Underground experiences in the Basque Country


País Vasco

We propose three original ways of discovering the Basque Country. The first is a chance to learn all about the mining past of this region in northern Spain; another option is to visit a tourist cave and look at some examples of rock art; and finally, you can search for a very special marine treasure: a wine which has been aged beneath the sea.

The Iron Route This guided route traces the history of the iron industry in the province of Vizcaya. It starts in Muskiz with a visit to the El Pobal ironworks –which conserves a trip hammer from the 16th century–, and continues with an exciting tour in an off-road vehicle through the mines of Triano and Alén. To conclude, after lunch in a restaurant serving dishes from Basque gastronomy, there is a visit to the Basque Country Mining Museum in Gallarta. The route also includes admission to an enormous private collection of Rolls Royce cars, located in the Torre Loizaga tower in Galdames. Visits to the heart of the Basque Country There are various options for ways to explore the underground attractions of the Basque Country. One example is the mines of Arditurri, in Guipúzcoa, whose origin dates from the extraction of silver and iron in the Roman era. The visit takes place in a magical atmosphere created by the interplay of light and sound that has been installed in the tunnel.

About 50 km away, also in Guipúzcoa, we suggest a visit to the replica of the Ekain cave, whose original has been awarded the World Heritage designation by the UNESCO. The cave contains some important examples of rock art, including a series of horses. Vizcaya is the site of the caves of Santimañe and Pozalagua. The first contains rock paintings dating from up to 14,000 years ago. The visit takes a look at the various research and conservation works, and also includes a 3-D virtual replica of the cave. The Pozalagua cave has been adapted for visits by tourists and has a spectacular set of stalactites. An underwater toast The last option takes place under the sea, and involves an original wine cellar: an underwater wine laboratory in the town of Plentzia, about 30 kilometres outside Bilbao. This is a space submerged to a depth of 15 metres which is used to age cider and wine, and particularly txakoli (the typical white wine of the Basque Country). If you have a scuba-diving permit, you'll be able to dive down and visit the underwater laboratory and the artificial reef which surrounds it. If not, you can explore the area on board a boat while you enjoy the beauty of the Basque Coast, accompanied by some of this delicious wine aged beneath the sea. Things to remember: You can find more information on these proposals and make your reservations at the Basque Country tourism website. The guided visits are available in Spanish, Euskera and English.  


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