Picos De Europa Spains Greener Side
- Walking / Hiking
- Price from:
- 560 GBP /person
- 01747 858 229
- Payment Types:
- Credit Card
- Travellers cheque
- Wire Transfer
- 8 days
- Location Start:
- Santander airport
- Location Finish:
- Santander airport
- We Speak:
Last updated: 02/07/2009
Walk among Spain's stunning Picos de Europa mountains rising majestically from its green northern coast
Arrival â Welcome and pick-up from Santander, transfer to Casa Gustavo
A gentle introductory walk with 500m of ascent through oak woods, interspersed with open glades. The summit affords stunning 360Â° views of the Cantabrian mountains, the valley of LiÃ©bana and the eastern massif of the Picos de Europa. Adding interest are the remains of an ancient fort and the opportunity for a dip in a lake.
From this scenic village lying under the prominent landmark of PeÃ±a Ventosa (windy peak), we walk up through well-established, indigenous Holm and Pyrenean oakland rich in birdlife. An ascent of 600m brings us to open heath and pasture with views of the old market town of Potes in the distance below.
On day 3 we cheat and catch the cable car to take us high into the heart of the Picos de Europa. Our goal, Pico Padiorna, 2,319m, may involve a little scrambling but with the option of resting and communing with the dare-devil Alpine choughs or, if you're lucky, Snow voles, if you don't want to make the summit with its views down into the hidden valley of the Vega de Liordes. Ascent - 500m.
The Cares Gorges
Probably the best-known of the walks in the Picos de Europa, an earlyish start takes us to the start of the walk at Poncebos in the western massif of the Picos. From here a gentle incline to begin with takes us into the gorge proper, the clear blue-green waters of the River Cares below. The track levels out with breathtaking views of limestone peaks above. We should meet friendly goats and witness Griffon vultures soaring between the cliffs. After a refreshing drink (or two) in the bars of Cain, we return following the contours of the hydro-electricity canal.
Todays walk rises to the pastures below PeÃ±a Prieta, the highest peak of the Cantabrian mountains. This is bear and wolf country so the grazing livestock are accompanied by the local breed of large dogs. Don't worry though, they're used to people and often sniff out a packed lunch! This high pasture is cobwebbed by rippling brooks and is aÂ perfect place for cooling our feet. Ascent 700m and 1000m.
Back up to the cable car, we takeÂ a track leading under the big rock face of the massif of PeÃ±a Vieja (Old Peak), the highest point in Cantabria. Keeping our eyes open for Wallcreeper, a rare, beautiful, butterfly-like bird, we should see Chamois leaping the rocks and the chance of Golden eagles flying above. We reach Horcados Rojos with tremendous views of the Picos' most famous mountain, Naranjo de Bulnes. An ascent of about 700m.
Departure and transfer to Santander
- Inclusions -
- Full board - breakfast, packed lunches and 3-course dinner with wine
- Exclusions -
- Any excursions or entrance fees
- Extras -
Majestic and rugged peaks rising abruptly above the Atlantic coast
Impressive limestone valleys and cliffs in a fascinating karstic landscape
Home to Europeâ€s most impressive fauna and flora in Spainâ€s first National Park including the wolf, bear and chamois
Varied walking that allows you to experience the high mountains without being overly challenging
Great guest house full of local character
Group and guiding
Small group, maximum of 8 making for a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Informative guiding with attention to detail.
WalkingFor the most part the walks are centred around the moderate/challenging grade. Some days can be varied to allow for easier or more challenging walks. A reasonable level of fitness is required along with a good head for heights and surefootedness . Paths are generally good though sometimes rugged and stoney and on mountainous terrain.AccommodationCasa Gustavo, is a 500 year-old farmhouse converted to a friendly guesthouse managed by your welcoming hosts Lisa and Mike Stuart. This ancient and atmospheric old house 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 warm evenings. Evening meals are three set courses of wholesome food making use of as much local and seasonal produce as possible. They could include goat cheese and pear salad, Lisaâ€s lentils with chorizo or Mikesâ€ paella, all accompanied by plenty of their â€extremely quaffableâ€ house wine.
Couldn't find what you're looking for? Check out more tours & excursions in Santander
- Potes Nature - from 200 EUR
- Cantabria City Coast and County - 8 days from 443 EUR
Email the tour operator - Picos De Europa Spains Greener Side
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