Laying claim to the third-highest mountain range in Spain, Picos de Europa National Park contains some of the finest and wildest scenery on the Iberian Peninsula – its Naranjo de Bulnes peak is one of the most spectacular limestone monoliths on Earth. Picos de Europa is so remote in places you might even find bears, wolves and wild boars in the area.
Our Picos de Europa walking holidays travel through spectacular scenery dotted with mountain huts and tiny villages. Our tours are led by expert guides who have a deep understanding of the region’s nature as well as the history and culture so you’ll be totally immersed in all the park has to offer. The Picos are just a stone’s throw from the beaches of northern Spain, and walking in the Cares Gorge is – for something so magnificent – surprisingly easy on the legs.
To discover the natural highlights of the national park, our Picos de Europa holidays follow remote trails through valleys blanketed in wildflowers during the spring and along rugged limestone peaks where you might see various species of birds such as golden eagles, chamois and griffon vultures – this truly is a paradise for nature lovers. You’ll also walk along some of the classic trails to epic viewpoints that showcase the finest scenery in Spain. On the twin summits of Mancondiu, standing at 2,000 metres, you can take in the 360-degree panoramas of both the eastern and central massifs.
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.
Better than walking in the Dolomites. Great variety and three climates in one mid-May week including snow. Hotel Torrecerredo is an ideal walkers hotel, clean, easy going, relaxed and good varied menu.
A great trip – fantastic scenery and a great little village with an even better hotel. Wonderful guide and ten fantastic walking partners made this trip quite memorable. Several days of rain tampered the mood but that’s what walking is all about.