The Cave of Altamira is located near the historic town of Santillana del Mar. It is renowned for prehistoric parietal cave art featuring charcoal drawings and polychrome paintings of contemporary local fauna and human hands. The earliest paintings were applied during the Upper Paleolithic, around 36,000 years ago.

Because of their deep galleries, isolated from external climatic influences, these caves are particularly well preserved. The caves are inscribed as masterpieces of creative genius and as the humanity’s earliest accomplished art. They are also inscribed as exceptional testimonies to a cultural tradition and as outstanding illustrations of a significant stage in human history.

Altamira was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1985 as a key location of the Cave of Altamira and Paleolithic Cave Art of Northern Spain.

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Founded: 36,000 BCE
Category: Prehistoric and archaeological sites in Spain

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4.3/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Yuri Perez (5 months ago)
Very informative and nicely structured visit to a replica cave of Palaeolithic art. It’s well worth the trek from Santillana
Anthony Puch (8 months ago)
The place is nice and family-friendly but we have problems with one of the guides, who asked us to leave the main room because we weren't allowed to hear his explanations about the cave, even if we were far away from his group and nobody else was in the room.
Nils Götzen (16 months ago)
Tickets are only available locally at the counter and sold out at 9:30!!!!!! No tickets online, no reservation possible!!! What a joke! Spain, please wake up’
Nils Götzen (16 months ago)
Tickets are only available locally at the counter and sold out at 9:30!!!!!! No tickets online, no reservation possible!!! What a joke! Spain, please wake up’
David Richards (16 months ago)
Looking at the website as it will form part of a road trip around Spain next year. Website and app are most informative and most certainly of great use in planning a visit. Really looking forward to seeing Altamira.
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