- Region: Pais Vasco
- Province: Vizcaya
- Declared a Natural Park 2006
- Park surface area: 3,519 hectares
- Towns and villages: Carranza and Trucíos
Points of interest
The Armañón Natural Park is the ninth and most recently declared protected area in the Basque country. Located in the region of Las Encartaciones in Vizcaya here you will find the Torca del Carlista cave which is one of the the largest underground systems in Europe and a refuge for the main breeding colony of the Mediterranean horseshoe bat.
The Pozalagua cave is made up of a single room 125 meters long, 70 meters wide and 12 meters high and has one of the the highest concentration of eccentric stalactites in the world. (They grow in every direction seemingly defying gravity).
The cave was discovered by sheer chance on 28 December 1957 after an explosion at a nearby dolomite quarry (The dolomite was used, among other things, to make fire bricks, which were key to the Basque country’s industrialization, as they were employed to cover the structure of the blast furnaces. Dolomite bricks were extraordinarily resistant and, properly treated, could withstand the huge temperatures of such furnaces.)
The blast opened a hole in the mountain that is now used as the entrance to Pozalagua. The cave was prepared and opened to the public in 1991. See the official website for visiting, prices and opening times: https://www.cuevadepozalagua.eus/home-en
Find a hotel close to the Armañón Natural Park
Centro de Interpretación del Parque Natural de Armañón (in Carranza)
The Armañón Nature Park’s Interpretation Centre, also known as the Park House (Parketxea, in Basque) is Located close to the Pozalagua cave, in former facilities of the Dolomites del Norte mining operation, the Armañón Natural Park Interpretation Center, the Dolomites museum and the tourist office can be found. There is also an auditorium in the Pozalagua quarry but it is the cave that is the main attraction of this protected area.
The official website for the Armañón Natural Park is here: https://turismo.euskadi.eus/es/espacios-naturales/parque-natural-armanon/aa30-12375/es/
Iberia Nature Forum
Struggling with identifying those bugs and beasties? Why not check out the Iberia nature Forum!
Discover the Iberia Nature Forum – Environment, geography, nature, landscape, climate, culture, history, rural tourism and travel.