A journey through the Encartaciones: Crossroads

Route Description

Route: Muskiz, Sopuerta, Balmaseda, Zalla, Güeñes.

Route map

The natural setting has managed to safeguard the treasures in this area.

Bordering with Burgos, Alava and Cantabria, Las Encartaciones has been a crossroads for centuries. The rich history of the region has left a diverse cultural legacy.

Here we find roads that cross valleys and rivers and lead to caves, fields and iron mines. These highly prized mines once fed ironworks such as Bolumburu and, even more importantly, Pobal, where even today the machinery is started up to show visitors how iron was crafted in bygone years.

The museum of the Casa de Juntas (Assembly House) of Avellaneda in the town of Sopuerta occupies a sizeable Renaissance style building. This is the place where debates took place on matters affecting the chartered towns, or "encartaciones", and where visitors can learn about local history and customs.

Balmaseda, capital of Las Encartaciones, still boasts magnificent palatial homes, squares, churches and monasteries that once provided protection and sanctuary for merchants, adventurers and pilgrims.

How to get to Muskiz:
Map of Euskal Herria
From Vitoria:
85 Kms.
N-622, E-5/AP-68 y E-70/A-8
From Bilbao:
24 Kms.
From Donostia:
118 Kms.
From Pamplona:
174 Kms.
A-15, N-240A, E-5/N1, N-622, E-5/AP-68 y E-70/A-8