Walking the Picos de Europa

Start: Arenas de Cabrales Finish: Arenas de Cabrales

Visiting: Picos de Europa


Duration: 7 Nights

Physical rating: Moderate

Special diets catered: Please inform Exodus of specific dietary requirements

Tour Operator: Exodus

Group size: 4 - 16

Age range: 16 to 99

Tour operated in: English


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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.   *Temporary changes due to COVID-security measures.* *Last updated: 22nd October 2020* At Exodus we acknowledge our responsibility to have the most up-to-date information on anything that will affect our customers on holiday, and to communicate this to our customers as effectively as possible. Our general global COVID security measures are described in our  Travel">https://www.exodus.co.uk/travel-safety-charter">Travel Safety Charter, and changes will be made to these measures as required by the global pandemic situation. However, we also expect there to be requirements, measures and sometimes itinerary changes that apply to certain trips only, and may well be temporary measures. We have highlighted all known changes in the section below.   *Entry requirements* For all trips, having the correct documentation and visa, if required, remains the customer’s responsibility based on their own nationality. We therefore encourage all travellers to check entry requirements using the travel advice of their home nation for the relevant destination. For UK passport holders that is  https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice The">https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice">https://www.gov.uk/foreign-tra... Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) currently advises against all non-essential travel to Spain. Information on local restrictions will be updated in 2021, closer to the time when trips are operational again. 

Highlights

  • iconTraditional mountain villages in the valleys of Green Spain
  • iconAccessible by train. Read more here [1].
  • iconDiverse walks in Spain's oldest national park
  • icon[1] node/572
  • iconFamily-run hotel with stunning panoramic views
  • iconIncredible wildlife including Chamois, Golden eagles and Griffon vultures

Places You'll See

Countries:
Cities & Attractions:

Itinerary

Map Image
icon Day 1 : Start Arenas de Cabrales.

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)

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)

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)

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

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)

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)

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.

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.

Your Peace of Mind Options

  • icon
    Low Deposit

    Exodus requires a deposit of 20% to secure a place on this tour, and the final balance is not due till 70 days before departure..

  • icon
    Secure payments

    All payments to TourHub are deposited into an externally regulated Trust account.


Reviews

Read all 100 reviews
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.

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Peaks of Europe - B E A utiful!!
My last three Exodus walking trips have been to the Dolomites and I was looking for something similar in respect of challenging walks with spectacular scenery, I wasn't disappointed! The ....more My last three Exodus walking trips have been to the Dolomites and I was looking for something similar in respect of challenging walks with spectacular scenery, I wasn't disappointed! The trip was recommended to me by a few of my fellow travellers last year so I had no problem making the decision to book.

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Wonderful holiday
The Picos are a beautiful part of Spain, lush and green with limestone peaks and very quiet. Apart from on the gorge walk we saw very few people when we ....more The Picos are a beautiful part of Spain, lush and green with limestone peaks and very quiet.

Apart from on the gorge walk we saw very few people when we were walking.

The hotel owners describe the hotel as a one star hotel with five star views and the views certainly are fabulous but I wouldn’t describe the hotel as one star! More as simple, homely and friendly! The food at the hotel was very good.

The hotel owners, Jim and Pilar, are very good chefs and spent a great deal of time each day to produce a really tasty 4 course dinner for us which was very welcome at the end of each day.

We had a lovely group and a great guide and I would recommend this trip to anyone who likes walking in beautiful scenery.

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Picos de Europa
Excellent holiday. The challenging week was - well challenging! - but very satisfying too. The walks were varied, thro' amazing scenery with wildlife - butterflies, birds, geckos etc - not ....more Excellent holiday.

The challenging week was - well challenging! - but very satisfying too.

The walks were varied, thro' amazing scenery with wildlife - butterflies, birds, geckos etc - not to mention cows and horses.

A stunningly beautiful area.

Hotel good - excellent packed lunches and dinners.

Very friendly.

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Beautiful and peaceful Picos
Spent a glorious week walking the unspoilt, peaceful and beautiful Picos. The weather was perfect for walking with only 1 day of light drizzle, breaking the otherwise dry and sunny ....more Spent a glorious week walking the unspoilt, peaceful and beautiful Picos.

The weather was perfect for walking with only 1 day of light drizzle, breaking the otherwise dry and sunny week.

We did a mixture of walks ranging from summiting twice at just over 2000 metres above the tree line through to a coastal walk to Llanes.

Alfonso our guide was a true man of the mountains, born in the Region and with a real love and passion for the Picos as well as having a really calm and peaceful persona.

The hospitality and home cooking at the hotel was excellent throughout the week and each day you can admire the glorious views of the Picos over breakfast and dinner, cloud cover permitting.

I felt throughout the week that I was off the beaten track as the area is so large and un-touristy that on most days you don’t come across many other walkers, with the exception of the Cares gorge which was busier, but not in an unpleasant way.

I loved the whole week.

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Picos de Europa
An excellent week's walking. Jim and Pilar and the staff at the hotel were welcoming in a relaxed and sociable style and the food was outstanding. Alvaro the guide was ....more An excellent week's walking.

Jim and Pilar and the staff at the hotel were welcoming in a relaxed and sociable style and the food was outstanding.

Alvaro the guide was lively and informative and passionate about his local area.

The Picos offers wonderful scenery and we were lucky to see Griffin Vultures close up as well as chamoix, red squirrel and salamander.

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Picos de Europas
What a fantastic trip, loved it. Probably the best group I've ever walked with, stunning location and not what you would normally associate with Spain.The Hotel Torrecerrado was brilliant, lovely ....more What a fantastic trip, loved it.

Probably the best group I've ever walked with, stunning location and not what you would normally associate with Spain.

The Hotel Torrecerrado was brilliant, lovely family atmosphere, Jim and the gang were excellent and couldn't do enough for us.

The food was sensational, high end restaurant quality, innovative and delicious.

Wouldn't hesitate to recommend this trip to others.

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Picos de Europa
An inspiration week in stunning mountain scenery. Good accommodation, excellent guide and we had good weather to cap a wonderful week An inspiration week in stunning mountain scenery.

Good accommodation, excellent guide and we had good weather to cap a wonderful week;
Book it.
The tour is brilliant, book it.The hotel is lovely, all the staff were very helpful and owners not only speak English but were Leaders themselves so they know ....more The tour is brilliant, book it.

The hotel is lovely, all the staff were very helpful and owners not only speak English but were Leaders themselves so they know all about the walks and the area.

The hotel food was excellent and there is a drying room, and washing line, so you can wash/dry clothes and boots.

My room had a bath and a shower, heaven after a long days walk.

Magnificent views from the South facing pretty garden terrace ( and the bar and restaurant) and drinks very reasonably priced.

Guide , excellent, knew the mountains very well, even when covered with snow! Very reassuring.

Long walks but very quiet, we hardly saw anyone each day, which was lovely (apart from Carres Gorge - take a hat as no shade) we were well off the main “highway” fantastic views every step.

And no hidden costs as a full breakfast, packed lunch provided and a 3 course evening meal.

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Splendour in the Picos!
This trip was amazing - the hotel is great, food incredible (even for non meat eaters), generous hospitality, excellent location. The walks vary, all are magnificent. The area is so ....more This trip was amazing - the hotel is great, food incredible (even for non meat eaters), generous hospitality, excellent location.

The walks vary, all are magnificent.

The area is so untouched by modern life and tourism, it is a real treat for the senses.

The location of the hotel is lovely, pretty shops, bars and restaurants - all only about 3-4 minutes away.

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