Subject: Northern Spain
Hi, Sandy. We call it Martes de Carnaval. It depends on the cities and on the provinces to be a holiday or not, but I do not think that it will be holiday in Cantabria (the autonomy where Altamira is located). There are a few places in Spain where Carnaval is celebrated in a big way (although there are parades in many places), specially Cadiz and Tenerife. About the caves. I think there is a replica built nearby and that if you want to visit the real thing (Iīll have to check it), you have to call in advance. Iīll see if I can find anything from the tourist office in Cantabria. In the meantime, you might find the following URL interesting:

The Carnaval week usually is a bad time to go skiing. Itīs called the white week at the schools, and many children have holidays ot go with the school to ski resorts, so it can be difficult to get a place in many apartments. But seeing you itinerary, I donīt think you will find that problem.

Near Altamira you can find Santillana del Mar. Go there. Plenty of well preserved old townhouses and palaces, and a beautiful parador.

Well, I have remember the URL for Turismo of Cantabria

I hope it helps you. You can find info about the places, accomodation (try a farm or an agroturismo), restaurants (you can even get the prices in pesetas, I hadnīt realized it),... Think that the weather might be cold and rainy, but you wonīt get many tourists. Thatīs the good point.

Regards from Covadonga in Bilbao