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Altamira cave and beyond
Enter many actual caves, see the original art
Custom, private small group tours
Tour led by native English speaker
All necessary reservations, fees included
All transportation, transfers provided
Private vehicle (not a tour bus)
 
 
Altamira Cave Tour provides custom, private escorted tours of the most important Paleolithic prehistoric cave art sites of Northern Spain, including several important museums. The caves contain Europe´s oldest art, dated at over 40,000 years old and possibly created by Neanderthals. Beyond the caves, we ensure you enjoy the beautiful landscapes, wonderful food and unique cultures of Northern Spain.

The Caves

Including Altamira, there are a total of 18 UNESCO World Heritage site Paleolithic art caves in Northern Spain. By region they are:
 
Cantabria

Cantabria (10 caves)

Altamira, Chufin, Covalanas, El Castillo, El Pendo, Hornos de la Peña, La Garma, La Pasiega, Las Chimeneas, Las Monedas
Asturias

Asturias (5 caves)

Covaciella, El Pindal, La Peña del Candamo, Llonin, Tito Bustillo
Euskadi/Basque Country

Euskadi/Basque Country (3 caves)

Altxerri, Ekain, Santimamiñe
 
Each of the caves has its own restrictions on entrance and presents unique physical limitations which may not be suitable for all persons. Many present difficult access routes, most of which are not suitable for larger vehicles such as buses.
 
Tour Details

Tour Details

We plan your custom tour based on your group´s dates, size and physical limitations. We do tours from one person but limit our tour groups to six persons maximum. We provide all land transportation, transfers and site reservations. We can recommend and book accommodations based on your preferences throughout your guided Altamira Cave Tour and beyond. We travel by private vehicle (not tour bus). Your Spanish born Chief Experience Officer is a native speaker of both English and Spanish.
Location

Location

Cantabria, Northern Spain, is home to Altamira and offering the best access to the UNESCO World Heritage site caves in Cantabria, Asturias and the Basque Country. Our tours are customized for your group and can begin/end in any of these regions or beyond.
About

About

Altamira Cave Tour is operated by Northern Exposure Spain, a boutique provider of custom tours in Northern Spain. Owner and Chief Experience Officer, Charles, is a native of Cantabria and will lead your tour. Charles first entered the caves as a young child and hasn´t stopped since. In March of 2014, Charles entered the original Altamira cave as part of the ongoing experiment to determine if the cave is opened on a more permanent basis or not. Read about his experience here. More recently, Charles was invited by the National Speliological Society of the United States to give a webinar about Altamira. Watch the webinar here.
Year Round

Year Round

Altamira Cave Tour operates year round. Each tour is private and customized specifically to your group´s dates, unique preferences and particular circumstances.
Why Us

Why Us

We are highly knowledgeable with a lifetime of experience in the area. We understand the idiosyncrasies of each of the caves and know our way around Northern Spain. We are very familiar with the restrictions on entry and the physical limitations unique to each of the caves. We design your custom itinerary to ensure your experience is carefree and nothing short of unforgettable.
Testimonials

Testimonials

“Charles was a wonderful guide on our recent trip to see prehistoric cave art. He met us right at the train, arranged for an overnight stay in a lovely place and accompanied us to three different and beautiful caves. Charles helped me navigate through some areas that could have been difficult for me as an 84 year old with a broken arm! I recommend him highly to anyone interested in this type of tour.”

Barbara G. - Georgia, USA

“It has been a month since I toured with Charles into the caves in Northern Spain. Charles' infectious passion for how people from thousands of years ago captured their experience in cave paintings set the tone for an individualized, exceptionally rich experience. It has been a month since the tours and I am still exuberant when I share what I learned. As a kid, visiting the caves were always a goal; little did I know I the extent of details I would learn. I thoroughly enjoyed how Charles could meet me where I was with my knowledge and questions, planning a program that met my interests and abilities and the rich conversations before and after visiting the caves, chatting about the ancient peoples and the lands where they painted. I am still buzzing. This experience rates as one of my best experiences with guides over 20 years of travelling. I highly recommend Northern Exposure Spain and Charles as an educated, experienced, extraordinary investment.”

Emma B., British Columbia, Canada

“I can sum up the entire experience in one word - FANTASTIC!! Charles' knowledge of pre-historic caves is exemplary. On top of that, his experience of travelling around the world has added to his repertoire. We greatly benefitted from his knowledge and friendly character during our visit. We would recommend anyone who plans to visit the caves to book his services without a blink of an eye. From the day I contacted Charles, he has been extremely informative, prompt and helpful. Any questions (even weird ones) were answered in a professional and timely manner.”

Dipan D., Alberta, Canada

“My main reason for going to this area was to see the Palaeolithic cave art of Spain following a visit to the French caves in Dordogne the year before. Charles got me into 8 UNESCO caves- an unforgettable experience. Touring Northern Spain with Charles was a wonderful experience. He considered all my interests and designed a program that exceeded my expectations. I have travelled on 6 continents on my own and on tours. Charles is one of the best guides I have had: experienced, knowledgeable, curious, with a great sense of humour and appreciation of nature and culture combined. It quickly became apparent he knows the area intimately having explored it since childhood. I was delighted by surprise visits to special places as we travelled along the roads. He also took me to museums, art galleries, churches, medieval towns, Roman and Celtic sites, port towns, national parks, sea, valley and mountain viewpoints, markets and even a ranchers fair, a music concert and some gourmet restaurants. I had a great time and would thoroughly recommend touring Northern Spain with Charles!”

Trallee D., British Columbia, Canada

“It is with the greatest of pleasure that my brother, boyfriend and I got to tour the prehistoric caves of Cantabria with Charles for four days. We each have a keen interest in the subject matter and Charles arranged our itinerary with surprises each day - Michelin star restaurants, classic bars, private tours and ultimately far surpassing my initial requests. Charles is a rare combination of knowledge, patience, enthusiasm and gentility. In addition, the love of his country is infectious, all comfortably operating within his American upbringing. Customs and languages are fully integrated for a seamless travel experience. We recommend him for anyone traveling to Northern Spain. You will have the trip of a lifetime.”

Fritha K. - California, USA

“Our tour in northern Spain with Northern Exposure Spain was a perfect commencement to our European itinerary. The tour was structured to unfold as both an adventure and learning experience. Although the itinerary was mainly tailored to our timing and interests (Palaeolithic cave art, prehistory/history), we experienced places that we did not know existed, and that revealed the magnificent beauty of the region. Charles' local experience, knowledge of the local environment and species, all round skills and sense of humour made the journey one of our best holidays. We learned more than we could have anticipated and in fact this trip ignited our interests in continuing to learn more about prehistory and about Spain.”

Val & Chris M. - New South Wales, Australia

“The three days we spent with Charles touring the caves of Northern Spain were really the highlight of an already fabulous trip. Charles really understood what we wanted to see and also had a complete understanding of the kinds of food, wine and cultural experiences we were seeking. Charles brought a wealth of information that enhanced our "cave experiences" and he introduced us to some wonderful wines and food we had never tried (and we're pretty well travelled.) We highly recommend Charles to anyone planning a trip to Northern Spain.”

Michelle & David L. - California, USA

“This was an absolutely terrific experience! Charles has extensive knowledge of northern Spain and of the historical and archaeological sites we visited, and particularly of the Paleolithic cave art sites. He was also a great traveling companion. As English speakers with virtually no Spanish, we would not have gotten nearly as much out of the caves if we had been on our own. We thoroughly enjoyed the trip, and hope to do something like it again.”

Bruce & Julie B., - Alaska, USA

“A fantastic vacation in Northern Spain, thanks to Charles' superb guidance and accompaniment. He took us to Paleolithic caves to see the amazing cave art we wanted to see, plus to other excellent, beautiful and tasty places we didn't know about. He made all the arrangements and gave us excellent, comprehensive information. He is far and away the best I could have ever imagined. I could not recommend him more highly.”

Nadine B. - New York, USA

“Cantabria is famous for some of the finest prehistoric painted caves in Europe. Charles was able to set up impromptu visits to seldom-seen caves. He seems to know everyone and his knowledge of Cantabria is profound.”

Rob S. - California, USA

“I want to thank you for the wonderful experience I had touring Northern Spain. I have travelled extensively in Europe and the United States and I can say that I have never had anyone as knowledgeable as you. I had so much fun, learned so much about Northern Spain and am still in awe of the caves.”

Ellen D. - New York, USA

“My wife and I and two friends recently traveled to Spain. We spent almost 3 weeks in Spain but we all agree that the highlight of the trip was the day we spent with Charles of Northern Exposure Spain touring caves. What a fabulous day!”

Joel W. - Hawaii, USA

 
 
 
 
Joan Miro
“After Altamira, everything
has declined”
-Joan Miro
Altamira Cave Tour
Altamira Cave Tour
Altamira Cave Tour
Altamira Cave Tour
Altamira Cave Tour
Altamira Cave Tour
Altamira Cave Tour
Altamira Cave Tour
Altamira Cave Tour
Altamira Cave Tour
Altamira Cave Tour
Altamira Cave Tour