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Hikers in Pcios de Europa karstic landscape
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Duration?
Picos de Europa 8-day walking trip
style :
Level :
Duration :
8 days
Comfort :
period:
Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
Code:
ESSW096
Man & Biosphere Family Walking
price from € 520
Picos de Europa 8-day walking trip

Picos de Europa 8-day walking trip

8 days walking trip in the Picos de Europa National Park

  • Idyllic countryside, mysterious woodlands, glacier valleys and capricious limestone formations in Picos de Europa
  • The famous peak "Picu Urriellu"
  • Accommodation at pleasant family-run hotels with nice terraces (one with swimming pool)
  • Tasty regional dishes made from local produce
  • Delicious Cabrales blue cheese and sparkling Asturian apple cider
  • A flexible programme with many choices, suitable for families
  • Easy to combine with a stay on the beautiful Asturian coast, or a city trip to Bilbao, Oviedo or Gijon
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Map hiking routes picos de Europa
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Route

Start: Arenas de Cabrales       Finish: Arenas de Cabrales

Day 1: Arrival in Arenas de Cabrales
Day 2: Circular walk from Arenas (10-11,4 km)
Day 3: From Tielve to Sotres (8,7 km)
Day 4: The Eastern Massif (12-18,5 km)
Day 5: Sotres- Vega de Urriellu (14,5-19 km)
Day 6: Choice of walks from Sotres (6-18 km)
Day 7: From Sotres to Poncebos or Cares Gorge (12,8-23 km)
Day 8: End of programme

Day 1:    Arrival in Arenas de Cabrales

Settle into your comfortable hotel located in the village centre. Time to try the local cider on one of the terraces, or to visit Santa Maria de Llas Church of Romanesque origin. For walking gear or special food items, Arenas is an excellent place to do your shopping.

Challenge: Travel to Arenas de Cabrales

Villages along the way: Arenas de Cabrales

Day 2:    Circular walk from Arenas (10-11,4 km)

Ascent to the summer meadows of Nava, situated 500m above the Cares River with excellent views of the Picos. A strenuous but very rewarding walk, especially in early summer when the meadows display a multitude of brightly coloured flowers. Option of doing an alternative shorter walk through shady countryside at a lower elevation.

Challenge: 10 km, 3,5 h, 410m ascent, 410 m descent OR 11,4 km, 5 h, 650 ascent/descent

Villages along the way: Arenas de Cabrales, Poo de Cabrales

Day 3:    From Tielve to Sotres (8,7 km)

Short transfer to Tielve, one of the most authentic villages in this part of the Picos. Walk to Valfríu, where residents still produce the famous local blue cheese, Queso de Cabrales. Gradual ascent through a fairy-tale landscape of heather, old beech woods and streams to a pass at 1240m, then down to Sotres (1050m), one of the highest villages in the Picos de Europa. 

Challenge: 8,7km, 3,5-4hrs, 575m ascent, 250m descent. 

Villages along the way: Tielve and Sotres

Day 4:    The Eastern Massif (12-18,5 km)

Circular walk through the Eastern Massif of Picos, an area exploited by mining industries in the 19th century. A limestone landscape of sharp ridges, deep depressions and bottomless shafts. Brightly coloured alpine flora among the rocks. Good chance of seeing chamoix, vultures and different types of eagles. Several options to shorten or extend your walk.

Challenge: 12km, 5,5 h, 550m ascent, 840m descent OR 18,5km, 8,5 h, 1045m ascent, 1335m descent

Villages along the way: Sotres

Day 5:    Sotres- Vega de Urriellu (14,5-19 km)

This spectacular route takes you up to the mountain hut at Vega de Urriellu, situated at the foot of the impressive ‘Picu Urriellu’ – also called ‘el Naranjo de Bulnes’. You start off with a transfer to Pandébano Col (elevation 1240 m). From there you begin a steep ascent along a stone footpath, into a lunar landscape of outstanding beauty. This is the very heart of the Picos de Europa, home to chamois, vultures and alpine choughs. 

Once at the hut, after a well-deserved rest and time to properly admire the Peak, you retrace your steps - down to Pandébano Col - and continue walking back to Sotres. 

*In spring and autumn, snow may prevent you from doing the walk up to the refuge. In that case, today and tomorrow you will choose from the walking routes offered for Day 6.

Challenge: (option 1) 14,4km, 5,5hrs, 840m ascent/descent OR (option 2) 19km, 7hrs, 1000m ascent, 1085m descent

Villages along the way: Sotres

Day 6:    Choice of walks from Sotres (6-18 km)

Today you choose from three different walks

The firs option is The Capercaillie Route is an adventurous and varied circular walk through meadows and beech woods near Tresviso, with views deep down into the Urdón Gorge and quiet woodlands where you might hear the call of this rare bird - the ‘urogallo’. 

Valle de Áliva  is a technically easier walk to the summer meadows of Áliva and back, exploring an interesting glacier valley at elevations of up to 1650m, beneath impressive limestone walls of the Central and Eastern Massifs. Half-way you can stop for a rest on the terrace at the Hotel Refugio de Áliva, enjoying extraordinary views. 

The last option is a circular walk from Sotres  is a relaxing shorter walk, which starts directly from your hotel and takes you through woodlands and fields in the peaceful area around Sotres. 

Challenge: (Option 1) 14 km, 5,5-6hrs , 500m ascent, 700m descent;  (Option 2)18km, 6,5-7hrs, 635/755 ascent, 635 descent; (Option 3) 6km, 2,5hrs, 300m ascent, 300m descent

Villages along the way: Sotres

Day 7:    From Sotres to Poncebos or Cares Gorge (12,8-23 km)

Your last day will be spent doing a short ascent up to Pandébano Col, followed by a long descent on all kinds of footpaths. This beautiful route takes you from Sotres up to the pass, then down to Bulnes. This authentic village, nestled among peaks, can only be reached on foot or (since 2001) by funicular railway. Once in Bulnes you can either take the funicular down to Poncebos  or continue another 1,5 to 2 hours on foot - through the spectacular Texu Gorge. 

Optionally, you can spend the day walking the Cares Gorge - a mainly flat, there-and-back walk

Challenge: (Option 1) 12,8 km, 5-6hrs, 425m ascent, 1100m descent; (Option 2) 23km, 6,5-7hrs, 600m ascent/descent

Villages along the way: Sotres, Poncebos and Arenas de Cabrales

Day 8:    End of programme

After breakfast your arrangement ends.

Challenge: Travel from Cabrales

accommodation

Two comfortable family-run hotels (** & ***). Spacious rooms with en-suite bathrooms. They have been carefully selected for their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. Some of the hotels we work with appear here. If a certain hotel is unable to confirm due to lack of availability, we will request a similar one and inform you about the alternative booked. 

Extra nights:

Extra nights can be booked at any of the accommodations along the way.

Hotel Picos de Europa

In the heart of the villa of Arenas de Cabrales, you can find this hotel which offers a garden, several terraaces, outdoor swimming pool, private parking, lounge, library and wifi area to its guests. A place to relax, dream, rest, enjoy ... and discover! 

www.hotelpicosdeuropa.com

Hotel Sotres

Family-run hotel, inaugurated in 2005. The rooms and terraces offer spectacular views to the Picos de Europa. They have a restaurant with the traditional gastronomy of the area.  

www.hotelsotres.com

practical info

You can start on any day of the week, subject to availability, between April 22nd and October 25th.

The nearest airports to the Picos de Europa are Oviedo-Ranón (OVD), also known as Asturias airport, Santander (SDR) and Bilbao (BIO).

Arrive in Arenas de Cabrales

From the airports there are good bus connections to city centre bus stations, where you can catch a connecting bus to your destination (ALSA bus company, see time tables at www.alsa.es).

From Oviedo centre there are direct buses to Arenas de Cabrales, though these services cannot be booked in advance. From Santander and Bilbao, you take a direct bus to Unquera and then continue by taxi to Arenas de Cabrales.

NOTE: It is wise to book your bus tickets and taxi transfer in advance, especially for arrivals and when travelling in summer or on Friday afternoons. You can buy your bus tickets through the ALSA website www.alsa.es or through your S-cape office in Spain, also responsible for booking your taxi from Unquera to Arenas.

Departure from Arenas de Cabrales

Your trek ends in Arenas de Cabrales. Bus tickets can be booked in advance through S-cape Travel.

Airport transfers for arrival / departure can be booked in advance through S-cape Travel. Costs will depend on number of passengers, airport used and time of pick up.

GPS tracks are available on request.

included

Included

  • 7 nights accommodation, on half board basis
  • A nice terrace and swimming pool at one of the hotels
  • Luggage transport on days 3 and 7
  • Transfers from day 3 to day 7 according to programme (except optional funicular railway on day 7)
  • 24-hour telephone assistance, just a phone call away
  • Detailed route notes and maps in English

Not Included

  • Lunches: pack lunches can be ordered at the accommodations or bought directly in village shops
  • Flights and public transportation
  • Admissions and entrance fees of any kind
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, etc.
  • Any items that have not been specifically mentioned in the program

Extras

  • Single Room Supplement(s)
  • Solo Traveller Supplement
  • Additional night/s can be booked at any of the accommodations along the way, at any other nearby destination, such as the cities of Oviedo, Gijón or Bilbao or at charming rural accommodations along the Asturian coast.
  • Transfers from/to the airport on arrival/departure 
  • This program may be booked on bed and breakfast basis during 4 nights in a family hotel without terrace and swimming pool.
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