Travel and living

The Experience of Climbing in the Fuente Dé in Cantabria

One of the big attractions for me when traveling around the world has always been Cantabria. Cantabria is the combination of mountain and coastal landscapes which favor really enjoyable scenes, especially when from a beautiful coastal town you frame it with a background of high snowy peaks. For this, the most suitable place is definitely in the Picos de Europa. In particular, in the Valley of Liébana. It is in this eastern area precisely where you can enjoy the most beautiful mountain scenery in Cantabria and the ideal is Fuente Dé where you can find a spectacular cable car. The attractiveness of the experience of climbing in the Fuente Dé cable is attested by the thousands of visitors each year, especially in holiday season.

Cantabria Cable
Cantabria Cable

On my recent trip to Cantabria I had the opportunity to relive this experience that the truth is, is not suitable for everyone as some people are thrown back by the sensation of vertigo they can have. The cable car is located at the end point of that Liébana Valley after passing Potes, surely the most significant town. To reach Fuente from the coast after passing San Vicente de la Barquera in Unquera take the road that runs along the river Deva inland. You are entering Liébana Valley which can bring some surprises for its microclimate. That happened to me in my last visit. When arriving from Santander along the coast it was completely covered and raining steadily but after crossing the narrow gorge of La Hermida and spa we met a beautiful day where the sky was almost completely clear. Really amazing!

The Cable of Fuent De
The Cable of Fuente De

Fuente Dé is a glacial mountain cirque which was formed during the last Ice Age when it was accumulating snow and ice on top of the mountains and finally from the current area of the cable station rushed an icefall creating the circus with vertical walls up to 800 meters and a glacier tongue making its way through the valley. Regarding the Fuente Dé cable, its origin is the mines in the late nineteenth century in those mountains which led to a mining company in 1903 to install a cable to carry to the foot of the mountains the materials extracted in the upper zone. The cable for public use was opened in 1966 and in less than four minutes overcomes a height difference of 753 meters between Fuente Station, located at 1070 meters altitude and the Cable at 1823 meters. The cabins can accommodate up to 20 people and there are two ups and downs simultaneously.

Panoramic View of Fuente De
Panoramic View of Fuente De

For the configuration of mountain cirque during the ascent you do not get to have the feel of your actual speed which only notes when you run into the other cabin. At the end you will have traveled 1450 meters in length. Once up, you must go to the spectacular viewpoint that forms an iron platform pop out and with its soil depth allows you to see the valley, giving you the sensation of flying over the valley, not a pleasant sensation for everyone! If you are fond of hiking, we recommend you to complete your day’s sightseeing in Fuente with several options that we propose. If you plan to walk down the mountain and then back down in the cable car an alternative is to reach the shelter of Aliva hotel and then return to the station. This walk will take about two hours. Or if you prefer, from the path Aliva ports which is the name you will go down trails and then after a wide track to Fuente Dé. This hiking trail with low difficulty of 14.5 miles will take you from season to season just over four hours. But if you want to make a more demanding route you should try Horcados Route Red which is 11 kilometers long and in four hours takes you through the nearby mountains through rocky and steep trails with medium difficulty.

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