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Located on the shores of the Bay of Biscay, Santander (population: 178,465) is known as one of Spain's most elegant cities, boasting high European fashion, unsurpassable beaches, and incomparable fresh seafood. In the early 1900s, the Spanish king, Alfonso XIII, selected Santander as the location for his summer retreat, making the city what it is today: a waterfront urban sprawl encompassed by nature.
With its undeniably exquisite combination of beaches suitable for Spanish royalty and its great outdoors, the city's small size allows students to connect with Spanish culture. This is a terrific summer destination for outdoor enthusiasts and those wishing to improve their Spanish language skills in an often overlooked location.
A popular surfing destination in Spain, students in the Santander Summer program have the opportunity to take surfing lessons at the Escuela Cantabra de Surf and have the ability to hit more than 50 prime surfing destinations in the area.
The surrounding countryside boasts vast expanses of green hills and mountains, where the Camino de Santiago (religious pilgrimage) passes through this elite city. Students can embark on their own exploration of Spanish history by joining the hike along the trail or by scaling the Picos de Europa, a nearby mountain range that received its name for being the first sight of Europe for Spanish ships coming in from the Americas.
During the summer months, several festivals take place, including grandiose displays of fireworks over the ocean, bonfires on the beach, and afternoon dips in the bay while dressed in swimwear that was fashionable at the turn of the 20th century. Students can witness unique Spanish celebrations and can immerse themselves in the Cantabrian lifestyle in a gorgeous city off the beaten path.
More about Santander
Academic Programs Offered in Santander