Cuevas del Águila, underground wonder

The caves They are fantastic places that to many ancient peoples seemed like entrances to the underworld. Far from magic, they are undoubtedly wonders of the geology and history of our planet. Spain has many examples and one is the Eagle Caves.

These fantastic caves are in Castilla y León and they are a great visit for those who visit the province of Ávila.

Eagle Caves

According to the geology, caves are formed by erosion, of many possible types or by the combination of several factors. There are many caves that are formed in limestone terrain, a terrain very permeable to water, for example. There are also caves of all sizes, from very small and humid to true underground palaces.

The Águila Caves are located in Ramacastañas, in the Tiétar Valley, province of Ávila. They are on a hill of dolomite rocks that formed on a carbonate marine platform more than 500 million years ago. These types of rocks are very soluble, susceptible to water erosion.

In this case, the constant passage of underground water, the now called Arenas and Avellaneda rivers, gave way to the formation of cavities of different sizes and later, as there were rock collapses, the largest cavities were formed.

They were discovered in 1963 by five children They were surprised to see a mist emerge from a hole in the ground. Adventurers, they, with the help of ropes and flashlights, went through a hole just over half a meter in diameter until they reached the cave. They walked for several hours without being able to leave until God helped them and they found the exit - entry again.

A year later, in 1964, the cave opened to the public and made known his wonders. Geologists who have studied it say that was formed about 12 million years ago. It is a show of chambers, stalagmites, hanging curtains and stalactites. The caves are really wonderful because they break a bit with what is usual in the caves of the Iberian Peninsula, which tend to be much more monotonous and not so varied in terms of landscapes.

It is that the Cuevas del Águila there are columns and spelethic flows, stalactites, stalagmites, needles, shields, amthodites and moonmilk. That is to say, a growth of very diverse forms that is the result of the peculiar microclimate of the depths.

Today the temperature inside the caves is more stable, between 15 and 16 ºC with absolute humidity, that is to say 100%. External changes have not been indifferent to him, so in the last three decades, specialists have registered a variation of two degrees.

Visit the Eagle Caves

As we said above, the caves are inside a hill, the Cerro de Romperropas, which is also known as the Cerro del Águila. Hence the name. The limestone soil that is responsible for the formation of cavities is hidden under the holm oak forests.

From the city of Madrid there are about 170 kilometers that are done, by car, in an hour and a half more or less. You take the A-5 motorway towards Badajoz, taking exit 123, Talavera de la Reina height, to then continue on the N-502 to Ramacastañas.

The visit of the caves is with the help of a guide and you reach its entrance on foot. The guide provides information about the geological formation of the caves, their singularities and their fortuitous discovery in the XNUMXth century.

The caves they are open to the public every day of the year and they are almost completely visitable. They have one depth of 50 meters and there is a fantastic route of one hundred meters which is done in approximately 40 minutes walking. It must be said that the road is paved, except for some unevenness that has stairs, so it is possible to circulate with children's cars. There is also lighting that highlights the rock formations.

It is advisable to wear a light coat and very comfortable shoes with some traction, due to wet floors. The entrance costs 8 euros and you can buy them online. For children under 5 years it is free and if you buy them and in the end you cannot use them for that day you can show up the next day they let you pass.

Practical information to visit the Cuevas del Águila:

  • Hours: in spring and summer the caves open in the morning from 10:20 am to 1 pm, and in the afternoons from 3 to 7 pm. In autumn / winter it opens from 10:30 am to 1 pm and from 3 to 7 pm.
  • You buy the ticket online, if you want, but you have to validate it at the box office, yes or yes. When purchasing online you have the calendar to be able to choose the date of your visit.
  • You can drive to a large parking lot that has been set up for cars, motorhomes and buses. Next door is a restaurant and cave souvenir shop. Then, on foot, you climb a ladder to where the ticket office is located.

Finally, since you are around here these lands have other charms that you can add to the visit because the Tiétar Valley is beautiful. The valley is within the Sierra de Gredos Regional Park, land that Unamuno called the "stone heart of Spain." You can do a lot around here Hiking to get to know lagoons, gorges or the peak of Almanzor, which is more than 2.500 meters high. There are many routes that can be tracked.

Also the area offers many activities of turismo rural because the valley has monasteries, palaces and castles very old. Also, if you like the Mountain biking there is a center BTT Bajo Tietar, with a very convenient route map, and different places to learn more about the local nature. A landscape like this is very good to know on horseback so the equestrian excursions they are at the time of day.

If you add to this that the climate is very good almost all year round, it must be said that these lands of Castilla y León are a great destination.

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