Visit Arnao Mine: Guided Tour to Europe’s First Submarine Coal Mine

5 Hours

This tour brings you to the Arnao mine, Europe’s first submarine mine. Submerge yourself in the original mine shaft and visit the nearby village of Arnao with us. And enjoy a delicious fresh seafood lunch!

Arnao Mine Museum

The Arnao mine is Spain’s first coal mine. Its exploitation goes all the way back to 1591. The galleries are excavated under the sea, making it Europe’s first submarine mine. The innovative techniques to extract coal invented in Arnao were an example for many other mines in Asturias. You start your guided tour with a visit to the Arnao Mine Museum where you learn everything about these innovations.

Visit Arnao Mine

Then, you descent 20 meters into Asturias’ oldest vertical mine shaft to visit the mining galleries. A local guide tells you everything you want to know about Arnao mine. We translate this for you. At the end of your visit you know many facts and anecdotes about how it was to work in the mine. For example, about the involvement of 12-years-old boys and the use of “Eleonore”, Spain’s first steam locomotive. And about the use of mules that went blind from being in the mine day and night as well as the presence of goblins that made the miners work harder…

Arnao Village

After a surprising exit of the mine, you take a stroll on Arnao’s beach with its many fossils. Then, you visit Arnao village. This village was especially built for the mine workers and therefore an exemplary ‘workers village’ for the rest of Spain. See the typical worker houses, the abandoned house of the director and the interesting school yard with us! You end the tour with a delicious sea food lunch in a local restaurant.

This is a proposed itinerary using your own transportation to visit Arnao Mine. All our tours can be customized according to your wishes. Please get in touch with us at for more information about our customized tours.

We’ll start this tour from your accommodation in Oviedo, Gijon or Aviles (other locations are possible in consultation). From there we’ll drive to Arnao via Aviles. You stop in “Salinas”, Aviles’ beachfront, where you can discover the first signs of the mine with an old rail tunnel and locomotive. Here you can also enjoy the views on one of Asturias’ top surf destinations. You also get to know the open-air “Anchor-museum”. If you want, we can also include a visit to the center of Aviles and/or a visit to the Niemeyer center. In Arnao, we’ll guide you through the Mining Museum and accompany you during a guided visit in the mines’ submarine galleries. A local Spanish guide leads the visit which we translate for you. Then, you take a stroll through Arnao village with us. We show you the former worker houses, the director’s house overseeing the village and the school where all the children from the miners went to. You also get to see the current industrial activities in this area. The tour ends with a fresh seafood lunch (of course, there are other options as well) in a local restaurant in Arnao or Piedras Blancas. On the way back, we have the option to visit the oldest church of the area “San Martin de Laspra”. It is located on a hilltop with great views over the area. Finally, you are brought back to your accommodation with lots of new knowledge and memories!


The trip cost includes

  • Private guide during your whole tour
  • Entrance to the Arnao museum and mine, including a guided visit into the submerged galleries
  • Insurances

The trip cost excludes

  • Transportation (private transportation can be arranged at additional costs)
  • Lunch in a local restaurant (between 15 and 40 euros, depending on your choice)
  • Additional expenses (food, souvenirs)


Is this tour suitable for children?

The tour is suitable for children. However, bear in mind that you will visit the original mine, which can be frightening for some (young) kids. If necessary, we can therefore try to arrange the tour in such a way, that the adults can visit the mine, while the children stay in the visitor center or at the nearby beach.

I do not have my own transportation. Can I still do the tour?

Yes! Please send us a message at and we’ll inform you about the possibilities to arrange for a private vehicle and driver.

I am not able to join this tour on the selected dates. Is there a possibility to select another date?

Yes! Contact us at, tell us about your preferred dates and we will do our best to meet your preferences!

How do I book this tour?

You can book this tour via the menu on the upper right side of the screen. Click ‘check availability’, select a tour date and fill in the number of adult travelers. Then click ‘book now’. A new screen opens which indicates the final price (including group discount if applicable). You can then pay for the tour via our online payment system ‘stripe’ or via Paypal express. You will receive a confirmation email. Please check your ‘junk’ or ‘spam’ email box since sometimes, our confirmation email ends up there. A few days before the tour, you will receive an email with the last information (where to meet, what to bring etc.).

I am no longer able to participate in this tour. How do I cancel it?

The possibility to cancel a tour depends on the reasons and timing. For more information, please check ‘Cancellation Policy’ under the Terms and Conditions on this website.

Overall Trip Rating:
- Based on 2 travel reviews
Very Good
  1. Highler level experience
    By Barbara & Jim
    from United States
    October 15, 2019
    “Jim and I want to Thank You again for the amazing day in Asturias. You made the experience a life long memory for us. You thought of everything in your preparation. Having a printed itinerary to take with us took our experience to an entirely higher level”.
    Date of Experience: October 18, 2019
  2. Spectacular Asturias - finding my roots, from the ocean cliffs to the depths of a mine!
    By Psteiner
    from United States
    May 18, 2023
    Debora gave us a custom tour of Asturias to visit the town of my Grandfather in Arnao- we visited the church where he was baptized San Martin de Laspra on the Camino Norte and then to Santa Maria Del Mar to the church his parents were married in overlooking the ocean. We feasted on an Asturian Lunch of Cachopo and Torta de abuela with local cider. The highlights were the museum of anchors on the coast, Elenore the steam train that transported coal from the mine and the tour into the Submarine Mine at Arnao. She is a lovely knowledgeable guide that went above and beyond and has my highest recommendation!
    Date of Experience: May 18, 2023

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Visit Arnao Mine: Guided Tour to Europe’s First Submarine Coal Mine
Group Discount Available
From € 38
/ Adult
From € 17
/ Child
  • 5 hours
  • 11 am - 4 pm
  • 2-8 persons
  • Own transportation (private transportation can be arranged)
  • Gijon (including cruise ship port), Aviles (including cruise ship port), Oviedo. Other locations also possible.
  • English (fluent), Dutch (fluent), Spanish (Conversational)
  • All year round
  • 5