Saja-Nansa Region

Parque natural Saja-NansaWith its own personality

The Saja-Nansa region is characterised by its ecological value and diversity. Situated between the coast and the  sierras of Escudo de Cabuérniga, Barcena Mayor, Cordel and Peña Sagra, it includes the protected areas of the Oyambre Natural Park and the Reserva Nacional del Saja. The dominant sensation of the area is its guaranteed tranquility and an abundance of nature. The landscape is dominated by sinuous rock folding and steep reliefs. Ii includes Cabuérniga Nansa and its valleys, an area with its own personality within the region.






The Cantabrian coast has many clean and unspoilt beachesFrom the mountains to the coast

The coastal strip extending from Unquera to San Vicente de la Barquera is characterised by the relationship between the coastal environment and livestock farming. The estuaries of Tinamayor, Tinamenor and San Vicente allow the sea deep into the countryside, enriching the landscape and its customs. It is the most conserved part of the Cantabrian coast, with an important nature reserve at the Parque de Oyambre. Here are retained some of the most deeply rooted traditions of the land, such as the sport of oxen competing to pull heavy weights and the sea procession of 'La Folia'. It is an eco-tourist paradise being both rural and active, with an important historical and artistic heritage.





A diverse natureA diverse nature

The large forests of oak, beech and birch, provide an amazingly colourful spectacle, in the spring, summer and autumn especially. As for the fauna, one can see abundant deer, roe deer, boar and fox, with wolves and the occasional bear in the most remote and solitary areas. Among the birdlife to be seen are the vulture, grouse and golden eagles, but more easily spotted are the common hawks and doves. In the autumn, you can hear the mating calls of the male deer and the "pass" of cattle when they meet herds of vacas tudancas, the native species of the area, on their return from the high pastures. Extended meadows of dairy grazing land extend down to the sea, to some of the most extensive, solitary and beautiful beaches in the whole of Cantabria, such as Meron, Gerra or Oyambre. In the months of July and August these beaches get crowded but from May to July, the first days of the beach season, you can enjoy them virtually alone. The Parque Natural de Oyambre contains diverse ecosystems, from the dunes at Oyambre beach to the forest reserve of Monte Corona, passing through the La Rabia river, a refuge for waterfowl.


A typical village in Saja-Nansa natural parkCharming villages

In this area there are four towns that have been declared of historic or artistic significance, which are Tudanca, Carmona, the old town of San Vicente de la Barquera and Barcena Mayor, where all of the characteristic traditional architecture has been preserved. The fishing town of San Vicente de la Barquera, situated in a strategic location, has been populated for many Hundreds of years. It retains remnants from the early medieval period, such as the strong city walls and the main church, located in the highest place in the town and therefore easy to defend. It is also part of the 'Camino del Norte', the coastal road to Santiago de Compostela.

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