Walking the Picos de Europa

Walking the Picos de Europa

Start: Arenas de Cabrales Finish: Arenas de Cabrales

Visiting: Las Arenas, Western UNION, Pandebono Valluno En Casa, Pandebono Delivery, Peña de Francia, Covadonga, Picos de Europa


Duration: 7 Nights

Physical rating: Moderate

Special diets catered: Please inform Exodus of specific dietary requirements

Tour code: TSQ

Tour operator: Exodus

Group size: 4 - 16

Age range: 16 to 99

Tour operated in: English


From: $1511 $1481

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Tour Overview

Spain's third-highest mountain range, the Picos de Europa is a region of dramatic limestone peaks and lush valleys. Carpeted in beautiful wildflowers in spring, this area is also known as 'Green Spain'. Its terrain, tranquillity and inaccessibility make the Picos a walker's paradise. Chamois, Griffon vultures, Golden eagles and many other species are regularly seen, and, although more rarely spotted, bears, wolves and boars still survive in this incredible wilderness. We base ourselves at the friendly, family-run Hotel Torrecerredo, positioned in the heart of the region and offering breathtaking panoramas of the highest peaks from its welcoming bar and restaurant.  

Highlights

  • iconTraditional mountain villages in the valleys of Green Spain
  • iconDiverse walks in Spain's oldest national park
  • iconFamily-run hotel with stunning panoramic views
  • iconIncredible wildlife including Chamois, Golden eagles and Griffon vultures

Places You'll See

Walking the Picos de Europa
Walking the Picos de Europa
Walking the Picos de Europa
Walking the Picos de Europa
Walking the Picos de Europa
Walking the Picos de Europa
Walking the Picos de Europa
Walking the Picos de Europa

Itinerary

icon Day 1 : Start Arenas de Cabrales.

Location: Las Arenas

Meals: Dinner

The trip starts in Arenas de Cabrales this afternoon. Those on the group
flights will be met at Bilbao Airport and transferred to our hotel, which has
views up to the highest peak in the national park.
**

icon Day 2 : Visit the Arenas de Cabrales valley; pastures of Vanu and spectacular views- Moderate departure (level 3)

Location: Las Arenas

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

The walk begins directly from our hotel. After leaving the village, a path
leads us up to the pastures of Vanu with the most famous peaks of Picos de
Europa visible on sunny days.

We continue onwards where the scenery changes and we are able to view across
the main valley of Cabrales. During Spring time, it is possible to see a
large variety of flowers. Looking skywards it is also possible to spot some
vultures soaring above.

For lunch we will approach the village of Inguanzo before completing the
final part of the walk. This section of the walk is more undulating and
provides us with fresh views and a comfortable last mile takes us back to
Arenas de Cabrales.

Most of this first day’s walk follows wide easy tracks for warming up with
some steep ascents. There is only a short section of downhill walking during
today's walk.

Walking approx. 16km/ 10 miles; duration 7 hours; ascent +730m; descent
-730m. Highest point (Los Fresnos col): 720m.

icon Day 3 : Ascent to Pandescura peak with superb views of the Western Massif- Moderate departure (level 3)

Location: Western UNION

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

A short transfer takes us to the village of Canales. The first part of the
day follows farm tracks before a short climb up to the 'Collado de los
Buitres'. If you are lucky you may see Griffon vultures soaring above. We
then follow open terrain, slowly ascending to the base of the Pandescura
peak. A simple ascent to the top will lead us to an ideal lunch spot with
superb views of the Western massif peaks. We then descend through green hills
to the village of Bovia.

Walking approx. 14km/ 9 miles; duration 6 hours; ascent +550m; descent -580m.
Highest point (Pandescura peak): 1000m.

icon Day 4 : Classic Cares Gorge walk, one of the most popular walks in Spain- Moderate departure (level 3)

Location: Pandebono Valluno En Casa

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

The classic Cares Gorge has been described as the jewel in the crown of
Spanish hiking. For 12 km, the engineered path has been blasted into the rock
face. Originally built in the 1940s as part of a hydroelectric scheme, it is
now one of the most popular walks in Spain. In places, the surrounding peaks
rise over two thousands metres above the path and if we're lucky, we may
catch a glimpse of the rare and beautiful wall creeper bird. The path
eventually emerges in the village of Cain, where we have lunch before our
return along the same path to Puente Poncebos. Transport will be waiting here
to take us to back to our hotel in Arenas. The walk is relatively flat with a
gradual ascent of just 350m from Puente Poncebos to Cain.

Walking approx. 24km/ 15 miles; duration 7 hours; ascent +550m; descent
-550m. Highest point (Los Collaos): 510m

icon Day 5 : Free day. Optional activities include caving, self-guided canoeing, canyoning or a trip to the coast- Moderate (level 3) & Challenging (level 5) departures

Location: Pandebono Delivery

Meals: Breakfast

Today is free for you to visit the coast or try a spot of caving, self-guided
canoeing or canyoning. Our local staff will be able to help organise any of
these activities.

icon Day 6 : Summit of Peña Main, one of the classic viewpoints of the Picos; continue on to Pandebano Col- Moderate departure (level 3)

Location: Peña de Francia

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Starting close to the village of Tieve, we walk up into the Main range and
summit Peña Main, one of the classic viewpoint in the Picos. We walk to
Pandebano Col and then begin our descent.

Walking approx. 11km/ 7 miles; duration 7 hours; ascent +1050m; descent
-740m. Highest point (Cabeza La Mesa): 1612m

icon Day 7 : Walk up to the twin summits of Mancondiu offering fantastic views of the Central and Eastern Massifs- Moderate departure (level 3)

Location: Covadonga

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

At 2000m, the twin summits of Mancondiu are the highest point we reach during
the week. Most of the walking apart from the last 200m is on disused mining
tracks. The top offers fantastic views of the Central and Eastern Massifs and
is a fantastic end to a diverse week of walking.

Walking approx. 11km/ 7 miles ; duration 5 hours; ascent +735m; descent
-735m. Highest point: Macondiu peak 2000m

icon Day 8 : End Arenas de Cabrales.

Location: Las Arenas

Meals: Breakfast

The trip ends in Arenas de Cabrales this morning.
**

What's Included

  • icon
    Transfer for group flights 

  • icon
    All accommodation

  • icon
    All breakfasts, 5 picnic lunches and 6 dinners included

What's Not Included

  • icon
    Visas & Vaccinations

  • icon
    Travel insurance

  • icon
    Single supplement

Food

All breakfasts, 5 picnic lunches and 6 dinners are included. The region has several delicious specialities for you to try while you are staying here. The area is famous for its gold-medal-winning blue cheese, Queso Cabrales, which is matured in some of the thousands of deep limestone caves that dot the hills. Lesser known, but equally appealing is the local lamb Cordero al la Menta and a wholesome bean stew, Fabada Asturiana. Fresh fish comes from the coast at Llanes and Ribadesella, half an hour's drive away. The local wine is very drinkable, though a glass of local cider can be more refreshing. *Breakfast:* Fruit juice, tea, freshly ground coffee, cereals, bread, cold meats, cheeses and a selection of local fruit (depending on season) offered buffet-style. There are also eggs cooked to order, sponge and Anis cake. *Lunch:* Generally includes a large bread roll, with a choice of fillings daily, chocolates and fresh fruit. *Dinner:* Homemade four-course meal usually consists of soup or salad for the first course, a choice of 3 main courses, with meat, fish, or vegetarian, followed by a homemade dessert. *Wine:* To accompany the evening meal, the hotel has a reasonably comprehensive wine list available. Over the years, the hotel has developed tasty vegetarian alternatives. Please let us know in advance if you are vegetarian or have any other special dietary requirements.

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Got a question? Check out our Q&As

Ask A Question
Are vaccinations required for this tour?

There are no specific health risks.

Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?

Yes

Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

16+ Age people can go on this tour.

Are airport transfers included in this tour?

Transfer for group flights

Reviews

Read all 100 reviews
Mountains, woodland, meadows
I was surprised how green "Green Spain" is. On landing I thought it looked more like Austria, and this resemblance persisted. It had been rainy before we went ....more I was surprised how green "Green Spain" is.

On landing I thought it looked more like Austria, and this resemblance persisted.

It had been rainy before we went and the woodland paths were quite muddy.

There are brown cows with cow bells (very docile) and a lot of goats (very friendly).

Our week was hot and humid so on the last day we set off at 8am instead of the normal 9am.

The area is very peaceful, but there are few way-marked trails so it was useful to have a guide.

On the free day we chose to go to the coast.

The beach at Poo (yes it is called Poo) is stunning - lovely soft golden sand and restaurants overlooking the beach.

We were less impressed with Llanes - it is OK and the icecreams from the van the group are picked up at are superb (and huge! - save room for one) but given how nice the beach at Poo is we would probably spend more time there if it is a nice day.

The hotel has a nice garden to sit out in with stunning views of the mountains (sometimes hidden in mist, sometimes clear against blue sky).

The hotel staff are very organised.

The bar is a nice place to hang out after walks or before dinner.

The food is very tasty.

There is a small appetiser, a soup, a main and a pudding.

Our only thought to improve this would be more vegetables with some of the main courses (e.

g.

the pork is the best ever - it is so tender - but it was served up with just one carrot along with Dauphinoise potatoes).

Cutting out the appetisers would save a lot of work serving and washing up for what is a small thing.

The beef curry bomb was very popular with the group - highly recommended! The prawn curry was a bit too fancy with a couple of whole prawns and my husband would have preferred a proper big bowl of prawn curry and rice rather than have to mess about dissecting his dinner.

The hake with little clams on the last day was excellent.

Every meal was very tasty and well cooked.

; ....less
A Fabulous week in the Picos De Europa
Excellent holiday in a beautiful area for walking. The walks were well organised and gave us a great introduction to the area. Importantly, the accommodation, the staff and particularly the ....more Excellent holiday in a beautiful area for walking.

The walks were well organised and gave us a great introduction to the area.

Importantly, the accommodation, the staff and particularly the food was outstanding.

I thoroughly recommend this holiday.

; ....less
Picos de Europs - Stunning Scenery
This was a week in the hills that I will never forget! The scenery was absolutely stunning - every day different - and we got marvellous views on all the ....more This was a week in the hills that I will never forget! The scenery was absolutely stunning - every day different - and we got marvellous views on all the walks, which were all very enjoyable.

Our hotel was a great base - it is billed as the one star hotel with five star views, but I would add to that and say that it also provides five star food and five star hospitality.

In addition, the town of Arenas de Cabrales is very nice to wander round, not too big but still a good selection of shops, bars and restaurants.

All in all, a great experience and one I would consider repeating in a few years time (I have never had a bad Exodus holiday but this one was particularly enjoyable).

; ....less
Picos de Europa Hiking holiday
This was a lovely holiday- an excellent, short escape to a part of Spain that I was curious about. Cantabria and Asturia- the Spanish regions where the Picos are ....more This was a lovely holiday- an excellent, short escape to a part of Spain that I was curious about.

Cantabria and Asturia- the Spanish regions where the Picos are located- were beautiful and really untouristy, even in the middle of August.

We also lucked into great weather; it was largely sunny, but not too hot (mid-high 20s celsius, but with a breeze).

The hotel is cozy and beautifully located; the owners, Jim and Pilar, were very welcoming and helpful.

It's small but generally has everything you need, including a bar and patio area, and this was important because after a long day's walking we didn't often have the energy to stray far.

The hikes are varied and seemed an appropriate length for a moderate level holiday.

The break day was much appreciated to allow us a change of activity.

; ....less
Walking in the Picos de Europa
The holiday was better than expected. The Picos are a spectacular range of mountains, and the Hotel, Hotel staff, and Group leader made the holiday one of the most memorable ....more The holiday was better than expected.

The Picos are a spectacular range of mountains, and the Hotel, Hotel staff, and Group leader made the holiday one of the most memorable we've had.

; ....less
I would do it all again...
This holiday was so much more than I expected. More challenging, more fun, more mountainous! I don't know why but I didn't equate a mountain region with so much ascending. ....more This holiday was so much more than I expected.

More challenging, more fun, more mountainous! I don't know why but I didn't equate a mountain region with so much ascending.

I am a regular hiker and was surprised to find that I could walk for up to two hours uphill and still maintain a conversation.

Alvaro the guide was inspiring and motivational, and the group were encouraging and fun to be with.

We really bonded over the tough uphills and the shared experiences of the magnificent scenery.

I was sad to leave the group at the airport and I think part of me is still in the mountains.

; ....less
Walking the Picosde Europa
Really excellent walking in a surprisingly quiet area of Spain, good food, very good guide and great company. Really excellent walking in a surprisingly quiet area of Spain, good food, very good guide and great company.

;
A beautiful place!
This was a lovely trip! The 'Picos De Europa' area in northern Spain is vast but little known and there are very few tourists compared with elsewhere in Spain. It ....more This was a lovely trip! The 'Picos De Europa' area in northern Spain is vast but little known and there are very few tourists compared with elsewhere in Spain.

It is surprisingly 'Alpine' in feel, with beautiful with high, pointed mountains, interspersed with some lovely, flowery meadows.

Goats, wild horses and light-brown cows with big bells wander around everywhere.

We very much enjoyed walking in this area, with our friendly, competent leader, Nacho.

The lovely, family-run hotel is simple but comfortable and very friendly - nothing is too much trouble.

The home-cooked food - a choice of three main courses daily - is surprisingly good and the lunch 'rolls' were MASSIVE with lots of filling! Any fairly fit walker would love this trip and I would highly recommend it.

; ....less
Mountain Loveliness!
Fabulous, well-planned walks through amazing landscapes. Your feet may feel a little well-used by the end of the week but it is SO worth it!At the end of May, we ....more Fabulous, well-planned walks through amazing landscapes.

Your feet may feel a little well-used by the end of the week but it is SO worth it!At the end of May, we had fantastic weather, beautiful wild flowers and wild life in plenty - so many birds!The hotel is really well located with great views, lovely views, delicious food and nice beer - and only minutes from the village, which has outdoor clothing, cafes and souvenirs.

I really can't recommend this week highly enough!; ....less
Picos de Europa - Recommended
Friends had recommended the Picos de Europa as a good place for a walking holiday. They weren't wrong. In places the conditions underfoot are similar to the limestone ....more Friends had recommended the Picos de Europa as a good place for a walking holiday.

They weren't wrong.

In places the conditions underfoot are similar to the limestone of the White Peak in Derbyshire or the Yorkshire Dales.

However, the scenery is much more spectacular and varied as were the flowers and wildlife.

Good hotel with friendly, knowledgeable and sociable staff , great food - provided that you have decent weather it would be hard to go wrong.

; ....less

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