• Spain: Hiking the Picos de Europa

    An incomparable mountain trek through one of Spain’s greatest secrets with MTS Senior Guide Erik Perez

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

    best times to go: July, 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 with MTS Senior Guide Erik Perez

Spain’s greatest secret, the Picos de Europa mountain range, soars to nearly 9,000 feet just 20 miles from the northern Atlantic coast. An area of impressive limestone spires, cavernous gorges, rugged trails, isolated villages steeped in Celtic culture and Spanish folklore, the Picos still seem untouched by the hand of time—and a world away from the rest of Spain. Local mountaineers gravitate to this area for its superb climbing; however the rocky trails of the Picos also provide terrific hiking and unforgettable mountain views. MTS Senior Guide Erik Perez leads this fantastic mountain adventure off the beaten path—on yet another exclusive MTS itinerary! You’ll scale trails blazed into rock, and walk through grassy meadows strewn with wildflowers and narrow canyons with sheer rock walls. You’ll traverse the central massif and see its famous peaks, including the Naranjo de Bulnes (8,264'), Pico Tesorero (8,300'), and Pico de la Padiorna (7,500'). And with comfortable hotels, lodges, and a historic parador to greet you at the end of each day, you’ll discover that the Picos de Europa is one peak experience you’re glad you didn’t miss!
 

Activities

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

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Escape the crowds on this MTS-exclusive trek of northern Spain’s Picos de Europa with MTS Senior Guide and professional mountaineer Erik Perez
  • Enjoy endless views of dramatic limestone spires, deep gorges, narrow canyons, and wildflower-strewn meadows
  • Learn the ancient Asturian legends of these remote mountain villages, steeped in charm
  • End your day in comfortable hotels and lodges (including a historic parador) after an invigorating day on the trail
  • Discover the regional delights of sidra (the local, hard cider) and the blue, Cabrales cheese

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

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

    Meet in Oviedo, Spain and transfer to a beautiful parador near Cangas de Onis, home of King Pelayo, who started the Christian reconquest of Spain in the 8th century.

  • Day 2 : Posada de Valdeón

    Visit the neo-Romanesque basilica of Covadonga before returning to Cangas de Onis.

  • Day 3 : Day Hike

    Hike across a pass to Valdeon, a valley between the two large massifs of the Picos de Europa.

  • Day 4 : Cares Gorge – Sotres

    Hike through the dramatic Cares Gorge and then up to Bulnes. Continue across an open valley to Sotres.

  • Day 5 : Hike to Aliva

    Hike across the Central Massif of the Picos, ascending rocky trails to the base of several limestone peaks. Optional scramble up Pico Tesorero (8,300'). Descend to a well-appointed mountain hotel in Aliva.

  • Day 6 : Aliva

    Hike through local villages or optional scramble up Pico de la Padiorna (7,500').

  • Day 7 : Ribadesella

    Return hike through the Duje River Valley to Sotres. Drive to seaside Ribadesella and view the Paleolithic rock art at the caves of Tito Bustillo.

  • Day 8 : Departure

    Transfer to Oviedo and depart. (The September departure can be done back-to-back with our Across the Pyrenees trip.)

Download Detailed Itinerary

DATES: Best time to go: July, September Departures: Jun 29, 2014 - Jul 6, 2014 Sep 7 - 14, 2014 Fernando Calvo Guides

PRICING:

2014 Prices
$3,595 (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

Jun 29, 2014 - Jul 6, 2014 Sep 7 - 14, 2014 Fernando Calvo Guides
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