Cave of El Castillo
Write a review
About
The Cave of El Castillo contains a very well preserved cave art ensemble and an archaeological deposit with a stratigraphic sequence dating back from the Lower Paleolithic Era (about 150,000 years ago) to the Bronze Age (about 6,000 years ago).
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
Tours & experiences
Explore different ways to experience this place.
What is Travelers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travelers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.

Top ways to experience Cave of El Castillo and nearby attractions

Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
Popular mentions

4.5
712 reviews
Excellent
538
Very good
145
Average
23
Poor
4
Terrible
2

Louise
Chesterfield, UK58 contributions
Sep 2022 • Couples
The caves were wonderful.
The guide said he would do some if it in English for us.
He didn't.
He made no effort for the English speaking ones in the group who made up half the group for them to understand.
At points he was exceptionally rude, trying to hurry up a gentleman who was having difficulty with the steps.
He even snapped his fingers to make us turn the torch off on our phones when it came to him turning his torch on to see the drawings on the caves.
He had no time at all for anyone in the group except a certain few.
We came out with no knowledge at all of what we had been looking at.
he spent time laughing and chatting with some in Spanish when he could have been giving the English speaking some of the points of the tour.
Completely ruined the experience.
Written September 30, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

David B
El Barco de Avila, Spain567 contributions
Sep 2022
Situated above the town of Puente Viesgo the Castillo cave is one of two you can visit on this site. Visit is by the excellent guided tour led by an informed and enthusiastic guide. You should book in advance on line as places are limited and as it is cold (and damp) in the cave you should wear warm clothing. Access is via a small visitor centre and excavations continue in the area where prehistoric man lived at the cave entrance. You then descend stairs into the dimly lit cave where you will see cave paintings of hands, deer and bison dating back to the earliest days of homo sapiens. The guide illuminates paintings with a lamp as well as showing how stalactites and stalagmites have been carved to produce suggestive shadows. You are also shown more abstract blocks of colour and dots as you descend to the lowest part of the cave. Proceed with cars as floors are slippery. The visit lasts between 45 and 60 minutes and you need to be on site 15 minutes before the tour starts. There is a small car park, toilets and vending facilities at the visitor centre. La Cueva de las Monedas which you can also visit is a 600 metre walk from the entrance to the Castillo cave.
Written September 22, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Frivolous Diversion
Ventura, CA7 contributions
Aug 2022 • Couples
Best cave and parietal art you can see firsthand in Northern Spain, but don't just take my word for it (read all that you can before you go). Juan was our guide who did a great job answering questions in an exceptionally courteous and candid way which separated hypotheses from (substantiated) theories.
He was extremely informative, to say the very least, but his professionalism, English and interpersonal skills were particularly impressive. We don't have children, but if you do, definitely wait for Juan (he's amazing with kids).
Written August 20, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

stephrab
New York City, NY632 contributions
Jun 2022 • Couples
I have traveled the world. This experience rates in the top of the top! Up with seeing solar eclipse, with glaciers breaking apart, climbing Mt. Sinai! It is almost impossible to get access any longer anywhere in the world to cave art work this old. The range and depth and breath that is here is just mind boggling. And the caves themselves are wonders themselves. YOU SHOULD MAKE RESERVATIONS! Make sure you see both sets of caves are the experiences are very different. We did one cave (hour long visit) before lunch. Then went into the little town for lunch. Then came back and did the other cave. It was a full day but did not in any way feel rushed. Plan to spend late morning, lunch and early afternoon if you can. If you get a very early booking you can do both caves at the same time but really recommend that you give yourself and your brain a rest between visits.
Written June 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

ColinBurcombe
Colchester, United Kingdom13 contributions
Apr 2022 • Couples
Visits to these caves are arranged in small groups. Despite the guides speaking mostly in Spanish, they were also really accommodating and asked which languages and also interjected with some English. In any case, these caves are amazing to just look at. Drawings on the walls and spectacular rick formations.
Written April 15, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

JimFinPortland
Seattle, WA144 contributions
Nov 2021
These caves are not to be missed. Great time.

Others have covered how wonderful they are, so I'm going to spend my space documenting how to get to the caves if you don't have a car and aren't on a package tour. We took the bus from the Santander bus station to Puente Viesgo. It's pretty easy to take the bus; it's not so easy to find the schedules. I don't remember the exact cost but it was less than 4 euro each way. We bought tickets for both directions at the bus station but I think you can buy on the bus as well.

Once dropped off at the main intersection of Puente Viesgo (junction of the highway and the street with the bridge), you have to hike up the hill. It is steep but not particularly long. I first used the HereWeGo mapping program on my phone because it's a great offline mapping program. It said to go a couple of blocks up the highway and turn right. Then I checked Google Maps and it said to take the street that the highway sign was pointing cars to take. I figured that Google must have been correct and we couldn't go wrong so we walked up the street. There are no sidewalks and no road shoulders. Fortunately being November, we only encountered two cars on the entire walk up.

When we were touring the caves, I asked if that was the proper way to get down and was informed that the proper route for walkers is a path. We went down the path (signed at the parking lot) and discovered that this was the way the HereWeGo map was telling us to go! So the "proper" way up from the bus stop corner is to walk south (uphill with river to the left) on the right side of the highway for two streets and you'll come to a little display case on a wall that sort of points you up to the right. Take that road (it's just a little road that serves a few people's homes) up the hill. You'll see more obvious signs pointing you up the hill once you start up. The last turn (left) from the "street" to just a pedestrian path is a little hard to see if you're not looking but it happens just before the road goes into someone's goat pasture. There is a sign, but it's facing the opposite direction. This last part of the path is quite steep with large sections of stairs. You arrive at the caves' parking lot.

Other than a few signs, you'd never know this is the way up to the caves. But it's better than walking on the road with no shoulders. The return bus comes by across the street (river side) from where you got dropped off. Our return bus was right on time at 1630 but it was a much smaller bus. It took a different route back (bypassing Torrelavega) with more stops but a shorter distance.

You do need to be in uphill hiking shape but DON'T MISS THE CAVES because you don't have transportation. It's easier than I've made it sound though it might not seem like it until you're there.

Good luck!
Written November 30, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Fi C
Shropshire, UK31 contributions
Sep 2020 • Couples
The cave is in a magnificent setting near Puente Viesgo, with great views and an optional (steep) walk to the castle ruins, which I would recommend. Seeing original, prehistoric cave art is incredible, all the more so when you know that the paintings were done by firelight, some of which are 5 metres high.
Written September 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

DewOnTheRoad
Sacramento, CA346 contributions
Oct 2019
Our travel agent at Totally Spain pre-booked a tour with an English speaking guide for this cave. The guide was very helpful at explaining the history, discovery, and the art work. The caves themselves are a feast for the eyes. The art work is one of the oldest found on earth. Without the guide, we would never be able to pick out all the bison where the body of the bison is naturally formed by the shape of the rock and the line work is added to form the bison. Freaking amazing! Do wear a jacket as it gets cold in the cave and wear shoes with good grip as it gets slippery.
Written October 19, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

John F
Newark-on-Trent, UK645 contributions
Oct 2019 • Couples
The caves are fairly accessible, and we had an excellent guide who did her very best to explain as much as possible in English.
The caves contain a large number of late Paleolithic paintings, made using iron oxide but also the contours of the rocks - deer, bison, horses and a lot of hands - fascinating. Only a part is open to the public, but what you do see is very unusual and worth the small entrance fee.
It has its own carpark.
Written October 9, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Dan C
Edmonds, WA22 contributions
Oct 2019
Well worth a visit to see the caves of El Castillo and Las Monedas. El Castillo is full of many different drawings dating back 40,000 years. Las Monedas has spectacular cave formations and also some well detailed drawings. This is a treasure chest of history.
Written October 9, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Showing results 1-10 of 121
Anything missing or inaccurate?
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing

Cave of El Castillo (Puente Viesgo) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about Cave of El Castillo

We recommend booking Cave of El Castillo tours ahead of time to secure your spot. If you book with Tripadvisor, you can cancel up to 24 hours before your tour starts for a full refund. See all 3 Cave of El Castillo tours on Tripadvisor


Restaurants near Cave of El Castillo: View all restaurants near Cave of El Castillo on Tripadvisor