Merindades – Burgos

Today we popped over to check out a new private AC Area we’d heard about in the north of Burgos, in the lovely Merindades – a really interesting area we’ve visited a lot and walked a lot in the past – there’s great info on the well marked walks in the area here.

The new AC Area is located in the town of Santelices, next to the old station of the never-run Santander-Mediterranean railway – a theme of our trip this weekend.  The station itself is now a youth hostel, dedicated to caving in the local area, but huge flat parking area outside it has been turned into the AC Area, with electricity, full water services, and as we understand, ongoing ideas of barbecues, picnic benches, showers etc.

After a quiet night, we had a wander round town the next morning, easy access from the area and a couple of bars (we heard good pizza in one of them).  We then walked west along the old path of the railway from the area to the nearby viaduct making the most of the morning sunshine.  If you walk east along the old tracks from the AC area, this is a Via Verde, a 6km cycling (or walking) track following the old line, taking you up to our next stop, the Tunel de la Engaña.

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Viaduct walk

The Tunel de la Engaña is one of the big attractions of the old railway, a now impassable 7km tunnel through the mountains connecting Cantabria and Burgos.  The Cantabria end above Vega de Pas we’ve visited before, and has tunnels to explore, this end in Burgos is bricked up and considerably more rural.  We had a quick visit to the tunnel entrance, before heading a bit further up the track to a picnic area we’d heard about, a lovely spot next to the river amongst the autumn leaves.  We managed to have a lovely lunch outside next to the river despite the lack of sun.

On the way back down we stopped at a ruined church that had caught our eye on the way up, the Iglesia de Rozas, an interesting ruin if a little dangerous overhead!

A great area to explore, and the new AC Area a great base to do it from – we’ll be back!