Hiking in the Picos de Europa - Langdale Walking Holidays

Experience spectacular mountain scenery with some of the finest walking routes and authentic traditional villages Spain has to offer...

  • Walk the Pola de Somiedo UNESCO biosphere reserve
  • Hike the famous Naranjo de Bulnes/Uriellu mountain
  • Witness vultures, eagles and a profusion of wildflowers
  • Experience authentic Spanish mountain villages
  • Stay in welcoming mountain hotels, packed with character and charm
  • Discover some of the most remote, undeveloped scenery found in Western Europe

Step out into the beautiful nature walks and quaint Spanish villages contained within the distinctive landscape of the Picos de Europa mountain range. Our expert guide brings an extensive knowledge of the routes that open up this wild and uncultivated landscape to our walkers, as well as the landscape, flora and wildlife that are found across the mountains.

Each day's expedition out among the natural beauty of the Picos de Europa is complimented by a return to the distinctive traditional villages of the area, where you can look forward to a warm welcome and a heart meal consisting of produce local to the area.

Walking Grade: Grade: Moderate

Day 1: Monday 6th July: Flight to Bilbao, Pola de Somiedo

Transfer from Bilbao to Pola de Somiedo (3.5 hrs).

Set among the Somiedo Natural Park, Pola is an idyllic setting for our hiking adventure. The area is a UNESCO Biosphere reserve, one of the few places in Europe with a healthy population of Brown Bears and wolves. Farming in this very rural area is still highly traditional with cattle going up to the Brañas - high mountain pastures - in summer.

We stay in the Hotel Palacio Florez Estrada, a lovely hotel by the river with parts of its structure dating back to the 12th century.

Accommodation: Hotel Palacio Florez Estrada

Meals: Dinner,

Day 2: Tuesday 7th July: Pola de Somiedo

A valley route up to El Lago del Valle and Lago de La Mina. Our route involves 6 hours walking at first along the valley through fields and then up to the Lago de La Mina, which is set at 1600 metres. We then retrace our steps, hiking up to the Lago del Valle.

This is a classic Asturian walk with beautiful high pastures, picturesque shepherds’ huts, ancient Roman mines and great views. The bird and plant life are exceptional and we´ll see Vultures, Golden Eagle among the profusion of alpine flowers.

Accommodation: Hotel Palacio Florez Estrada

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

Day 3: Wednesday 8th July: Pola de de Somiedo

A twelve-mile circular route taking in the stunning Brañas (shepherds’ settlement high in the hills), forests, a wild gorge and three beautiful villages. A spectacular day of views, rural and high-country farming and stunning scenery with very few people around.

Accommodation: Hotel Palacio Florez Estrada

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

Day 4: Thursday 9th July: Valdeon

Our day begins with a 2hr15 drive through rugged hill country towards the Picos de Europa. On the way we´ll stop off at a couple of lovely villages and follow the route that leads to a fabulous picnic spot. Then we´ll continue to Posada de Valdeon: a lovely village in the Western Picos and our base for a couple of magical hikes.

Accommodation: Hotel Rural Picos de Europa

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

Day 5: Friday 10th July: Hotel Rural Picos de Europa, Valdeon

A 5-hour walking circuit from a high pass climbing 500 metres through forest and pasture up to the Vega de Llos, a broad plateau high above the valley. There are stunning views of the valley and the limestone pinnacles of the western and central Picos.

We return by a different path through oak forest and alpine fields back to the village of Posada de Valdeon. This has to be one of the most beautiful and least frequented hikes in the Picos!

Accommodation: Hotel Rural Picos de Europa

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

Day 6: Saturday 11th July: Arenas de Cabrales

Today we head towards the Northern part of the Picos de Europa, hiking along the famous Cares Gorge.

This spectacular and easy trail was made to channel water through to a series of hydro stations. It´s a hike of incredible views, steep cliffs, the raging river Cares and at the end, the village of Poncebos – a stunning day!

We stay a 10-minute drive down the valley in the lively Asturian small town of Arenas de Cabrales.

Accommodation: Hotel Juansabeli

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

Day 7: Sunday 12th July: Arenas de Cabrales

Today starts with short drive to the trailhead from where we hike 3 hours and 600m uphill to the foot of the Picos most famous mountain - the Naranjo de Bulnes/Uriellu. We return via a different route to Bulnes – a gorgeous, tiny village set above the main valley.

The road head is reached by hiking down the Bulnes gorge or by using the funicular railway (optional). There is also an easier hike if you prefer not to go all the way up to the Naranjo de Bulnes. This is a spectacular day with gentle pastures giving way to the steep and rocky limestone peaks of the high Picos.

Accommodation: Hotel Juansabeli

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner,

Day 8: Monday 13th July – Bilbao, Return Flight to UK

A 2 hour transfer to Bilbao. Several nice spots on the coast are along the way for a visit if we have time.

Meals: Breakfast,

Hotel Palacio Florez Estrada

casonas-asturianas-hotel-palacio-alvarez-florez-estrada

Surrounded by the spectacular Somiedo Natural Park, this rural retreat is packed with charm and character; offering a welcoming stay and a peaceful place to return to after a day's spent exploring the nearby Asturian mountains.

The hotel's name derives from the famous Spanish politician who was born here in 1766, a house that dates back to the era - protected as a historic Spanish monument.

 

Hotel Rural Picos de Europa

Hotel Picos de Europa

Ideally located for the hiking routes of the Valdeon, the Hotel Rural Picos de Europa is a 3 minute walk to the nearest village with comfortable, charming cottages to stay in and a pool.

Guests can expect friendly English-speaking hosts, wonderful food, beautiful surroundings and an excellent base for exploring the walking routes of the Picos de Europa.

 

hotel-la-casa-de-juansabeliHotel Juansabeli

Situated on the banks of the river Cares, as well as next to a particularly scenic waterfall,  the hotel Juansabeli is a grand stone building, restored with the greatest of care - right on the doorstep of the Picos de Europa.

The hotel is known for the quality of its food, as well as its well-appointed rooms and excellent service. The hotel is situated in the foothills of the mountains, with the nearest town being a 15-minute walk away.

 

Availability Status: Available To Book

Please Note: For reasons of safety, weather conditions and unforeseen circumstances, it may be necessary to make changes to the programme without advance notice. Every effort will be made to avoid this if at all possible.

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July Weather

Average Temperatures
25 C° high
15 C° low
Average Rainfall
40 mm / month
12 days / month
Average Sunshine
6 hours / day

Useful Information

Currency: The Euro (Eur). Sterling will (roughly) exchange at 1.14€ and USD follars exchange at 0.86€, with the average price for a cup of coffee in the Basque Country being 1.39€. There are ATMs in the towns nearby our accommodation.

Timezone: Spain observes two time-zones, Central European Time (GMT+1) and Daylight Savings Time (GMT+2).

Language: Basque, though many will be able to speak Spanish. English speakers in the Basque Country are almost exclusively within the tourism and hospitality industry.

How Fit Do I Need to Be? Experience of walking up and over gradients in the run-up to the holiday will put you in good stead to negotiate some of the trickier sections of this walk with ease. Ascents are not overly prolonged, but will require a reasonable level of fitness.

Dressing for the Season in the Picos de Europa: Breathable base layers, with light outer layers should put you in good stead for typical weather conditions in the Picos de Europa. We follow unsurfaced roads, where hiking boots are an essential for negotiating your way through the mountain routes. Similar to the way you dress for the climate: breathable, lightweight hiking boots are what you want to aim for.

Power Plugs and Sockets in Spain: Standard European socket; visitors from outside mainland Europe will need to bring a European travel adapter (available at airports and supermarkets).

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