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!
6 days moderate to strenuous hiking on varied, sometimes rocky, terrain (maximum elevation 8,300')
- 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: OviedoDownload Detailed 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.
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
Parador de Cangas de OnísCangas 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 ValdeónPosada de Valdeón
Gran Hotel del SellaRibadesella, 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 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.