Outdoor tourism at Spain's mines
Parque Minero de Almadén (Ciudad Real)
Here we suggest an original way to visit Spain. Discover the inside of the earth by exploring our mining valleys. You can see the inside of the mines, visit the extraction tunnels in mine carts, and you will be amazed by the contrasting colours to be found. An original idea that combines traditional culture, nature, sport and entertainment.
Spain always has a pleasant surprise in store for you. Here we suggest an original journey to places that maintain their mining spirit. This is a way of life you can discover with a visit to the inside of the earth in Spain's mining valleys. You can now explore silver and magnetite mines; see how miners work, first hand; witness the amazing contrast and beauty of landscapes where the earth opens up to the sky. Here are a few ideas.
Mining parks open to the public
Can you imagine the earth 700 metres beneath your feet? You can find out what it is like at the Almadén Mining Park, in the province of Ciudad Real, Castile–La Mancha Region. The park contains a mine with chambers reaching this depth. On your visit you can explore the first level of the gallery, access extraction wells and discover the techniques used by miners to obtain mercury. The site also has a visitor centre, the Mercury Museum and various workshops.
In Teruel, Region of Aragón, don't miss the Escucha Mining Museum, designed to make you feel like a miner for a day. The Museum aims to turn your trip into a mining adventure, and there are several special programmes aimed specifically at children. Activities available include quad biking routes in the mining valley, a 200 metre descent into the gallery in a mine cart and a visit to a power station. In the same Region, but now in the province of Huesca, there is a geological/mining circuit in Sobrarbe, where iron and silver were extracted until the 20th century.
Routes to villages and mine locations
Exploring Spain's mining areas will take you to stunning villages and natural locations. Asturias is a Region in northern Spain that has always been one of its main mining areas. There you can visit the Bustiello Mining Town, which has interesting architecture, created by workers from the Bustiello coal mining community. In the same Region you will find the Mining and Industry Museum (MUMI), one of the most important of its type. If you would prefer to discover mines out in the countryside, then we would recommend the coal route by bike in the Candín Valley, or the Jovellanos mining route, with a 23-kilometre circular itinerary taking in the main mining valleys in Asturias. Before you plan your trip, you should check the details of these routes with the tourist offices in the Region.
You can still see the mark left by mining in León, Castile-León Region, with a unique landscape in the world which has the UNESCO World Heritage designation: las Médulas. This is an ancient mine from the Roman Empire, with several routes you can do to explore it, either on foot, by bike or on horseback.
In southern Spain you can feel what it would be like to be a miner too. In Andalusia, the main attractions of this type are to be found in the province of Huelva, especially in the Riotinto mining area. Many people liken it to the planet Mars on account of its impressive polychromatic landscape. If you want to get to know everything about these mines, then visit the Riotinto Mining Museum.
Besides these suggestions, there are others you will soon be able to enjoy in Spain. The Regions of Andalusia, Castile-León and Galicia are currently working to recover old mines. For the moment, we would recommend open-air tourism with the mines suggested here. You are sure to come back to Spain later to discover the new ones.