Santa Cueva

Picos de Europa

This cave, now with a chapel installed, is where the Virgin supposedly appeared to Pelayo's warriors before their 722 CE victory over the Muslims. Weekends and summers see long queues of the faithful and curious lining up to enter. Of the cave's two tombs, one is claimed to contain the remains of Pelayo himself and his wife Gaudiosa and his sister; the other, Pelayo's daughter Ermesinda and her husband Alfonso I.

The Fuente de los Siete Caños spring, beside the waterfall and pool below the cave, promises marriage within one year to women who drink from it.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Picos de Europa attractions

1. Basílica de Covadonga

0.13 MILES

Covadonga's original wooden church burnt down in 1777 and landslides destroyed much of the settlement in the 19th century. The main church, the Basílica…

2. Museo de Covadonga

0.15 MILES

A few steps from Covadonga's basilica is the extensive Museo de Covadonga, devoted to Covadonga's history and extraordinary gifts from the faithful. Among…

3. Puente Romano

4.94 MILES

Arching like a cat in fright, the so-called 'Roman Bridge' spanning the Río Sella was actually built in the 13th century, but is no less beautiful for its…

4. Capilla de Santa Cruz

4.98 MILES

This tiny chapel was built in the mid-20th century to replace its 8th-century predecessor (erected by Pelayo's son Favila), which was destroyed during the…

5. Centro de Arte Rupestre Tito Bustillo

10.44 MILES

Some of Spain’s best cave art, including superb horse paintings probably done around 15,000 to 10,000 BCE, lie inside the World Heritage–listed Cueva de…

6. Cueva de Tito Bustillo

10.62 MILES

Some of Spain’s finest cave art, including superb horse paintings probably done around 15,000 to 10,000 BCE, is within this World Heritage–listed cave,…

7. Cueva del Queso de Cabrales

11.85 MILES

Learn all about and sample the fine smelly Cabrales cheese at Arenas' Cueva de Cabrales, a cheese-cave museum 500m south of the centre on the Poncebos…

8. Playa de Vega

12.71 MILES

The broad, 1.5km-long sands of Playa de Vega, 8km west of Ribadesella, are among the least known of northern Spain's finest beaches. There are three or…