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Chufín Cave

Cantabria (Spain)

Natural Environment:

The cave is at the confluence of the Rivers Nansa and Lamasón, on the banks of La Palombera Reservoir, in an area of great beauty. To the south, Peña Sagra, with its evidence of Ice Age glaciers, is the source of the tributaries to the River Nansa. Thick woodland surrounds the reservoir.

Regional Archaeological Context:

The rock art in Chufin Cave is similar to that of other sites in northern Spain. The exterior engravings are like those at Hornos de la Peña, La Luz and sites in the Nalón Valley (Asturias), such as Torneiros, La Viña and La Lluera. The more unusual interior can be compared with sites such as Altamira, Llonín and La Pasiega.

Site History:

Although the cave was well-known in the area, the paintings and engravings were first seen by Manuel de Cos in 1972. It was then studied by a team supervised by Martín Almagro. The excavations, directed by Almagro, F. Bernaldo de Quirós and V. Cabrera, found evidence of a Solutrean occupation.

Archaeological evidence at the site:

Palaeolithic rock art.

Short Description:

Chufin Cave has two groups of art. The first, in the entrance, consists of deep engravings, including a central group with a bison, several hinds, fish and signs. Inside the cave, both animals and signs are painted in red, while bison, aurochs, a horse and an anthropomorph are engraved. The best known figures in the cave are long lines of red dots, which date from the Solutrean.


Gravettian and Solutrean.

Type of Site: Cave
Adress: La Palombera Reservoir, Riclones, Cantabria
Telephone: 942 598 425
Fax: 942 598 305
Website: www.culturadecantabria.com / http://cuevas.culturadecantabria.com 
E-mail: reservascuevas@culturadecantabria.es

State/Region: Cantabria
Province: Cantabria
Municipality: Rionansa
Town: Riclones
Location: La Palombera Reservoir 

Opening Times:

Holy week:

From 12nd to 16th April
Mornings open from 10:30 am to 14:30 pm and afternoons from 15:30 to 19:30 pm.

High Season:

From 14th June to 17th September

Closed on Mondays ad Tuesdays.  Except the Monday 15th August
From Wednesdays to Sundays mornings open from 10:30 am to 14:30 pm and afternoons from 15:30 to 19:30 pm.
Tours in the morning at 10:40 am, 12:40 pm and afternoons at 15:40 pm, 17:40 pm.

Rest of the Year:


Ticket prices:

  • Normal: 15 € (major of 12 years)
  • Reduced: 7,5 € (from 4 to 12 years, both inclusive)
  • Free: from 0 to 3 years (both inclusive)


Booking and access:


Nearby cultural destinations:

Historical town of San Vicente de la Barquera. Historical villages of Carmona and Tudanca. Pancho Cossío’s House in Tudanca. Cades Iron foundry. Pontón Tower in Peñarrubia.

Nearby natural destinations:

El Soplao Cave. Sierra de Peña Sagra. San Vicente de la Barquera salt-marsh. Oyambre Natural Park.

Accommodation near the site:

Hostal Gogar in Puentenansa, San Miguel country house, hostal Amalia and hostería Garabandal, in San Sebastián de Garabandal. 
See: www.turismodecantabria.com

Restaurants near the site:

Restaurants with traditional home-made food can be found in Celucos and Celis, the villages near Riclones. 
See: www.turismodecantabria.com


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11th May 2010 the Council of Europe granted the Mention European Cultural Route to the PRAT-CARP network.