An impressive and extraordinary route to discover the easternmost part of the Encartaciones region and admire the metropolitan city of Bilbao from a bird's eye view. The course starts in Galdames. Galdames and its mountainous surroundings have always been linked to the extraction and processing of iron ore; this activity has modified its own orography, highlighting a suggestive landscape. The most important archaeological element in the region is the Arenaza cave and the paintings that are represented there. Arenaza is therefore the fourth cave in Biscay where you can find samples of cave art.
The route heads north with a slight slope to the Basque Country Mining Museum. El Museo de la Minería del País Vasco (Basque Country Mining Museum) is a center dedicated to the study and dissemination of knowledge about the culture and history of the mining industry in the Basque Country and in particular of the mining area of Biscay. A non-profit organization born out of a social initiative developed in 1986, the year in which the Asociación Cultural Museo Minero (Association of Cultural Museums in Mining) was founded, among others, of former miners and steel workers who, in the midst of the industrial crisis, observed how the elements that had formed part of what had been the essence of Bizkaia up to that point began to be abandoned.
From there, the route begins its ascent, passing through the mythical and historic city of La Arboleda, a mining town where iron ore was extracted. The former mines are now artificial reservoirs surrounded by a unique green environment that is essential for your visit. After leaving La Arboleda, we continued our ascent, next to the Meaztegi golf course, to reach the Peñas Negras Interpretation Center, a place that allows us to appreciate the profound transformation of the environment, mainly due to mining activity. The route continues its ascent to the next summit of Gasterantz. From there, a rapid descent begins to the starting point in the city of Galdames.
Distance: 46 Km
Grade: 1490 m
Itinerary type: Loop
Estimated time: 5:40
Type of terrain: Tracks, concrete roads, trails and asphalt