Walking in the Picos de Europa
Rising from the ocean, the Picos de Europa is one of the most striking mountain ranges on the Iberian Peninsula. Just 40km long and 20km wide, the jagged limestone peaks rise to 2600m and contrast sharply with the lush valleys dotted with small hamlets far below. Rich in wildlife such as chamois, hedgehogs and wild boar and an abundance of wildflowers, the national park is a delight. Perhaps the most striking feature of the Picos is the deep gorges and rivers which divide the range into three distinct massifs. The focus of this walk is between the central massif (Macizo Central), home to the highest peak Torre de Cerredo (2648m) and the eastern massif (Macizo Oriental). Highlights include walking in the wide glacier valleys overlooked by the limestone peaks, the authentic villages and the ascent to the base of Naranjo de Bulnes' west face, considered to be the signature peak of the region. At night stay in small family run hotels in Arenas and Sotres with opportunities to sample local specialties such as the famous blue cheese, Queso de Cabrales.
|DAY 1||Arrive Arenas de Cabrales|
|DAY 2||Walk to the summer meadows of Nava above the Cares River with superb views of the Picos (5.5hrs)|
|DAY 3||Transfer to Tielve and walk through beech forests to Sotres (4hrs)|
|DAY 4||Walk the eastern massif of the Picos (5hrs)|
|DAY 5||A loop walk around Tresviso (5hrs)|
|DAY 6||Ascend to the foot of the west face of Naranjo de Bulnes (5.5hrs)|
|DAY 7||Descend to Bulnes and walk through gorges (5hrs)|
|DAY 8||Trip concludes|
I approached my travel agent with a challenging itinerary that included walking over the Pyrenese, treking through the Picos de Europa and walking along the north coast of Spain. The agent used the self guided tours offered by Utracks to package the trip. Utracks provided a trouble free service with a really interesting variety of accommodation.