Santander Events, Things to Do and Festivals
(Santander, Cantabria, Spain)
The summer season in Santander is a very exciting time to pay a visit to this city, with many of its biggest events and most popular things to do taking place in July and August each year. The Fundación Marcelino Botin on Calle de Pedrueca hosts numerous well-supported events and seasonal festivals in Santander, while others are staged in public plazas and city parks, such as the Parque de Cabo Mayor and the Parque de la Magdalena, and on the beaches of El Sardinero.
The Semana Grande is amongst the biggest festivals held in Santander and takes place each year at the end of July. Soon after, August sees many celebrations, including both the Summer Festival and also the Festival Internacional de Santander, both of which offer live music events and concerts throughout the entire month, attracting large crowds and big names in the music industry.
Santander Calendar of Festivals and Events 2014 / 2015: General Information
Throughout the summer season in Santander, the Palacio de la Magdalena plays host to many popular events and exhibitions, while the very established Sauga Folk Music Festival is another leading event at this time of the year and was first held in 1994.
The main festivals held in Santander are as follows:
- Carnival Santona - through February, with carnival processions and decorated floats in the neighbouring town of Santona
- La Folia - late April, held on the Sunday following Easter in San Vincente de la Barquera, with a large gathering of boats in the harbour
- Feast of Saint John - June 24th, with celebrations honouring the patron saint, especially around the port of Castro Uridales, close to Santander
- Artesantander - mid-July, art galleries from all around Spain, including Cantabria, gather to stage various art-related events and competitions at the Palacio de Festivales
- Semana Grande - late July, a true highlight on Santander's calendar and lasting around a week, usually starting on July 25th or thereabouts
- Feria Taurina de Santander (Bullfighting Festival) - late July, close to the Plaza de México, one of the most important events of its kind in the whole of northern Spain
- International Piano Competition (Concurso Internacional de Piano) - late July to early August, established in 1972 and actively supporting young, talented pianists
- Dia de Cantabria (Cantabria Day) - early August, music, dancing and plenty of tasty Spanish food, in the nearby town of Cabezon de la Sal
- Asturias Day - early August, with celebrations tending to be based within the city of Gijon, including carnival parades and feasting
- Descent of the River Sella - early / mid-August, a notable 20-km / 12-mile canoe race between Arriondas and Ribadesella, held on the Sella River
- Batalla de Flores (Battle of Flowers) - last Friday in August, with thousands heading from Santander to the seaside town of Laredo, to see the famous floats decorated with colourful flowers
- Feast of Saint James - August 25th, commemorating Saint James (Santiago), Spain's very own patron saint
- Santander Summer Festival - throughout August, with both Spanish and international groups, and open-air concerts held on the beachfront itself
- Festival Internacional de Santander (International Festival of Santander) - throughout August, a celebration of both music and dance, founded more than 60 years ago and featuring everything from opera and folk dancing, to pop concerts and jazz
- Sauga Folk Music Festival - throughout August, a showcase of up-and-coming talent and surprisingly popular, being amongst the city's most noteworthy events
- Romeria Montanesa del Faro (Pilgrimage to the Lighthouse) - late August, with crowds gathering at the Faro de Cabo Mayor (Cabo Mayor lighthouse)