Ardales Cave, also known as the Cave of Doña Trinidad Grund, is a prehistoric cave located in the province of Málaga, Spain, known for its remarkable cave paintings. A visit to Ardales Cave is a unique and fascinating experience, offering a glimpse into the prehistoric cultural and artistic traditions of early humans in Europe.
The limestone cave was (re) discovered in 1821 after the earthquake that had its epicentre in Alhama de Granada opened the entrance that had been blocked by silt and debris. (It had been sealed before that for around 3,500 years.)However, it wasn’t until 1918 that a French prehistorian researched the cave art, describing twenty animal figures in ten different locations. Today, there are 1010 images in 252 locations, including animal figures, human figures, and handprints. Many utensils were found, including stones and bones, which may have been used to engrave some of the figures.
In addition to the known cave paintings, recent research suggests that the Neanderthals, rather than Homo sapiens, were the first to decorate the cave walls.
Booking a Visit
The cave can be visited by appointment only, with a maximum of 15 visitors per day. Entrance tickets can be booked by telephone or email, or at the Archaeological Museum in Ardales.
Museo Municipal de la Historia y las Tradiciones de Ardales
The municipal museum of History and Traditions of Ardales features a hall entirely dedicated to the Cave of Ardales and Paleolithic art. There are information panels that recreate cave paintings that have been discovered. The museum also has some interesting archaeological information from the area. The six halls of the museum are located on two floors. Downstairs, you can enjoy an itinerary through the origins of Ardales, in the Prehistoric Era. On the first floor, you will find a hall dedicated to classic and medieval archaeology.
The museum also serves as the meeting point for visitors to the cave of Ardales, in addition to the office of the cave, where you can also book your visit.
Cultural guided tours are available from Tuesday to Sunday at 10:00 a.m. and on Friday and Saturday at both 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. The cave is closed on Mondays, except during holidays.
The guided tour of Ardales cave
The guided tour of Ardales Cave begins at the Ardales Prehistory Center, located at Avenida de Málaga nº 1. The tour commences with initial explanations and a thorough exploration of the center. Subsequently, visitors are required to follow the guide in their own vehicle for a 4-kilometer drive until they reach the cavity. The visit inside the cave lasts approximately two hours, and in total, including the Prehistory Center and travel time, the tour takes about three hours.
The purpose of the visit is to impart scientific knowledge about human settlements in the Paleolithic era, showcasing the archaeological excavations and an assortment of rock art, considered as some of the earliest in the world. The visit is tailored towards adults, offering a culturally enriching experience.
For additional information, call 952 45 80 46 from Tuesday to Sunday between 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. To purchase tickets online just visit: https://www.giglon.com/evento/visitas-guiadas-a-la-cueva-de-ardales-malaga (in Spanish)
Prices are 15 euros for adults, 5 euros for 8 to 12 year olds. Under 8’s are not allowed in the cave.
The cave has a constant temperature of approximately 15 degrees Celsius all year round, so visitors are advised to bring a sweater even in summer.
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