Peña Cabarga

"In the maritime area that bathes the Ocean there is a very high mountain that, it seems incredible, is all made of metal."
Plinio el Viejo

This is how the Roman geographer Pliny the Elder described this imposing mountain in the 1st century. And this mountain range has had numerous iron ore mines since the Bronze Age until recent times that have left their mark on its landscape. Every corner surprises us with the remains of old mining operations and the reddish color of the ferric oxide of its soil is present at every step.

But if there is something that stands out about the Peña Cabarga Massif, it is for its undoubted landscape value. Declared a Point of Geological Interest, the massif is an open book on karst geomorphology, where the visitor can see and distinguish the different typical formations of the reliefs on limestone rock, highlighting the so-called tower karst, calcareous pinnacles with conical shapes, and the depression of Las Teresonas, a fertile poljé.

The visitor can enter this mountain range through its numerous paths and paths, reaching Pico Llen, at 569 meters, with its Monument to the Indiano and the Marina of Castilla (1968), a privileged viewpoint from which on clear days you can enjoy magnificent panoramic views of a large part of Cantabria.

The Castro of Castilnegro

Discovered in 1997 by E. Peralta and F. Fernández, the castro of Castilnegro was a walled settlement belonging to the Iron Age of 6 hectares located on a 457-meter peak in the central sector of the Peña Cabarga. The strategic position of the fortification reveals the historical and cultural importance of this massif and its iron mines.

The mines of Peña Cabarga

The iron mines of Peña Cabarga were exploited from Roman times until 1988. It was at the end of the 19th century when the most important period began in Peña Cabarga with a multitude of open pit mining operations. This rich heritage can be observed by any hiker who travels through the massif along the network of marked routes. A heritage that is sometimes unknown but that has left a very unique historical landscape.

The Heras reservoir

The Heras reservoir is the most important body of water in Medio Cudeyo. Located on the Cubón River, at the foot of the Peña Cabarga Massif, this beautiful artificial lake was built in 1902 to supply water to the iron ore washers of the mines that were located in Peña Cabarga. Today it retains a high environmental value due to its diversity, conservation and quality of the landscape.

The San Salvador or Tijero estuary

Next to the Peña Cabarga massif is this area of marsh and marshland of great importance for its biodiversity. This lake water ecosystem is home to important birdlife, making it ideal for observation and photography. In the past, a complex system of mining exploitation and transportation and washing of material was organized on this important estuary.