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Picos de Europa 9-day MTB challenge
style :
Level :
Duration :
9 days
Comfort :
Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
E-Bikes Cycling
price in double room from: € 681
Picos de Europa 9-day MTB challenge

Picos de Europa 9-day MTB challenge

Challenging mountain bike tour in the National Park

  • Hardpack gravel roads, quiet interior tarmac lanes and some muddy tractor ruts in the valley
  • Crossing Picos de Europa Natioanal Park with your bicycle, following stony 4x4 tracks
  • Lively villages like Mestas de Con, Arenas de Cabraless, Potes or Sotres
  • Much more doable if you use an E-bike
Picos de Europa 9-day MTB challenge
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Day 1: Arrival in the Picos de Europa
Day 2: Valley of Cangas de Onís (33.8 / 37 km - 21 / 23 mi)
Day 3: Loop ride through the valley of Onís (17 - 27 km / 10,5 - 17 mi)
Day 4: From Mestas to Arenas de Cabrales (26.5 - 30.5 km / 16,5 - 19 mi)
Day 5: Loop ride in Cabrales or Peñamellera (17.6 - 52 km / 11 - 32 mi)
Day 6: From Cabrales to Liébana (46,7 - 30 km / 29 - 18,5 mi)
Day 7: Loop ride around Ojedo via Pesaguero (47.6 - 41 km / 29,5 - 25,5 mi)
Day 8: From Liébana to Cabrales via Áliva (45.6 km / 28,5 mi)
Day 9: End of arrangement

Day 1:    Arrival in the Picos de Europa

Arrival at your hotel in Mestas de Con, a small village on the road between Cangas and Cabrales, with some basic services and a rural atmosphere. Dinner is not included but you can choose to dine in the house or walk to other restaurants in the village. If you have rented bikes, they will be delivered between 17 and 19hrs OR tomorrow morning before 9.30hrs; depending on your arrival time.

Challenge: Arrival in the Picos de Europa.

Villages along the way: Mestas de Con

Day 2:    Valley of Cangas de Onís (33.8 / 37 km - 21 / 23 mi)

The first day of cycling in the Picos de Europa is a technically easy loop ride along forest tracks and rural roads in the valleys of Cangas and Onís and with spectacular views of the Picos de Europa. First you follow the trail between San Martín and Cardes, passing through small rural villages and hillsides with magnificent views of the Picos. Surprisingly, you will also see some famous statues of Salvador Dalí. In Cardes you can decide if you want to shorten the route to Cangas de Onís, first capital of the Christian Kingdom of Asturias, in the VIII century. You can visit its famous Romanesque bridge and have lunch in one of the cider houses before returning to Mestas along forest tracks and quiet tarmac roads and past another important cultural monument: the church of Abamia.

 Challenge: 33.8 / 37 km - 21 / 23 mi, 1500 / 1350 m ascent

Villages along the way: San Martín de Cardes, Labra, Cangas de Onís, Mestas

Day 3:    Loop ride through the valley of Onís (17 - 27 km / 10,5 - 17 mi)

Starting at the hotel's doorstep, you first make a small detour along some authentic villages in the valley of Onís. Route extension possible to the village of Demués before you reach Llano de Con. From here a very rewarding climb up to Collado Prioro awaits, with amazing views of the Picos highest peaks. A long downhill section takes you back to the hotel.

Challenge: 17 - 27 km / 10,5 - 17 mi,  750 / 1225 m ascent

Villages along the way: Mestas, Llano de Con, Demués

Day 4:    From Mestas to Arenas de Cabrales (26.5 - 30.5 km / 16,5 - 19 mi)

Very entertaining day. Choose between the low route along interior tarmac lanes and dirt roads through lots of small villages and hamlets OR add a challenging ascent to the Collado de los Buitres, at the edge of the Casaño Gorge. Both routes have a section downhill between Puertas and Asiegu. At the end of the day you will find your luggage at your hotel in Arenas de Cabrales. There you will be able to try the Cabrales blue cheese, a delicacy matured in natural caves that is still produced by local families.

Challenge: 26.5 - 30.5 km / 16,5 - 19 mi, 1000 / 1265 m ascent

Villages along the way: Puertas, Asiegu, Arenas de Cabrales

Day 5:    Loop ride in Cabrales or Peñamellera (17.6 - 52 km / 11 - 32 mi)

In the surroundings of Arenas it is dificult to find MTB tracks, as the valley is narrow and the gorges of the rivers Cares and Casaño quite deep. Close to town there is one nice but demanding loop ride that will take you to the woods up to nice vista point in Vanu, then along tractor ruts and mining roads to Inguanzo and Berodia, both very typical and pleasant villages, the first one with a bar. On your way back to Arenas you will have to another steep ascent before you can return to Arenas via Poo de Cabrales. If you find this loop ride too short, you can do another one in the neighbour municipality of Peñamellera Alta.

Challenge: 17.6 - 52 km / 11 - 32 mi, 975 / 1350 m ascent

Villages along the way: Arenas de Cabrales, Inguanzo, Berodi, Poo, Mier, Alles

Day 6:    From Cabrales to Liébana (46,7 - 30 km / 29 - 18,5 mi)

Another challenging route that starts with an 18km / 11mi ascent along a tarmac road to Sotres (also the end of a Vuelta stage in 2017!), which can be done optionally by car. In the highest village of the Picos an adventurous cycling route starts, along old mining tracks through the woods and open pasture grounds of the eastern Massif of the Picos, that will take you from the province of Asturias into Cantabria to Potes, the capital of the valley of Liébana, which has 365 villages and hamlets and an important monastery.

Challenge: 46,7 - 30 km / 29 - 18,5 mi, 2300 / 1075 m ascent

Villages along the way: Arenas de Cabrales, Sotres, Potes

Day 7:    Loop ride around Ojedo via Pesaguero (47.6 - 41 km / 29,5 - 25,5 mi)

Today's standard route is a very entertaining circuit through the wooded valleys of Cabezón de Liébana and Pesaguero, which is quite long in distance but not technically difficult, with only one long ascent of 600 m at the start. On your way you will see the beautiful romanesque church of Santa María de Piasca. If you still consider this way too much, there is a possibility after 28km / 17mi to take a shortcut back to Potes, following a relatively quiet tarmac road 13 km / 8 mi downhill.

Challenge: 47.6 km / 29,5 mi (41 km / 25,5 mi if you take shortcut), 1450 m ascent

Villages along the way: Cabezón de Liébana, Pesaguero, Ojedo

Day 8:     From Liébana to Cabrales via Áliva (45.6 km / 28,5 mi)

The route starts in the centre of Potes and follows the main road to Fuente Dé during the first 9km / 5,5 mi. At Mogrovejo the fun starts, with an ascent along 4x4 tracks to the high pasture grounds of Áliva, where you probably have to recharge batteries at the restaurant Refugio de Áliva. You can also ‘cheat’ and follow the tarmac road all the way to Fuente Dé and take the cable car straight up to 1835 m and then descent to Áliva. Whatever you do, the scenery that awaits you is majestic: a wide mountain pass with pastures grounds that are divided in the middle by a huge moreen, created by two glaciers in long forgotten times. In early spring it's full of cattle, sheep and horses, watched closely by griffon vultures and falcons looking for prey. You will reach the Majada Vegas de Sotres, another idyllic pastoral scene surrounded by impressive mountains. The last 18km between Sotres and Arenas is an easy tarmac road downhill.

Challenge: 45.6 - 47.6 km / 28,5 mi - 29,5 mi, 1475 / 1325 m ascent

Villages along the way: Fuente Dé, Áliva, Sotres


Day 9:    End of arrangement

Your cycling trip comes to an end this morning after breakfast. Departure from Arenas de Cabrales


 Friendly family-run hotels in small villages

Hotel Villa de Mestas
Hotel & Spa Villa de Mestas (Mestas)

Typical Asturian country house, surrounded by the beautiful natural surroundings of the Picos de Europa mountains. Here you can relax in the gardens or enjoy a walk in the forest that is located next to the hotel.


Hotel Villa de Cabrales
Hotel Villa de Cabrales (Arenas de Cabrales)

Old house restored respecting the traditional stone constructions. Located at the natural gateway to the Picos de Europa, a few minutes from the Cares River


Hotel Posada del Corcal
Hotel Posada del Corcal (Tama)

An inn in Cantabria inaugurated in August 2007 and located in a building whose architecture respects the traditional Cantabrian mountain style. Its construction has taken into account the latest technologies in bio-construction and a careful integration in the natural environment in which it is located.



You can start on any day of the week, subject to availability, between April 21st and October 25th.

The nearest airports to the Picos de Europa are Asturias-Oviedo (OVD)Santander (SDR) and Bilbao (BIO).

Arrive in Mestas de Con

From the airports of Oviedo-Asturias (OVD), Santander (SDR) and Bilbao (BIO), there are good connections to the center of these three cities. From the city of Oviedo, the company Alsa (www.alsa.es) has bus lines to Mestas de Con with transfer in Cangas de Onís (2 hours approx.). From Santander or Bilbao you must first take the Alsa bus to Llanes and take a taxi to Mestas de Con (35 km).

It is advisable to book bus tickets in advance, especially if you are traveling in the summer or at the weekend. They can be purchased on the Alsa website (www.alsa.es

Departure from Arenas de Cabrales

You can return from Arenas to Oviedo by taking a bus (www.alsa.es) and to Santander or Bilbao with the same combination of taxi and bus as at the arrival.

Optional transfers: S-Cape Travel can arrange private transfers from/to the different airports at the beginning and end of the trip. Prices on request.

If you are travelling with your own vehicle, you can leave the car parked in Mestas de Con and then return to pick it up from Arenas de Cabrales by bus (see www.alsa.es) or taxi. S-Cape can also arrange a private transfer.


  • Bike model: MMR KUMA 29
  • Bike type: MBT
  • Frame: Aluminium 6061-T6 double hydroformed crowned 
  • Brakes: Shimano MT-200 Hydraulic 
  • Tires: Hutchinson Python 2


                           MMR KUMA 29


  • Rental bicycles ALWAYS include: repair kit, pump and lock.
  • Depending on the type of bicycle you can add (for free, but on request): map holder, 1 front pannier or 1 rear pannier
  • Helmet available (on request); € 5/adults


  • Bike model:  MMR KORE
  • Bike Type:  Electric
  • Motor:  Shimano Steps DU-EP800
  • Frame:  Aluminium 6061hydroformed Double Butted
  • Battery:  Shimano 630 Wh
  • Brakes:  Shimano M420 180/160
  • Wheels:  Hutchinson Python 2

           MMR KORE

                                                     MMR KORE



GPS tracks are available on request.



  • 8 nights´comfort accommodation
  • 8  breakfasts
  • 1 special tasting dinner in Arenas
  • Luggage transport on Days 4, 6 and 8
  • Digital detailed route notes and maps in English
  • Access to the trip on GUIBO
  • 24-hour telephone assistance

Not Included

  • Lunches
  • 7 dinners
  • Transport to first / from last accommodation
  • Bike rental


  • Transfers from / to airport, train/bus station can be arranged
  • Bikes rental (stsandard MTB or E-MTB)
  • Extra nights before, after or during the tour
  • Shipment of printed documents to the first accommodation

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