Cantabria is a northern Spanish province located at the northern coast towards the Bay of Biscaye. On land it is bordered by the provinces Basque Country on the east, Castile and León on the south, and Asturias on the west. The capital is Santander.

Cantabria the richest region in the world in Upper Paleolithic archaeological sites. This country has been occupied by man since the Lower Paleolithic, but most of the Stone Age remains date from 40,000 to 10,000 BP. The single most important site is the UNESCO World Heritage listed ShowcaveCueva de Altamira. It contains impressive paintings from about 16,000 to 9,000 BC.

As this example shows, the caves were important for Stone Age man, and those ancient remains are best preserved inside caves. And there are a lot of caves in Cantabria, as most of the mountains along the coast are composed of limestones. One of the most important karst areas of Spain is the Picos de Europa National Park. The caves have been used for many purposes, and until today they are important. Typical local cheese needs the climate of the cave to get its characteristic taste, so the caves are used until today.