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Caves at Altamira from Madrid without renting a car

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Possible? Practical? Stupid? Impossible?

Any and all thought welcome, please.

My wife and I are thinking about Spain in May 2012. In addition to daily museums and palaces and cathedrals and mosques and alcazars and alhambras, all of which are certainly on our itinerary, we'd like to get off the beaten path a bit, and these caves are a possibility. But we also don't particularly fancy renting a car. I can't "see the sights" while I'm driving and simultaneously trying to figure out road signs in a foreign language, etc, (no offense intended). I've seen on www.renfe.com that trains btwn Madrid and Santander are possible, but that would still leave us local transportation to work out. I'd like any and all feedback and suggestions, both pro and con, please!

ps. Pls don't just tell me to read a library book or Google! I got that flaming "response" once on a different travel forum that I no longer use because I don't need that crap! I know how to do that! And I have. And I will continue to do so. I'm using this forum specifically because I WANT feedback from people who have DONE what I'm THINKING of doing! Or who have suggestions for what you think I should NOT do! That's often even more valuable advice than "do this..." is!

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