• Spain: Hiking the Picos de Europa

    An incomparable mountain trek through one of Spain’s greatest secrets!

    Spain’s greatest secret, the Picos de Europa mountain range, soars to nearly 9,000 feet just 20 miles from the northern Atlantic coast. Our local Asturian guides lead this fantastic mountain adventure off the beaten path—on yet another exclusive MTS itinerary!

    best times to go: August - September

    departures: 2 scheduled datesview departures

    pricing: from $3,595 see detailed pricing

    The Mediterranean

    Strenuous
Also great as a private trip. Call for details

An incomparable mountain trek through one of Spain’s greatest secrets!

Northern Spain’s quiet Picos de Europa range is known for its superb climbing, incomparable beauty, and Spanish resistance lore. Our exclusive itinerary offers challenging hikes (shorter options available) along rocky trails, through narrow canyons and grassy meadows, beneath dramatic limestone spires, and through sleepy villages steeped in Celtic culture. Along the way, we’ll take in the regional sites of the basilica of Covadonga, the Santa Cueva, and the Paleolithic art in the cave of Tito Bustillo. Comfortable hotels, a historic parador, and a cool glass of Asturian cidra offer welcome respite after long days on the trail. Filled with its own distinct legends and culture, the Picos de Europa is a peak experience you won’t want to miss!

Activities

6 days moderate to strenuous hiking on varied, sometimes rocky, terrain (maximum elevation 8,300')

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Hike the Picos de Europa, a hidden gem, on this MTS exclusive trek
  • Enjoy dramatic views of stunning, lunar-like limestone spires, deep gorges, narrow canyons, and flowery meadows
  • Explore ancient hill villages only accessible by foot and taste local delights such as Rosa’s Cabrales cheese, unique to this region

Duration: 8 days Start Location: Oviedo End Location: Oviedo

Download Detailed Itinerary
BRIEF Itinerary
  • Day 1 : Arrive in Oviedo, Spain

    Arrive in Oviedo, Spain. Meet your guide and transfer to our historic parador in Cangas de Onís. This afternoon, we’ll visit the neo-Romanesque basilica of Covadonga and the Santa Cueva. Welcome dinner tonight.

  • Day 2 : Posada de Valdeón

    This morning, we’ll drive to Soto de Sajambre to begin our hike up to Collado El Frade. After lunch, we’ll descend into a valley between the two large massifs of the Picos de Europa to Valdeón.

  • Day 3 : Day Hike

    A loop hike from the hotel brings us up a steep trail, through a beech forest, a meadow, and into a cirque. We’ll lunch in Hoyo de los Lagos, then climb to the Horcada de la Chavida or take a shorter route down to the hotel.

  • Day 4 : Cares Gorge – Sotres

    We’ll hike into the Cares River Gorge, via an easy trail with peaks soaring high above us. After lunch in Poncebos, take an optional shuttle to Sotres or ascend La Canal del Tejo to enjoy its amazing views.

  • Day 5 : Hike to Aliva

    A long but memorable hike filled with rocky spires, narrow canyons and snowy peaks! We’ll climb above the treeline to Naranjo de Bulnes for lunch, hike up to Horcados Rojos and then descend to the Aliva meadows.

  • Day 6 : Aliva

    Two hiking options today. One is an easy hike in the south valley of the Picos with a cable car ride home. The other takes us up to the Collado Jermoso, with an optional ascent of Pico de la Padiorna.

  • Day 7 : Ribadesella

    This morning, we’ll enjoy an easy hike through the Duje River Valley back to Sotres for lunch. We’ll then transfer to the coastal town of Ribadesella, where we’ll visit the famous cave of Tito Bustillo and see its Paleolithic art! The afternoon is free to explore before our farewell seafood dinner tonight.

  • Day 8 : Departure

    After breakfast, we’ll transfer to the Asturias airport for our homeward bound flights.

Download Detailed Itinerary

DATES: Best time to go: August - September Departures: Sep 7 - 14, 2014 Fernando Calvo Guides Aug 23 - 30, 2015 Can be done back to Back with Across the Pyrenees (PVP) August 15, 2015

PRICING:

2014 Prices
$3,595 (2-16 members)
$1,000 single supplement

2015 Prices
$3,995 (2-16 members)
$1,000 single supplement

  • Parador de Cangas de Onís
    Cangas de Onís

    Luxury four star hotel in a twelfth century monastery which was declared a National Monument in 1907
    This former monastery on the banks of the river Sella has been extended by a recent wing blending harmoniously with the architectural and constructional qualities.

    The Parador hotel, with its modern and comfortable installations, is the ideal place to admire the Asturian landscape. From here enjoy the characteristic fiestas, the ancestral folklore, and taste the best and most genuine of its rich gastronomic recipes.

    From this National Monument, the San Pedro de Villanueva Monastery, you can reach many wonders such as the Picos de Europa (Peaks of Europe) range of mountains, the Covadonga Mountain and the nearby river Sella.

  • Hotel Cumbres de Valdeón
    Posada de Valdeón
  • Gran Hotel del Sella
    Ribadesella, Spain

    Situated right on the Santa Marina beach, the Gran Hotel del Sella is an open gallery to all the beautiful natural surroundings. The hotel is divided in two parts, reflecting Ribadesella's past and present. It has the prestige of its history as it was the former summer palace of the Marquises of Argüelles.

Properties shown are representative of the accommodations we use on this trip, may not be inclusive of all accommodations we use, and are subject to change.

Expert leadership is the key to an exciting, unforgettable experience. Our trips feature gifted leaders for whom leading trips is a true vocation. Besides showing you wonders you’d never find on your own, they make sure everything runs smoothly and safely without a hitch. They are knowledgeable about all aspects of your trip, and take great pleasure in sharing their insights with you. More than just guides, they positively elevate your experience by being teachers, companions, and the best of friends. You’ll be in good hands with them every step of the way.

  • Erik Perez

    Erik was born and raised in Asturias, Region of Northern Spain, with the big range of Mountains called Picos de Europa and Cordillera Cantabrica. He is an accomplished climber (climbing Mont Blanc numerous times), backcountry and downhill skier. Erik has been with MTS since 1989 and has received his certification to be a IFMGA/UIAGM guide which is the highest professional award attainable in mountaineering. He has written two guidebooks on hikes and climbs in the Picos de Europa. Erik studied Humanities at the University of Oviedo, Capital city of Asturias and received a Masters degree in History.

photo credits: ©Tara Starr-Keddle



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Activity Ratings

Easy

Many activities are optional and involve fairly easy travel. Trips may include short hikes of two to three hours or optional walks at low elevations. Includes less demanding sea kayaking and river rafting trips with Class I-II rapids.

Moderate

More active trips involving hiking over moderate terrain, usually - but not always - with vehicle support and at elevations less than 10,000 feet, or trips with long hiking days, multiple sea kayaking days, wilderness camping, or other invigorating activity. On many trips, you can elect to skip a day's activity, depending on logistics. Includes more demanding sea kayaking trips and river rafting trips with Class III rapids.

Strenuous

Hiking and trekking over steeper or more rugged terrain or where elevations may exceed 10,000 feet - often several days in a row. Includes more demanding sea kayaking trips (4-5 hours paddling a day) and river rafting trips with Class IV-V rapids.

Ultimate Challenge!

Our most demanding trips: trekking over steep, rugged terrain at high elevations (no vehicle support) or with substantial altitude gains and losses; trips to remote, extreme wilderness; mountaineering trips. Includes our most demanding sea kayaking (5-7 hours paddling a day) and river rafting trips with Class IV-V rapids.

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Departure Dates

Sep 7 - 14, 2014 Fernando Calvo Guides Aug 23 - 30, 2015 Can be done back to Back with Across the Pyrenees (PVP) August 15, 2015
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Toll Free:1-888-831-7526