Tag Archives: santander

Art Inspired by Travel: Rose Garden in Santander, Spain

Much of my art is inspired by travel. I say inspired, because I’m not attempting to recreate reality.

I loved the rose garden in Matalenas Park in Santander in northern Spain. The combination of  the roses and trees with the sea, strip of beach and mountains in the background was beautiful.

santander rose garden

My interpretation was created with oil pastels, watercolours and glitter paint.

my painting of santander rose garden in spain

I’ve also painted Sliver Sands Beach in Aberdour, Scotland.


Walking Along Santander Prom

It was a such a beautiful afternoon when I arrived at Santander bus station from the airport. I only had hand luggage, one wheelie case, so I decided to walk to our hotel, the Silken Rio Santander at Sardinero Beach. I knew that I could reach the hotel by taking the slightly longer scenic route along the prom. I couldn’t get to the waterfront immediately due to some massive works but managed to get on the prom at the Ferry Terminal.

prom diving kids

Sculptures of kids on Santander prom

prom ship relief

Relief sculpture of ship near Santander prom

prom palacete

Looking toward the mountains from Santander prom
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Walking to Faro de Cabo Mayor in Santander, Spain

One of the best walks around Santander is from the western end of Santander prom to the Faro de Cabo Mayer and Playa de Matalenas.

faro de cabo mayor sign at start of walk

Information board at the start of the walk

The start of the path isn’t that obvious. At the roundabout where Calle Dr Maranon and Calle Manuel Garcia Lago meet, you’ll see a row of shops and a cafe with seating behind a hedge. The path starts to the right of the cafe seating.

faro de cabo mayor start of path

 Location of the start of the walk

faro de cabo mayor looking towards santander

Looking back to Santander and Sardinero Beach

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Review of El Parque Restaurant in Santander

On our walk along Santander Prom at the western end of Sardinero Beach, we spotted a 13 Euro Menu del Dia at El Parque restuarant. It seemed too good to be true as it included three courses, a glass of wine and bread. It wasn’t clear if this menu was available all days, as some daily menus are only on offer at lunch time. We went into the restaurant to enquire and the Menu del Dia was served all day Monday to Friday.

el parque restaurant view of sardinero beach

Sardinero Beach from El Parque Santander

A couple of days later we were back at El Parque for dinner. Although there’s outdoor seating it was pretty breezy so we sat indoors.

el parque restaurant me

Me in El Parque Santander

The food, value for money and the ambience were so good that we also dined at El Parque on two other evenings. The restaurant was conveniently located for us as our hotel, the Silken Rio Santander, was at the eastern end of Sarindero Beach. Below is a selection of dishes we ate.

el parque restaurant bolognaise starter

Spaghetti Bolognaise starter at El Parque Santander

el parque restaurant russian salad starter

Russian Salad starter at El Parque Santander
el parque restaurant pumpkin soup

Pumpkin Soup starter at El Parque Santander


el parque restaurant sardines

Sardines main course at El Parque

el parque restaurant grilled fish

Grilled fish main course at El Parque Santander

el parque restaurant cheesecake

Strawberry Cheesecake dessert at El Parque

el parque restaurant chocolate truffles

Chocolate Truffle dessert at El Parque

Review of Hotel Ciutat de Tarragona

Keep It Real Travel Review – No Fluff

Review of the Hotel Silken Rio Santander

We stayed at the Hotel Silken Rio Santander for 7 nights in late May 2013. It cost £357 for a deluxe, sea view double room with breakfast, booked through ebookers using a 15% discount code. I chose the hotel because of its location opposite Sardinero Beach.

silken rio exterior

Exterior of the Hotel Silken Rio Santander

My husband checked in to the hotel before me. He thought that the room which we were allocated was on the small side, although the beach view was lovely. He went down to reception to request a larger room but was told that the rooms were all the same size.

silken rio first room

Our first room at the Hotel Silken Rio Santander

I arrived later that evening and decided that I would ask to see the manager in the morning to say that I wasn’t happy with the room, as I didn’t think that a deluxe room should be so small. I felt that as we were staying at the hotel for seven nights we needed more space. It was impossible to connect to the free wifi that evening, so that was something else to bring to the attention of the manager.

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Roses in Parque de Matalenas in Santander

We came upon the Rose Garden in Parque de Matalenas as we were walking to Faro de Cabo Mayor. It’s in a such a scenic location, overlooking Sardinero Beach. The setting was so beautiful that we returned a couple of days later. The garden is well tended; a gang of gardeners arrived during our first visit.

rose garden

rose garden1

rose garden4

rose garden5

rose garden pink

rose garden3

rose garden2

rose garden looking toward terrace

rose garden hanging plant rose garden bed

If you’re visiting Santander, then a trip to the Rose Garden in Parque de Matalenas is highly recommended.

Exploring the Magdalena Peninsula in Santander

The Magdalena Peninsula is located at the northern mouth of Santander Bay. It was a bit grey and showery when we arrived at the peninsula, but it did gradually brighten up. We walked in a clockwise circle around the peninsula.

magdalena peninsula illustrated map

Pictorial map of the Magdalena Peninsula

magdalena peninsula looking toward santander

 Looking back toward Santander’s Sardinero beach from the Magdalena Peninsula

magdalena peninsula road train

The Magdalena Peinisula road train

There’s a small Parque Marino (Marine Park) which is home to penguins and sea lions.

magdalena peninsula pengiuns

 Penguins in the Parque Marino

magdalena peninsula sea lion

Sea lion in the Parque Marino

The outdoor Museo de Mar (Museum of the Sea) has three galleons.

magdalena peninsula three ships

The 3 galleons in Museo del Mar

magdalena peninsula mermaid sculpture

Two of the galleons behind a mermaid sculpture

There’s also an enormous wooden raft type vessel.

magdalena peninsula raft living quarters

Living quarters on the raft

The more modern addition is a yellow floating pod.

magdalena peninsule floating pod

Floating pod at the Museo del Mar

The Palacio de la Magdalena (Magdalena Palace) was built in the early 20th century as a summer retreat for the Spanish royal family. It cost 3 Euro to enter. We didn’t go in, as we felt we’d already spend enough time inside our room at the Hotel Silken Rio Santander that morning, waiting for the rain to go off.

magdalena peninsula palace1

Palacio de la Magdalena

magdalena peninsula palace foyer

The foyer of Palacio de la Magdalena

magdalena palace map

Palacio de la Magdalena

There are some great views of Santander Bay from the gardens of the palace.

magdalena peninsula view to sandbar

Looking down on sandbar in Santander Bay from the Magdalena Peninsula.

The Isla de Mouro has a lighthouse.

magdalena peninsula view to la isla de mouro

Isla de Mouro lighthouse

magdalena peninsula la isla de mouro information board

Isla de Mouro information board

There’s another lighthouse on the peninsula, Faro de la Cerda.

magdalena peninsula lighthouse

Faro de la Cerda

Down the hill from that lighthouse, there’s a large picnic area with a good vantage point for watching the passing vessels.

magdalena peninsula passing boat

Boat passing Magdalena Peninsula

I was amazed to discover that the buiding below was originally the stables (caballerizas) for the palace. These horses certainly lived in grand style.

magdalena peninsula stables

Caballerizas on the Magdalena Peninsula

The breakwater appears to mark the boundary between Playa de los Bikinis to the east and Playa de la Magdalena to the west.

magdalena peninsula steps playa de bikini

Steps down to the beaches

It looks as through the breakwater leads to the Isla de la Torre which is home to a sailing school.

magdalena peninsula breakwater on bikini beach

Me on the breakwater with Isla de la Torre in background

I hope that you’ve enjoyed my photo tour of the Magdalena Peninsula in Santander.