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Walking the Picos de Europa

from $1,549.00

Enjoy varied walks in beautiful Spanish mountains

  • Reviews 10 Reviews
    5/5
  • Vacation Style Holiday Type
    Guided
  • Activity Level Moderate
    5/8
  • Group Size Small Group
    4 - 16
All about the Walking the Picos de Europa.

Spain’s third highest mountain range, the Picos de Europa is a region of dramatic limestone peaks and lush valleys. Carpeted in beautiful wild flowers 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.

The tour package inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What is included in this tour?Items that are included in the cost of tour price.

* All breakfasts, 5 picnic lunches and 6 dinners included
* 7 nights at the Hotel Torrecerredo
* Airport Transfers (at designated times)

Group normally 4 to 16, plus local leader. Min age 16 yrs

What is not included in this tour?
  • Flights
  • Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)

Highlights

  • Diverse walks in Spain’s oldest national park
  • Incredible wildlife including Chamois, Golden eagles and Griffon vultures
  • Traditional mountain villages in the valleys of Green Spain
  • Family-run hotel with stunning panoramic views
  • Challenging departure dates available (inquire for dates)
  1. Day 1 Start Arenas de Cabrales.

    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.**

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

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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

  5. 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

    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.

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

    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

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

    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

  8. Day 8 End Arenas de Cabrales.

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

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Where you stay

Hotel Torrecerredo

Our base for the week is the lovely Hotel Torrecerredo, a small family-run hotel in Arenas de Cabrales, It has a pleasant garden terrace attached to the café bar and the panoramic restaurant gives views right up to the mountains peaks. All rooms have en suite facilities along with TV and Wi-Fi. The hotel is situated in a rural setting, five minutes’ walk from the centre of the village, which is well serviced with banks, cafes and shops. The hotel’s restaurant serves delicious traditional meals all cooked with locally sourced ingredients.

Single accommodation is available (on request). Please note that paying for a single supplement only guarantees a room for single use and does not under normal circumstances mean that a twin or a double for sole occupancy will be provided.

Eating and Drinking

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.

This trip is Activity Level 3 (Moderate) with 5 days of walking.

The walking here is varied and spectacular, with some superb scenery at the higher levels. Over the course of the week we will try and tackle two classic gorges and one peak in each of the three massifs in the Picos de Europe, Spain’s first national park. Most of the walking is on shepherds paths, old disused mining paths and some sections of Roman ‘roads’, although the final ascents of the peaks can be quite rough underfoot.

The majority of the trip departures are Level 3 (Moderate). However, we also offer a selection of departures as Level 5 (Challenging). This is to offer those that wish the opportunity to ascend the higher peaks. It is important to be assured of your fitness on these departures.

As in all mountain ranges, the weather is unpredictable and this may affect several walks. With changeable weather it should be expected that on some rare occasions higher-level walks may not be available. Although please be assured that your leader will always try to find a suitable alternative.

Please note that due to high demand for this tour, on some weeks we may lay on a second group departure, which will follow an alternative itinerary. This includes the same walks but taken in a different order, usually reverse.

Overall Rating
5/5
Reviewed On 11/11/2019
5/5

Trip and group leader review

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were so many !
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader Nacho was the best group leader amongst all the treks I have done with Exodus. Nacho had excellent knowledge of the local area, and had fantastic organisational skills. I would definitely vote for him for the star Leader award !

Reviewed On 20/09/2019
5/5

Beautiful and peaceful Picos

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Summiting at 2000 meters on a warm sunny day and admiring the glorious 360 degree views of the Picos. The only sound was the wind blowing and we sat there watching vultures and buzzards high above us searching for prey down below.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Alfonso was superb. He was born in the Region and his love for the mountains shone through. He has a calm and peaceful nature and his knowledge of the local wildlife, trees and flowers was excellent.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you love unspoilt mountain walks away from the crowds, good food in the evening, a well run and friendly hotel with excellent views of the mountains, then go. Everything is made so easy for you and being based in the same hotel all week makes for a really relaxing, stress free week. Walks start at 9 and finish by 5 so there’s plenty of downtime before dinner at 7:30 to do your own thing. It’s a 5 minute walk into the quiet town if you want to do more walking and absorb the local way of life.

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

An Amazing Week Walking in the Picos de Europa

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me (David) it would have to be the climb to the top of Mancondiu peak at 2000m as you had to scramble to get to the top where the view was magnificent.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Our group leader, Ignacio/Nacho was exceptional in every way and was humerous, informative, patient and helpful. He was genuinely a very nice person who looked after everybody irrespective of their ability. He was able to evaluate everybody's individual strengths and weaknesses and advise accordingly.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A few weeks practice hill walking with walking poles beforehand would make the whole experience more enjoyable. Don't hesitate to book this holiday as we both found it amazing and thoroughly relaxing.

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

Picos de Europas

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Tackling my fear of heights, did a couple of scrambles, walked through a stunning canyon with a properly vertical drop, a good few metres down, but the group and guide were great, really looked after me.
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Nacho was great, really entertaining, spoke a lot about the history of the area and very considerate to the not so able members of the group, possibly to the detriment of the fitter people within the group as it was hard to walk at our own pace, but this is a minor detail.
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The walk is graded as a moderate 3, but in my opinion it was slightly more difficult in certain places, possibly a 3-4, which some of the group struggled with. Oh and take some ear plugs, most of the cows have bells which can get a bit tiresome when your trying to sleep at night, but please do not be put off by this.

Reviewed On 26/07/2019
5/5

Pico's May 2019

  • What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climbing the peaks with the encouragement of the group and the tour leader...….amazing views and sense of achievement
  • What did you think of your group leader?

    Superb!! Well informed and aware of the local environment - ensured that everyone was safe at all times and answered all questions and queries Nothing was too much trouble
  • Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take ear plugs for the cow bells if you are a light sleeper!!!

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