- Region: País Vasco
- Province: Gipuzkoa
- Declared a Natural Park:
- Park surface area: 6,913 hectares
- Towns and villages: Donostia / San Sebastián, Oyarzun , Irún and (Lesaca in Aragón)
Points of interest
The Peñas de Aya Natural Park (Aiako Harria in Basque) includes part of the Bajo Bidasoa, Oiartzualdea and Donostialdea regions and In addition to the rock massif itself the protected area includes the peaks and surrounding areas of Zaria (635 m), Bunanagirre (781 m), Bianditz (797 m), Errenga (786 m), Irupagoeta (534 m), Erlaitz (498 m), Pagogaña (480 m), Urdaburu (599 m) and Aldura (537 m).
There are quite a few tracks and trails for hiking and walking in the area and the summits afford some spectacular views of theTxingudi Bay, towns of Hondarribia, Irun and Hendaye, Mount Jaizkibel and the Oiartzun valley.
Well worth a visit is the area of Aiztondo which is a ravine with a 100-metre waterfall .
From Roman times, ore such as silver bearing galena and lead was extracted from the Arditurri mines making them one of the most important ancient mines in Hispania along with Las Médulas mines in Leon and those of Cartagena or Rio Tinto. The mines were abandoned by the Romans in the 5th century, but were exploited again from the Middle Ages until the 1980’s for iron ore making them among the very few in Spain that have been in use for over 2,000 years almost without interruption.
Find a hotel close to the Peñas de Aya Natural Park (Aiako Harria)
The mines of Arditurri and Peñas de Aya Natural Park Interpretation Centre (Arditurri bidea, 3 Oiartzun.)
On the ground floor there is a reception area and exhibition covering the geology of the Aiako Harria massif, climate and orography, flora and fauna, human activities in the area and mythology
On the second floor there are thematic exhibitions
- The beginnings of mining activity: exploitation in times of Romanization
- The Arditurri mines: virtual visit to a mining gallery
- History through mined minerals: relation of mined minerals in different periods and their practical application
A portion of 15 km of galleries, chambers and Roman-made interior lakes are on show for visitors.
The visit to the heart of the Arditurri mines is conceived as a journey through time in which the mind, the senses and the emotions intervene. Lighting and sound play a very important role, since they allow the interior of the gallery to create a magical atmosphere, which takes the visitor to the different periods of the history of these mines. New technologies make it possible to recreate sounds and environments experienced inside the gallery throughout its more than 2,000 years of operation. From the noise that the rocks make when they come off, passing through the most absolute silence accompanied exclusively by oscillating reflections on the waters of the lakes.
- Essential visit and “La Mina in depth”: at least 24 hours in advance by phone. For guided tours on Tuesdays, if the reservation is made by phone, it is necessary to make it 48 hours in advance, except at Easter, July and August, which can be done with 24 hours. in advance.
- Online reservations: 48 hours in advance.
- Visits with the Berdea Train: a minimum of one week in advance is recommended.
Tel: 943 494 521
Buy entry tickets online here: http://www.arditurri.com/arditurri/reservas/comprarOnLine.asp?nombre=2069&sesion=1
More information here: http://www.arditurri.com/Castellano.asp
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