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Bucket list experience:

Last updated: 02 February, 2022
Expert travel writer: Dana Facaros

This impressive 270m cave is etched with spectacular, 14,000-year-old paintings of horses, deer and bison – some of the world’s greatest Paleolithic cave art. Unfortunately, the actual cave is now closed to visitors due to the risk of damage to the paintings; but there is a near-perfect replica in the fascinating Altamira Museum beside the site.

While you're there

Pair it with a visit to the lovely, historic town of Santillana del Mar – known as one of the prettiest villages in Spain – which is close by.

Price from: £2
Minimum age: Any
Age suitable: 4+
When: All year around

Getting there & doing it

The caves of Altamira are located off the CA-134 and are signposted from Santillana del Mar. There’s plenty of free parking onsite. Alternatively, the cave is just a 20-minute walk through pretty countryside from the centre of Santillana del Mar.

When to do it

The museum is closed Mondays and on certain dates of the year – check the website before you go.

Our writer’s picks of the best places to stay near this experience, closest first

Hotel Cuevas

Santillana del Mar, Cantabria, Spain[1.5 miles]

Arty, adults-only boutique hotel with a pool, restaurant and parking in a peaceful rural setting outside Santillana del Mar.

Official star rating:

Hotel Casa del Marques

Santillana del Mar, Cantabria, Spain[2 miles]

Charm and atmosphere galore await in this little five-star boutique hotel, in the famous Marques’s 15th-century abode.

Official star rating:

Our writer’s recommendations of other bucket list experiences our writer says you must do in this destination, closest first

Santillana del Mar

Santillana del Mar, Cantabria, Spain[1.6 miles]

An enchanting medieval time capsule near Cantabria’s beach-rimmed coast – reputed to be ‘the most beautiful village in Spain’. Pair with a visit to the extraordinary Palaeolithic art-filled Altamira Cave.

Best for ages: 18+ | Free

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