Prehistoric Art Route in the Heart of Cantabria

Visit Cantabria and you will find beautiful green countryside’s, famous spas, world-class resorts and the Coast of Cantabria offering over 60 white sand beaches for your enjoyment.
Touring Cantabria will bring about many thoughts about the beauty, the history and the seemingly magical properties of the therapeutic waters.  Oh, and the underground prehistoric art of course!
Yes, it’s true.  Underneath this beautiful city lies over 6,500 caves and some of the finest example of Paleolithic art dating back as far as 35,000 BC.   Step back in time as you explore these underground works of natural art and prehistoric paintings.
Travel the Prehistoric Art Route and you will come across a multitude of fascinating caves to explore.
Here are a few to consider:
El Soplao: 
Step into the El Saplao and you will enter a magical world of chambers, underground lakes and stalagmite and stalactites hanging from the ceilings and rising from the floors.  Visitors can even enjoy a ride deep into the caverns on an old miners train!
El Chufin Cave:
Located in the Nansa River valley the El Chufin was used by prehistoric dwellers who engraved the rocks.  Intense red color was often selected to depict animals such as horses, possibly a fish and even a female figure.
El Castillo and Las Monedas Caves:
Located in Puente Viesgo and on the banks for the Pas River you will find the El Castillo and Las Monedas Caves.  There are actually four cavities located here, but only two are open to the public.
El Castillo dates back to the Paleolithic era and contains over 275 figures including horses, goats and even a mammoth.  The Las Monedas lies about 675 meters away from the El Castillo and features stalactites, stalagmites and hanging terraces.
Photos Culturadecantabria

Also part of the Prehistoric Art Route, The Paleolithic Caves of the Cantabrian Coast include the famous Altamira caves and 17 other caves that have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage sites.
The Altamira cave is located in the historic town Santillana del Mar in Cantabria. The cave, known for its vivid multi-color paintings, rock engravings and detailed drawings, is often referred to as the “Sistine Chapel of Quaternary art”.
First discovered in 1868 the cave measures 270 meters in length with a labyrinth of twisting pathways and chambers.  The three main chambers of the cave include the entrance hall, main gallery and side hall.  The main gallery contains the majority of the cave’s paintings including bison, horses, wild boars and numerous handprints.  Altamira artists are renowned for the realism of their artwork, including 25 life-size bison painted in hues of red, black and violet.
In an effort to conserve the cave, visitation is restricted.  However, an exact replica was been built nearby in 2001, allowing visitors to continue to enjoy the artwork of the Altamira.
To learn more about the Cantabia and the Prehistoric Art Route visit TOS.


Beth Becker has more than 20 years’ experience in the travel/hospitality and meetings industry.  Beth's career has focused on high visibility enterprise-wide training programs, meetings and virtual events.  Active in the Meeting community, Beth currently serves as a Moderator for MeCo and a Global Correspondent and Talent Bench member for i-Meet, the online business community for people who plan meetings and events.  You can connect with Beth via Linkedin.


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