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Getting There -- Five to 10 daily flights from Madrid and Barcelona land at Aeropuerto de Santander (tel. 90-240-47-04), a little more than 6.5km (4 miles) from the town center. It's accessible by taxi and costs 15€. Much cheaper is the regular bus service that runs between the airport and the train station (2€ one-way). The local office of Iberia is at the airport (tel. 90-240-05-00).

There are three trains daily from Madrid (trip time: 5 1/2-9 hr.); a one-way fare costs 46€ to 71€. For rail information, call tel. 90-224-02-02 (www.renfe.es).

Buses arrive at Calle Navas de Tolosa (tel. 94-221-19-95; www.alsa.es). There are 24 connections a day to and from Bilbao (trip time: 1 1/2 hr.); a one-way ticket costs 7.50€. Six to nine buses a day arrive from Madrid (trip time: 5 1/2 hr.), costing from 32€.

N-634 continues west from Laredo to the intersection with N-635, which you follow into Santander.

Visitor Information -- The tourist information office is at Jardines de Pereda (tel. 94-220-30-00; www.ayto-santander.es). It's open September to June Monday to Friday 8:30am to 7pm, Saturday 10am to 2pm; and July to August Monday to Saturday 9am to 9pm.

Special Events -- The Music and Dance Festival in August is one of the most important artistic events in Spain. Occasionally, this festival coincides with religious celebrations honoring Santiago (St. James), the patron saint of Spain.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.