Saja-Besaya natural park


The Saja-Besaya natural park It is located in the central sector of Cantabria and has been classified as a Natural Park since 1988. Its name is due to the Saja and Besaya rivers, whose hydrographic basins comprise the limits of this park along with Monte Río Los Vados, at its northern end, and the Fuentes-Palombera and Sierra mountains. del Cordel, in the southern area.

This vast territory constitutes the natural reserve largest in the entire peninsula, in addition to being the habitat of a important fauna. The vegetation forest in this protected area is a magnificent sample of the Atlantic forests characteristic of humid Spain. Oak, beech, birch and holly trees make up important forests in areas such as Ucieda, Cieza, Los Llares and the headwaters of the Saja and Argoza rivers.


As regards the wildlife, species such as deer, roe deer, wild boar, and even some endangered species such as grouse and golden eagle, inhabit this vast territory. Occasionally, the brown bear roams the high areas of the Natural Park, although it no longer has a stable presence in it.


The landscapes of this protected area include, in addition to forests, large areas of meadows that are traditionally used to keep the cattle herd free. This form of exploitation is linked to the conservation of the Tudanca cow, an indigenous breed from Cantabria perfectly adapted to its environment.

Bárcena Mayor and Carmona

Many are the populations that stand out for some peculiarity: Grandmother Y Salceda for its picturesque churches, Lombraña Y Pumar Bridge for its beautiful houses or Overlapping Y The fountain for its beautiful Romanesque church and primitive sculptures.


Bárcena Mayor, is the only town located within the Natural Park and one of the jewels of the rural architecture Cantabrian, so in 1979 it was declared Historical-Artistic complex. Its closest natural environment is made up of extensive oak and beech forests.


Carmona, another of the architectural jewels of Cantabria, also declared Historical-Artistic complex for its typical mountain architecture. Traditionally dedicated to the cattle of the Tudanca breed and wooden crafts.

Wild Spain - Capítulo 43 - Parque Natural Saja-Besaya, Cantabria. (November 2022)


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