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    European Destinations of Excellence (EDEN) for its sustainable tourism model.

Three valleys set amidst green countryside. Each one has its own hidden secrets, but all share a unique environment in which local traditions and customs have remained strong despite the passage of time. These are the valleys of the Pas Region, one of the most beautiful spots in Cantabria, in northern Spain.

The Pas Region is made up of three adjacent valleys crossed by the three rivers that give them their names: the Pisueña, Pas and Miera Rivers. Here is a glimpse of what you can see on this rural journey, where you can enjoy the tranquillity of the surrounding nature.

Pisueña Valley. The most notable feature of this valley's scenery are the unique rock formations, some reaching 30 metres in height, in the Peña Cabarga Nature Reserve. It is home to the Cabárceno Wildlife Park, where you can see over a thousand animal species from five continents, such as the white rhinoceros and African elephant. The perfect idea for a family outing, it is located just 20 kilometres from Santander. This valley is also an ideal place to make a stop or to set out on The Way of Saint James. The Santa Cruz de Castañeda Collegiate Church is one of the highlights on this pilgrimage route. Your itinerary should include the Soñanes Palace, Baroque in style and now converted to a hotel.

Pas Valley. Are you ready to make a journey to one of the cradles of civilisation? Follow the traces left by the dwellers of the Lower Palaeolithic in the prehistoric El Castillo and La Pasiega caves. They are in Puente Viesgo. Once you are there, don't miss the opportunity to relax at the famous spa. If you would like to see the legacy of other eras, we recommend a visit to the Soto-Iruz Monastery and the urban area of the village of Alceda.

Miera Valley. This is the easternmost of the three valleys, and probably the most rural one. It has interesting examples of cave paintings, such as those in the Sopeña Cave. Contrasting landscape features are one of the hallmarks of the Miera region: from rocky areas, such as those that can be seen in the Alto del Tejuelo cave system, to the glacial formations in the Lunada mountain pass. This place affords incredible views of the entire head of the valley. Liérganes and its historic spa are not to be missed. Another "must-see" is Pámanes, home to the Elsedo Palace, now the Contemporary Art Museum. Here you can see works by Oteiza, Chillida and Solana, to name a few.

An additional reason to visit the Pas Region valleys is the gastronomy. Make sure to try the most typical dishes of Cantabria's regional cuisine, such as cocido montañés, a stew made with white beans and pork. Other foods to sample are the sobaos pasiegos, small sponge cakes, and quesada pasiega, a type of cheesecake, two of the best-known local delicacies. Enjoy pure, unspoilt nature. Immerse yourself in the rural atmosphere of the small villages you will find along the way. Get acquainted with the local traditions and customs. Come and visit the valleys in Cantabria's Pas Region.

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