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Cullalvera Cave

Cantabria (Spain)

Natural Environment:

The cave is located at the foot of Monte Pando, in an area of meadows and limestone crags covered by holm oaks. It is near Ramales town centre.

Regional Archaeological Context:

The rock art in Cullalvera can be associated with the art in Covalanas Cave and in Carranza Gorge, as regards the exterior art (dotted horse’s head and signs) and with Middle Magdalenian sites like Cueva Urdiales, El Castillo, Altamira and El Pindal, as regards the interior art (red claviforms, horses in black).

Site History:

The site forms part of a cave system about 12 kilometres long, where the action of water on the rock has formed a massive underground passage. The rock art was discovered in the 1950s and studied by J. Carballo and J. González Echegaray. When the site was being developed as a show-cave, red figures, above all a horse’s head, were discovered near the entrance, where some red paintings were already known.

Archaeological evidence at the site:

Cave visit and replica of the Palaeolithic art.

Short Description:

Cullalvera has the deepest group of rock art in northern Spain, with a series of figures over a kilometre from the huge entrance of the cave. The main figures are horses painted in black, black lines, claviforms and red dots. In the entrance area a few signs and a horse’s head have been identified, all in red.

The visitors see the first 350m of this huge cave, but it is not possible for them to view the paintings directly. These are shown in an audiovisual display.

Cullalvera is a large cave with a spectacular entrance from which a strong cold draught blows. The interior of the cave is prepared with a walkway, and is suitable for disabled visitors. The visit begins with an audiovisual presentation, which describes aspects of the landscape, heritage and economy of the Asón Valley in general and of Ramales de la Victoria in particular.

Once the visit is underway, a spectacle of lights, sound and water introduces the visitors to the history of the cave, from prehistoric times, when the first Homo sapiens lived in the entrance and painted animals and signs several hundred metres inside the cave, until the Spanish Civil War, when the cave was used to park vehicles. Legends and history surround Cullalvera Cave.


Gravettian and Magdalenian (26,000-12,000 years ago).

Type of Site: Cave
Adress: Barrio de Anciruela, near the centre of Ramales de la Victoria
Telephone: 942 598 425
Fax: 942 598 305

State/Region: Cantabria
Province: Cantabria
Municipality: Ramales de la Victoria
Town: Ramales de la Victoria
Location: Barrio de Anciruela

Opening Times:

  • Closed 1st and 6th January, 24th, 25th, and 31st December.

    Low season: From 1st November to 28st February

    Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.
    From Wednesdays to Fridays open from 9:30 am to 15:30 pm

    Tours: 9:40 am, 10:40 am, 11:40 am, 12:40 pm, 13:40 pm and 14:40 pm.

    Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays mornings open from 9:30 am to 14:30 pm and afternoons from 15:30 to 17:30 pm

    Tours at 9:40 am, 10:40 am, 11:40 am, 12:40 pm, 13:40 pm, 15:40 pm and 16:40 pm.

    Mid season: From 1st March to 13th June and from 18th September to 31st October.

    Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Except the Tuesday 11th April.
    From Wednesdays to Sundays mornigs open from 9:30 am to 14:30 pm and afternoons from 15:30 to 18:30 pm

    Tours at 9:40 am, 10:40 am, 11:40 am, 12:40 pm, 13:40 pm, 15:40 pm, 16:40 pm and 17:40 pm.

    High season: From 14th June to 17th September.

    Closed on Mondays.
    From Tuesdays to Sundays mornings open from 10:30 am to 14:30 pm (last visit at 13:40 pm) and afternoons from 15:30 to 19:30 pm (last visit at 18:40 pm)

    Tours at 10:40 am, 11:40 am, 12:40 pm, 13:40 pm, 15:40 pm, 16:40 pm, 17:40 pm and 18:40 pm.

Booking and access:


  • Normal: 3 € (major of 12 years)
  • Reduced: 1, 5 € (from 4 to 12 years, both inclusive)
  • Free: from 0 to 3 years (both inclusive)

Visitors’ Centre:

There is a small reception building outside the cave.

Nearby cultural destinations:

Covalanas Cave in Ramales. Palaeolithic Park at Cueva del Valle and Stonemason Museum, in Rasines. Typical Cantabrian villages in the Valleys of Soba and Ruesga. Kobenkoba, a Visitors’ Centre about European Palaeolithic art, in Lanestosa. Pozalagua Cave in Karrantza.

Nearby natural destinations:

Rising and valley of the River Asón (Soba). Peña Ranero and Picón del Carlista (Ramales). Santoña Salt-marsh (Santoña).

Accommodation near the site:

Ramales de la Victoria: Hotel Casa Pardo, Hostal Río Asón, Los Castores camp-site, La Barguilla camp-site.

Restaurants near the site:

Ramales de la Victoria: La Victoria, Ancillo, Casa Nieves, Río Asón, Anjana, Trastolillu.


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