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  • Writer's pictureSamantha Diaz

The Ultimate Travel Guide to Potes, Spain

Updated: May 6

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If you're looking for a unique and authentic travel experience in Spain, look no further than Potes. This charming town, located in the heart of Cantabria, offers visitors a glimpse into traditional Spanish life, surrounded by stunning natural beauty. Potes, Spain is a truly special destination that offers visitors a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, and delicious local cuisine. This town is nestled in the heart of Cantabria, a region in northern Spain that is known for its rolling hills, rugged coastline, and verdant forests. Visitors to Potes will be able to experience the best of what this region has to offer, all while enjoying the relaxed pace of life that this small town is famous for.


Getting to Potes, Spain

If you're planning to travel to Potes, Spain, there are a few ways to get there depending on where you're coming from. Potes is a charming town in the Cantabria region, located in the northern part of Spain. Here are the most common transportation options to reach Potes:


By Air

The closest major airport to Potes is Santander Airport (SDR), which is about 120 kilometers (75 miles) away. Once you land at the airport, you can either rent a car or take a taxi to Potes. The drive usually takes around 1.5 to 2 hours, depending on traffic and road conditions.


By Train

Potes doesn't have its own train station, so the nearest one is in Unquera, which is approximately 30 kilometers (18 miles) away. From Unquera, you can catch a taxi or hop on a local bus that will take you to Potes. The taxi ride from Unquera to Potes usually takes around 30 minutes.


By Bus

Potes is well-connected by bus services that operate from various cities in the region. The primary bus station in Potes is called Estación de Autobuses de Potes. You can check the bus schedules and even book your tickets online through the bus company's website. Alternatively, you can purchase tickets directly at the station when you arrive.


By Car

If you prefer driving, Potes is easily accessible by road. The most common route is via the A-8 motorway (Autovía del Cantábrico) if you're approaching from the east or west. From the A-8, you can take either the N-621 or N-625 roads that will lead you to Potes. The duration of the drive depends on your starting point, but from Santander, it typically takes around 1.5 to 2 hours.


Things to Do in Potes, Spain

When you're in Potes, Spain, you'll discover a delightful range of activities to make the most of your time in this picturesque town. Nestled in the Cantabria region, Potes offers a blend of natural beauty, historical charm, and a lively cultural scene. Here are some fantastic things to do in Potes:


Explore the Old Town

Take a leisurely stroll through Potes' Old Town, and let yourself get lost in its enchanting streets. Marvel at the traditional stone buildings, wander along the narrow alleys, and don't forget to visit the historic churches like the impressive Torre del Infantado. Pause at local shops and cozy cafés to savor the mouthwatering regional cuisine.


Monastery of Santo Toribio de Liébana

This ancient monastery holds significant religious importance just a short distance from Potes. Inside, you'll find the Lignum Crucis, believed to be a fragment of the True Cross. Explore the captivating cloister and chapel, and delve into the fascinating history surrounding the monastery.


Picos de Europa National Park

In Picos de Europa National Park, there's an abundance of activities to immerse yourself in nature's wonders. Lace up your hiking boots and explore the extensive network of trails, offering options for all skill levels, from easy walks to challenging mountain hikes. Don't miss the iconic Ruta del Cares, following a spectacular gorge, or the exhilarating ascent to the Naranjo de Bulnes peak. For breathtaking views, embark on a scenic drive along winding mountain roads, with the Covadonga Lakes route leading to picturesque lakes surrounded by towering peaks. Keep an eye out for the diverse wildlife, including chamois, ibex, wildcats, griffon vultures, and golden eagles—binoculars and a camera will enhance your experience. Adventure seekers can engage in rock climbing on the park's dramatic cliffs, with routes catering to various skill levels. For a thrilling underground experience, explore the captivating subterranean world through caving expeditions, guided by experienced professionals. Capture the park's beauty through photography, from majestic peaks to pristine lakes and abundant flora and fauna. Lastly, take time to relax and appreciate the tranquility by enjoying a picnic amidst the park's breathtaking surroundings.


Tresviso Caves

A short drive from Potes lies the captivating Tresviso Caves. Embark on a guided tour of these underground wonders, and marvel at the unique rock formations and subterranean rivers. It's an extraordinary adventure that will leave you in awe of nature's creations.


Potes Tower

Take a guided tour of the Potes Tower (Torre del Infantado), an impressive medieval tower that symbolizes the town's historical significance. Learn about its history and enjoy panoramic views of Potes and its surroundings from the top.


Where to Eat in Potes, Spain


Mesón La Trebede

This cozy restaurant is known for its traditional Cantabrian dishes, including hearty stews, grilled meats, and fresh seafood. The warm and rustic ambiance adds to the dining experience.


Casa Cayo

Located in the heart of Potes, Casa Cayo offers a menu inspired by local gastronomy. Indulge in specialties such as cocido lebaniego (a regional stew), lamb chops, and a variety of local cheeses.


Asador El Bodegón

This traditional grill restaurant is renowned for its succulent grilled meats, including beef and lamb, cooked to perfection. The rustic atmosphere and friendly service make it a favorite among locals and visitors alike.


Restaurante La Soldrería

Enjoy a delightful dining experience at Restaurante La Soldrería, known for its creative and innovative dishes. The menu showcases local ingredients and flavors, with a contemporary twist.


Mesón El Cazador

Located near the Potes Bridge, Mesón El Cazador is a popular choice for those seeking traditional Cantabrian cuisine. Try their grilled meats, seafood dishes, and homemade desserts.


Restaurante El Tombo

Offering a blend of traditional and modern cuisine, Restaurante El Tombo is known for its imaginative dishes using local ingredients. Their menu features a variety of options, including vegetarian and vegan choices.


Sidrería La Fuentona

If you're in the mood for some authentic Asturian cuisine, head to Sidrería La Fuentona. Alongside their delicious cider, you can savor Asturian specialties like fabada (bean stew), cider-infused seafood, and traditional Asturian desserts.


Mesón La Torre

This restaurant is situated in a historic building near the Potes Tower. It offers a welcoming ambiance and a menu that showcases the flavors of the region, including game dishes, homemade desserts, and a wide selection of wines.


Cafes + Bakeries in Potes, Spain

Potes, Spain has several charming cafes and bakeries where you can relax and enjoy a delightful treat. Here are some popular options:


Heladería-Pastelería Capri

Located in the heart of Potes, Capri is a beloved pastry shop offering a wide array of delicious pastries, cakes, and ice creams. Their specialties include the traditional almond cakes known as "quesadas" and the "sobao pasiego" sponge cake.


La Tahona de Potes

This traditional bakery is a must-visit for bread and pastry lovers. They bake a variety of artisanal bread, including the popular "pan de Potes," as well as pastries, cookies, and local specialties like the "corbatas de Unquera" (pastry twists).


Café Moderno

Situated in a historic building, Café Moderno is a cozy cafe serving a range of beverages, including coffee, tea, and hot chocolate. Pair your drink with one of their freshly baked pastries or cakes for a delightful treat.


El Rinconín de Potes

This cafe and bakery offers a cozy atmosphere and a tempting selection of pastries and baked goods. Try their "sobaos pasiegos," a traditional Cantabrian delicacy, or their croissants and tarts.


Panadería Flor

This bakery is known for its quality bread and pastries made using traditional methods and recipes. Their bread is baked fresh daily, and they offer a variety of delicious sweet and savory pastries to enjoy with your coffee.


These cafes and bakeries in Potes provide the perfect spots to relax, enjoy a cup of coffee or tea, and indulge in delicious pastries and baked goods that showcase the region's culinary delights.


Where to Stay in Potes, Spain


Hotel Valdecoro

Located in the heart of Potes, Hotel Valdecoro offers comfortable rooms with modern amenities. The hotel features a charming courtyard and a restaurant serving traditional Cantabrian cuisine.


Hotel Arha

Situated in a historic building, Hotel Arha offers cozy and comfortable rooms with a traditional ambiance. Guests can enjoy the on-site restaurant, which serves regional dishes, and the hotel's central location allows for easy exploration of Potes.


Hotel Infantado

This boutique hotel provides a comfortable and stylish stay in the heart of Potes. The rooms are tastefully decorated, and the hotel features a restaurant, a bar, and a terrace with views of the surrounding mountains.


Hotel Posada San Telmo

Located in a restored 17th-century building, Hotel Posada San Telmo offers charming rooms with traditional decor. Guests can relax in the courtyard or enjoy a meal at the on-site restaurant serving local cuisine.


Hotel Casona de Quintana

Situated in a historic mansion, Hotel Casona de Quintana offers elegant and spacious rooms with modern amenities. The hotel features a garden, a terrace, and a cozy lounge area for guests to unwind.


Best Time to Visit Potes, Spain

The best time to visit Potes, Spain is during the spring (April to June) and autumn (September to October) seasons. Spring offers pleasant weather, colorful landscapes, and fewer crowds. Autumn showcases vibrant fall foliage and a quieter atmosphere. Summer (July to August) brings warmer temperatures but higher tourist activity. Winter (December to February) is quieter, with colder temperatures. Consider your preferences for weather, crowds, and activities when planning your visit to Potes.

Potes is a hidden gem in the heart of Cantabria that offers visitors a truly special travel experience. With its stunning natural beauty, rich cultural heritage, and delicious local cuisine, this charming town is sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who visits. Whether you're a seasoned traveler or just looking for a new and unique experience, Potes is definitely a destination worth visiting. So why not book your trip today and discover the magic of this hidden gem for yourself?


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I'm Samantha! A photographer and I believe that every picture has a story. As a blogger, I share my travel stories with everyone. I think it's important to document my travels and share my experiences with others. I've been to some amazing places and I've seen some incredible things. I want to share my stories and photos with the world.

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