La Arboleda: leisure centre forged in iron
Converted nowadays into a leisure and recreation space, La Arboleda was a mining town where iron was extracted and transferred to the blast furnaces in Sestao.
This old mining town extends over the Triano Mountains, in the upper side of the Trapaga Valley (Trapagaran in Basque), just 20 kilometres away from Bilbao. We recommend you to go up to the village on Larreineta cable car (1926) from where you can enjoy the spectacular views of the Abra Bay of Bilbao.
Nowadays, the old mines have been transformed into traditional reservoirs surrounded by a green environment, ideal for outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking, mountaining, biking, mountaineering or horseback riding. Enjoy La Arboleda with us!
If you would like to get to know the industrial past of the area and enjoy the natural environment, you can visit the Peñas Negras Interpretation Centre, at a walking distance of half a kilometre from La Arboleda.
Whether going up in the mythical Larreineta cable car or going by car, visiting La Arboleda is a perfect plan to do with family and/or friends. This environment has several recreational areas: football field, fronton, hostel and the Peñas Negras Environmental Interpretation Centre where you have at your disposal a series of different routes to discover our industrial past and enjoy both the natural environment and the remains of the strip mining.
In this outdoor leisure centre you will be able to appreciate the wild mining activity that took place in the area since immemorial times. On the banks of the raft of the old mining exploitation of Pozo de Los Carmenes are formed very characteristic shapes and reliefs by the flooding of the old mine when the groundwater outcrops. These rock needles and huge outcrops give this place a varied and spectacular chromatic range due to the rusting of the iron. As consequence, a landscape of chaotic beauty is formed.
This exploitation has left a poor soil, with a vegetation of degraded meadows and bushes. However, numerous species of native shrubs and trees have been planted in addition to the typical vegetation of the riverside next to the raft.
If you are a golf lover, in addition to enjoying the particular nature of the area, you can complete your visit by playing golf at Meaztegi Golf, located in La Arboleda and designed by the renowned golfer Severino Ballesteros. It has an 18-hole course with par 72 and more than 6 kilometres long and a 9-hole pitch&putt course.
La Arboleda is the most emblematic village left over from our industrial past in the Muskiz area. Founded in 1877, it maintains its ferrous character, reflected in the wooden houses of the workers, the mining unions and the grocery store.
A walk through the village of La Arboleda, the most emblematic village left over from our industrial heritage, and its surroundings will soon take you to our mining past
In La Arboleda you have to visit the raft El Ostión, next to the recreational area. Next to the Las Carmenes Well, the Blondies Mine is located and in the background, near the road, the Parkotxa raft can be found, an old metal washing place that has been converted into a pond and is now used as a fishing school.
The walk through La Arboleda can be done in just over an hour. The land where the Pikwik Mine used to be located has been transformed into grasslands with pines, inviting visitors to enjoy nature and calm. Protected by the wind, between the cracks, there are areas with tables and benches to have a picnic and observe the landscape.
The walk through La Arboleda can be done in just over an hour. The land where the Pikwik Mine used to be located has been transformed into pastureland with pine trees, inviting strolls and calm. Protected by the wind, between the crevices, there are areas with tables as well as benches to have a picnic and observe the landscape.
We recommend you to start the walk from the recreational area, bypassing La Arboleda along the steep road up to the cemetery. Before arriving, at the top, take the track on the right that continues along a steep hillside over the Oiola ravine. The track then, becomes a path until it reaches the Pikwik mine, surrounded by a wooden fence. You can see traces of iron ore in the crack walls. In this entangled land it is easy to come across grazing cows and horses.
How to get there
Getting to La Arboleda is simple. You should first head to Trapagaran, 13 kilometres away from Bilbao, both by public of private transport. It is highly recommended that you arrive to the village by funicular railway, for the fabulous views that can be seen from it and also for your own comfort.
Line C2 of the Renfe local train service has a stop at Urioste station, at a distance of twenty minute walk from La Escontrilla station. From this station you can take the funicular that leads to La Arboleda.
The Bizkaibus lines A3141 Cruces-Bagartza-Funicular de Trapagaran and the A3332 Trapagaran-Santurtzi stop near the funicular station.
From Bilbao you have to drive along the A-8 motorway towards Santander and then take the 127B exit. Once you leave the motorway, and after taking the exit at the first roundabout, you will have to continue along the BI-3739 until joining the BI-3755 and follow the Funicular Street until the Escontrilla Station from where the funicular is taken. If you prefer to continue the journey to La Arboleda by private transport, in Trapagaran you must leave the old BI-634 road at the crossroads between the Town Hall and the church. A winding road climbs up to Larreineta. If you continue forward, on the left, you will find the access to the recreational area of La Arboleda.
Where to eat
In the village, there are plenty of restaurants. If you would like to taste the typical gastronomy of La Arboleda, we recommend you to ask for a good plate of beans (alubias in Spanish). They are a delight and comfort the spirit in the winter months, especially when they are accompanied by their “sacramentos”: chorizo (spicy sausage), blood sausage or pork ribs.