If you visit Cantabria, exploring the 3 Valles Pasiegos is a must. Discover a vast, unparalleled natural landscape with ever-green pastures surrounded by low walls and cabins.
The Pas, Pisueña, and Miera river basins are perfect examples of Cantabria’s most iconic features: intricate valleys, grasslands hidden behind mountains, and reserved locals.
These three valleys have stood the test of time and remained interconnected through the mountains that divide them, thanks to this land’s migrant settlers, the Pasiegos. Huge beech and holm oak forests sit atop this unique countryside, home to traditions over five centuries old.
What to see in the VALLES PASIEGOS
The pasiega cabins are the most prominent element of this region’s heritage. The Valleys are home to around ten thousand of these cabins, with even some built in the 18th century, which show how life on the pastures is like and how the settlers make great use of their environment.
This extraordinary, and perhaps unparalleled, culture is currently the subject of ethnographic and sociological research, because of the strength of the locals and their dedication to the land. We can’t talk about how the pasiego heritage has been handed down through generations without mentioning their famous sponge cakes (sobaos) and cheesecakes (quesadas), which show off the region’s exquisite dairy products.
Also, its geological diversity forms gorges carved out by the river, such as the Miera, the most confined of the region, whose headwaters contour around a glacial cirque.
Get active and take river tours, perfect for hiking and climbing fanatics, or explore the area´s history as you delve deep into the thousand-year-old cavities.
We’re always surprised by new discoveries of artefacts dating back over thirty-thousand years in the prehistoric caves of El Castillo and Las Monedas, which you can visit year-round: an added bonus to your trip to this region.
To learn the true meaning of the word ‘calm’, visit the towns. You’ll find ultimate relaxation in their spas, in towns like Solares, Liérganes, and Puente Viesgo, which are perfect for kicking off your visit to the valleys.
Alceda is also a great place for hydrotherapy, and has play areas surrounded by trees and river fauna. It has even more on offer for the little ones!
Even though its architectural heritage is bit dotted around, you can easily spot it when visiting historic-artistic sites such as Liérganes, Vega de Pas, Villacarriedo, and Esles. What stand out in particular are the traditional masonry, oak houses, mansions with coats of arms, and the magnificent baroque palaces such as Soñanes in Villacarriedo, or those in Alceda and Ontaneda.
There’s much more still to discover: the gastronomy, the museums, the heritage, and the culture are even more reasons to immerse yourself in the Valles Pasiegos.