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Spain : Cantabria & Ebro Valley

Cantabria in autumn is a very beautiful place. The heat of summer has lessened and in the clear mountain air the views are spellbinding. Impala will be running an off road and cultural adventure to this part of northern Spain from October.

You will be spending seven nights at the Molino Del Alto Ebro; a beautifully restored 16th century mill nestled in the Ebro Valley. All apartments in this boutique hotel have small fully equipped kitchens with washing machines in the 3 floored apartments. The food & wine here is fabulous and many of Tati’s Gin & Tonics, (which quite frankly are a work of art) were sampled on the reconnaissance. 

From here we will be heading out onto the roads and tracks that criss cross the valleys and mountains of Valderredible. There are river crossings and climbs from the valley floor to the mountains tops where you will be able to marvel at the ubiquitous Griffon Vultures that soar amongst this landscape.

Ancient history is very rich in this part of Spain: we visit the Roman ruins of La Olmeda; a cave in the mountains steeped in a dark history from the Napoleonic Wars (its name reflects this mystery) Cueva de los Franceses. Spain also has caves with paintings that rival those in France and at Puente Viesgo you will marvel at the skill and imagination of the distant artists in the Cueva El Castillo.


 

The Route:

Day 1: arriving at The Molino for dinner

Day 2: The Molino to the Dehesa and Orbanaja Del Castillo - Off road routes in the oak forests with some challenging climbs and a visit to a Mesolithic dolmen.

Day 3: Vulture Mountain and the Ebro Valley - you will stand feet away from flying Vultures and enjoy tracks that cross the valleys south of Polientes.

Day 4: Rock Art at the Cuevas Del Castillo near Puente Viesgo - On the way back from the caves you will be using some tracks that work their way down to the village of Quintanilla near the Puerto de Carrales.

Day 5: The Roman Ruins of La Olmeda - also tracks that cross the forests and fields near Herrera de Pisuerga. There is also a river crossing today of the Rio Ebro itself.

Day 6: Cuevas de los Franceses - A fantastic climb onto the plateau above Polientes before visiting the caves and waterfalls the near the village of Revilla.

Day 7: Saja Besaya - We have saved the best till last! This is an awesome day up in the mountain tracks, fabulous views with some challenging sections that you will enjoy. 

Day 8: After a leisurely breakfast the journey home begins with a gentle drive to Santander and the ferry across Biscay