Spain : Asturias

Majestic Mountains of the Picos de Europa

Trip code: W07PI 4.8 (4 reviews)

Self-guided walking

7 nights,
hotel-to-hotel

Level: 1 to 3

Navigation App

SUMMARY

  • A week long self guided trip through The Peaks of Europe' undoubtedly the most impressive mountains in Spain
  • Limestone mountains produce jagged peaks and spectacular deep gorges to explore
  • Choose between low or high-level walks along lush valleys

WHAT'S INCLUDED?

  • 7 nights accommodation
  • All buffet breakfasts and 5 dinners
  • Navigation app
  • Luggage transfers between hotels

TRIP DESCRIPTION

The Picos de Europa (literally translated as the Peaks of Europe) are without doubt are the most impressive mountains in all of Spain. It is a compact range of mountains no more than 30 miles long and 15 miles wide but within its confines there is some spectacular walking with stunning scenery that will not disappoint. Our hotel to hotel walk takes in all the best that this part of the Picos has to offer, with a single base not being practical due to the long drives around the mountain range. On this trip... you just walk over it. Predominantly limestone in nature, this is what produces the range of impressive jagged peaks, with the highest mountain rising to over 2600 metres and most of the walking is in the Picos National Park itself, an area of over 600Km².

The first two nights are in Arenas, a large village which is a good base to walk the Cares Gorge on the first walking day. Then you walk further into the Picos to Sotres where you spend a further two nights. There is a choice of circular walks from here, before you set off across the central massif, traversing a truly impressive moonlike landscape toward the southern edge of the massif, before descending to your hotel in Espinama for two nights. After a choice of low or high level circular walks you walk along a lush agricultural valley and arrive in Potes for your last night.

The hotels we have chosen are all family run hotels or hostels. They have individual character and are in the centre of the villages they are located in. All rooms have their own bath or shower. One hotel has a small swimming pool.

Terrain

Walks on this holiday are on village streets, country lanes, farm tracks and rural paths. Walking boots are essential. Walking poles are recommended.

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DAY-BY-DAY ITINERARY

 

Day 1: Arrive in Arenas de Cabrales

Arrive at your airport and take the public bus to Arenas via Cangas de Onis or private transfer by taxi direct to the hotel (both on request). If you arrive early, explore this lovely village before dinner, as there are plenty of shops and eateries at hand.

You stay at Hotel Picos de Europa.

hotel details



Hotel Picos de Europa, Arenas de Cabrales

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
Visa
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Tea/coffee


This is a small family run hotel with 35 comfortable bedrooms right in the heart of the village. It has a pretty garden with swimming pool and stunning views to the mountain range above. There is a lounge and restaurant with terrace, which is open to the general public. Packed lunches are also available at an extra cost. All rooms feature free Wi-Fi, television, telephone and private bathroom with WC, shower/bath and hairdryer.

Should this accommodation not be available, an alternative of the same standard will be used

Day 2: Cares Gorge (22km/13.7mi)

For your first day, after a short 10 minute transfer ( included) you will reach the start of the Cares Gorge. This walk is spectacular, with the route taking you out-and-back enjoying spectacular scenery on one of the most famous routes in Spain, a path which follows the amazing engineering feat called the Canal del Cares. Take the bus or a taxi (not included and payable locally) back to your accommodation in Arenas for dinner in the village.

You stay at Hotel Picos de Europa.

hotel details



Hotel Picos de Europa, Arenas de Cabrales

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
Visa
Pool
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Tea/coffee


This is a small family run hotel with 35 comfortable bedrooms right in the heart of the village. It has a pretty garden with swimming pool and stunning views to the mountain range above. There is a lounge and restaurant with terrace, which is open to the general public. Packed lunches are also available at an extra cost. All rooms feature free Wi-Fi, television, telephone and private bathroom with WC, shower/bath and hairdryer.

Should this accommodation not be available, an alternative of the same standard will be used

Day 3: Poncebos - Sotres or Tielve - Sotres (9km/5.6mi or 12km/7.5mi)

A short ten minute transfer (included) takes you again to Poncebos where you have the choice of walking or taking the funicular railway to Bulnes, a tiny mountain village with no road access. Follow ancient stone footpaths up among pastures to Sotres, one of the highest villages in the Picos. If the overall ascent seems too tough for today, you have the option of a 20 minute transfer to Tielve and then walking to Sotres via the summer meadows of Valfriu and La Caballar, (this option is slightly shorter, 5½ miles, 3½ hours). Overnight stay at a friendly family-run hotel in Sotres.

You stay at Hotel Sotres.

hotel details



Hotel Sotres, Sotres

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
Visa
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV


This is another delightful family run hotel with two terraces where you can enjoy the surrounding views all around and a fabulous restaurant on site. The hotel has 12 rooms, mostly with double beds, all en suite. A living room is a relaxing place to sit if you can tear yourself away from the terraces outside. All rooms feature free Wi-Fi, television, telephone and private bathroom with WC, shower/bath and hairdryer.

Should this accommodation not be available, an alternative of the same standard will be used

Day 4: Circular walks from Sotres (11km/6.8mi or 17km/10.6mi)

Today you can choose between a true alpine hike, a there-and-back route to Vega de Urriellu, at the foot of the most famous summit in the Picos de Europa or a shorter walk up to the old mining district of Andara. Both walks include short transfers ( included) in the morning to get you to the start of the walk.

You stay at Hotel Sotres.

hotel details



Hotel Sotres, Sotres

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
Visa
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV


This is another delightful family run hotel with two terraces where you can enjoy the surrounding views all around and a fabulous restaurant on site. The hotel has 12 rooms, mostly with double beds, all en suite. A living room is a relaxing place to sit if you can tear yourself away from the terraces outside. All rooms feature free Wi-Fi, television, telephone and private bathroom with WC, shower/bath and hairdryer.

Should this accommodation not be available, an alternative of the same standard will be used

Day 5: Sotres - Espinama (16km/9.9mi)

Following a Land Rover track through idyllic landscapes of pastures and cabins, you reach Aliva Pass, where thousands of sheep, cows and horses graze in summer on either side of a large glacier moraine. With splendid views to the high peaks of the Central and Eastern Massifs, you make your descent via the Fuente De cable car or on foot through the quiet woodlands of Espinama. There is the possibility of travelling part way with the luggage transfer if you choose.

You stay at Hostal Remona.

hotel details



Hostal Remona , Espinama

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
Visa
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Tea/coffee


This rustic guesthouse sits at the entrance to the Picos de Europa National Park, just three minutes from the Fuente De cable car and offers a warm and relaxing base for two days. Set in an historic old house, the lovely restaurant serves delicious homemade traditional cuisine. All rooms feature free Wi-Fi, television, telephone and private bathroom with WC, shower/bath and hairdryer.

Should this accommodation not be available, an alternative of the same standard will be used

Day 6: Circular walks from Espinama (13km/8.1mi)

Again you may choose among different walks starting from Espinama or from the nearby Fuente De cable car station, ( transfer included). Two of the routes take you high up into the Central Massif of the Picos de Europa, a moonlike limestone landscape of extreme beauty, home of chamois, vultures and alpine birds. The other two walks lead you through ancient beech and holly woods in the valley. Walking time today from 4 to 5 ½ hours, min ascent 500m, max ascent 1100m. Short transfers are required to some starting points of the walks and are included.

You stay at Hostal Remona.

hotel details



Hostal Remona , Espinama

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
Visa
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Tea/coffee


This rustic guesthouse sits at the entrance to the Picos de Europa National Park, just three minutes from the Fuente De cable car and offers a warm and relaxing base for two days. Set in an historic old house, the lovely restaurant serves delicious homemade traditional cuisine. All rooms feature free Wi-Fi, television, telephone and private bathroom with WC, shower/bath and hairdryer.

Should this accommodation not be available, an alternative of the same standard will be used

Day 7: Espinama - Potes (15km/9.3mi)

After several days enjoying alpine landscapes, today you walk back down to 'civilization', along tractor ruts and animal trails through the friendly countryside of Liebana. This valley has a micro-climate which favours all sorts of crops, including grapes used for making 'Orujo', the strong local 'eau-de-vie'. The trail ends at Santo Toribio Monastery, famous for its Lignum Crucis and reproductions of colourful miniatures in the 9th Century 'Beato de Liebana'. From here, you'll walk 1¾ miles on tarmac to your cosy hotel in the medieval centre of Potes. If you prefer, you can ride the first or last part with the luggage transfer (included). Or you could choose to take another day walking in the mountains and travel with the baggage at the end of the day.

You stay at Casa Cayo.

hotel details



Casa Cayo, Potes

HOTEL WEBSITE      TRIP ADVISOR

Mastercard
Visa
Hairdryer
WiFi
TV
Tea/coffee


Situated beside the river in this beautiful medieval town, the quaint Casa Cayo with just 16 rooms, offers impressive views of the surrounding countryside from their spacious balconies. They have a traditional Cantabrian restaurant and bar for guests to enjoy. All rooms feature free Wi-Fi, television, private bathroom with WC, and patio with river view.

Should this accommodation not be available, an alternative of the same standard will be used

Extra nights: Please contact us for details.

Day 8: Leave Potes

Depart Potes for your journey home, stay a few extra days to enjoy this beautiful medieval town, or travel onto Bilbao or Santander for a few extra nights.

CHOOSE A DEPARTURE DATE

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These tour only prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from £216.

These flight inclusive prices are based on two people sharing. Single supplement from £216.

OPTIONAL UPGRADES
  • Alternative flights, including regional departures
  • Extra legroom seats available
TRAVEL DETAILS

Our aim is to provide holidays that are unbeatable for choice and flexibility. We've listed our most popular travel options below, however you aren't limited to these - we can tailor-make virtually any holiday to suit.

Air prices include our standard flights/transfers
Out: Iberia London Heathrow to Santander via Madrid Return: Iberia Santander to Lonfon Heathrow via Madrid

Extra legroom seats are available on request.

Alternative transfers
If you require alternative transfers (because you will be arriving at a different time to our standard flights), then we can usually arrange these for you (there may be an additional charge).

To find out more about the travel options available call our sales team on 01606 720199, use our live webchat (we're open until 10pm today) or email sales@headwater.com

Should you require overnight airport accommodation, airport parking or even a uniformed chauffeur to take your car from your departure terminal and park it for you, we can arrange this for you through Holiday Extras. You can book airport parking, airport hotels and executive lounges through their website or contact us for further details. Early booking is recommended to obtain the best availability and prices.

REVIEWS

Your routes are always excellent - really appreciate that research. but i cannot over emphasise how much you need to get local hotels to get comfier beds. Just awful!

Jane Reynolds, 1 Jun 2024

 

Great walking holiday, well organised and everything went smoothly.

Dean Garner, 18 May 2024

 

The choice of walking distance each day was perfect. I liked the fact we had a choice.The hotels were wonderfully situated and the staff excellent. It is easier to get a taxi to turn up on time in rural Spain than it is in U.K.

I will definitely use Headwater again.

Judith Drabble, 18 May 2024

 

We had a brilliant holiday. Everyone was friendly and helpful. The itinerary was interesting. The mountains are absolutely stunning! I loved the cable car.

We are in our 70's so the walks were challenging at times. We walk a lot at home, but more experience of hill walking beforehand would have been useful. We relied on the App so needed to make sure we could download the walks. We wondered if the written instructions were accurate at times. A power pack is useful as back-up.

My walking poles were essential for me at times. Many cafes have wooden walking poles in stands near the entrance, I assume you can borrow them and leave them at your destination. Overall, a fantastic experience!

Janet Nanor, 7 May 2024

 


Self-guided walking

7 nights,
hotel-to-hotel

Level: 1 to 3

Navigation App

7 nights from £1189

CHOOSE A DEPARTURE

Call: 01606 720199

 

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