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The Picos De Europa

Tour Details

8 days
Best period:
Price from:
€ 545

The Picos de Europa: without a doubt the most impressive mountains in Spain. A paradise of flower-filled meadows among limestone spires, of rushing rivers and deep gorges, of quiet woods and tiny mountain villages. This is one of the most fascinating (and still largely undiscovered) mountainous destinations in Europe. Our 8-day trip, based in the lush green province of Asturias on the north side of the Picos, is designed to be a relaxing holiday in which you explore a variety of landscapes, doing easy or optionally more difficult day walks in the Eastern and Central Massifs. Optional ascent to the mountain refuge at the famous Picu Urriellu.

- Idyllic countryside, green pastures, mysterious woods, wide glacier valleys, clear streams and stunning limestone formations, including the impressive Picu Urriellu.
- Accommodation at pleasant family-run hotels in authentic Spanish villages in beautiful natural settings.
- Tasty regional cuisine made from the freshest local ingredients, including delicious Cabrales blue cheese and traditional sparkling apple cider.
- An itinerary that is easy to combine with extra nights on the beautiful Asturian coast or at city hotels in Bilbao, Oviedo or Gijón.

picos de europa self-guided walking in spainpicos de europa inn to inn hiking in spain


Day 1. Arrival in Arenas de Cabrales
Settle into your cozy hotel situated on a quiet lane of the village. If you have time, visit Santa Maria de Llas Church of Romanesque origin. For walking gear or special food items, Arenas is an excellent place to do your shopping. In the evening, try the local cider on an outdoor terrace.
Day 2. Circular Walk from Arenas
(9,5km; uphill/downhill walking: 650/650m; 5,30hrs)
Ascent to the summer meadows of Nava, situated 500m above the Cares River, with excellent views of the Picos. A strenuous but very rewarding walk, especially in early summer when the meadows display a multitude of brightly coloured flowers. Option of doing an alternative shorter walk to Vanu (Banu), through shady countryside at a lower elevation.
Day 3. From Arenas to Sotres
(9km; uphill/downhill hiking: 575/250m; 4hrs)
Short transfer to Tielve, one of the most authentic villages in this part of the Picos. Walk to Valfríu, where residents still produce the famous local blue cheese, Queso de Cabrales. Gradual ascent through a fairy-tale landscape of heather, old beech woods and streams to a col at 1240m, then down to Sotres (elevation 1050m), one of the highest villages in the Picos de Europa.
Day 4. Circular Walk from Sotres
(12,5km; uphill/downhill walking: 630/900m; 5hrs)
Circular walk through Ándara, the Eastern Massif, an area exploited by mining industries in the 19th century. A limestone landscape of sharp ridges, deep depressions and bottomless shafts. Brightly coloured alpine flora among the rocks. Good chance of seeing chamoix, vultures and different types of eagles. Several options to shorten or extend your walk.
Day 5. Ascent to Vega de Urriellu
(11km; uphill/downhill hiking: 450/700m; 4,30hrs)
Walk up into the Central Massif, reaching an elevation of 2000m at the foot of the imposing Picu Urriellu (mountain refuge here). Return by the same route.
Day 6. Ruta del Urogallo o Valle de Áliva
(14km; uphill/downhill walking: 950/1150m; 6,305hrs)
Through meadows and woods near the neighbouring village of Tresviso, where the very rare Urogallo, or local Capercaille, lives. OR Up to 1650m through a glacier valley surrounded by sheep, horses and cattle, and soaring vultures.
independent trekking in spain, picos de europaDay 7. From Sotres to Arenas de Cabrales
(12,5km; uphill/downhill hiking: 335/950m; 5,5hrs)
Leaving the village of Sotres behind, you start off along farming tracks up to Pandebano Col (at 1245m). Your descent follows an ancient footpath through natural meadows and low vegetation to Bulnes, a truly authentic mountain village accessible only on foot or (since 2001) by funicular railway. Ride the train down to Poncebos or extend the walk through an impressive gorge where vultures nest. Taxi transfer to your hotel in Arenas. If the weather is not the best or you wish to rest your knees, you can walk the famous Cares Gorge today. Return by public bus or taxi.
Day. 8 End of program
Departure from the Picos de Europa. Transfers to airports / stations can be booked in advance.

Group size: min 1 person

Single room supplement: 160 Euro
(solo travellers - please ask for price; triple rooms also available at reduced price)

The price includes:
All breakfasts; 4 dinners; Luggage transport on days 3 and 7 according to program; Transfers according to program (except optional funicular railway on day 7); 24-hour telephone assistance, just a phone call away; Detailed maps and route descriptions in English.

The price does not include:
Lunches (pack lunches can be ordered at the accommodations); Transport to first and from last accommodation; Travel insurance; Personal expenses such as drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.; Any items not specifically mentioned in the program.

Longer (12-day)  and shorter (3-day) options are also available. The hikes cover varied terrain following jeep tracks, wide paths, narrow footpaths and animal trails, with some steep ascents or descents. You will walk on gravel, loose rock, grass and dirt. When wet, paths may be muddy and slippery. Information on how to get to the starting point is available from the supplier of this tour. The supplier of this trip can book your flight ticket (ask for quotation).

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