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Walking the Picos de Europa
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At a glance
Trip Highlights
Start Destination
Arenas de Cabrales
End Destination
Arenas de Cabrales
What's included
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 5 picnic lunches
  • 6 dinners
  • All accommodation (see below)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)

All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 5 dinners 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: Cereals, bread, cold meats and a selection of local fruit (depending on season) offered buffet-style. There are also eggs to order, sponge and Anis cake. Lunch: Generally includes a large bread roll, cheese/cold meat/tortilla, chocolate bar and fresh fruit. Dinner: Homemade three-course meal usually consists of soup or salad for the first course, a main local dish with meat/fish and vegetables, followed by fruit or cake for dessert. Wine: To accompany the evening meal, the hotel has a reasonably comprehensive wine list available. Over the years, the hotel has developed a tasty vegetarian alternative to the normal meals. Please let us know in advance if you are vegetarian or have any other special dietary requirements.

Day 1
Fly to Bilbao
Fly to Bilbao; transfer to Arenas de Cabrales.
Day 2
Visit the Arenas de Cabrales range; high pastures, wild peaks and limestone outcrops.
The walk begins directly from our hotel. After leaving the village, an ancient Roman path leads us up to the high pastures of Nava, which in the months of May and June are alive with a sea of flowers. We continue up where the scenery changes to one more reminiscent of the Yorkshire Dales, with limestone outcrops jutting out of the landscape. Looking skywards it is possible to spot a variety of eagles and vultures roaming the thermals. The path leads us to a viewpoint at ‘Collado Las Arnias’, which rewards us with commanding views of Arenas far below and the jagged peaks of the central massif in the distance. We descend and walk to the village of Caraves.
Day 3
Ascent to Pandescura peak with superb views of the Western Massif.
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.
Day 4
Classic Cares Gorge walk, one of the most popular walks in Spain.
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. 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.
Day 5
Free day. Optional activities include caving, canoeing, canyoning or a trip to the coast.
Today is free for you to visit the coast or try a spot of caving, canoeing or canyoning. Our local staff will be able to help organise any of these activities.
Day 6
Summit of Peña Main, one of the classic viewpoints of the Picos; continue on to Pandebano Col.
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.
Day 7
Walk up to the twin summits of Mancondiu offering fantastic views of the Central and Eastern Massifs.
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 varied week of walking.
Day 8
Fly to London
To Bilbao; fly to London.
Prices & Availability
An enjoyable week - recommended 5/5

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