The Natural Park of Saja Besaya is the largest in Cantabria. It is so large that its surface is distributed between the municipalities of Cabuérniga, Arenas de Iguña, Cieza, Los Tojos, Ruente and Hermandad de Campoo de Sudo. It has 24,500 hectares of landscape with untamed beauty that is characterized by the mountains and mountains of the autonomous community, being Peña Iján is the highest peak with an altitude of 2,084 metres.
On its slopes you will find the most beautiful forests full of oak, beech, holly and birch trees. But you will also get perfectly preserved pastures and crop fields.
Its fauna is so rich and so diverse that it has become one of its greatest treasures, so while you explore this National Park through guided routes you will have the privilege of seeing birds such as golden eagles and capercaillie; or vertebrates such as deer, Cantabrian brown bear and wild boar.
What to do and what to see in the Saja Besaya Natural Park?
Yes, it is true, this is one of the favourite destinations in Cantabria. And you can only go on a weekend trip if you want to. When you arrive, the first thing you should do is visit the Saja Besaya Natural Park Interpretation Centre located in the municipality of Los Tojos. There you will discover the scenic value of the area and what activities are available to make your visit the best experience of your life.
The short trekking routes are Ruta de los Puentes, Caminito Viejo del Morral, Ruta Bárcena Mayor-Alto de Fuentes, Ruta del Hayacorva and Ruta Mayor Ozcaba. All of them are of low difficulty, so they are ideal for families with children.
It also has a much longer route such as that of the Path of the Saja Reserve, which is a good alternative to get to know better this declared sanctuary. Natural Park in 1988, integrated in the Caza Saja National Reserve and considered one of the most ecologically and hydrographically valuable in Cantabria.
Now, if you are one of those who enjoy adrenaline, you will see in activities such as trekking, cycling, climbing and jogging a great opportunity to bring out your most extreme side.
The Saja Besaya Natural Park also has recreational places, ideal to take a break and take a couple of photos that will serve for the memory. They are Cabillas in Campoo – Cabuerniga, El Vaho and Prauco in Los Llares, Braña Castrillo in Bárcena Mayor or Casa del Monte in Ucieda.
Bárcena Mayor is the only town you will find in the National Park. It is located in Los Tojos. It was declared a Historic-Artistic Site in 1979 thanks to the beauty of its mountain architecture, which is why it has also become one of the most beautiful villages in Cantabria.
Where to eat?
After a long but entertaining tour, don’t waste any more time and look among the options for the best restaurant to eat delicious food near the Saja Besaya National Park. Here is our suggestion.
Mesón La Florida
It is a simple place but where you will eat the best of Cantabria. Try the mountain stew or the beans with venison and wild boar. They’re sure to leave you licking your fingers. In addition, it is a restaurant with an incredible service and a good atmosphere. It is located on the General road, in Saja.
La Solana de Bárcena Mayor
The cocido montañés and the fish soup are two of its specialities. Each of the dishes are prepared with great care to meet the needs and tastes of diners. It is a place to eat, enjoy and come back as many times as necessary. Find it in Calle Iglesias, 25, Bárcena Mayor.
Restaurant La Montañesa
Among its specialities is also the popular cocido montañés. You don’t even talk about the cheeks or the desserts. It stands out for its good price, excellent service and family atmosphere. It is one of the best options near the Saja Besaya Natural Park. It is in General Road, kilometer 48, Los Tojos.
Where to sleep?
Complete your travel itinerary to Parque Natural Saja Besaya including good places to sleep peacefully.
Posada El Arrabal
It is a traditional house with comfortable rooms and rustic decoration. Each has its own balcony and private bathroom with shower or bathtub. This accommodation site, located in Arenas de Iguña, features amenities such as flat-screen TV and free internet connection.
Path of Saja Besaya
If you visit the area and need a good place to stay, Sendero de Saja Besaya is an excellent alternative. It is a simple but super comfortable rural house, where you will find incredible rooms to spend as many nights as you need. It has gardens with terraces, river views, free Wi-Fi and bicycle rental service for hiking.
It is an elegant house ideal to receive your guests and offer them the best of your attentions. It is perfectly equipped with everything necessary to guarantee hospitality and comfort. Free parking, free Wi-Fi, outdoor pool and comfortable rooms are some of its services.
How to get there?
If you are in Santander and you want to get to the Saja Besaya Natural Park you can do it in different ways. If you choose train as a way of travel you will arrive to the town of Pajuyo, from there you will have to take a taxi to take you to your destination.
Your own car can also be a good alternative. The 72-kilometer road trip will take an average of 1 hour. Check the map or turn on the GPS so that the route is completed smoothly.