Palencia is a lovely province, or was when I stayed there in 1989. The part I was in - the Aguilar de Campoo region - is sort of high desert and on the fringe of some pretty healthy mountains. This part of Palencia was fairly unpopulated and can get pretty cold in the winter and at night. But the days are lovely with clear skies and brilliant sunshine. The area would be great for painters. There are many attractive villages around and close lies the source of the river Ebro (I think!). A shortish but rugged drive on a good dual carriageway from Santander, this is an area worth a visit, with much more than this brief comment can encompass.