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Tucked into a little pocket of the fabled northerly region of Spain, and sharing the stunning Bay of Biscay with the Basque Country, where you'll find Vitoria-Gasteiz, lies the emerald gem Cantabria. Cantabria is an archaeologist's dream thanks to its rich, nearly prehistoric trove of treasures yet to be excavated, and a spot of endless intrigue for historians, as this fascinating region receives international academic attention. Begin touring this location by booking a private holiday home or villa in Cantabria and stop at Altamira, which has been named a UNESCO World Heritage site, as original cave paintings from the upper Paleolithic period can be found here. Some of the many tourists who flock here find the Altamira cave paintings strangely beautiful, as well as of course being invaluable to unlocking the secrets of our history as humankind. If you're an archaeology enthusiast, there are also a lot of archaeologically fascinating places to visit in the Italian disctrict Campania.
The Altamira Cave National Museum is home to an extremely well done permanent exhibition featuring a stunning amount of historical artefacts. Those less interested in looking into the past should be rest assured – you needn’t be a history buff or or an archaeologist to appreciate Cantabria’s natural splendour, ranging from the view of the dramatic, craggy and inimitable mountains of the Picos de Europa National Park to its pristine coastline that attracts sunbathers as well as surfers, similarly to the south western region of Aquitaine in nearby France. Those looking for some simple rest and relaxation are sure to find it in their holiday apartment or villa in Cantabria. Indeed, the violent, yet ride-able waves of the Atlantic are perfect for surfing, and they characterise Cantabria’s unusually wet climate, which is trapped in by the mountain range so that green appears everywhere you go. The people of Cantabria appreciate this, and their houses very much represent the solid structures necessary for colder climates of more northern European countries. Yet that Spanish warmth we all know and love is hardly hidden, and hospitality in Cantabria is amongst Spain’s finest. While you're here, don't forget to travel to the region's capital, Santander, a port city known for its beaches El Sardinero and La Peninsula de Magdalena which draw in the tourists.
The cities in Cantabria are precious, with fabulous self catering villas and holiday homes available, although aside from the beach it is often the quaint villages – cottages in coastal fishing towns and farmhouses further inland as well – that attract tourists. Surfing is big here, and in the countryside cycling tours are widely popular. Another great surfing spot a bit further south over the border in Portugal is on the Costa de Prata if you fancy somewhere a bit warmer. Affordable holiday lettings can be easily found in the accommodation on offer, as well as luxury waterfront rentals with views overlooking the region's breathtaking beaches, but for those who have a smaller budget, apartments in Cantabria can also be a good idea.
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