Cave paintings in the Cueva de Covalanas

Covalanas view point
View from Covalanas

Literally riddled with caves, the karstic landscape of the Asón and Soba Valleys have offered shelter to man for many thousands of years. A great number of the caves are open to visitors and offer magnificent geological formations or, in some cases, unbelievable dimensions – some having been surveyed at over a 100km in length!

Perhaps the most interesting is the Covalanas cave just south of Ramales de la Victoria, otherwise known as The Cave of the Red Hind. The cave is quite small and was used, it is thought, purely for worship rather than as a living space, but it offers the opportunity to view the original paintings at very close distance. There is no artificial lighting in the cave so the visit is conducted by torchlight which adds to the magic. In all there are 18 hind, a stag, a horse and an auroch all of which were traced on the rock in small red dots over 22,000 years ago with an artistry which astounds even today.

Practicalities: It is necessary to book ahead as only seven people can visit at any one time and you need to get there half an hour before as there is a 700m walk up from the parking to the entrance but there are superb views from there across to Pico San Vicente which make the walk worthwhile!

Reservations  (+34) 942 646 504.

Holidays  in Eastern Cantabria

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