Santander is a port city and the capital of the autonomous community and historical region of Cantabria, situated on the north coast of Spain. Located east of Gijón and west of Bilbao, the city has a population of 189,658 (2013). Santander houses the headquarters of multinational bank Banco Santander, and is the location of the founding of the namesake company.
The climate of Santander is oceanic (Köppen climate classification Cfb), the annual thermal oscillation of the average monthly temperatures reaching around 10 °C (50 °F).
Humidity is quite high throughout the year and sometimes reaches more than 90%. Average daily maximum temperatures vary from 24 °C (75 °F) in summer down to 13 °C (55 °F) in winter. Summer temperatures are much cooler than in the more southern large cities of Spain, but are typical of the Atlantic coastline. In general however, summers are warmer than further west on the northern coastline. The damp, mild winters are more typical of the mediterranean climate but the frequent precipitation in summer prevents Santander and the northern coast being classified as cool-summer mediterranean, despite having similar temperatures to many such areas. As regards to daytime temperatures, summers in Santander are similar to areas of Northern France, Southern Britain, and continental Northern Europe, and comparable to spring-like conditions along the Spanish mediterranean.
The maximum temperature reached in Santander Airport was 37.8 °C (100 °F) on June 27th, 2009, and the minimum temperature −5.4 °C (22 °F) on January 21st, 1957. The warmest maximum daytime average for a month was in August 2003, with 27.1 °C (80.8 °F). Subtropical months (mean above 22 °C (72 °F)) are however rare. Another weather station recorded 40.2 °C (104 °F) on 17 August 1943.
Sunshine hours are very low by comparison with the rest of mainland and southern Spain. With just around 1650 hours of sunshine, Santander is about as sunny as London and Paris, and quite a bit less sunny than most of England's south coastal regions.
As a service centre at the regional level, Santander contains important public institutions and private organisations with a large number of employees, including Marqués de Valdecilla University Hospital, the University of Cantabria and Grupo Santander. Activities related to culture, leisure and tourism are an important part of the city's economy, and the regional and municipal authorities look to augment the summer tourist trade with additional offerings, including conventions, conferences, cultural festivals and cruises. Banco Santander, Spain's largest bank and corporation, is headquartered here.