image description


from £1299
Set off on a fascinating journey in Spain, walking and hiking in the rich green landscapes of the Picos.

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 and enjoy a sunny climate. 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 Leon village of Posada de Valdeon, 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 each week allows enjoyment of local walks or a day of rest and exploring the towns we are staying in. There may be the possibility of taking local taxis from Posada de Valdeon 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.

Holiday Highlights

  • Walk the Cares Gorge, along the base of 915m high cliffs.
  • Admire the dramatic craggy Picos peaks.
  • Enjoy wonderful mountain scenery.
  • Relish the alpine meadows and rich green landscape.
The holiday inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What's included in this holiday Items that are covered in the cost of holiday price.

      Return flights from Gatwick to Bilbao (British Airways)
      Airport transfers
      Half board en suite accommodation
      All local transport costs.
Whats not included in this holiday Items that are not covered in the cost of holiday price.

  • Entrance fees to some museums and historic buildings (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Insurance
Please select Departure Date to view:

Please see Holiday Information Sheet for this holidays individual departures itinerary (located under View Departures & Book tab)

Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.

This departure: Grade 6

  1. Day 1

    Fly to Bilbao Airport. On arrival transfer to Potes and the Hotel Picos de Valdecoro for 7 nights.

  2. Day 2 to 7

    Walks noted below are usually include in our programme but some walks are weather dependent and your walks leader will have the final decision on the daily programme and will give you full details at the daily briefing:

    Four Villages: A circular walk to the east of Potes with views of the eastern massif of the Picos, known as Andara, as well as the Cordillera Cantabrica. It encompasses Alpine flowers to Mediterranean cork oaks. Easy underfoot but with a steep haul in the morning and it is low lying and can be hot in high summer. 13kms/8 miles; A/D 500m; 4 hours 

    Pico Jano: A lovely and fairly easy walk in Liebana with magnificent views of the Picos. A substantial amount of climbing but moderately graded and on easy tracks throughout. 12kms/7.5 miles; A/D 700m; 5 hours

    Aliva and Mogrovejo: A lovely varied walk where the cable car takes us to rocky, sometimes Chamois dotted, mountain slopes, across Alpine meadows, past the upmarket mountain refuge Aliva (refreshments) and gives big views of the Liebana valley. The walk ends in the most picturesque of the Picos mountain villages Mogrovejo where there may be at least one bar open to celebrate a great walk. 15.5kms/10 miles; A 100m/D 1350m; 4 hours

    Cabana Veronica & Horcados Rojas: An opportunity to experience the real high Picos, within grade, on well used tracks and paths. Our walk gives a view of the icon of the Picos, the rock tower of the Naranjo de Bulnes. We make use of the  Fuente De cable car out and back. 11kms/7 miles; A/D 700m; 4.5 hours

  3. Day 8

    Transfer to the Hotel Corona in Posada de Valdeon for 7 nights.

  4. Day 9 to 14

    Walks noted below are usually include in our programme but some walks are weather dependent and your walks leader will have the final decision on the daily programme and will give you full details at the daily briefing:

    Vega de llos: A route on good paths and tracks to summer pastures below Torre Bermeja. There are good views of Valdeon and the beech-clad slopes of the Cordillera Cantabrica below Gildar. 12kms/8 miles; A/D 600m; 4.5 hours

    Cares Gorge: The most popular walk in the Picos if not the whole of Spain. This is a very long walk but possible to do as much or as little as wanted as in Cain there are where welcoming bars and grand scenery make waiting for the main group no hardship! The scenery is unique and awe-inspiring. An essential and memorable walk. 18kms/11 miles; A/D 250m; 6 hours

    El Gildar: A fine walk, pathless in its central section, ascending a striking peak on the south side of the Valdeon. Superb views of El Cornion and Urrielo. 14kms/9 miles; A 650m/D 800m; 5.5 hours


  5. Day 15

    Transfer to Bilbao Airport for return flight to UK.

Travel Details

  • Return flights from Gatwick to Bilbao (British Airways)
  • Airport transfers by road c. 2 - 3 hours
  • Upgrades are available on most flights. For scheduled flights this may be Premium Economy, Business or First Class. Most low-cost carriers also have extra legroom seats. 
  • If direct regional flights are not available, we can often offer add-on flights to a London airport at a competitive rate. Please ask us for details and a competitive quote.

Trip Map

See where this holiday travels to.

The map will be available soon...

Our Accommodation on this holiday

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday. If you are on a multi-centre holiday, these are highlights of the places where we stay. Please refer to your Holiday Information sheet (which can be found under View Departures & Book), for your departure date and for all your accommodation details.

Hostal Corona, Posada de Valdeon

The Hostal Corona is centrally located in the small village of Posada de Valdeón, with fantastic views of the Picos. Rooms are simply furnished and the hotel has its own restaurant and a bar. The village has one shop, suitable for picnic supplies, and a small bakery.

Hotel Valdecoro

The Hotel Valdecoro in Potes is centrally located but away from the busy centre. Potes has several shops, bakeries and banks available. The hotel has its own restaurant, Paco Wences, offering traditional Cantabrian cuisine and a bar. The lounge area has a lovely fireplace to take off the evening chill and offers free Wi-Fi. Whilst having breakfast you can gaze out at the wonderful mountain views from your table. Rooms are spacious, clean and comfortable and come with hairdryers upon request. They also have TVs and private bathrooms.