Asturias Cave Paradise: the legacy of prehistory.
Idol of Peña Tú
- Autonomous region: Asturias
There are many ways to learn about prehistory, but we recommend one so real that you will be fascinated. Join us on a full tour of the sites, caves and museums with prehistoric art to be found in the east of Asturias, one of the most beautiful regions in Green Spain. Discover the mark of your ancestors in a fascinating area.
A visit to Asturias is like a real trip back in time. Looking into prehistory in this part of northern Spain means spectacular cave paintings and engravings. The visit we recommend here includes 13 destinations in eastern Asturias where there are many marks left behind by early man. Don't miss it.
You could start your journey in Ribadesella, home to Tito Bustillo Cave - you will love the cave's interior: it has artistic representations of the cave's inhabitants between 25000 and 10000 BC. Take a good look around because you will be seeing one of the most important and beautiful Palaeolithic sites in western Europe. Passing through a tunnel specially designed for visitors, you will observe paintings and engravings of deer, horses and female figures. Can you imagine seeing the marks left behind by groups of late Palaeolithic hunter-gatherers?
Within the same cave network you can also visit Ardines Cave, which is more than 40 metres high. Get ready, though, because to enter you have to climb 300 steps. For the curious amongst you, next to Tito Bustillo Cave there is the Prehistory Teaching Room, where graphic information panels and archaeological exhibits will help you get a better idea of prehistory in Asturias. You can get more information at Ribadesella Tourist Office.
2 kilometres from Cangas de Onís is El Buxu Cave. Would you like to discover a prehistoric settlement designed for deer and ibex hunting? Then don't miss this cave, with its rare sculpture of a bird, carved into a tooth from one of the bears that lived in these caves. In Cangas de Onís (visit the local tourist office) you will also find the Santa Cruz dolmen, an priceless burial monument.
Continue your journey to Llanes, where you will also find a pleasant surprise. A 25 minute walk will take you to the Idol of Peña Tú, a Bronze Age painting. It is an amazing figure reaching more than a metre in height, that could represent a warrior. Furthermore, at its Teaching Room, staff will explain what prehistoric societies were like. Get more information at Llanes Tourist Office.
Do you love nature? Then you will love El Pindal Cave in Ribadedeva, located in a spectacular setting of cliffs rising above the Cantabrian Sea, with its San Emeterio Visitor Centre. A stunning landscape where you can visit this cave, which has drawings including one of a fish, unusual in the Palaeolithic period. Other recommended caves? La Loja Cave in Peñamellera Baja. Here you can go deep within the earth and then visit its Visitor Centre outside; and Llonin cave in Peñamellera Alta where there are more than 100 etchings.
Once you have discovered the wealth of prehistoric paintings to be found in eastern Asturias, we would recommend another vital visit: La Lluera Caves in San Juan de Priorio (Oviedo) now opening to the public for the first time. When you arrive you can admire the most complete exterior sanctuary for Palaeolithic art to be found in Europe. Don't miss any of the drawings of wild bulls, deer and horses. It’s well worthwhile.
To discover these places in eastern Asturias, we recommend comfortable clothing and footwear, suitable for wet and sometimes slippery terrain. There are well signed access points and guided tours available at most of these caves.
All this and much more will be within reach, as Asturias continues to extend its "Cave Paradise" programme to include other sites with a rich prehistoric heritage. These include the visitor centres for the Iron Age settlements in Asturias, Neanderthal, Ancient Forests, Cave Habitats, Glacial Fauna, the House of the Cave Painters and the Camp of the Prehistoric Fishermen.
All these, along with the cave sites currently open, offer an amazing way to discover the secrets of prehistory and a fascinating region. Not to be missed for any art lover. All that is left to say now: Enjoy!
More information at: http://tematico.asturias.es/cultura/yacimientos/yacimientos.html (website in Spanish only) / http://orienteastur.info (website in Spanish only)
If you liked this article, get more related information at: Cave art at Teverga: the most modern gallery of Prehistoric art