Location and Access


The Soplao Region is located between the townships of Herrerías, Valdáliga and Rionansa, high up in the Sierra de Arnero mountains, at an altitude of 540 m. The site has splendid, extensive views of the Sierra de Peña Sagra and Picos de Europa mountain ranges, the Nansa valley and the Cantabrian Sea.

The cave is 60 km from Torrelavega and 83 km from Santander, near attractive towns such as San Vicente de la Barquera, Comillas, Santillana del Mar, La Hermida Gorge or Cabuérniga.


The mining visit is located in the Plaza del Monte, according to the location map.
We must not reach the complex of EL SOPLAO.


A-8 dual carriageway from Santander to Oviedo

The cave can be reached along the A-8 dual carriageway from Santander to Oviedo, exit 269 (Los Tánagos-Pesués-Puente Nansa).

Before reaching the town of Pesués, take the turning to Puente Nansa as far as Rábago. From there, continue along the road to El Soplao.

You can also leave the A-8 motorway at exit 258 (Lamadrid, Roiz, Caviedes). Travel via Las Cuevas and La Florida. This itinerary is impossible for coaches.

Access to Plaza del Monte (mine visit) is gained by taking the main road from La Florida to Plaza del Monte.


You can get there by landrover along the forest trails of Celis-Rionansa and La Florida-Labarces.

GPS Coordinates

El Soplao

4º 24’ 42” W

43º 17’ 45” N

Plaza del Monte
Mine visit


4º 23’ 42” W

43º 18’ 03” N

Site and surrounding areas

The Saja-Nansa region, which forms part of the CANTABRIA INFINITA route, was recently converted into an "Ecomuseum", meaning that it will be conserved in all its purity, due to its considerable ecological value. Located between the coast and the mountain ranges of Escudo de Cabuérniga, Barcena Mayor, Cordel and Peña Sagra, it includes the protected natural areas of Oyambre Nature Reserve and Saja National Park. It is a peaceful area, with lush vegetation. The landscape is dominated by twisting folds and rugged terrain. It includes the valleys of Nansa and Cabuérniga. This part of the region has its own particular character.

The coastal strip that runs from Unquera to San Vicente de la Barquera

Is characterised by the profound interrelation between the marine and the agrarian environments. The sea penetrates inside the land through the estuaries of Tinamayor, Tinamenor and San Vicente, enriching both landscape and customs. This is the best-conserved part of the Cantabrian coast, with an important protected nature area, Oyambre Reserve.

Some of the most deeply-rooted customs of the land are also preserved, and sports such as dragging stones with oxen, together with traditions related to the sea, such as the marine procession of La Folía. It is a paradise for ecological, rural and active tourism, and also has an important historic and artistic heritage.

There are vast extensions of woodland with oak, beech and birch, creating a mosaic of amazing colours in the spring and summer months, and in particularly, during the autumn.

It has many different species of fauna, including the red deer, roe deer, boar and fox. In more remote, solitary areas, wolves can often be found, and occasionally, bears. The birds that inhabit this region include the vulture, capercaillie and the golden eagle, but it is more common to see kestrels and kites. In the autumn the "bellowing" of the deer can be heard, since this is the time when the males of these species make their mating calls, and the "passage", when the herds of cows from Tudanca (a species native to this zone) pass through on their way back from the higher pasturelands.

The vast meadows where the dairy cattle graze run down to the coastline, which boasts some of the largest, most solitary and beautiful beaches in the region of Cantabria. These beaches include those of Merón, Jerra or Oyambre. These beaches are never overrun with people, even in the months of July and August, and those who dare to visit them at the start of the summer season, in May or June, have the privilege of having these beaches all to themselves.

Oyambre Nature Reserve has diverse ecosystems, from the dunes of Oyambre beach to the forest reserve of Monte Corona, and including the estuary of La Rabia, a haven for water birds.


Townships and The District

Art and History
Natural Resources