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Did you know that... the Cave of Santimamiñe

 

It is surrounded by an incomparable landscape in which the Cantabrian oaks, the countryside or the estuary are present. It is located near the hermitage of San Mamés, on the eastern shore of the Urdaibai basin, on the southern slope of Mount Ereñusarre, at the top of which is another hermitage, that of San Miguel. It was some boys from the village eager to explore, to find new places and with the necessary curiosity, who discovered the cave figures of Santimamiñe in 1916. The first archaeological excavations were carried out between 1918 and 1926. The cave preserves remains of human settlements from more than 14000 years ago, Magdalenian period and is part of the set of prehistoric sites of the Atlantic arc.

Cave of Santimamiñe

To discover What to see in the Cave of Santimamiñe?

 

The Cave of Santimamiñe has a length of about 365 meters of great geological beauty, with abundant formations of stalactites, stalagmites, banners ...This is a rich archaeological site that goes from the beginning of the Upper Palaeolithic to Roman times and a precious and important sample of cave art with representations of prehistoric fauna, represented in a monochrome way, in black, because the material used to paint was coal, and in which the bison stand out, in a total of thirty-two, six horses, seven goats, a deer and even a brown bear, as well as up to fifty figures that are distributed in three rooms within the cave, the room prior to the chamber of paintings, the sanctuary, and the new room of paintings. In the course of the years and with the pertinent investigation more figures have been discovered, some of them in galleries of very difficult access. The caves have been closed to the public since 2006, although there are guided tours in which you can see the entrance to the cave and the archaeological site, enjoy the spectacular natural environment and in the hermitage of San Mames, converted into an interpretation centre, make a virtual visit to the cave, thus getting to know its insides and its famous paintings.

Simulation of the paintings of the Cave of Santimamiñe

Traditions

 

Once the glaciation was finished and when the situation of the coast was more similar to the present one, the inhabitants of Santimamiñe collected to feed themselves great quantities of shells, as it is testified by the great deposit of shells found in the site and that belongs to a later epoch to the one of the cave figures.

 

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Curiosities

 

At the entrance to the cave of Santimamiñe, which is at an altitude of about 150 metres above current sea level, there is a large horse chestnut tree that was planted by a labourer who helped with the archaeological excavations that took place shortly after the discovery.

Access path to the Cave of Santimamiñe

Useful information for visiting the Cave of Santimamiñe

 

  • The duration of the visit is about an hour and a half.
  • For the visit it is necessary previous appointment and to extend the information and to reserve, the telephone numbers are: 944 651 657 and 944 651 660.

 

Look at the picture of 360º

 

Double-click on the image to view it full screen

 

The Legend

 

The inhabitants of the cave of Santimamiñe were hunters and gatherers, especially liking deer and goats, although they did not disdain to fish salmon in the river and since it was very cold they gathered around a great fire, hence the vestiges of large bonfires in the ceilings and walls of the cave.

 

 

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Get to Kortezubi

 

Kortezubi is located on the BI-2238 road that connects the towns of Guernica and Lekeitio. Shortly before reaching Kortezubi as you do from Guernica is located at the junction with the BI-4244 that will take us directly to the neighborhood of Basondo. Kortezubi has a bus stop that covers the route Guernica - Elantxobe - Lekeitio - Guernica. 

 

Once there

 

We will have a car park shared between visitors to the Painted Forest of Oma and the Cave of Santimamiñe where we can park our vehicle. 

 

 

 


SENDITUR is not responsible for any variation in the information described, as well as for the misuse of its guides and recommends that everyone be responsible and prudent in carrying out the activity. Likewise, we invite you to document yourself with books and specialized guides to complement the information described. From the commitment of SENDITUR with Nature and the respect to the balance of the environment, SENDITUR urges you to travel in a responsible way, with low environmental impact and respecting at all times the Natural, Cultural and Social environment wherever you go. For any suggestion, SENDITUR invites you to send an email to

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List of Routes
  • Closeness
  • First name
  • Difficulty
  • Distance
  • Duration
  • Assessment
IN FAMILY CULTURAL HERITAGE
1
Difficulty-Medium

2:00 h.7 km.

Painted Oma Forest
Difficulty-MediumCategory of difficulty green, level 2. Excursions of moderate distance and level difference, not overcoming even large distances or slopes.
PATHS
0
Difficulty-Moderate

5:40 h.18 km.

GR 38 Route of the wine and of the fish Section 7 Gernika-Bermeo
Difficulty-ModerateRed difficulty category, level 1. More demanding routes, either because they are longer, with greater slope or present some specific difficulty.
TOURISM
0
Difficulty-Adapted

48:00 h.74 km.

Urdaibai Biosphere Reserve its secret corners
Difficulty-AdaptedGreen difficulty category, level 2. Short walks, with little unevenness and without difficulties.
PATHS
0
Difficulty-Remarkable

7:50 h.28 km.

GR 38 Route of the wine and of the fish Section 6 Durango-Gernika
Difficulty-RemarkableRed difficulty category, level 2. Routes with great unevenness or important distances, which require a good physical preparation.
PATHS IN FAMILY NATURAL HERITAGE
1
Difficulty-Low

2:40 h.9.2 km.

Greenway of Arrazola
Difficulty-LowGreen difficulty category, level 2. Walks with little unevenness and without difficulties.
FLORA AND FAUNA PATHS NATURAL HERITAGE
1
Difficulty-Low

0:35 h.2.4 km.

Georoute of Sakoneta
Difficulty-LowGreen difficulty category, level 2. Short walks, with little unevenness and without difficulties.
NATURAL HERITAGE
0
Difficulty-Low

0:40 h.2.2 km.

Georoute of Elorriaga
Difficulty-LowGreen difficulty category, level 2. Short walks, with little unevenness and without difficulties.
IN FAMILY CULTURAL HERITAGE NATURAL HERITAGE
1
Difficulty-Low

1:10 h.3.6 km.

Georoute of Algorri
Difficulty-LowCategoría de dificultad verde, nivel 2. Paseos cortos, con poco desnivel y sin dificultades.
IN FAMILY NATURAL HERITAGE
1
Difficulty-Adapted

0:20 h.0.9 km.

Waterfall of Gujuli or Goiuri
Difficulty-AdaptedGreen difficulty category, level 1. Itineraries conditioned and prepared for the use and enjoyment of people with reduced mobility.
FLORA AND FAUNA PATHS
0
Difficulty-Medium

2:00 h.6.4 km.

Route of the Centenary Oaks
Difficulty-MediumCategory of difficulty green, level 3. Excursions of moderate distance and slope, not exceeding even great distances or slopes.
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