Santander is the capital of the region of Cantabria in northern Spain, and is a popular summer beach getaway. Santander had 27 years of royal fame in the early 20th century, when it became a residence for King Alfonso XIII. Largely rebuilt after a devastating 1941 fire, Santander is nevertheless known for beautiful architecture, much of which was painstakingly recreated to its original luster. Santander has three main beaches. However, most visitors head for the smaller resort of El Sardinero, only one-and-a-half miles away, which is by far the area's most popular beach resort area. An alternative during high season is El Puntal, a beautiful beach only 15 minutes away by boat.