We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Need help/info. re: "walks" and visit to Picos de Europa

St. Louis, MO
Level Contributor
2,592 posts
60 reviews
Save Topic
Need help/info. re: "walks" and visit to Picos de Europa

I know there are many scenic walks in Asturias and Cantabria, and have seen mention of the Cares Gorge walk that is 16 kilometers long. The recommendation is to do the whole thing, round trip. While my husband and I want to do a scenic walk and would be fine for maybe 7 or 8 kilometers, I am sure we will not be doing the entire walk. ( I assume this is one of the more spectacular routes to walk - ?) I need suggestions re: what the best walks are, where to access them, and where to start/stop just to get a chance to complete part of one.

Additionally, we would like to see some of Picos de Europa's scenic yet easily accessed areas and could use some advice on this as well. Which areas most easily access the park?

Please do not hesitate to suggest any additional places to see.

Thanks!

Mentioned in this post
The Cares Gorge
The Cares Gorge
65 Reviews
Asturias, Spain
Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
9,278 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Need help/info. re: "walks" and visit to Picos de Europa

Check out the following (in Spanish only):

liebanaypicosdeeuropa.com/visita/potes.htm

www.cantabriajoven.com/potes/

St. Louis, MO
Level Contributor
2,592 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Need help/info. re: "walks" and visit to Picos de Europa

Unfortunately, although I can speak enough Spanish to get by in a tourist situation and make a bit of general, basic conversation as well, I am not fluent enough to understand all of the information on the above listed sites to get as much out of them as I'd like.

That brings me to another question: Do very many of the posadas, hotels & inns in the north of Spain usually have an English speaking person on hand? I will be able to get by with my limited Spanish but it's always nice to be able to communicate fully when one wants to ask a lot of questions!

At any rate, I'm sure a lot of the info. on the sites above is findable in English when looking up Potes. I am sure I can get the answers to my questions once we are there, but I'm in the midst of deciding where to be and for how long, so the info. is helpful to plan in advance.

Thanks for your help!

Mentioned in this post
Spain
Spain
Europe
Asturias
Level Contributor
346 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Need help/info. re: "walks" and visit to Picos de Europa

Hi,

To get a feel for the different walks in the Picos, look here at the Parks official site -> reddeparquesnacionales.mma.es/parques/picos/…

In north west Spain the vast majority of posada's / hotels etc. are NON-english speaking.

Walking maps are easily available in main small towns near the Park, and in the holiday season, there are daily guided walks in the Park. Very often the guide can speak english and these are bookable at the Visitor Centre's .... they used to be free but with the austere times, there may well be a nominal charge now.

At this moment in time, the Cares Gorge walk has had a land slide near the Asturias / Leon border, which has wiped out the path. It's supposed to be open again for July but don't hold your breath. There's nothing to stop you doing it up to the cut-off and returning.

Have a look at this walking guide book -> http://www.sunflowerbooks.co.uk/picos.htm

Mike

Mentioned in this post
Spain
Spain
Europe
The Cares Gorge
The Cares Gorge
65 Reviews
Asturias, Spain
Leon
Leon
Province of Leon, Spain
Cantabria
Destination Expert
for Cantabria
Level Contributor
1,990 posts
113 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Need help/info. re: "walks" and visit to Picos de Europa

English speakingness will depend on where exactly you are. There are several bases to approach the Picos from, they are split into 3 massifs, and each effectively has a "base". Picos in Cantabria is probably the most touristy town in the Picos, and as a result is fairly English speaking, English menus normally available in restaurants, and most places will speak some English (and most likely have other English guests). We're not talking south of Spain packed with Brits here, but it as it is one of the best and easiest bases for the Picos, naturally this attracts attention! It's a lovely town, and is a big activity base, with the Fuente De cable car 23km further on up the road taking you right up to 1800m, right into the Picos with no effort. Once you get up there, there are several walks to choose from, walking over to the large refuge/restaurant/hotel at Aliva and back is lovely, or doing the whole circuit back round to Fuente De (about 4-5 hours, downhill for most of it, there's a new marked circular route for this which is not in older guidebooks). There's another walk up to the Cabaña Veronica, a wierd metal cabin up in the mountains. Lots of other lovely walks lower down around Potes too, the marked one near Brez is lovely, and about the right length (circular again). Check out the Recommended Reading in the Cantabria Travel Guide for info on books and maps for these, they're all well marked.

Another base could be Arenas de Cabrales over in Asturias, which gives you easy access to the Cares Gorge (which is indeed cut off at the moment, although by all accounts they are busy planning to fly in bridges to bridge the gap before the tourist season starts). There is also a lovely walk up to the village of Bulnes, starting at Poncebos, where the Cares walk also starts. The Picos's only car free village, it's real mountain stuff, and also has a funicular up to it. It's about an hours walk up and another back, steepish but beautiful. And there are further marked walks around the villages of Sotres and Tielve.

Also in Asturias, you could base yourselves around Cangas de Onis, with easy access to the Covadonga area and lakes, again, plenty of marked walks of all lengths and lovely and mountainous again, and you should find English spoken here.

And another option could be going round the back, and using Posada de Valdeon, definitely the least touristy of those mentioned, but also giving quite direct access to the Picos, with a great network of marked walks, and close to the other end of the Cares walk and Cain.

I would really recommend getting the book: SENDEROS PR Y GR DEL PARQUE NACIONAL DE LOS PICOS DE EUROPA, in Spanish, but with photos and fairly obvious details for the walks, that along with the green and yellow Picos maps (available everywhere) should sort you out. Again, check out the stuff about Maps in the Cantabria Travel Guide.

Mentioned in this post
Spain
Spain
Europe
Potes
Potes
Cantabria, Spain
Arenas de Cabrales
Arenas de Cabrales
Cabrales Municipality, Spain
The Cares Gorge
The Cares Gorge
65 Reviews
Asturias, Spain
Sotres
Sotres
Cabrales Municipality, Spain
Cangas de Onis
Cangas de Onis
Asturias, Spain
Covadonga
Covadonga
986 Reviews
Llanes, Spain
St. Louis, MO
Level Contributor
2,592 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Need help/info. re: "walks" and visit to Picos de Europa

Oh, Ratoncantabria, I JUST posted a different question (re: towns to stay in) and not yet seen your reply above. Just scanned it and have to leave for a few hrs. but plan to get back to it and do some checking on all of the great info. you provided. Just for the record, while we plan to walk a little, we are not planning to walk for hours. Probably only about an hr. or two's walk would do for us. We are both active,

St. Louis, MO
Level Contributor
2,592 posts
60 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Need help/info. re: "walks" and visit to Picos de Europa

Looks like part of my last sentence didn't make it onto my post above. I meant to say we are active for our ages and probably won't be doing enough walks to make it worth purchasing and bringing walking books. I'd love to take a look at them and make some notes, but don't think I will have any luck getting hold of one where I live. I would have to order it. I do think the park's and local maps and pamplets will no doubt be very helpful. We'll have to make sure to get hold of them once we get there.

Mike, thanks a bunch for the head's up regarding he park's list of walks. Seeing that was helpful. Shows me there are some easy paths that are not very difficult and can be done by about anyone.

Ratoncantabria. the cablecar is definitely on my list! (Easy way up is GOOD!) With regard to this passage in your post:

" Picos in Cantabria is probably the most touristy town in the Picos,"

I can't find a town called Picos on the map, OR on this website - ? Did you mean Potes, by any chance? Your description sounds like the type of place we'd probably enjoy, whichever town it is.

Thanks for all the help and sharing some good info. It's clear you know the area!

Mentioned in this post
Cantabria
Destination Expert
for Cantabria
Level Contributor
1,990 posts
113 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Need help/info. re: "walks" and visit to Picos de Europa

Ok, I was just answering your other post too!! Haha. Crossing wires. Yes, so sorry, I did mean Potes! And yes, it's a lovely base. As I was just saying in your other post though, you could perfectly do Potes in a day if you're only interested in a short walk. Using somewhere like San Vicente de la Barquera as a base (which as you asked in the other post is where I would stay) you could easily get to Potes for a day trip (1hr drive) and places like Santillana, Comillas and Llanes within 30 minutes too (along stunning coast roads). Just walking up and back along the beach at San Vicente is good hour's walk with views back towards the Picos. Nice town, Saturday market, great restaurants, easy walk across the estuary bridge to nice beachside bars and "chiringuitos" (beach bars) along the beach road. Pretty castle and church to add to the mix, and only a couple of minutes to the motorway exit. I'm a bit biased, but I think San Vicente is a great holiday town personally!

Mentioned in this post
Potes
Potes
Cantabria, Spain
San Vicente de la Barquera
San Vicente de la...
Cantabria, Spain
Comillas
Comillas
Cantabria, Spain
Llanes
Llanes
Asturias, Spain
Cantabria
Destination Expert
for Cantabria
Level Contributor
1,990 posts
113 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Need help/info. re: "walks" and visit to Picos de Europa

By the way, if you're looking for the "easy" ways up, what I said about the Bulnes Funicular should be interesting too, it's not the cheapest thing on earth, but if you walk either up or down one way, as I said, about an hour, it gets you right into the Picos and Bulnes is a lovely little village (not to stay in though). What I've just said about San Vicente, you could probably also say about Llanes, from where Bulnes is most easily accessible. I'd choose San Vicente personally, but I'm sure other people would rave about Llanes, which is also very pretty and with many of the same attributes. One is perfectly visitable from the other at any rate.

9. Re: Need help/info. re: "walks" and visit to Picos de Europa

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 22 June 2013, 07:17