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The Encartaciones is a region compromising of ten municipalities which during the long mediaeval ages were constantly warring amongst each other. A land of tradition and legends rich in remnants of its historical past. It is to be found in the westernmost point of the Basque Country and it is the largest territory of Biscay. The Encartaciones region had its own Fuero or set of laws, before adopting the Fuero of Bizkaia, nonetheless, preserved its historical individuality retaining its own institutions in the Lordship of Biscay.

Its magnificent constructions (Indiano mansions, medieval towers and Baroque palaces), the succession of valleys full of routes through forests and mountains leading to the coast, and its towns with great personality make this region an unique place.

Natural Sites

- Arenaza Caves (Galdames): rooms and galleries where can be found deer representations corresponding to the Magdalenian period.

- Pozalagua Caves (Carranza): declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO, this cave contains the highest concentration of eccentric stalactites in the world, defying gravity and branching out in all directions, intertwining and entangling.

- Armañón Natural Park: constitutes a relevant mountain massive whose nature is essentially calcareous with amazing kart shapes. It forms a subterranean landscape with more than 200 caves and chasms of remarkable geological value.


- The Itsaslur Walk (Pobeña area): is an old railway line that has been reformed for walkers and which coincides with the Coastal Route of the Camino de Santiago (St. James’ Way). Next to this area, we can see the remains of past mining activities.

- La Arena Beach (Muskiz-Zierbena): with almost one kilometre long, it offers a range of recreational activities and a variety of services. It is considered one of the most important places surfing along the Northern coast.


Active Outdoors

- Meaztegi Golf: a 18 –hole course designed by Severiano Ballesteros Par 72, with a length off more than 6 kilometres. Club House or social building with more than 5,000 m2 constructed.

- Ociokart (Güeñes): one of the best karts circuits in Euskadi, for people to enjoy velocity. Coffee bar and private parking.

- Sopuerta Adventure (Sopuerta): the first adventure park in the trees in the Basque Country. A set of itineraries hanging (foot bridges, tyrolean crossing, jumps, rope ladders…) in the trees. There are 4 itineraries with different degrees of difficulty for all ages.

Cultural Heritage

- Basque Country Mining Museum (Abanto-Zierbena): one of the best collections of the Spanish State on mining tools and materials, such as dump cars, stretchers, hammers, etc. In the surroundings we will find the Concha II mine, which was once Europe's biggest iron mine, which boasts a 50-kilometre gallery.

- El Pobal Ironworks (Muskiz): from the 16th-century, it has, surprisingly, conserved the valuable hammer and also the anvil and the mineral reduction oven.

- Las Encartaciones Museum-Avellaneda Assembly House (Sopuerta): one of the most important historic monuments of Encartaciones, provides visitors with a clear idea of the history of the region of Las Encartaciones from its origins through the mid-19th century. A hall is also dedicated to the institutions, giving special attention to the "Juntas" (Assemblies) of Abellaneda.

- Boinas La Encartada Museum (Balmaseda): a centenary site involved in the production of woollen knitwear that has been almost without any change since it was founded (1892), moving us back to the industrial revolution.

- Arenatzarte (Güeñes): a park that links art with nature through avant-garde sculpture. An area of 1,5 hectares containing over thirty extraordinary trees.

- Balmaseda: was the first village in Biscay and capital town of “The Comarca of the Encartaciones”, one of the ancient main trade routes between Castile and Bilbao. With regard to its cultural heritage, the most emblematic place is the 15th century Old Bridge (PuenteViejo), which has become the Town’s symbol and that of its rich commercial past. One of the most interesting celebrations take place in Easter, when the neighbours of the town perform the Via Crucis, or the traditional medieval market, with a brilliant staging that takes us back in time.

- Karpin Abentura Ecological Park (Carranza): in this area of 20 hectares visitors can observe wild animals mostly ill or injured. The park provides a walk to the principle of evolution in the “Darwin Jauregia”, one of the park’s four thematic areas, that includes the fantastic Jurassic in the Terrasauro.

- Santiago Hermitage: a narrow road leads from the Loizaga Tower to the site of this charming church of the 16th century, in the neighbourhood of Concejuelo. The Coat of Arms of the lineage of the Loyzaga can be seen on its façade.



The municipalities that make up the geographical area of Las Encartaciones are characterised by making quality food products. Foods such as cheese, honey, bread, pork products, txakoli and cider are due to its wealth of agriculture and livestock. 
Their restaurants not only select the highest quality raw materials, they are also the ideal setting for tasting the local cuisine.

From the top of the Tower can be seen the vineyards where the “txakoli”, a slightly sparkling, very dry white wine, with its corresponding Guarantee of Origin, “Bizkaiko txakolina”, can be bought at the Museum and at the Enkarterri Concept Store, in Bilbao, together with other products from artists and producers of the region.


Churches and bullfighting courses with appellation of origin

In the western part of The Encartaciones, we can find the roots of a curious and original style of construction. Shrines and churches whose outer walls form part of the “arena” for the use of bullfighting. Adopting either round or square forms and using trees as “barriers”, they act as enclosure walls for the activities of a bullfight. They are located in areas of great natural beauty which often include recreational sites such as: San Roque and Santa Ana of Sopuerta, San Antolin in Arcentales, San Roque, la Caridad, San Pedro de Romaña and la Trinidad in Trucíos, San Miguel de Ahedo and Nuestra Señora del Suceso , in Carranza.

Bº Concejuelo 48191 Galdames (BIZKAIA)
Tel. 649 412 001

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