The Altamira Cave and the rest of the best caves in Cantabria

Cantabria was one of the favorite places in the Iberian Peninsula for prehistoric man and proof of this is the number of caves that exist in this area where they left large samples of rock art, many of them open to visitors although there are thousands of spectacular cavities.

The most famous is the Cueva de Altamira, which together with 9 other caves form a group declared a World Heritage Site under the name Cueva de Altamira and paleolithic cave art from northern Spain.

The main caves to visit in Cantabria

The Altamira Cave, the most famous in Spain

caves of AltamiraIn the rest of Spain there are also many caves, but perhaps none as famous as Altamira, so famous that it received so many visits that it was forced to be closed to the public.

But in exchange, a replica was built that is part of the Altamira Museum, where you can also find objects from different caves in Cantabria.

The Altamira Cave, located in the vicinity of Santillana del Mar, presents a series of drawings and engravings, some of which are over 30,000 years old, culminating in the ceiling of the Great Hall where different animals are represented, such as the Shrunken Bison, the Great Hind or the Ocher Horse.

As we have said before, this cave can no longer be visited, but you can visit the Great Hall as it really is in the Neocueva, the replica that exists in the Altamira Museum. In any case, experimental visits to the original cave have resumed but with a very small number of visitors.

You can visit the Neocueva with this guided tour of the Altamira Museum.

The Cave of El Soplao

Cantabria - El Soplao CaveAmong the caves of Cantabria it is perhaps the best known after Altamira. The Cueva de El Soplao is located in the western part of Cantabria.

But unlike other caves in the area, this one has no cave paintings. Its beauty is due to geological formations reminiscent of a coral sea dating back 240 million years.

Cueva de El Soplao is 17 kilometers long in a network of caves and galleries on various levels, although only part of it can be visited.

The main galleries of the Cueva de El Soplao that can be visited are the Sala de los Fantasmas, named after the white stalactites that remind us of ghosts and the Sala de la Gorda, which you can visit thanks to a visit that begins in the surroundings of the cave with the recreation of an old mining train.

You can take a guided tour of the Cueva de El Soplao visiting its galleries and viewpoints in a unique way.

Cullalvera Cave

Cantabria - Cullalvera CaveCullalvera Cave is another special cave in Cantabria with cave art inside. yes

It is located in the town of Ramales de la Victoria and its visit begins in an exceptional way when you find its entrance between a leafy oak forest that transports you to its interior.

Inside the Cueva de Cullalvera we find incredible geological forms that are highlighted with a show of light, water and sound while visiting. Unfortunately, the cave paintings area is not included in the visit, since its karst system is still active with water currents.

In any case, it is a cave that you should not miss, if you already know the other two. If you want to know the Cueva de Cullalvera, be sure to visit the official page for more information.

The Cave of Covalanas

Cantabria - Covalanas CaveIt is the neighboring cave of Cullalvera, also located in Ramales de la Victoria, just two kilometers from this beautiful cave.

The Covalanas Cave is the opposite of the previous ones in terms of size. It only has 2 galleries, quite small and its visit is very quick, but in those two galleries we find various cave paintings that will leave you speechless.

We find deer, horses and other undefined animals where the color red predominates, hence it is also known as the cave of the red hinds.

If you want to find more information, be sure to visit its official page.

The Castle Cave

Cantabria - El Castillo CaveAnother of the caves of Cantabria that you should not miss. This cave is located in Puente Viesgo and is part of a set of 4 caves called Cuevas del Monte Castillo, this being the most important of all.

In the Cueva del Castillo we find up to a total of 275 cave figures that mainly represent hinds dating from a period that goes from the Lower Palaeolithic to the Bronze Age.

To visit the Cueva del Castillo we recommend that you access its official page

Other caves to visit in Cantabria

As we have said before, there are numerous caves in Cantabria and a large number of them can be visited. With the ones we have shown you in this article, you can already get an idea of ​​what all these caves full of rock art are like (except El Soplao) and you may not need to visit more because the rest could be more of the same if you don’t you are an expert, although each one has its charm.

If you are still interested in visiting more caves, we recommend that you visit the Cueva de El Pendo, near Santander, the Cueva de Hornos de Peña, the Cueva de las Monedas, so called because coins from the time of the Catholic Monarchs were found there., or the Cueva de Chufín, where among different animals we find a vulva that reminds us of the Asturian cave of Tito Bustillo.

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