I went with limited expectations, and had only seen a few Google photos and some YouTube videos. I knew it would rugged and mountainous, and quite probably wet. The forecast was 7 days rain, and we had a wet welcome. However, Uriel, the local sun god, smiled on us and we had a mostly dry week with some pretty wet moments. The walking is spectacular. There is predictably a lot of going up and coming down, and a fair bit requires poles and some attention as toy where you place them. It is green, and rugged rock. We were tested in terms of what we could do but I was lucky and we had a group of 7 who were pretty similar in our capabilities. Louis the guide is local, knowledgeable, professional and friendly, an absolute star. The hotel was basic but provided all our needs, lots of hot water, a drying room and excellent food. The views from your door are amazing.
Picos de Europa
Picos de Europa
5 of The Best Walking Trails on Picos de Europa Walking Holidays
Pandescura Peak: From the village of Canales, head through open farmland up to Collado de los Buitres before beginning the ascent to the base of Pandescura Peak. This distinctive limestone peak stands inside the western massif and during the walk you’ll ascend on goat tracks and through pretty meadows before tackling the summit. The final push to the top is worth the effort in return for the views across the valley and the western massif. This is one of the more tranquil and quieter treks in the Picos de Europa, where the only sounds you’ll hear are goat bells, and griffin vultures soaring overhead.
Main Range: Tielve village is the starting point for this walk. To reach the summit of the Main Range, where you’ll find one of the best viewpoints in the entire Picos de Europa, you’ll walk through peaceful woodland where you’re hugged by ancient hazel and beech trees. The track gradually steepens as you ascend to the summit of the Main Range. From this classic vantage point, you’ll be greeted with uninterrupted views of the central massif and the valleys below.
Lakes of Covadonga: This is one of the more challenging hikes in the national park, but it’s also one of the most rewarding. En route, it’s worth visiting the Covadonga Sanctuary, which consists of a holy cave built into the mountains, a grand basilica, a museum and a church. Continuing your walk, the trails are enveloped by awe-inspiring scenery that lead to the glacial lakes of Enol and Ercina. These natural wonders form the Lakes of Covadonga and in the warmer months when they thaw, a third lake named Bricial is created. Framing each of the lakes you’ll find dramatic peaks and lush landscapes covered in wildflowers.
Twin summits of Mancondiu: The trek to the twin summits of Mancondiu is one of the most demanding in the Picos de Europa mountains and they stand at 2,000 metres high. Much of the route follows old mining tracks that wind through dramatic scenery dominated by the western massif which looms over verdant valleys below. On reaching the summits of Mancondiu, the most arresting vista of the eastern and central massifs open up. Although there is the opportunity to cross between the two peaks, there is a steep drop below the exposed ridge which can be extremely daunting for anyone that doesn’t have a head for heights.
Cares Gorge Walk: Also known as the Divine Gorge, the Cares Gorge walk follows an engineered track around the rockface and is considered one of the most spectacular in the Picos de Europa. As well as the beautiful scenery, there are thrilling adventures around every twist and turn. During the walk you’ll be blessed with immense views of the limestone peaks, and you’ll cross over impressive bridges along the river trail. There’s also the opportunity to explore the mountain caves and tunnels, and you might even encounter a wild goat or the rare creeper bird on your journey.
RICHARD COOKE Walking the Picos de Europa
James Brown Walking the Picos de Europa
A very enjoyable trip. The Hotel Torrecerrado is a pleasant hotel just a few minutes walk from Arenas De Cabrales. The rooms were basic but comfortable, there is a well stocked bar with a terrace that offers incredible views of the mountains. The staff are friendly and helpful. The evening meals were of exceptional quality, I really wasn’t expecting food to be so good. Lewis our guide was super friendly and took us on some very enjoyable walks. The Picos area is huge, we only scratched the surface of what’s on offer. Honestly, I had never even heard of the Picos de Europa before seeing it on the Exodus website, it’s an absolute gem that offers huge potential.
Gary Brooks Walking the Picos de Europa
One of the best Exodus holidays I have been on! The hotel was excellent, with the best view ever, very friendly and helpful owners and staff, and the food was the best I’ve ever had on any of your trips! Our guide Luis was an exceptional young man, with the most amazing knowledge of the area, historically, geographically and flora and fauna-wise! He is a gem and Exodus should keep him as a treasure in their chest! The scenery in the Picos way surpassed my expectations, and the Cares Gorge walk, although 7.5miles each way is one of the wonders of the World and well worth it!
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