8-day Picos de Europa Mountain Trek

Spain
Walking
Self-Guided
8-day Picos de Europa Mountain Trek

8-day Picos de Europa Mountain Trek

Prices

From $525USD

Difficulty

Self-guided

Hotels, Hostels, Mountain Huts

Start Your Booking

Highlights

Spend 8 unforgettable days trekking in Spain’s Picos de Europa National Park

Explore scenic pastures, sprawling glacier valleys, flowing streams, and limestone mountains in the Picos de Europa National Park.

Trek pristine rural areas in northern Spain, discovering mountain villages and unspoiled natural landscapes.

Find unforgettable vistas as you ascend marvellous peaks and take in the impressive mountain scenery.

Feel a sense of accomplishment as you trek all three massifs of the Picos de Europa mountain range.

The Picos de Europa Mountain Trek is an 8-day trekking adventure in northern Spain’s Picos de Europa National Park. This condensed version of the 12-day Picos de Europa mountain trek is the perfect adventure for those looking to explore the highlights of the mountain range at their own pace over the course of a week.

The Picos de Europa (Peaks of Europe), without a doubt, earn the title of Spain’s most impressive mountains. Three sensational peaks rise from the unspoiled landscapes of the Picos de Europa National Park, providing breathtaking vistas for the adventurous trekkers conquering its peaks.

Setting out from Arenas, you’ll traverse idyllic landscapes, trekking rolling pastures, sprawling glacier valleys, rushing rivers, and spectacular limestone mountains in the national park. Scenic day walks are interspersed with challenging climbs, taking you to exhilarating altitudes that afford unparalleled views.

The Picos de Europa Mountain Trek will immerse you in the stark beauty of the natural landscape of this region and pave the way for authentic local experiences in small mountain villages in the provinces of Asturias, Cantabria, and Castile and León. Discover traditional mountain culture and enjoy regional gastronomic specialties as you stay at comfortable hotels, hostels, and mountain huts.

The Picos de Europa Mountain Trek is the hiking adventure of a lifetime. The three peaks await!

Picos de Europa Mountain Trek

Day 1 Arrive and Unwind

The start point of your epic mountain trek in Picos de Europa begins today in Arenas de Cabrales, located in Asturias, a province of northern Spain.

After settling into your accommodations, set out on an optional walk where you’ll have the chance to visit an ancient Roman church and also peruse the local shops for any last-minute items you may need for your trek.

This evening, unwind on a cozy terrace within the town while sipping on a traditional local cider.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Arenas
Distance
Flexible
Meals
None

Day 2 Trek from Poncebos to Posada de Valdeón via the Cares Gorge

Today’s route begins with a short shared transfer that will take you to the trailhead.

Setting out on a scenic footpath, you’ll tackle a steep ascent on a zig-zagging trail that eventually levels out. The scenery on this portion of the trail is breathtaking as you make your way along the River Cares, which has sculpted the spectacular Cares Gorge that cuts masterfully through the heart of the Picos.

Surrounded by jagged peaks, you’ll continue to trek through the mountains as you make your way to the remote village of Cain.

Extended route: 6.5 hours, 18 km, 850m of ascent, 850m of descent

Overnight Location
Hotel in Posada de Valdeón
Distance
Regular route: 5 hours, 14 km, 650m of ascent, 650m of descent
Meals
Breakfast

Day 3 Trek the Ancient Trader’s Path of el Camín del Mercadillo

Begin your day with a well-paced walk on the el Camín del Mercadillo, an ancient trader’s path that will take you from the Posada de Valdeón to Liébana.

The next stretch involves an exhilarating ascent of 800m, leading you to the meadowlands at Caben Remoña. The meadow unfolds between León and Cantabria, marking the border between the two provinces.

Once you’ve reached the meadowlands, there are two hiking options from here.

9 km walk and 900m of descent to the hostel in Espinama.

Option 2: Fuente Dé
Take a high route via Vega de Liordes down to Fuente Dé, and a bus or taxi 3.5km to your hostel in Espinama.
Option 2: 8.5 hours, 17 km, 1270 m of ascent, 1120m of descent

Overnight Location
Hostel in Espinama
Distance
Option 1: 6.5 hours, 16 km, 850m of ascent, 900m of descent
Meals
Breakfast, dinner

Day 4 Trek the Áliva Pass to Sotres

Trekkers have the option of beginning today’s trek with a walk to Fuente Dé, catching the cable car high into the central massif. Alternatively, trekkers can climb directly from Espinama this morning along the Áliva Pass before following a glacier moraine down the Duje River Valley that leads to Sotres.

Sotres (1050m, 3444 ft) is the highest village in the Picos, surrounded by fantastic trekking routes and short walks.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Sotres
Distance
6.5-7 hours, 17 km, 925m of ascent, 750m of descent
Meals
Breakfast, dinner

Day 5 Walk the Ándara Circuit

Today you’ll be introduced to the stunning eastern massif of the range, known as Andara.

A short transfer will take you to the trailhead, where you’ll follow a route along a historic mining track, taking you into the heart of the massif.

Ascending to a soaring height of 2215m (7267 ft), you’ll experience unfathomable views of the mountains and surrounding scenery, conquering Andara as you trek her majestic slopes.

Finally, following cattle tracks, you’ll descend Andara, returning to your accommodations.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Sotres
Distance
4-4.5 hours, 8 km, 100m of ascent, 520m of descent
Meals
Breakfast, dinner

Day 6 Explore Vega de Urriellu

Today’s trek is brimming with highlights as you conquer the Picu Urriellu (2519m, 8264 ft). The impressive peak is known worldwide for its impeccable rock climbing, and today you'll conquer it on foot!

Following farmer's tracks from Sotres to Pandébano Col, you'll trek a footpath up into the heart of the central massif.

Fully immerse yourself in the mountain landscapes in a unique stay at a remote mountain hut tucked away in the core of the Picos de Europe National Park tonight.

Overnight Location
Hut at Picu Urriellu
Distance
5.5 hours, 12 km, 1085m of ascent, 180m of decent
Meals
Breakfast, dinner

Day 7 Trek to Bulnes via the Camburero Gorge

Today you’ll be introduced to yet another fascinating aspect of the Picos, setting out on a footpath through the Camburero Gorge, which will lead you to the remote villages of Bulnes (not accessible by road).

Traversing the plunging Teju Gorge, you’ll then descend to reach Poncebos, taking you back to the place where your epic journey began just a week ago!

A short public transfer will then take you to your hotel in Arenas.

Overnight Location
Hotel in Arenas
Distance
5-6 hours, 9.5 km, 50m of ascent, 1900m of decent
Meals
Breakfast

Day 8 Depart Arenas

The time has come to depart Arenas as your mountain trek in the Picos de Europa comes to an end. Enjoy one final breakfast before making your way to the airport to depart!

Overnight Location
None
Distance
None
Meals
Breakfast

Picos de Europa Mountain Trek Price and Dates

This self-guided hiking tour of Picos de Europa is always run as a private tour for your group and the price per person depends on the number of people staying in one room, as well as the season.

Prices below are per person.

Departures on May 15th - June 13th:

  • Price per solo traveller: $825USD
  • Price per person in single room (group of 2+): $750USD
  • Price per person sharing a double room: $575USD
  • Price per person sharing a triple room: $550USD

Departures on June 14th - July 25th:

  • Price per solo traveller: $875USD
  • Price per person in single room (group of 2+): $825USD
  • Price per person sharing a double room: $625USD
  • Price per person sharing a triple room: $575USD

Departures on July 26th - August 31st:

  • Price per solo traveller: $950USD
  • Price per person in single room (group of 2+): $895USD
  • Price per person sharing a double room: $650USD
  • Price per person sharing a triple room: $595USD

Departures on September 1st - September 18th:

  • Price per solo traveller: $875USD
  • Price per person in single room (group of 2+): $825USD
  • Price per person sharing a double room: $625USD
  • Price per person sharing a triple room: $575USD

Departures on September 19th - October 15th:

  • Price per solo traveller: $825USD
  • Price per person in single room (group of 2+): $750USD
  • Price per person sharing a double room: $575USD
  • Price per person sharing a triple room: $550USD
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Accommodation on the Picos de Europa Mountain Trek

This tour is based in 2-star hotels and hostels and a mountain hut. The hotels and hostels offer private rooms and basic amenities. The mountain lodge offers shared dorms in a spectacularly unique and remote setting.

In some cases, the accommodation listed below may need to be substituted for other comparable accommodations.

Single Rooms and Solo Travellers
See pricing details for pricing if you are a solo traveller or require single rooms in your group.

Hotel La Rivera in Arenas de Cabrales

Enjoy this stay on the edge of Picos de Europa National Park in a scenic, remote setting. A warm atmosphere welcomes guests to this pleasant property that boasts lovely views of the surrounding landscapes.

Hotel Cumbres de Valdeón in Posada de Valdeón

This comfortable hotel surrounds guests with the impressive summits of the Picos de Europa and beautiful views of the River Cares.

Hostal Nevandi in Espinama

This charming hostel is located in the picturesque town of Espinama, which is one of the main access points to the central massif of Picos de Europa.

Hotel Sotres in Sotres

Enjoy a cozy stay at this family-run hotel that offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. Enjoy traditional specialties at the hotel’s authentic restaurant and take advantage of the amenities offered here.

Refugio Veg Uriellu in Arenas de Cabrales

This unique stay at this rustic mountain refuge will charm you with its authenticity and proximity to the natural landscapes. Guests will enjoy a comfortable stay in a dormitory with shared washrooms.

Hotel La Rivera in Arenas de Cabrales

Enjoy this stay on the edge of Picos de Europa National Park in a scenic, remote setting. A warm atmosphere welcomes guests to this pleasant property that boasts lovely views of the surrounding landscapes.

Hotels on Standard Tour

What’s Included in the Picos de Europa Mountain Trek?

Meals

7 breakfasts and 4 dinners are included.

Accommodations

Accommodations for 7 nights is included.

Transportation during the Tour

Shared transfers on Day 2 are included. On this day, the transfer will take you to Poncebos and your luggage will continue on to Sotres where it will be kept until Day 4.

Private transfer on Day 5 is also included. Luggage transfers on Day 2 (Arenas to Sotres) and Day 7 (Sotres to Arenas) are included. Luggage transfers on Days 3 and 4 can be booked in advance as a supplement (please see ‘Optional Extras’).

Also Included

  • Detailed route maps and notes
  • 24-hour telephone assistance

Not included

  • Flights to and from Spain
  • Cable car ticket on Day 4
  • Bus ticket on Day 4
  • Optional taxi transfers
  • Visas if required
  • Travel insurance
  • Tourist taxes if applicable
  • Meals, drinks, or snacks not previously mentioned
  • Fees not mentioned as 'included'
  • Guide services

Optional Extras

  • Activities and excursions unless otherwise mentioned as included
  • Luggage transfers not already included
  • Airport transfers
  • Any additional nights before or after the tour

Frequenty Asked Questions about 8-day Picos de Europa Mountain Trek

How hard is the Picos de Europa Mountain Trek?

We rate this tour a 4/5. Hikers should expect challenging hiking in mountainous areas. Daily hikes range from 5-7 hours and travellers should be capable of such distances for several days in a row.

Do I need a visa to travel to Spain?

Check with your local country about visa requirements. You could also try this website, though you should verify with your government.

Are meals included on the Short Picos de Europa Mountain Trek?

7 breakfasts and 4 dinners are included on this tour.

Do I need insurance?

Yes, it is mandatory to have health and medical insurance to join this trip. Get your Travel Insurance.

How do I get to Arenas de Cabrales to start this tour?

Arrive at either Oviedo Airport (OVD), Santander Airport (SDR), or Bilboa Airport (BIO). From all three airports, you can make your way to Arenas via public bus. Alternatively, you can book a private transfer in advance as a supplement or arrange your own private transfer from your arrival airport.

Where does the Short Picos de Europa Mountain Trek end?

The trek ends in Arenas de Cabrales. You can take a public bus to your departure airport or book a private transfer as a supplement in advance. Alternatively, you can arrange your own private transfer to your departure airport.

Do I need special vaccines to travel to Spain?

Check with your family doctor.

Are there any travel restrictions for Spain?

Please check with your local government about travel restrictions before you book your tour. This map from the US Department of State provides an overview of the current status in countries around the globe. The UK‘s Foreign Office and Government of Canada also provide advice on foreign travel. Note that the travel advice may change depending on your nationality.

When is the best time to travel to Spain for this tour?

The best time to travel to Spain for this tour is June-September when the weather is warmest and driest.

Reviews

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Having local tour operators and guides means you get a more authentic experience, and your booking creates jobs in the local communities you visit.

Details of the local tour operator will be listed on your booking invoice. If you have questions about the local operator prior to booking, please click the “Ask a Question” button below.

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Prices

From $525USD

Difficulty

Self-guided

Hotels, Hostels, Mountain Huts

Start Your Booking

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Rated 4.9 on Google Reviews

Tour Difficulty

We rate this tour a 4/5. Hikers should expect challenging hiking in mountainous areas. Daily hikes range from 5-7 hours and travellers should be capable of such distances for several days in a row.


Read about our scale for Tour Difficulty Ratings.

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