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One of the fastest ways to reach Spain’s northern coast is through Santander Airport, located three miles east of the city. Every year more than one million passengers fly into Cantabria’s only airport to enjoy this amazing region of Spain. Travellers can choose from airport buses or taxis to reach their destination, though many opt to rent a car to make it easier to explore Santander and the surrounding area via the A8 motorway.
Who to Book With
The four car rental companies available at Santander Airport are Avis, Europcar, Hertz and National Atesa. All of the rental firms have kiosks in the Arrivals area right outside of baggage claim.
Need to Know Essentials
The documents listed below are required when collecting your rental vehicle:
- Your EU driving licence or International Driving Permit
- The credit card from the initial rental booking
- A secondary form of picture ID
- A print-out of your rental confirmation
Driving around Santander is relatively easy, though traffic does get congested in the historic city centre and around the port. Parking is allowed on the streets but drivers must be careful to follow the time limits posted and use the parking ticket machines. It’s often easier to use a parking lot or garage for longer stays. Spain requires every vehicle to keep a warning triangle, reflective safety jacket and GB sticker on hand at all times. Petrol stations are common in most parts of the city due to the influx of ferry traffic. They accept credit cards at the pump or cash at the kiosks.
Passengers at Santander Airport have the choice of hiring a taxi, using an airport bus or renting a car. The Alsa buses are the cheapest option, with both city buses and long-distance coaches available at the terminal. It only takes about 15 minutes to reach the centre of Santander from the airport.
There is no train service at Santander Airport, but buses connect with the city’s RENFE station for rail links to Alicante and Madrid.
The taxi rank is located directly in front of the terminal exit. Official airport taxis are waiting for all arriving flights, and use a meter and several add-on tariffs to determine the fare. Each suitcase costs £0.50 and fares are slightly higher between 22:00 and 06:00, and on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays.
Santander Airport to Santander city centre is about £15
Santander Airport to Torrelavega is about £30
Santander Airport to Estaciones is about £12
Santander Airport to St Tropez is about £200
Alsa buses run every 30 minutes between the airport and the main bus terminal in Santander between 07:00 and 23:00. These large buses depart from in front of the terminal exit and cost around £1 for the 15-minute trip. Arriving travellers can also book long-distance buses from the airport to regional cities like Bilbao and Gijon with Alsa if they have purchased the tickets in advance.
The single terminal at Santander Airport was recently expanded and renovated. More than a million travellers fly into the airport each year, mainly on Ryanair, which is the main low-cost carrier operating regular flights around Europe and the UK. Air Nostrum runs flights to Madrid, while Vueling has service to Barcelona, both adding a few seasonal routes during peak travel periods.
The car park at Santander Airport has space for 785 vehicles; 20 of these are reserved for drivers with reduced mobility. Rates start at just £1 per hour with a maximum of £8 per day for the first four days and £3 for each day thereafter.
Passengers can enjoy free wireless internet access throughout the terminal.
An information point is located next to the check-in area with touchscreens that allow travellers to check for information as well as make complaints and pick up brochures about Santander tourism.
Airport Information: +34 91 321 1000
Santander Airport is fully up to European Parliament standards regarding assistance and facilities for travellers with reduced mobility. Ramps, lifts and facilities like rest rooms and drinking fountains are all easily accessible from a wheelchair. Free assistance is also available for any traveller with advance notice.
Restaurants and Bars
There are two options for food and beverages at the airport. La Barilla is located in the public area of the Departures area on the ground level, serving typical Spanish cuisine and alcohol from 06:00 to 23:30. Pic Nic is found after security in the Departures area, serving quick take-out food and drinks from 07:00 to 23:30.
There are no VIP lounges.
Money and ATMs
Bank branches and cash point ATMs can be found both before and after security in both Departures and Arrivals. Banco Santander has several kiosks, while Caja Cantabria has an ATM.
Most of the shops at Santander Airport are found in the large Multitienda zone next to security in the public area of the terminal. Gift shops selling local Cantabrian products, reading materials, travel sundries and snacks are on hand. There are also duty-free outlets past security in the Departures area. All shops open from 06:30 to 21:00, or when special flight schedules change.