This summer we have mostly been doing zoos…
Karpin Abentura in the valley of Carranza, just over the border from Cantabria into Vizcaya, is somewhere between a safari park, a zoo and a sanctuary – not as ‘cagey’ as Santillana but without the vast acreage of Carbarceno – and it has a nice slant in that most of the animals there have been rescued. In fact its original function was primarily as a sanctuary for animals: unwanted exotic pets, hunting accidents, bankrupt ostrich farms etc and from there it has grown and grown.
The latest addition is Terrasauro and Gastornisland, a trip into the Jurassic period with huge true-to-scale dinosaurs and prehistoric animals lurking in amongst the woods, many of which are animated, giving some surprises along the way! Great fun for the kids and educational too.
And the park has a hidden extra – the views across the Carranza valley. These rolling green hills provide a beautiful backdrop to the whole experience.
Practicalities: Drive inland from Laredo and the turning for Carranza is a couple of kilometres before Ramales de Victoria on the N629. Just follow the main road through the valley until you see the signpost for the park, it’s just beyond Biañez