Tuesday, 22 May 2012 7:52 AM
A trip to Spain is one of the best ways for students to develop their language skills and will also give them an insight into the country's fascinating culture. Choose Cantabria for your educational visit and you will take them to places they are unlikely to have seen before.
Most holidaymakers choose Madrid, Barcelona or the Costas, but a school tour to northern Spain is perfect for students. In addition to having ample opportunity to speak the local language, there are a wide variety of natural and manmade attractions to see, so the trip could also be of benefit to those studying geography and art.
The capital of the autonomous community of Cantabria, Santander is a busy port and the centre for trade in the region. As well as seeing the favourite tourist sights, such as the cathedral and the lighthouse that looks out over the Bay of Santander, the city is a good place for studying urban expansion and planning as it has grown significantly over the last 50 years.
Cave of Altamira
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the finest examples of Paleolithic cave art to be found anywhere in the world. The paintings are thought to be around 16,000 years old and, to help preserve them, are no longer on show to the public. However, replicas of the masterpieces can be seen at a nearby museum.
Picos de Europa
This national park features a rugged mountain range that stretches across the autonomous communities of Asturias, Castilla Leon and Cantabria. It is a popular spot with walkers, but you may prefer your students to examine how the limestone peaks were formed by glaciation and karstification.
Travel from your base in Cantabria to the Basque Country to see the beautiful beaches and attractions of San Sebastian. The city boasts some stunning landmarks, including a 19th century cathedral, Constitution Square and Miramar Palace, as well as a unique culture born out of the fiercely independent attitude of the locals.
While in the Basque Country, you can take your group to one of Europe's finest art galleries – the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao. Its collection features works from the mid-20th century to the present day and is a real treat for art students, as it contains pieces by the likes of Willem de Kooning and Robert Motherwell. There are also enough quirky and spectacular items to capture the attention of youngsters who claim not to be interested in art.