What to see in Potes in 1 day, heart of Liébana (with map)


You have decided to tour the Lebaniego Road to discover the treasures that hides from San Vicente de la Barquera(as we did) or simply search for the most charming villages in Cantabria, the villa of bridges and towers It will be presented to you as a must on the road. We bring you in this article whatwhat to see in Potes with detail (map included) so that when you visit it you have the first hand information and you don't miss anything.UPDATED 2019

We are in the heart of the Liébana Valley, in one of the most tourist towns of Cantabria and, in turn, more beautiful. Its situation also allows you to reach many interesting and important points of this Cantabrian area in a very short time.

Plan your visit to Potes

Potes is a mountain village that will not leave you indifferent and you will enjoy what it offers of itself, its surroundings and of course its gastronomy.

Walking through its cobbled streets and admire its popular houses will do the rest ... Come and see!

A bit of its history to place us

Thecapital of Liébana It is mentioned documentary from the middle of the ninth century to the medieval era and, although no remains of antiquity and its possible occupation were found, they do place in it remains of prehistory because of the remains found in the region of Liébana. It would also welcome the inhabitants of the pre-Roman era and, of course, the Romans. Here the powerful houses of the Mendoza and the Manrique would develop their medieval struggles but since the end of this era Potes would be linked to the House of the Marquis of Santillana first and that of the Infantado later.

Its architectural heritage is one of the richest in this region both religious and civil or popular but, above all, its traditions are important, such as the Jubilee to Santo Toribio de Liébana.

Visitor map of Potes, the heart of Liebana

Potes is located in the southwest of Cantabria, between the mountains of Peña Sagra and Peña Labra and the Picos de Europa massif, flat territory surrounded by mountains and located in the center of the region of Liébana (hence one of the reasons that its capital is). In it the rivers Deva and Quiviesa join, a fact that helps it to be integrated in a spectacular landscape at the confluence of the four valleys of the region, in addition to being able to enjoy a kind of microclimate to be protected from mountains that makes it be A warmer and drier area.


For hiking enthusiasts we leave here a Pilgrimage route to the monastery of Liébana. If you feel like doing the route for free, you can visit our article of Camino Lebaniego, where we tell you which route we made, where to find practical information, what are the best stops and more things you will need to know if you are going for free.

In the event that you decide on the guided tour you should know that it is a full day excursion and you will be accompanied by a guide who will tell you history and curiosities along the way. Includes travel to the beginning of the route and back to the stop where you have been picked up, food and drink. This option is fantastic if you do not have your own transportation, if you are one of those who prefer to be accompanied and knowing a little more thoroughly what you are visiting. Do you sign it up?

More excursions in Cantabria?

If you want to know more about Cantabria, you have all the articles of what we did in this wonderful region uploaded to the blog. We recommend that, if you have the opportunity to go with your own car (or rented), you travel to emblematic places like the Soplao Cave, a wonderful place that surely will not leave you indifferent, or even Santillana del Mar and itscaves of Altamira, a memory of the history of our country for all audiences and a very entertaining excursion.

A map to plan the main attractions to see in Potes It could be the following (based on the tourist map of Semarac)

It has highlighted the highlights but Potes is a villa where you can kick and get lost in its streets, without major marked routes, which will transfer you to another era, especially walking through the bridges of San Cayetano and de la Cárcel, built on the confluence of the Quiviesa river along with the Deva river crossing Potes.

What to see in Potes in 1 day (with its essential places)

The secret of Potes is to lose yourself in its old part, an area with a lot of charm that will discover a quiet town full of places to walk, enjoy or sit down for a drink on a terrace but, as we mentioned before, it also has a rich architecture that forms the essential places to see in Potes.

It is a small and cozy town that we have not followed an order to see all its attractions but we list them so you do not miss any and you can better plan your day.

1 Church of San Vicente

We can say that there are two churches in one, the old one dating back to the 14th century and the new one that began to be built at the end of the 19th century, since with the growth of the town the previous church was insufficient and began to have a dilapidated state . his interior saves treasures which must be seen as are its baroque altarpieces, mostly from the former convent of San Raimundo of the order of Santo Domingo that existed before in Potes.

They stand out above all two in particular. The first is theCristo de Burgos, the image of the famous Christ that is preserved in the Cathedral of Burgos and that has its own legendsince, according to popular tradition, the image appeared floating in the bay of Santander, which would arouse great devotion among the inhabitants of the town and would become the patron of the emigrants who left for the Indies. The other important altarpiece represents lto Conversion of St. Paul. An essential visit to see in Potes

2 The Infantado Tower

One of the symbols of what to see in Potes and one of the most prominent buildings in all of Cantabria. This Tower, which now has the function of City Hall and at the same time as an Exhibition Hall, once played the role of jail. It is a tower house built in the fourteenth century and located in the center of the old town (which seems to preside), which belonged to Don Tello, Lord of Liebana although from the sixteenth century passes to the Santillana family after clashes over the manor. An original detail in the Cantabrian fortresses (and that this tower has) is that inside it has a patio that illuminates the interior rooms.


If your visit to Potes coincided in Monday, you can see and enjoy the market that is celebrated this day where the typical and traditional products that people from different parts of the region bring to Potes. Legumes, fruit, sausages or cheeses produced in the area and base of its main dish, the lebaniego stew that can be accompanied by the typical olive-pomace orujo or the traditional Port Tea

To get to it you have to climb a staircase that give it a more stately air. Declared Historic-Artistic Complex can be a starting point for your walk through the streets of what was the medieval town of Potes. Open to the public (EUR 3 per adult, EUR 1.5 children from 4 to 12 years old) after a long restoration process (check schedules), is distributed over six floors around this inner courtyard.

Potes is not called the town of bridges and towers by chance. Towers such as the Infantado or the nearby Orejón de la Lama are a clear example. It also usually hosts exhibitions and other cultural programs of Calseco, Linares and Osorio.

In the last floor of this magnificent Torre del Infantado you can access the most impressive views from the town, from the rivers Deva and Quiviesa, the mount de la Viorna, the hermitages that announce the monastery of Santo Toribio and the Picos de Europa.

In our recent escape to Potes in the Torre del Infantado we could see the exhibition that was currently hosting (and that deserves a separate chapter): Blessed of Liébana Cosmos where the life and work of the abbot lebaniego, first Cantabrian writer is treated.

3 Old Convent of San Raimundo

A Dominican convent founded in the seventeenth century by Friar Frai Toribio Vélez whose importance lies in the fact that he had in his possession the important altarpieces that today can be seen in the church of San Vicente and that the convent would retain until 1837 when It produced the end of the religious congregation. It became the seat of the City Council and, today, hosts a permanent exhibition on the region of Liébana and the Picos de Europa. It preserves the façade and the cloister from its time

4 The old quarter or historic center of Potes

You cannot miss this essential visit in Potes since a good part of its charm is home to every alley in its old quarter or old town, joined by the two bridges that we mentioned before (San Cayetano and the Jail).

Some of its labyrinthine roads conserve the typical atmosphere of other times as one of the most characteristic neighborhood, la Solana.

Its medieval aspect will make you fall in love and you will enjoy one hundred percent of one of the most spectacular historical monuments of Cantabria.

5 What can be seen in the surrounding Potes?

Monastery of Santo Toribio de Liebana:Only 2 kilometers from Potes, Santo Toribio de Liebana is an essential stop even if it is already located in the municipality of Camaleño. We have already spoken to you long and hard about him in previous articles such as "Lebaniego Road"But today, when we see Potes, we cannot forget this Monastery founded around the 6th century. Its importance is based mainly on the fact that it houses the Lignum Crucis, the largest preserved fragment of the Cross of Christ.

Fuente Dé Cable Car: If we talk about Potes as a gateway to the Picos de Europa, the balcony itself is located in Fuente Dé with a scenic cable car that saves a drop of 753 meters to take you in a few minutes beyond the 1,800 meters of altitude.
Soplao Cave:Something further away is a unique cavity, a true palace or Sistine cave of geology. Ideal to visit with children too.

In the article "12 + 1 essential stops on the way to the Liebana Valley"you can find true jewels that house the surroundings of Potes, especially highlighting the Santa Catalina viewpoint, he Gorge of the Hermida (the longest in Spain), the church of Santa María de Lebeña or the High landscapes of Allende, Cabañes and Pendes.

More information of interest to plan your visit

How to get to Potes?

If you go by road, the highway A-8 Potes communicates with the main cities of the north and through the N-621 you can access up to Potes through the beautiful gorge of the Hermida of which we have already spoken. In bus, there are lines that cover the north zone

In train, you can get to Reinosa station 42 kilometers away and in airplaneYou will have the nearest airport in Santander (and alternatives in Asturias or Bilbao), opting for the id id = rentalcars car rental / hood to move around.

Where to eat in Potes? (also cooked lebaniego)

Potes has as many restaurants to taste its typical cuisine as you can imagine and will help you include many recipes in your favorite dishes for life. However, we list you some of the best places to eat in Potes in our opinion

Hotel Bear Restaurant:Following the advice of a reader we arrived at this restaurant in Cosgaya, a few kilometers from Potes on the way to Fuente Dé and we can assure you that it has been an essential stop on our trip. Very varied menu, blunt dishes and the ideal place to try the lebaniego stew or a conch the size of the bear that gives it its name.

Martín Restaurant: One of the best valued for its diversity of dishes and its value for money as well as having the best canon in the area.
 Llorente Grill:Located in a beautiful old building, it is an ideal place to try both the lebaniego stew with the typical products of Potes

Where to sleep in Potes in charming places?

As you know, we always look for those charming inns and mansions that give the route an added value. Here you have our selection for Potes and surroundings:

Posada el Bosque, charming choice, impressive breakfast and unbeatable location, for 60-80 €

Grandmother's house, in the old town of Potes with magnificent visits of Mount Viorna with rates between 40-60 € 
Las Vegas House, typical Cantabrian mansion for families that will make you feel at home with prices from 120 €

What do you feel like packing and moving to Potes? Whatever your travel plan for Cantabria Do not forget to incorporate this beautiful Cantabrian mountain villa at the foot of the Picos de Europa in the heart of the Liébana Valley We hope we have helped you decide!

Isaac and Paula, from Potes (Cantabria)