High in the Sierra de los Filabres, above the village of Serón, in Almeria province, Almeria is an abandoned town, La Menas
Autumn colours Las Menas
High in the Sierra de los Filabres, above the village of Serón, is an abandoned town, La Menas. Built by English, Dutch and Belgian companies in the early 20th century, Las Menas housed the workers and their families that worked at the iron ore mines, the remains of which are scattered in two connecting valleys. This circular walk of 6.6 kms is a fascinating stroll through the abandoned workings and town and takes you through some beautiful countryside as well. It is well marked with posts.
Ore processing Las Menas
Start at the car park at Las Menas. Part of the abandoned town is below in the valley. Adjacent to the car park is a camping ground (closed in 2020) and a restaurant, Mesón Las Menas. Walk back up the road (south) a couple of hundred metres until you reach a hairpin bend and a good track leading off to the left.
Stone bridge Las Menas
Take this track into the pine woods. It soon becomes a rougher path that drops down to the bottom of the Barranco Las Minas and then loops up the far side. At the top of this path turn sharp left into what appears to be an area where quarrying had taken place. There are a number of adits in the hillside, some with the concrete arched beams still supporting the roof.
Iron bridge Las Menas
You should now be walking north on a decent track, sometimes traversing an open hillside, sometimes in the pinewoods. You have a great view of part of the abandoned village down in the valley to your left. After about 2 kilometres the path descends to the Ermita Santa Barbara de Seron. Here you cross the tarmac road. Keep your eyes open for the green and white stripes on the marker post that denotes the start of the next section of the walk on the opposite side of the road.
Hermita Santa Barbara Seron
This next section is upstream, west, along the Barranco de Bolonor. The whole character of this barranco is different. A mix of pines and deciduous trees provided autumn colour (October 11th), almost like the Lake District in the UK. The ruined houses of the mining families are all around, one has been renovated but the remainder, along with their allotments, are gradually eroding back into the earth.
Autumn colours Las Menas
At the head of this barranco the path crosses the (dry) streambed and makes its way east and then up the side of the valley towards a line of buildings. The first block was accommodation for mine workers, the second was the Guardia Civil headquarters. Notice the emblem on the gable end.
At the main road, turn right and cross over to regain a track that descends into the Barranco de las Menas. Notice the ruins on the left. When the mines were in full production, a combination of narrow gauge railway and an aerial runway took the ore down to Estación Serón, the iron girder bridge here is part of that system. Cross the barranco using the stone bridge and follow the narrow path up the side of the barranco. You pass a number of open adits and then cross another bridge to walk back through the roofless workshops, engine rooms and houses that must have made a bustling community until the place was abandoned in the 1960s.
The path takes you back up to the road near the carpark from which you started.