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.
5 days of walking, plus free day. This trip is classified as challenging (Activity Level 4), you should be confident in your physical condition and ability to deal with some difficult underfoot terrain and rocky sections. The walking routes are all fairly long (around 8-14 km a day) and vary in duration from 5 to 8 hours per day (including stops).
From June to September.
Maximum altitude: 1998 m
Average distance traveled per day: 10 km
Average altitude difference/ day: 800-1000 m
7 Breakfasts, 5 packed lunches with seasonal fruit and 6 evening meals. Simply every day is a gastronomic feast.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.
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. Transfer (2.5h).
This jewel just lies behind Arenas de Cabrales and allthough the highest point is at 875m you still find an absolute alpine walk here. We see vultures, cross green forests and have a first sight of the massiv behind. And we dont take the car today, so we start and end in the hotel.
After a 40minute drive we start our walk at the Pandebano Col with fantastic views of the Central Massif of Picos de Europa and its northern valleys. After a short but steep ascent we reach one of the classic viewpoints of the Picos; the so-called balcony of the Picos summit of Main range. From there we start an ascent of 1000m through hazel and beech woods surrounded by limestone will take us toTielve village. Drive back to hotel.
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.
Today is free for you with a range of options: visit the coast exploring on a walk the stunning asturian coast or walk the classic Cares Gorge which 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.
The Vega de Urriellu Refuge is one of those places that should be mandatory to visit on our way through Picos and the meeting point for mountaineers, climbers and hikers at the foot of the superb west face of Naranjo: 550m of vertical limestone. The hike to the mountain hut of Naranjo de Bulnes is a very special highlight of the week. The view will leave you speechless: giants of rock and stone all around. And on sunny days, the Cantabrian Sea glitters on the horizon.
More than 2000 years ago, the Romans expanded their empire to the Iberian Peninsula. However, the mountainous north proved to be difficult terrain, the Asturians unconventional and hardly open to strangers. But the Asturians mined gold in the mountains, and for this they laid out the still clearly recognizable Roman road (Calzada romana). Today you walk in the footsteps of time. Passing milestones and the quaint mountain villages you start the last descent to Arenas. On our last dinner in our beautiful hotel in Arenas we memorize this unforgetable trip.
Breakfast at hotel and direct private group transfer to the airport of Bilbao (2.5h).