Stage 6

The Añana salt flats, a place to be discovered

Scroll down

What to do > Cultural heritage > The Añana salt flats, a place to be discovered

The Añana salt flats

An old Roman villa and one of the most unique landscapes of your travels through the Basque Country. Why? Because nothing will prepare you for seeing a ravine excavated by human hands, covered by a complex system of wooden channels and terraces for the singular purpose of extracting an edible mineral that was considered “white gold” for centuries: salt.

The Añana salt mines – which give the place its name ‘valle salado’ – have roots that stretch back 6000 years in time, having been in continuous operation practically up to the present day.

In 2019, the Añana salt mines were recognised as an Anchor Point for the European Route of Industrial Heritage (ERIH). This recognition is the most important distinction in terms of industrial heritage tourism, and is granted to resources that are noteworthy due to their historical, cultural, and technical importance.

Now is the time to appreciate the wonder of a mining operation that came to cover a surface area of more than ten hectares (ten football pitches). The reason why salt water springs emerge from the mountain has nothing to do with magic (they are filtered through sediment), but what is truly amazing is mankind’s effort to extract as much salt from this brine as possible. Take some extra time in Añana and soak up the fascinating guided tours and tastings.

The Añana salt flats are a unique place worth visiting. It is a place where you can learn about the history, culture and tradition of salt in our region.

The Añana salt flats offer you a unique experience. You can explore the salt flats valley, learn about the different salt production processes and about the history of this area. The visit to the salt flats is carried out in guided groups and lasts approximately one hour.

During your visit you will be able to see the evaporation ponds, the spring salt flats and the crystallisation ponds. You will also learn about the history of the salt flats through an audiovisual presentation and a visit to the Salt House.

During your visit to the Añana Salt Flats, don’t miss the salt tasting sessions, where you will learn about the tradition of salt through a tasting session. In these tastings, you will learn to distinguish the different types of salt produced in the salt flats, and to appreciate their different flavours and aromas. Salt tastings are conducted in small groups and last approximately one hour.

Further information and bookings