- Visit the principal UNESCO World Heritage Paleolithic cave art sites of northern Spain
- Gain insight into the art and archaeology of the sites with expert, interpretative guiding
- Experience the culture, hospitality and cuisine of northern Spain
- Travel along the rugged coastlines and mountain landscapes of Cantabria and Asturias
Discover the most significant Paleolithic art caves of northern Spain, all of them UNSECO World Heritage sites. Interpretative guided visits to actual sites, replicas and complementary museums provide a comprehensive experience of the art, which spans some 30,000 years, or over a thousand generations. Understand the archaeology of each site, gaining insight into this fascinating period of the human story, which marks the dawn of art and symbolic communication.
Why join this group tour?
If you are curious about the origins of man and the history of how man developed the capacity to communicate then this tour is for you. You will travel in the company of Charles Schwalbe, an expert on Paleolithic cave art so you can be sure to receive fascinating interpretation of everything you see. The trip visits all northern Spain’s most important Paleolithic sites and culminates with a tour of El Castillo cave – the most important site in the world for both Paleolithic art and archaeology with approximately 3,000 engraved, painted and sculpted hands, animals, symbols and anthropomorphic figures scanning a period of over 30,000 years. Many sites have been closed over time and access has been strictly limited to others. The opportunity to visit some of these sites may not be available in the future as further conservation measures could be adopted.
Is this group tour suitable for solo travellers?
Our group tours are perfect for solo travellers, as travelling as part of an organised group in faraway places does provide security and peace of mind. We handle all the arrangements for you and there will be a guide on hand throughout to provide advice and help if needed. If you are willing to share, we will always do our best to match you up with another solo traveller of the same sex so that you do not have to pay for a single room.
If you would prefer the privacy of your own room and would like this guaranteed, then the single room price supplement will apply.
How fit should I be to enjoy this tour?
Anyone with mobility or fatigue issues may find some of the sites too strenuous. Most replicas and museums are accessible to everyone. The real cave sites require hikes of up to 600 meters on uneven and somewhat steep terrain, or a bit longer walk of up to 1.5 kilometres on flatter terrain. Inside the caves there is generally uneven ground with some slippery/muddy areas. Many of the caves involve stairs, some over one hundred of them, and most without handrails. One of the caves visited involves walking while crouched for some distance, a sideways walk through a tight area that is not suitable for extra-large/tall individuals and a short crawl on stairs on your hands and feet. This is not meant to discourage you, simply to make you aware of the physical demands of some of the sites. People with a good general fitness level who feel comfortable with the issues described should not have any problem.
Do I need any special equipment for this tour?
Comfortable footwear with a tread on the sole is highly recommended as flat soled shoes are not suited to the slippery and uneven surfaces in the caves. A warm layer such as a polar fleece or sweater is recommended as temperatures in the caves are 9 to 13C year-round with very high humidity levels, over 90%. Umbrellas will be provided, but a rain jacket is always a good idea as it can rain anytime in northern Spain. Caves are lit with a few exceptions, where torches will be provided for you (personal lighting is not permitted in the caves due to conservation reasons). For conservation reasons, photography, video and mobile phones are not permitted in the caves but are allowed at most museums and some replicas.
What is the food like in Spain?
Cuisine in northern Spain is based on traditional, fresh seasonal fare with excellent vegetables, legumes, seafood (fish and shellfish), meat and dairy. The food is generally Mediterranean and olive oil based, and you can also enjoy traditional hearty stews of the area, such as cocido montañes in Cantabria or fabada asturiana in Asturias. Spain has excellent wines, including nice local coastal and Rueda white wines and more traditional red wines from Rioja or Ribera del Duero.
What will the weather be like in northern spain in september?
Northern Spain has a marked Atlantic climate influenced by the Cantabrian sea and mountains. Therefore, weather is quite variable. Temperatures in September will be warm with an average of 19C. Early September should bring a respite from summer’s warmer, yet relatively mild days and some of the year’s most colourful sunsets.
For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.