PICOS DE EUROPA

GUIDED WALKING HOLIDAY

 

Picos de Europa: Spain's greener side

grade moderate challenging guided walking holiday spain picos de europa

7 nights - Single-centre based, day walks

The Picos de Europa are a majestic range of limestone mountains in the north of Spain rising abruptly from the Atlantic coast. Your weeks guided walking will explore steep-sided valleys, isolated pretty villages and rugged limestone peaks. More holiday details

Full list of guided walking holidays for private groups

Picos de europa spain guided walking holiday

 

The Picos de Europa are a majestic range of limestone mountains in the north of Spain rising abruptly from the Atlantic coast just 20 kms to the north. Made up of three distinct massifs, the region is characterised by steep-sided valleys, huge towering cliffs, isolated pretty villages and rugged limestone peaks reaching over 2600m in altitude. The three mountain ranges of the Picos de Europa are known as central, western and eastern. The central and western mountains are separted by the mile deep Cares gorge. Your weeks guided walking holiday will explore the numerous facets of these fascinating and spectacular mountains shaped by the action of ice and water. Designated as Spain’s first National Park, the region is home to some of Europe's most impressive wildlife species, including wolf, Iberian Lynx, chamois and the Cantabrian Bear. Eagles, buzzars, vultures and Coughs can also be seen on our guided walking holiday.

The Picos de Europa enjoys a temperate climate with the coast and the western mountains creating Spain’s green landscape, whilst the valleys of Liébana, lying on their eastern flank, experience a much drier and more arid climate.

The topography of the Picos de Europa makes them notoriously complicated to navigate, the karstification process having compounded the effects of glaciation by creating deep hollows (hoyos) and vertical mountain walls. (Espeologists can explore some of the deepest caves in Europe). Fortunately you'll be guided on your walks by a Mountain Leader. Water is scarce in the high Picos with only occasional, small springs. Among the highest peaks in the Picos de Europa are Torre de Cerredo (2,648m), Torre de Llambrión (2,642m), Peña Vieja (2,613m) and Peña Santa de Castilla (2,596m), although the most well-known is El Naranjo de Bulnes (2,519m), aka Picu Urriello in the local dialect. This lump of a mountain sticks up like a thumb from the central massif and, along with the rest of the range, can be seen, on a clear day, from the coast. According to legend, the Picos de Europa were so named by northern European sailors approaching the Costa Verde from the Bay of Biscay.

Your guided walking holiday in the Picos de Europa will also be a chance to experience the pleasures of this beautiful region. You'll be staying at Casa Gustavo, which is a 500 year-old farmhouse converted to a friendly and informal guesthouse managed by your welcoming hosts Lisa and Mike Stuart. This ancient and atmospheric old house makes a great base for our week's guided walking holiday in the Picos de Europa of Northern Spain. It has a captivating charm with it's thick stone walls, solid oak beams, wonky, wooden floors and interesting doors. There is a flower-filled courtyard with barbecue where dinner is served on hot evenings. Evening meals are three set courses of good food making use of as much local and seasonal produce as possible. For example the area is famed for its piquant blue cheeses, such as Queso de Cabrales, traditionally matured in caves. Their lovely meals could include goat cheese and pear salad, Lisas’ lentils with chorizo or Mikes’ paella, all accompanied by plenty of our “extremely quaffable” house wine.

 

location Picos de Europa north Spain guided walking holiday

Cares gorge Picos de Europa Spain guided walking holiday

Naranjo de Bulnes Picos de Europa Spain guided walking holiday

Picos de Europa Spain guided walking

 

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