Traverse of the Picos de Europa
- Walking through Spain`s finest mountain landscapes
- Trekking to the summit of Pena Vieja
- Dramatic Cares Gorge walk
- Staying in remote mountain refuges
- An excellent week of mountain walking
Close to Spain's northern coast, the Picos de Europa is a region of steep-sided valleys, isolated villages and rugged limestone peaks. Picking out the highlights of Picos walking, this great walking holiday makes a logical and continuous west to east traverse of the three separate massifs that comprise this dramatic mountain range. From the pretty country town of Cangas de Onis, we hike by way of the Vegarredonda Refuge to our first objective, Pico Cotalba (2026m). We then descend the 1500 metre-deep Garganta del Cares, following a spectacular cliff-side path that is one of the great Picos walks. Climbing back up into the central massif, we overnight at a refuge beneath the awe-inspiring Naranjo de Bulnes and continue walking across a lunar landscape to the superb viewpoint summit of Torre Horcadas Rocas (2500m). A picturesque final day's hike to down into Espinama concludes this gem of a walking holiday.
Is this holiday for you?
This is real mountain journey with significant amounts of ascent and descent on most days. The trails are predominantly good but there are sections on scree and bare rock. We will be walking for between 5 and 8 hours each day. This trip is suitable for regular hillwalkers, looking for an excellent week's mountain walking in a quiet region relatively untouched by tourism. Three of the refuges that we use during the holiday are not accessible by vehicle and this means that group members will need to carry minimal personal equipment for the first 5 days of the trek, with access to your trek bag at the hotel in Puente Poncebos after the first 3 days. In reality, since sleeping bags and camping mats are not needed, you should be able to keep the weight of your daysack down to no more than 7 or 8 kgs. The fact that this holiday is not vehicle supported does affect the overall difficulty.