Photo of Puente Viesgo

Visit Puente Viesgo

Puente-Viesgo is in the province of Cantabria in the Asturias and Cantabria region of Spain. It is situated in the valley of the River Pas about 30 kilometers from Santander, the regional capital.

Puente-Viesgo is home to some fantastic caves and is a popular spa town.

Explore Puente-Viesgo

Puente-Viesgo has four sets of prehistoric caves, two of which are open to the public, though numbers are limited so book in advance.

The Las Monedas caves and the El Castillo caves are wonderful. Filled with stalagmites and stalactites and also some excellent pre-historic paintings. The paintings are of animals including horses and bison and there are 50 hand prints which, rather bizarrely are almost all of the left hand. There is also a visitor centre with computer based 360° views of all four caves.

Puente-Viesgo itself is in a fabulous location in a river gorge surrounded by forests. It is also home to a natural spring.

The El Castillo Cave

The El Castillo Cave is open most days of the year except Mondays and Tuesdays (only closed Mondays in peak season). The cave costs 3 euros to visit and a visit lasts about 45 minutes.

El Castillo caves

In the El Castillo mountain is a labyrinth of caves which were frequented by pre-historic man. Inside are many cave drawings and paintings which have greatly contributed to our understanding of pre-historic man. The oldest paleolithic painting in the world is contained in this cave system and dates back at least 40 800 years.

All in all there are over 275 different figures. As well as animals such as horses, bison, aurochs and goats there are human representations - usually hands of which there are more than 50 in the caves. There are also many symbols drawn on the walls.


The Las Monedas cave

The Las Monedas cave is less than a kilometer away from the more famous El Castillo cave. It is open virtually every day of the year except Mondays and Tuesdays (open Tuesdays in peak season) and costs only about 3 euros.

Most of the cave contains lovely displays of stalactites and stalagmites and with columns and hanging terraces and a mix of colours due to the mineral content of the rock above.

There is a small grotto with some pre-historic cave drawings all in the same style and so probably all carried out at about the same time. There are about 17 black stenciled drawings of a number of different animals including horses, reindeer, goats and bison. The drawings are thought to date to about 10000 BC.

Places to visit nearby

Of course if you like caves then the nearby Altamira caves are a must. These are one of the best caves for pre-historic paintings in the world. These and the Cave of La Pasiega are nearby and both contain important examples of paleolithic art and are part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site for paleolithic cave art of Northern Spain.

Next to these is the delightful seaside town of Santillana del Mar.

Santander is the capital of the province and is also a popular seaside resort.

You can find more local travel ideas in the Asturias and Cantabria guide.

See also: 

Map of Puente Viesgo and places to visit


Puente Viesgo places to visit

Altamira Caves

Altamira Caves

Some magnificent pre-historic art is in these UNESCO-listed caves. The wonderful paintings are amongst the best prehistoric paintings in the world.

Altamira Caves guide
Santillana del Mar

Santillana del Mar

Santillana del Mar is perhaps the highlight of a visit to this part of Spain. It is one of the best preserved medieval towns in Europe.

Santillana del Mar guide


Santander is the lively capital of Cantabria and has a popular seaside suburb of El Sardinero.

Santander guide
Barcena Mayor

Barcena Mayor

Barcena Mayor is a picturesque village with lots of the typically balconied houses of the region. Situated in the Cabuerniga Valley.

Barcena Mayor guide


Comillas is a very good resort which has lots of Modernista buildings including the El Capricho designed by Antoni Gaudi.

Comillas guide
Alto Campoo

Alto Campoo

Alto Campoo is a small ski resort in the Picos de Europa. It is particularly suited to beginner and intermediate level skiers.

Alto Campoo guide

...or see all our recommended places to visit in Asturias and Cantabria