Puente Viesgo is located in the northern part of the Toranzo valley and crossed by the best-known river in Cantabria, the Pas. Puente Viesgo first appeared in the Early Middle Ages, the first documentary references allude to the bridge over the river that would eventually give its name to the municipality.
The town is just 30 minutes drive from both the port and the airport of Santander.
Puente Viesgo is home to one of the most important groups of prehistoric caverns in the region, which are located in Mount Castillo (a regular conical peak), several of which harbour specimens of Palaeolithic art. These caves are known as El Castillo, Las Chimeneas, Las Monedas and La Pasiega.
La Pasiega cave is outstanding for its thick-lined, ochre-coloured paintings; adorning the walls are drawings of deer, bison and horses, as well as a bounty of engravings. The cave was declared an archaeological zone in 1924.
Las Monedas cave dates from the Upper Magdalenian age and has spectacular geological formations alongside paintings of animals in black.
In the Castillo cave, discovered in 1903 by the Mayor of El Río, are displays of cave paintings from the Solutrean and Magdalenian periods, while in Las Chimeneas these representations are from the Solutrean period and show paintings and clay engravings of deer and other animals in a simple, rigid style.
Leisure & Recreation
Since the eighteenth century there has been a health spa at Puente Viesgo, visited for its medicinal waters, which rise from the spring. The thermal waters were declared fit for public use in 1862 and are especially good for heart complaints, the nervous system, high blood pressure and visceral rheumatism. The health spa has been renovated and is often visited by the Spanish national football team, which has held pre-match preparations at the spa.
It is said that the best salmon fishing in Cantabria can be found in Puente Viesgo; from the lower part of the peculiar bridge you can access the pool area, down a small stairway and along a path carved out of the rock.
The area is ideal for walking holidays and there are many marked routes for visitors to follow.
The historical heritage of this municipality includes the outstanding monumental site of Aes, where beautiful emblazoned houses still survive in Las Cortes quarter. Cal, another quarter of Aes, is distinguished by more traditional houses with rows of balconies between two firewalls.
There are some fine bars in Puente Viesgo where you can eat and drink typical dishes from the region; especially appreciated after a long day of hiking or rambling along one of the natural routes of the area.
The region's cuisine is biased towards game and seafood. Specialties include "Sorropotún" (a traditional fisherman's stew), the magnificent seafood straight from the waters of the Cantabrian Sea and the famous "Corbatas en Unquera", a delicious dessert made from puff pastry.
Most of Cantabria is under the influence of an oceanic or Atlantic climate, whose two main characteristics are to give mild temperatures with limited variations and abundant rainfall throughout the year.
In Puente Viesgo the average temperature of the coldest month (February) is around 9 degrees Celsius, whilst average temperatures for the warmest month (August) are usually closer to 20 degrees centigrade and annual rainfall totals exceed 1,100 mm.
Slight variations apply to the entire coastal strip, whilst further inland the temperatures are even more contrasting, with colder winters and hotter summers. Moving away from the coast also increases rainfall, except in the area of Liebana, which has a microclimate in the mountains with only 700 mm of annual rainfall.
In the higher regions the winters are long and have frequent snowfall.