Santander is a city which stands out especially for its full contact with nature. Apart from the Bay, a good number of urban beaches and the Cueto, Monte and San Román de la Llanilla rural neighbourhoods, the city has a wide range of parks and gardens which provide it with peaceful places to rest, walk or practice sports. The main ones are:
La Magdalena Park
La Magdalena is the most emblematic park of Santander since it hosts the palace that the Kings of Spain were given as a present by the city of Santander in 1912 via popular subscription. The design of the gardens is work of French landscape architect Forestier and it includes a wide variety of plant species which can be visited from 8 am to 10 pm in summer and from 9 am to 9 pm the rest of the year. This park is one of the most visited by tourists and local inhabitants themselves, who find here a recreation area with many resources as it contains a marine park, a treeless land to practice sports, tennis courts, tables and benches for picnicking, an open-air museum, beaches…
Created in 1925 upon the so-called rock of Piquillo, these gardens separate the First and Second beaches of El Sardinero. Among the tree species which can be found here, a common elm and Japan acacias stand out. This emblematic garden has a number of paths that alternate with pergolas and Canary palms. In addition, there is a viewpoint from which the whole Sardinero can be admired and whose balustrade has undulating forms imitating the sea waves.
This vast park is located at the foot of the Second beach of El Sardinero. Its name comes from Dr. Mesones, who was mayor of the city and the promoter of the space. It was built where the old stadium of Real Racing Club of Santander once stood, still conserving one of its corners hidden among the hedges. It also contains the figures of Cantabrian clowns ‘Brothers Tonetti’. Among the tree species, Canadian poplars, tamarix trees and London planes predominate. In the internal area there is an artificial pond surrounded by tall white poplars, whose silhouette reproduces that of the port of Santander. In addition, the park has a large grass surface.
Mataleñas Park is located in Cabo Menor, a privileged area because of its landscape, one of the most beautiful and frequented parks in the municipality of Santander. From this park it is possible to contemplate astonishing views of the area of El Sardinero. Before its opening to the public in 1983, it was the residence of the Pérez Eizaguirre family and it has maintained the basic design of its woodland layout. The design of both the gardens and the large bird pond is attributed to architect Whintenhuysen. It also has an area intended to be a sports circuit surrounded by nature.
Las Llamas Park
Las Llamas Atlantic Park is one of the largest environmental projects undertaken in the city in recent years. It has a large central pond whose silhouette reproduces the Atlantic outline with several footbridges whose names remind us of large cruisers, one of which is unfinished and called ‘Titanic’. The park has, moreover, a great number of plant species from the countries of the Atlantic as well as a path network which can be covered on foot, on roller-skates and by bike, an amphitheatre and catering services. This space has become a favourite for families with children.
Inaugurated in 1905, these gardens are a real symbol of the most elegant city and they are located on the land which was reclaimed from the sea and used as a dock in 1805. Named in honour of Cantabrian writer José María de Pereda, they boast a sculpture in which the author appears surrounded by some of the most significant characters of his works. In addition, it houses a wide variety of species and trees of important height. In spring and summer it hosts numerous literary fairs and markets.
The Municipal Tourist Office is located here as well as a point of the Municipal Service of Bicycles (TUSBIC).
The Water Park
The southern hillside of Calle Alta street is home to the Water Park, so called because it represents the river flow from its upper course: its source, stretches and mouth. In addition, several information panels tell us about the Cantabrian vegetation and fauna related to river courses. It has a network of pedestrian paths, several squares, a stream and artificial lakes as well as vegetation consisting mainly of beeches, juniper, birches, holm oaks and shrubs.
La Alameda de Oviedo
This urban park located in one of the most central areas of the city is surrounded by a wide range of business and catering premises. Splendid London planes, ash trees and some tropical species, such as yuccas, alternate in this avenue. In 1752 it already existed in the area a road which later became the King’s Highway of Castile and, next to it, the beginning of a poplar-lined avenue. Commonly known even today as the Second Alameda, it adopted the name of “Oviedo” in 1909, on the occasion of the fraternization ceremonies between the natives of Oviedo and those of Santander. In the early 20th century the feast of Santiago was celebrated here, as well as cattle markets and dances with traditional music.
Doctor Morales Park
Santander as the Park of the Cow for housing the sculpture of this animal, which has been so important to the Cantabrian economy for centuries. The children’s playground is located in the vicinity of the entrance to the park, next to a small pond. It has a wide variety of species such as Canary palms, Lawson’s cypresses, birches, Horse chestnuts, elms, ash trees, willows…
La Marga Park
This park was built on the land previously occupied by factory premises and it is now the green lung of the populous neighbourhood of Castilla-Hermida. Among its trees, a set of olives and native species such as oaks and cork oaks, stand out. It also has a small pond with waterfowl and a traditional bowling alley.
Finca Altamira Park
A group of huge blue eucalyptus will welcome you to Finca Altamira Park, a green space located next to General Dávila which is open to the public and offers some services for senior citizens. In addition to these eucalyptuses, there are Horse chestnuts and Japanese Pittospurum, lime trees, back poplars, elders… This park is also notable for having a surface set aside for a project on social vegetable gardens.
Finca Jado Park ______________________ Before its opening to the public, this park was a private property containing a house which is now intended for social uses. It has numerous specimens of different species, many of them foreign, typical from tropical and North American environments. There is an area for children’s games.
Finca Jado Park
Before its opening to the public, this park was a private property containing a house which is now intended for social uses. It has numerous specimens of different species, many of them foreign, typical from tropical and North American environments. There is an area for children’s games.