TREKKING IN THE PICOS DE EUROPA

TREK IN THE 3 MASSIFS OF THE PICOS DE EUROPA

 

This Trekking takes us into the wonderful mountain scenery of Picos de Europa National Park. This tour explores the Picos de Europa National Park with walks in the wild landscapes of the western, central and eastern massifs.

The Picos are a limestone mountain range that hugs the provinces of Asturias, Cantabria & the North part of the biggest province in Spain – Castille y Leon.

It is an Eco destination- one of the first National Parks in Europe.  As such, there is no mass tourism or the infrastructure that is related to that.  Instead, you have the genuine natural environment where wild nature & man live harmoniously in balance with each other.

As a limestone range with peaks reaching 2,600m, deep valleys & green pastures where animals graze up to 2,000m, the area is rich in wildlife, plants, history & geology.  Bears, wolves, eagles, vultures, chamois, deer & many others populate the area along with alpine plants & so much more.

Ancient man lived here as did the Romans, Celts & others.  It is steeped in history & traces of it are evident throughout.

Little villages populate the valleys with some also higher up & dotted throughout the three “massifs”, giving this area, that lovely authentic experience of rural living where local culture & gastronomy are still preserved.

This tour gives you all of that, the walking is one part of it, the cultural & environmental experiences are the others.

DURATION 8 days 7 nights
DATES 2019 From May to October

 

DIFFICULTY MODERATE LEVEL 

Be active and healthy. Exercise several times per week.

Mountain experience required.

Maximum gradient per day: 800-950 m.

Daily distances: 12- 18 km.

Terrain: Trails are good and well-defined with some scree.

Walks every day for between 4.5 to 7 hours on mountain paths.

ROUTES Hike to Mirador de Ordiales and Cotalba Peak 18Km ⇑ 950m ⇓ 950m

Hike to Naranjo de Bulnes 13Km ⇑900m ⇓900m

The Urdon Gorge 8Km ⇓800m

Hike to Horcados Rojos summit 12Km ⇑800m ⇓800m

Hike to Vega de Liordes 11Km  ⇓970m ⇓970m

EQIPMENT REQUIRED
  • Water Bottle. Take at least a 1-litre personal water bottle.
  • Sun Hat, High Factor Sun Cream/Block & Lip Salve (Factor 15 or more)
  • Walking Boots or trekking shoes.
  • Trekking poles (recommended).
  • Waterproofs Breathable
  • Down Jacket After sunset,
  • Thick jumper/fleece jacket
  • Shorts and long trousers. Shorts are very comfortable to walk in but also you must carry long trousers.
  • Backpack 30-40 litres.

 

INCLUDED
7 nights in Hotel 7 breakfast
6 dinners English speaking certified guide
Map of the routes All transports and listed activities. Airport transfers
Insurances Taxes
NOT INCLUDED
Picnic lunch. Can be purchased in the hotel or refuges.
Flights.

If you have around four or more people in your party, we can organise a private group departing on a date to suit you. They may all be a group of friends or just a number of individuals who wish to book a tour.

1

Day 1: Arrival in Santander or Bilbao

Arrival in Santander or Bilbao airport. Transfer to Arenas de Cabrales. Check-in and briefing at Hotel Picos de Europa. Dinner and accommodation.
2

Day 2: HIKE TO MIRADOR DE ORDIALES AND COTALBA PEAK. ROUND TRIP. DISTANCE: 18 Km ⇑950m ⇓950m

This is a classic walk in the Western Massif of the Picos de Europa. We start walking from Pan de Carmen (just beyond Lake Enol) until Vegarredonda Refuge, is about one and quarter hours from Pan de Carmen and just before you reach the refuge many of the higher peaks of the western massif become visible. From the refuge onwards, there is a section of this walk which is slightly rockier though the path is well defined all the way. From here onwards, we often see chamois and at times they can be quite close to you. We soon come to the Ordiales refuge and beyond this point the path is slightly less obvious. Then, almost without realising it, we’re at the Mirador de Ordiales where Pedro Pidal (the founder of the National Park Picos de Europa in 1918) was buried. Look over the top & marvel at the breathless views and 1,000m sheer drop down to the Angon Valley below. Now, we can be starting the ascent to the Cotalba peak. There’s an interesting little scramble just before we reach the top. Once on the summit the high peaks of the western massif are almost close enough to touch, the lakes can be seen in the distance and the Ponga Mountains look as fantastic as ever. After taking full advantage of the vistas around us, we retrace our steps. Back to Arenas de Cabrales. Dinner and accommodation.

3

Day 3: HIKE TO NARANJO DE BULNES. ROUND TRIP. DISTANCE: 13 Km ⇑900m ⇓900m

We drive to Sotres Village and then the short distance to the tiny hamlet of Pandebano. Leaving our vehicle, we walk up to Collado Vallejo (1.500 m), where the huge monolith of the Naranjo de Bulnes (Pico Urriellu 2519 m) comes into view. This rust-coloured mountain is the famous iconic image of the Picos. We walk up to the very base of the mountain (2.000 m) where there is a refuge. We rest, eat packed lunch and the chance to see climbers attempting to scale the improbable sheer face. We retrace our steps to Pandebano where our transport awaits us to return to our hotel in Arenas de Cabrales. Dinner and Accommodation.

4

Day 4: THE URDON GORGE. SINGLE ROUTE. DISTANCE: 8 Km ⇓800m

Today is a mixed between hiking and culture. Firstly, we enjoy a beautiful walk from the small village of Tresviso descending by the incredible Urdón river gorge to La Hermida gorge. This route is self guided. While you are walking, our guide will drive until La Hermida to pick you up and transfer to Potes, a lovely medieval village in the south face of the Picos de Europa. In the afternoon, we will visit the village of Potes and an “Orujo and wine” factory, where we will have the chance to taste different wines and liquors made in the region. Transfer to Fuente Dé. Dinner and accommodation in Hotel El Rebeco.

5

Day 5: HIKE TO HORCADOS ROJOS SUMMIT AND CABAÑA VERONICA HUT. CIRCULAR ROUTE. DISTANCE: 12 KM ⇑800 m ⇓800 m

Today we walk the route from the Cable car to Horcados Rojos in glacier Circus Fuente Dé. The summit Horcados Rojos (2,506 m) is a magnificent balcony inside the Central Massif, accessible by its side NO. Along the way, we enjoy the essence of high mountains the Picos de Europa, vegetation adapted to the harsh climatic conditions, rocky landscape of sharp peaks, alpine birds, etc. On the way back, we will go to the singular Cabaña Veronica hut and back again to the cable car. Dinner and accommodation in Fuente Dé.

6

Day 6: HIKE TO VEGA DE LIORDES. CIRCULAR ROUTE DISTANCE: 11 KM ⇑970 m ⇓970 m

This route of access to the Vega de Liordes is a progressive transition between the valley and the high mountain, passing from the oak and beech forests in the surroundings of Fuente Dé to the alpine grasslands at the foot of the rocks of “Peñas de Cifuentes”. The route runs through one of the most ecological value area of the National Park, with species such as the Cantabrian brown bear, wolf, deer, wild boar or chamois. Vega de Liordes is in a rich mountain flora in the pastures of this magnificent valley. The route also has important elements of human presence, such as the remains of the old mines of Liordes. Dinner and accommodation in Hotel El Rebeco.

7

Day 7: FREE DAY

This day you can rest or you can choose between these 2 choices or simply spend a wonderful day on the coast.

CANOEING ON THE RIVER CARES-DEVA. A descent of the spectacular River Cares-Deva in sit-on-top tandem canoes, enjoying the beautiful mountain scenery and exciting rapids. The canoeing tour is about 12 km and around 3 hours of easy paddling through stunning landscape. Halfway through the trip, there is a stop for a relaxing picnic lunch on the banks of the river and the brave can even take a dip!

HIKE TOUR CARES GORGE + 4WD off-road (Self-guided tour). 12 Km. Gradient: +150 m -250 m
This gorge, with its narrow passes and gullies, is right in the heart of the Picos de Europa Mountains. The area’s stunning landscape affords unique views of the National Park.
Getting to know this route is a unique experience. The trail is narrow, surrounded by wild vegetation, with water ever-present. The river flows along the valley-floor, its sound a constant companion in route. Now and again the path takes you through small tunnels carved out of the rock and across bridges that hang over the abyss. All the while, rocky mountainsides tower up on either side of the trail. The itinerary runs between Cain, in Leon province and Poncebos, in Asturias province. It runs parallel to the Cares, the area’s wildest river. The route covers 12 kilometres over easy terrain. The excursion starts in Fuente Dé where our off-road vehicle will be waiting for you. A wonderful scenic drive from Fuente Dé until Posada de Valdeón and Cain where your walking path starts. When you finish the walking, our transport will be waiting for you in Poncebos.

Transfer to Llanes, a lovely village on the coast with a great variety of restaurants, shops and bars.

Free dinner in Llanes. Accommodation in Hotel Paraíso ***

8

Day 8: DEPARTURE

Breakfast and transfer to Santander.

DATES AND PRICES 2019

Dates Price per person
Sunday 19 May – Sunday 26 May

Sunday 2 June – Sunday 9 June

Sunday 22 September – Sunday 29 September

Sunday 6 October -Sunday 13 October

Double or twin room – € 895

Single supplement – € 140

Sunday 7 July – Sunday 14 July

Sunday 21 July – Sunday 28 July

Sunday 1 September – Sunday 8 September

Double or twin room – € 995

Single supplement – € 165

Sunday 4 August – Sunday 11 August

Sunday 18 August – Sunday 25 August

Double or twin room – € 1,050

Single supplement – € 175

If you are interested in joining this tour, ask for the dates. If you have around four or more people in your party, we can organise a private group departing on a date to suit you. They may all be from a Walking Club or a group of friends or just a number of individuals who wish to book a tour.

WHAT’S INCLUDED: 

  • 3 nights at Hotel Picos de Europa *** in Arenas de Cabrales.
  • 3 nights at Hotel El Rebeco ** in Fuente Dé.
  • 1 night at Hotel Paraíso *** in Llanes
  • 7 Breakfast
  • 6 dinners.
  • All transport and listed activities. Airport transfers included.
  • Guides – english speaking qualified/certified/approved guides
  • Insurances and taxes 

WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED: 

  • Picnic lunch. Can be purchased in the hotel or local shops.
  • Flights.

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