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This ‘challenging’-level hike takes place during the summer when the snows have melted from the high passes of the range. The joy of this adventure is being able to hike through the central massif and stay at altitude, journeying from one stunningly situated mountain refuge to another, via steep gradients and some scrambling and more technical sections.
Enjoy the timeless mountain culture of hikers and climbers as you revel in the expansive mountain views leading down to the bright blue ocean, and the clean, fresh air. Wildlife to be found up here include the nimble chamois, lammergeier vultures and eagles, though bears and wolves have been reintroduced to the mountains lower down.
The central massif of the Picos, which stages our adventure, is without a doubt, the most wild and spectacular scenery in the national park; home to Torrecerredo, 2650m ‘Closed Tower’, the highest peak in the range and Naranjo de Bulnes, 2519m ‘The Orange Tree of the village Bulnes’, certainly the most iconic.
Single rooms are available on a first come, first served basis, however, due to the nature of the accommodation we are using on this adventure (mountain refuges), there are several nights where single rooms are not possible, so the supplement price reflects this. We will charge on a pro-rata basis if a single room is not available to book for part of the trip where it would have been possible.
We fully believe in, and practice, Responsible Tourism, using hotels run by locals. The accommodation on this adventure is a mixture of comfortable and welcoming hotel accommodation offering rooms with ensuite facilities, plus immersion into the mountain landscapes with 3 nights in stunningly situated mountain refuges. All refuges offer modern facilities, expansive views and a warm ambiance, but expect shared bathrooms and dormitory accommodation.
We put time and effort into building our relationship with accommodation suppliers to ensure you have a great trip;
We choose accommodation based on cleanliness, comfort, safety, proximity to our route (to avoid unnecessary extra travel) and a warm client welcome, as well as reliability in their service to us. Wherever we can we will choose smaller, more characterful, individual hotels, but in areas where tourism is still developing, or in remote areas (like the mountains), we may not have a wide range of options. An aspect of our adventures is to escape the ‘trappings’ of modern Western lifestyles and to experience new things with are exciting and memorable and reflects the countries we are visiting.
The list below gives information on our first choice of accommodation for this adventure. Where hotels and refuges are fully booked or unavailable, we will use an alternative of a similar standard, and equally well situated. We will provide you with an accurate list of accommodation, with contact information to leave with relatives, prior to departure on your adventure.
Arenas de Cabrales: (Day 1 & 2): Hotel Picos de Europa, Arenas de Cabrales, Espana (+34 985846491). Ensuite rooms, garden, outdoor pool & Wifi.
Casa Cayo, Potes (Day 3): Characterful mountain Hotel Restaurant in Potes (+34 942730150). Ensuite rooms.
Collada Jermoso Refuge (Day 4): Diego Mella Refuge, Collado Jermoso, Valdeon Valley (+34 636998727), Mountain refuge at 2064m. Dormitory accommodation (7 or 8 beds) with shared bathrooms and restaurant facilities.
Urriellu Refuge (Day 5): Dramatically situated refuge at the base of Naranjo de Bulnes @ Hotel (+34 984090981). Dormitory accommodation (7 or 8 beds) with shared bathrooms and restaurant facilities.
Refuge de Cabrones (Day 6): Refuge at 2034m altitude (+34 6507780381). Dormitory accommodation with shared bathrooms and restaurant facilities.
Gran Hotel Paraiso, Llanes (Day 7): Calle Pidal, 33500 Llanes, Asturias (+34 985402325). Ensuite rooms, air con & Wifi
Unless you have booked a single room (where they are available) and paid the single room supplement for those nights, you will be sharing a twin room with another client (of the same gender).
Supporting you on your holiday will be a local, English speaking Spanish guide who is qualified to lead walkers in the mountains and knows the Picos like the back of his hand! Also accompanying you for the full duration of the trip is a qualified International Mountain Leader from YellowWood Adventures. This ensures you are in excellent hands in the mountains, and that you have access to local knowledge as well as being closely supported by YellowWood.
We work jointly with our Spanish Tour Operator partners both before and during your adventure to ensure that they understand your needs and the standard that YellowWood Adventures expects. We believe that it is a very important positive aspect of Responsible Tourism, to employ the expertise of local suppliers, as well as offering you a much more informative and authentic experience.
Your group will be any number from our minimum group size of 4, up to a maximum of 12 clients. This number works really well with the ratio of guides, and ensures the optimum level of service to you during your adventure.
We get clients booking alone, as couples and in small groups of friends. If you have a group of friends or family who are interested in having their own customised trip, then please let us know and we can cost it for you.
Your itinerary involves hiking at altitude (up to 2500m), over passes and traversing mountain slopes. You will encounter rough terrain, steep gradients, scrambling and some vertiginous paths at varying times. Trails will not always be defined and will be narrow and rocky at times. You will be walking for extended periods of time and on consecutive days.
To get the most of out of this adventure, you need to be a walker with experience of consecutive days higher-level walking in the mountains, and be in good physical condition.
You will be carrying a 30-40L rucksack each day. Any hiking is undertaken at the natural pace of the group, with regular stops for photos, snacks etc. Walking boots that have already been worn in are essential on this adventure.
For convenience, peace of mind, and to reduce the purchase of single use plastic water bottles, we highly recommend a filtration water bottle such as Aquapure Traveller (offer available - please contact us for details).
Your YellowWood adventure starts in Bilbao or Santander. We can talk to you more about your travel options on an individual basis. We understand that arriving into an unfamiliar airport can be daunting, so we aim to give you as much information here as possible to help you prepare.
Flights are not included in the cost of your holiday, and whilst we are happy to help advise you, responsibility for booking the correct flights rests with you. We recommend that you use a comparison tool when searching for flights, such as skyscanner or www.momondo.co.uk.
The 2 closest airports to the Picos de Europa are Asturias near Oviedo, receiving flights from London Stansted and Geneva, Madrid and Barcelona, or Santander in Cantabria, receiving flights from London Stansted. We will send you a Flight Information Sheet with further pointers on which flights to book for your adventure.
Although the most timely way to get to the Picos is to use a low cost airline, there is much joy to be found in incorporating your travel into your adventure and choosing the lower carbon footprint option of the ferry. You can travel to Santander from Plymouth (18hrs 30mins) and Portsmouth (23hrs 30mins) and to Bilbao from Portsmouth (23hrs 45mins), all with Brittany Ferries. An added bonus to this form of travel is the opportunity to spot whales and dolphins in the Bay of Biscay!
For the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Development Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, check www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice. As the situation in our destination countries can change, please do ensure you check regularly before your adventure.
We also receive notifications direct from the Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) so we are always aware of the ‘status’ in our destination countries.
We have put together a journal post with a short summary of Brexit Advice for Travellers to Europe.
For those of you who choose to fly into Northern Spain, Asturias Airport (OVD) is a fully functioning, international airport welcoming domestic flights and those from Europe. Airport services include Duty Free, ATMs and Currency Exchange. On arrival at the airport you will go through passport control to baggage reclaim and onwards to Arrivals where you will be met by a driver / guide with a YellowWood Adventures sign.
For those choosing to arrive by ferry, you will also be met by a driver/ guide with a YellowWood Adventures sign, in the ferry Arrivals Terminal.
All group specific, final details on where to meet your guide will be sent to you prior to the start of your adventure.
Not sure which adventure is best for you? Dates or itinerary not quite fit?
+44 207 846 0197
Trails & Traditions of the Picos
Spain: Picos de Europa - Hiking
Stunning guided day walks in little known Picos National Park. 1 night in a mountain refuge. Charming Picos towns & Covadonga Basilica.
Historic cities & foothills of Northern Spain
Spain: Picos de Europa - Cultural
Enjoy the landscapes, culture and traditions of Asturias, Cantabria and coastal Basque Country; hidden gems in Northern Spain.
Wild Carpathian Peaks
Romania - Hiking
Guided trek in Bucegi, Piatra Craiului & Fagaras Mountains. Wildlife Tracking. Summit Moldoveanu Peak (2544m). Hotels & refuges.
+44 207 846 0197
To help you choose the right adventure for you, we have given each itinerary a grading that relates to the level of Walking / Trekking you will experience during the trip. This grading can be found on the Yellow map on the adventure page of the website.
All of our trips involve a level of general activity so are designed for people who are in good health, enjoy the outdoors, and have a taste for adventure and some level of fitness. As will be clear from our destinations, the climate (and altitude) may be different to that which you are used to, so please take this into consideration when choosing the most suitable holiday.
Please read our Adventure Itinerary & Essential Information for more information and don't hesitate to contact us if you would like to chat through whether you have found a suitable adventure for you.
Get in touch via our Enquiry form to check our availability, discuss the adventure and check we can meet your needs.
+44 207 846 0197