holiday spot with Spanish royalty since the early 1900s. At only 10 minutes from the airport by car, Santander makes a good choice for a weekend break.

Santander car hire is a great option even if you don't plan on venturing too far. It's quite a sprawling city with plenty of attractions scattered liberally across it. There are also a range of beaches that would make car hire in Santander a sensible idea.

Locally, you should start your tour of Santander by visiting Palacia de la Magdalena - it was the holiday residence of the Spanish Royal Family for much of the early 20th century. You can also take your pick from a healthy collection of historical attractions, from the Maritime Museum to the Bullfighting Museum next to the Plaza de Toros (which is still in use, usually in July). 

If you enjoy picnics, you can make use of the half a dozen or so impressive parks that are dotted around the city. Each one is quite charming, but well distributed about the place - meaning you'll be grateful for car hire.

For cheap car rental, Santander is an ideal venue. Make sure you get the very best deal by using TravelSupermarket to pre-book your car. You can then collect your vehicle from Santander Airport or a convenient downtown location. Compare prices on car hire now using the search tool on TravelSupermarket.

Where to explore?

Santander is as charming as it is handsome, but there's much more to see if you venture away from the city...

Getting to other areas of interest is easily done in fewer than two hours if you hire a car, and trips to the best beaches can take under 20 minutes. The area surrounding Santander is filled with national parkland, namely Fuentes Carrionas and Picos de Europa, which are wonderful to explore.

Old Spanish villages such as Carrejo, the coastal town of Castro-Urdiales, and cities such as the ancient Vitoria-Gasteiz make exploring a must. Vitoria-Gasteiz is an historical city retaining much of its medieval heritage and is an excellent place to spend the day surrounded by charismatic Spanish architecture.

Take your hire car east to the stunning natural landscape of Picos de Europa National Park. You'll see towering snow-capped mountains, brilliant blue waters and lush green woodland while visiting this beautiful Spanish treasure. Be sure to pick up a map or rent a sat nav with your hire car before heading out, though, as most signs are in Spanish and you're unlikely to come across many English-speakers.

If you want to experience the true essence of northern Spain, drive about 40 minutes west where you'll come across the town of San Vicente de la Barquera. This hidden gem of Cantabria is marooned on all sides by water and only accessible by a causeway over the Rio Escudo. It may not seem like the prettiest port in the world, but this is the home of what are regarded as some of the best fish restaurants in the whole of Spain.