Exploring classic Spanish mountain routes.
Guided Walking Holidays Picos de Europa
The vast rock walls tower dizzyingly above you on both sides of a breathtakingly deep gorge that splits the jagged limestone pinnacles – so deep that it supports varying microclimates. This most dramatic of routes is the Cares Gorge.
The maritime limestone pinnacles, dramatic gorges and verdant valleys of the Picos make for wonderful walking country - many believe the best in Spain. Though relatively small in area, they contain many unexpected challenges and delights. Uninterrupted waves of pristine beech and oak forests stretch over hills and mountain ridges creating a rich green landscape, capped by the famous peaks of the Picos. The flora and fauna, Celtic language and unique traditions make this an exotic corner of Western Europe.
Both of the centres on this holiday are situated in rain shadows (areas which have relatively little rain due to the mountainous barrier) and enjoy the sunny climate of León and Castille. Potes, our first centre, is a small market town on the eastern side of the Picos, in Cantabria. From here we walk among Mediterranean cork oaks and use the cable car from Fuente Dé to reach alpine meadows enveloped by magnificent mountain scenery. Our second centre, the small León village of Posada de Valdeón, is situated above the fissure that divides the central and eastern Picos. From this charming village we take the Picos’ most popular hike, the Cares Gorge.
A free day allows enjoyment of Santander’s sandy beaches or there is the possibility of taking local taxis from Posada de Valdeón to sightsee in one of Spain’s unsung gems, the city of León. With its majestic cathedral, the mausoleum of the First Spanish Kings and a fine building or two by Gaudí, there is much to explore.