Trekking in Spain - Picos de Europa

Trekking in Spain - Picos de Europa

8 Days



Trekking in Spain - Picos de Europa

8 Days Starting and ending in Bilbao Airport

Visiting: Bilbao, Sotres, Hotel Villa de Cabrales, Bulnes, Potes, Fuente Dé, Hostal Poncebos

Tour operator:


Tour code:


Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

4 - 16

Physical rating:

Medium, Moderate

Age range:


Special diets catered:


Tour operated in:

Cultural, Photography


Trekking, Walking

$1303 (USD) The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$37
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Tour Overview

A week-long trekking holiday into the beautiful high mountain scenery of the Picos de Europa National Park. Explore the area in depth with walks in the unspoilt and wild landscapes of the western, central and eastern massifs. Sotres - Stay in a small family -run hotel in the highest village and enjoy JuanJo and Sonia's hearty homemade food Garganta de Cares - Walk along cliff-cut pathways through this spectacular gorge Aliva valley - Take the exhilarating Fuente D' e cable car to enjoy stunning views


  • Sotres - Stay in a small family -run hotel in the highest village and enjoy JuanJo and Sonia's hearty homemade food

  • Garganta de Cares - Walk along cliff-cut pathways through this spectacular gorge

  • Aliva valley - Take the exhilarating Fuente D' e cable car to enjoy stunning views


Expand All
Day 1: Join Trip At Bilbao Airport. Drive To The Tranquil Mountain Town Of Sotres
Location: Bilbao, Sotres
Accommodation: Hotel

Our trip begins at Bilbao Airport (BCO) at 5.30pm, the latest your flight can arrive is 5pm. We will travel together as a group to our hotel in Sotres, a three hour drive away. Sotres is the highest village in the Picos, situated between the central and eastern massifs and within the designated Biosphere Reserve. It is an ideal base for exploring the spectacular mountain landscape.

Our comfortable base for the week is the family ran Casa Cipriano hotel, located in the heart of the Picos de Europa mountain range. The rooms are simple yet cosy and feature tiled floors, wooden furniture and an en suite bathroom. The hotel features a bar as well as a restaurant serving home cooked food, which we'll enjoy tonight

Day 2: Spectacular Ridge Walk With Views Of All Three Massifs Of The Picos National Park
Location: Hotel Villa de Cabrales
Accommodation: Hotel

We start our day with a short transfer to El Collado de la Caballar (1,100m), the starting point for today's walk. We start with a gentle descent to Tobaos Majada (900m) then start our ascent to Collado de Pasadoir (1,215m). We follow the ridge through the pastures of Portudera,Todrin and Tambrin with some spectacular views (weather permitting) along the ridge of all three massifs before we start our descent to the outskirts of the Arenas de Cabrales - here we join and follow an original cobbled roman road for one and a half kilometres, returning to Sotres for the night.

Today's 17 kilometre walk is expected to take around seven hours with approximately 350 metres of ascent and 550 metres of descent.

Day 3: Trek To Vega De Urriello Refuge At The Foot Of The Iconic Naranjo De Bulnes Mountain
Location: Bulnes
Accommodation: Hotel

This morning we drive the short distance down to the collection of red-roofed buildings known as Invernales de Cabao and cross the river. Then, ascending along a series of switch-backs, we gain height quickly to reach a viewpoint looking back towards Sotres. The track levels out now, ascending more gradually onto a plateau. Here stands the tiny hamlet of Pandebano, where, in AD718, a battle took place between the Visigothic Christians and the remnants of a somewhat depleted Moorish army. Leaving our vehicle, we walk up to a 'saddle', where the huge monolith of the Naranjo de Bulnes (Pico Urriellu 2,519m) comes into view. Rearing straight up from the surrounding rockscape, this rust-coloured mountain is the famous iconic image of the Picos. We walk up to the base where there is a refuge and the chance to see climbers attempting to scale the improbable sheer face.

Today's 16 kilometre walk is expected to take around six-and-a-half hours with 800 metres of descent.

Day 4: Hike Through Beech Forest To Treviso. Drive To The Medieval Town Of Potes.
Location: Potes
Accommodation: Hotel

We start this morning with a short drive to Jito de Escarandi from where we start our walk at 1,395m. We follow an old shepherds' paths down through the Valdediezma beech forest and pastures to Sobra Valley and up to Treviso where we will stop for a lunch break en route. After lunch we will continue down the Balcon de Pilatos to Urdon where we will meet our bus to take us on to Potes where we stay for the night. The medieval town of Potes centres around the river with stone bridges, cobbled streets and historical buildings.

Today's 10 kilometre walk is expected to take around five hours with 1,150 metres of descent.

Day 5: Take The Spectacular Fuente De Cable Car, Walk Down Into The Aliva Valley.
Location: Fuente Dé
Accommodation: Hotel

Today we drive to Fuente Dé making a visit to the Santo Toribio de Liebana Monastery on the way. We take the cable car up 1,000 metres to the rugged high plateaux of the Picos to be greeted with panoramic views of the national park. We walk through alpine meadows down the Aliva glacial valley to Sotres, stopping for a picnic lunch and to see the abandoned Las Manforas mines.

Today's 18 kilometre walk is expected to take around five hours with 100 metres of ascent and 1,000 metres of descent.

Day 6: Trek Through The Imposing Cares Gorge To Cain
Location: Sotres
Accommodation: Hotel

Today we drive down through Alpine scenery to Puente Poncebos at 218 metres. Here the medieval pack horse bridge spans the Cares river. This marks the starting point for the walk through the dramatic gorge of the Garganta del Cares - a cleft over 1000 m deep and some 12 km long. The path literally cuts into the cliffs in places; only with the aid of tunnels and bridges is it possible to traverse its entire length. This is one of the highlights of any visit to northern Spain and is a six hour round trip on foot, although walkers can turn back at any point and return to Poncebos where there are places to eat and drink if you wish before we return by vehicle to Sotres for a well-earned rest.

Todays 24 kilometre walk is expected to take around six hours with with 300 metres of ascent and descent.

Day 7: Ascend Trasmacondiu Col (1,850M). Picnic Lunch On The Andara Vegas Pastures
Location: Sotres, Hostal Poncebos
Accommodation: Hotel

We return to Jito de Escarandi for the start of our walk to the Caseton Refuge (1,225m) via Trasmacondiu Col (1,850m) and the Andara Vegas pastures. From the Col we descend around Macondiu mountain (summit 2,050m) to the refuge for lunch, then continue back to Jito de Escarandi (1,300m) where the minibus will be waiting to return us to Sotres. We will arrange a transfer back to the hotel or you may choose to walk the final 30 minutes back to Sotres.

Todays 12 kilometre walk is expected to take around four and half hours with with 150 metres of ascent and 550 metres of descent.

Day 8: Drive To Bilbao Airport Where The Trip Ends
Location: Bilbao

We leave the mountains behind this morning, driving back to Bilbao Airport where the trip ends.

We will travel as a group, leaving our hotel at around 11.30am for the three hour drive to Bilbao Airport (BIO). The earliest your flight can depart is 4.30pm.

What's Included

  • Fully Guided

  • All Domestic Transportation (including internal flights)

  • Accommodation

  • Meals – Full Board

    Breakfast: 7 Lunch: 6 Dinner: 6

What's Not Included

  • Tipping and Gratuities

  • 1 bottle of Mineral Water per person per day

  • Country Entry Visas

Why Book this Tour

Situated in the heart of the region's highest village of Sotres, Casa Cipriano is a small family-run hotel perfectly located as a base for exploring the spectacular and little known Picos de Europa mountain range in the heart of northern Spain's Asturias region. A walk through the village leads to a viewpoint of the surrounding peaks. In the evenings relax in the cosy hotel bar and enjoy JuanJo and Sonia's hearty homemade food - On most days breakfast, a picnic lunch and dinner are provided.


Check out our Q&As

  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?


  • Will I know the names and details of all the accommodation before I depart?


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  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?


  • I'm going on a walking/cycling trip-do I need to train?

    It will depend on the grade and how fit you already are. Check the trip page for details of the walking or cycling grade and how far you’ll be walking/cycling each day. For moderate or challenging trips in particular we’d recommend doing some walks or cycles before you leave to build up your fitness and prepare you for the distances being covered.

  • Who will be my travelling companions on the tour?

    We have a wide range of ages nationalities on our small group trips and they come from all walks of life.

  • Should I get travel insurance?

    Yes–it is a condition of booking that you are fully insured when travelling with us

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    At Explore, we're the experts in adventure travel. Our small group adventure holidays have been running since 1981. Today, Explore is one of the most trusted travel companies in the UK with over 500 trips to more than 120 countries.

  • Can I join the tour once it has departed?

    Yes, but there are no concessions for doing so, and we must have a record in your booking advising as such before the trip departs.

  • Am I contributing to any charity by booking the tour?

    Being a responsible company is a large statement, something that has to be entwined within the very fibre of a company. Discover the charities and partnerships we support as part of this at

  • What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

    We want to be as clear as and as honest as possible about what happens if you decide to that you no longer wish to travel on your trip. Our booking conditions have details of the costs you’ll incur when you cancel-these charges depend on how long it is before your planned departure.

  • What is the accommodation like?

    We choose comfortable accommodation in the best locations possible. We opt for small, local and family-run accommodation where we can, as opposed to large chain hotels. We typically use hotels that are the equivalent of European 3-star, and you’ll usually have an en suite room. Occasionally, where we want to get off the beaten trail we may stay in more basic accommodation.

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    Sustainability is embedded within the fibre of Explore, it emanates from the inside out. But as we enter a new decade it is clearer than ever that our world needs help, and Explore has created a sustainability strategy based on the 2015 UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

  • What policies are in place for Covid-19?

    Our flexible booking and safety policies mean you're protected before and during your travels with us. Receive a full refund if your trip is cancelled, transfer your trip free of charge up to 10 days before departure minus any irrocoverable costs.

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    All our trips require some level of active participation. This could be on a cultural trip, trek, safari, expedition or voyage. It is in the interests of all members of the group that everyone should be capable of fully participating in the activities of their chosen trip.

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    Final documents will include a comprehensive trip itinerary, climate and country information, budgeting and packing advice visa and passport information and details on optional activities available.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Yes on most of our trips. Most trips are based on customers sharing twin-bedded rooms. If you book a group trip as an individual, you will share a room with someone of the same sex. However, on many trips we offer the opportunity to pay a supplement to pre-book a single room, known as our single room option. On some trips a single room will be provided every night, on others it will be provided o

  • Do we have to be vaccinated against Covid-19 to travel

    It’s now a condition of booking a trip with us that customers should have one of the following before they travel - — Be vaccinated against COVID, having received the full recommended course, and allowing enough time for immunity to take effect. Full vaccination includes any booster required to keep the vaccine valid. — Have taken a negative test (rapid antigen or PCR) within 72hrs of departure.

  • Will the accommodation included meet local health and safety regulations?

    Explore will only offer hotels that have specific COVID-19 protocols in place and comply with local government guidelines. We will ensure these measures include; enhanced room cleaning, ventilation, social distancing, regular cleaning and disinfection of high frequency touch points in public areas, food safety, staff re-training and minimising contact within the properties.

Reviews from Travellers on this Tour


Trekking in the Picos de Europa


Beautiful mountain scenery. Tough, but enjoyable walks. Plentiful home cooked food. Excellent value for money as well.


Trekking in the Picos de Europa


This was the most enjoyable hiking trip that I have been on with Explore. The views are stunning and the sense of achievement for completing the walks is fantastic. The grade of walk is described as moderate, but we all agreed that it veers towards strenuous. It was certainly the hardest moderate trip that I have done. It is very intense, with long hikes that included considerable ascents and descents (not fully reflected in the wording of the itinerary). Juan is an excellent host and walk leader, taking great care of our group. His wife, Sonia, provided us with great packed lunches and dinners.

Dates & Availability

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Saturday - Saturday

May 11, 2024 - May 18, 2024
$1550 $1507 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$43 (USD)

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May 18, 2024 - May 25, 2024
$1570 $1527 (USD)

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May 25, 2024 - Jun 01, 2024
$1640 $1595 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$45 (USD)

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Jun 22, 2024 - Jun 29, 2024
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The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$43 (USD)

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Jul 06, 2024 - Jul 13, 2024
$1440 $1400 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$40 (USD)

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Jul 20, 2024 - Jul 27, 2024
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Aug 10, 2024 - Aug 17, 2024
$1480 $1439 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$41 (USD)

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Aug 24, 2024 - Aug 31, 2024
$1440 $1400 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$40 (USD)

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Saturday - Saturday

Aug 31, 2024 - Sep 07, 2024
$1640 $1595 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$45 (USD)

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Saturday - Saturday

Sep 14, 2024 - Sep 21, 2024
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The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$41 (USD)

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Oct 12, 2024 - Oct 19, 2024
$1340 $1303 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$37 (USD)

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Saturday - Saturday

Oct 19, 2024 - Oct 26, 2024
$1340 $1303 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$37 (USD)

Book with Confidence

  • Free Date Changes

    Explore! allows you to make 1 free date changes, as long as the change is made at least 60 days before the start of the tour.

  • Low Deposit

    Explore! requires a minimum deposit of 10% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 60 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of explore! charges.

    Up to 60 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 59 days before tour starts: Forfeit 30% of booking price.

    At 41 days before tour starts: Forfeit 60% of booking price.

    At 27 days before tour starts: Forfeit 90% of booking price.

    At 13 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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