They say Santillana del Mar is the town of three lies: it’s not holy (Santi), it’s not flat (llana) or anywhere near the sea (del mar). Strict planning rules date back to the 16th century and cars are banned. Or so we thought from our research! The village is wonderful and as we are way out of season it was not inundated with the many coachloads that it sees in the high season. But there were plenty of cars – it turns out that residents are allowed to drive the cobbled streets. So the photos look amazing, but there are still cars bouncing around.
The town is almost completely taken over by tourism – there are many shops all selling local produce – but they are all selling the same local produce – citron tarts, almond biscuits and local cheese. All products are great, but not sure that every shop needs to sell them!
We expected to spend half a day here and stop overnight – there is a free area put aside for campervans, but as we only spent a couple of hours wandering around we pushed on a little further and headed for Gijon.
The Gijon camperstop was picked at short notice by putting a pin on the map halfway between Santilla del Mar and Leon. Sometimes there is not much planning involved – sorry!
Anyway the camperstop overlooked a formal park and was just emptying out when we arrived – it was full of TV and movie company vans – they had been filming something in the sandy surfing bay just along the coast. We never did workout what! The park and coastal walk has a series of art installations, so the evening constitutional was a clifftop walk interspersed with pondering sea views and sculptures.
Next morning it was off reasonably early bound for Leon.