Mina de la Jayona

Useful Information

Location: Ctra. Fuente del Arco, Km. 7, 06980 Fuente del Arco.
Fuente del Arco, Sierra de la Jayona, Badajoz.
(38.120129, -5.928459)
Open: All year Tue-Sun 10, 14.
Online booking mandatory.
Fee: Adults EUR 2, Children (0-6) free.
Classification: MineIron Mine
Light: LightIncandescent Electric Light System
Dimension: A=700 m asl.
Guided tours: D=90 min.
Photography: allowed
Accessibility: no
Address: Mina de "La Jayona", Town hall of Fuente del Arco, Plaza de España, 11, 06810 Fuente del Arco (Badajoz), Tel: +34-667-756-600. E-mail:
As far as we know this information was accurate when it was published (see years in brackets), but may have changed since then.
Please check rates and details directly with the companies in question if you need more recent info.


1900 beginning of mining.
1905 cable car built for ore transport.
1921 mine abandoned.
23-SEP-1997 declared a Natural Monument.


The iron ore body is located in limestone. As a result karst processes like the formation of speleothems in the abandoned mine can be seen.


The Mina de la Jayona is a iron mine, located in a karst area. The iron ore was mined at the beginning of the 20th century, leaving huge open cast pit and excavated karst forms. Today it is protected and developed into a tourist destination by the Consejería de Medio Ambiente, Urbanismo y Turismo of the Junta de Extremadura. Visits are possible after appointment at the Ayuntamiento de Fuente del Arco (city council of Fuente del Arco). The visits include three levels, numbers two, three and four, of the eleven existing levels.

The iron ore forms a rather long and narrow deposit, obviously a crack which was filed with iron rich ores. The site was probably discovered in Roman times and first mined. The Marquis of Bogaraya sold the mine to the mining company Sociedad Minero Metalúrgica de Peñarroya. But it seems there were numerous irregularities and frauds in the declaration of the quantity and quality of the extracted iron. Finally, the state intervened.

But the mine was finally opened in 1900 and more than 400 miners, with the help of pickaxes, shovels and dynamite, advanced deep into the ore body. In the first years the ore was transported to the Fuente del Arco smelter with donkeys. In 1905 a cable car was built for the ore transport. During more than 20 years of operation, 270,000 tons of ore were extracted. It was abandoned for various reasons, like decline in demand and subsequent social conflicts.

Today the site is protected as a Natural Monument which seems rather strange. Its industrial heritage, or probably a technical monument. But the huge open cast, due to the higher humidity and lower temperature inside the mine, has vegetation characteristic of wetlands. There are ferns, climbing plants, fig trees, and mosses, a massive contrast to typical Mediterranean vegetation outside. As a result, colonies of rock-dwelling birds nest on the cliffs, there are insects, reptiles, small mammals and bats of different species. Notable is a colony of horseshoe bats.

The mine visit show three different levels which are entered at different entrances. Each levele is mostly horizontal. The Level 2 is 230 m long and ends in the Sala de las Columnas (hall of columns). It is mostly lit by sunlight from above, and one of the main features are the birds. There is also a fault plane and some remaining rests of the orebody with minerals. Level 3 is 160 m long and level 4 297 m.