Potes is a small town pretty close to Santander, the capital city of the region of Liébana and famous for Cocido Lebaniego, a cousin of the more traditional meat/bean stew Cocido Montañés. I'm sucker for stews, and I initially wanted to take this trip just to have the Cocido, but it turns out this little medieval town was also famous for its magnificent views of Picos De Europa. I'm also a sucker for mountain views, so we arranged a day trip. Its a small enough town, and unless you want to hike and camp, you can get by with a day. There is enough here to keep the day pretty full, including a ride up the skyride to get a spectacular view of the mountains.
Potes has hints of being a medieval town, because it used to be a strategic location for the Romans, because its the location where two rivers meet. Because of its strategic location, its economy boomed and it eventually became the capital of Liébana.
One of the things I've found interesting about these medieval tourist towns is that these aren't just showroom towns - there are families who live here throughout the year, who have kids that go to school and parents who hang out at the local bars, and have weekend parties, etc. Everyday scenes, like kids playing soccer (and having to fight for the ball with the dog that also wants to play) in this scenic town is sort of contradictory to me - I half-expect some Roman centurians to jump out from some tunnel.
The next part of the trip was to go up the funicular to National Park of Picos De Europa. To do this, you have to drive a little bit from Potes to a small area called Fuente Dé. Fuente Dé is not a town really, its just the area where you take the funicular/cable car to the top. Fuente also has a Parador at the base of the cable car, where you can have an extended stay. Paradors in Spain are old historical buildings converted to be hotels, so they offer a unique experience.
Once you take the cable car all the way to the top, you get a majestic view of the mountains. At that point, you are at the peak, and somewhat in the middle of the park. From here you're able to hike to many places for much more awesome scenery, but the views from here are not too shabby.