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Welcome to one of the prettiest Spanish villages, even if it is not a ‘villa’ (town), a ‘santa’ (saint) or by the ‘mar’ (sea)!

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Santillana del Mar

The town of the three lies.

Around fifty kilometers from the Cantabrian capital lies what is known as the villa of the three lies, as it is not ‘santa’ (sacred), is not a villa and is not by the sea. However, it is thought to be one of the most beautiful villages in the country, with its stones dating back to prehistoric times. This is actually where Marcelino Sanz de Sautuola discovered the Altamira Caves in 1879. Althought they are closed to the public due to maintenance issues, you can still visit the spectacular replica in Santillana (don’t forget to book in advance). You can also visit Santa Juliana Collegiate Church, located at the edge of the village and accessible by way of its cobbled road entrance. This is home to some of the greatest Romanesque monuments in Spain. There are endless possibilities here, but if you are travelling with children, we highly recommend a visit to the popular zoo here.

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