Karrantza: Geographic situation

Karrantza Valley The Karrantza Valley, located in the western-most part of the region of Encartaciones–Enkarterriak and with 137.87 km2, is the biggest municipality in extension of the Basque province of Bizkaia.


The Valley is subdivided into 49 districts which are grouped into 16 parishes: Ahedo, Aldeacueva, Bernales, Biañez, La Calera del Prado, Lanzas Agudas, Matienzo, Pando, Presa, Ranero, San Ciprian, San Esteban, Sangrices, Santecilla, Sierra and Soscaño. The district of Concha, in the middle of the Valley, is the administrative centre of the municipality.

The geographical limits of the whole Valley are: to the north, the Valley is the Cantabrean municipality of Rasines; to the east for the most part, the Cantabrean enclave of Villaverde Valley and the municipalities of Trucios-Turtzioz and Artzentales in Bizkaia; to the south, municipalities of Mena and Aguera de Montija in Burgos; and to the west the town of Lanestosa in Bizkaia and los Cantabrean municipalities of Soba and Ramales de la Victoria.

The Valley is a highly mountainous area, encircled by mountain chains of high and rugged summits. To the south, the Ordunte and the Mesada mountain ranges with altitudes of over 1,000 m, and such summits as Zalama (1,335 m), one of the highest in Bizkaia, stand out along with those of La Maza de Gumadernia (1,198 m), El Fraile (1,104 m), La Maza de Pando (1,018 m) and Burgueño (1,037 m).

Geographical area

Heading northwest from the Zalama, one finds the summits of Mt. Grande (1,108 m), Mt. Salduero (1,121 m), Mt. Peñalta (1,140 m) and Saltipiñia (1,054 m) in the Mesada mountain range. The south-western point is dominated by the Uba mountain range, where we find the summit of Mt. Cotobasero (824 m).

To the east of the Valley are the Escrita and Fuentefria mountain ranges, where Mt. Armañon (855 m) stands prominently. The hill range continues from there up to Peñas de Ranero, in the north of the valley, which proadly boasts Carlista Peak (737 m).

To the west one finds the summits of Mt. el Mazo (720 m) and Mt. el Moro (829 m).

It is within this unique setting, where numerous streams flow down steep, narrow gullies, marked by a multitude of tiny springs which give birth to the Mayor and Calera Rivers, the Valley’s two biggest rivers, bringing water to the lands of Karrantza.

  • The fauna of Karrantza
  • The flora of Karrantza