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Picos de Europa to the Coast

8 Days & 7 Nights 4.8 Read 6 reviews
  • Easy mountain walks in the Picos de Europa
  • Two days of walking along the rugged coast of "Green Spain" in Asturias
  • Take the famous Fuente Dé cable car to a height of 1835m for amazing views
  • The famous "Ruta del Cares", one of the finest walks in the Picos
  • Dine on tasty region cuisine such as Cabrales cheese and Asturias cider
Starting in the fantastic Picos de Europa National Park, straddling Asturias and Cantabria, enjoy four days of easy walking in the mountains before heading to the rugged coast of “green spain” for a couple of days of relaxed walking between seaside fishing villages and quiet beaches. So named because its jagged limestone peaks were through to be the first sight of Europe for ships arriving from Amercia the Picos offers a huge variety of landscapes including lush meadows, tranquil woodlands and deep gorges and it is no wonder it is a big draw to keen walkers! Take a cable car from Fuente De and walk through lunar-like landscapes to Sotres, deep in the heart of the Picos. Enjoy a choice of easy routes around Sotres perhaps sampling some of the mouth watering Cabrales cheese. And walk the “Ruta del Cares” on a path through the dramatic Cares gorge. A short transfer brings you to a rural hamlet from where you walk past rugged coves and beaches to the coastal town of Nueva de Llanes. A final walk along the sea cliffs passes colourful villages and tapas bars, and the natural geisers called “bufonas” of Llanes de Pria.
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What To Expect

Perfect if you are looking for a trip combining easier mountain walking with some time spent on the coast, this tour offers the perfect contrast of coast and mountains. With daily walks of between 8 and 23km (possible to shorten the longest day) and ascents of up to 600m, this will be suited to anybody with a relatively good fitness level who wants to do some mountain walking without a huge effort. Stay overnight in comfortable hotels with great locations, offering warm hospitality and great food.

Tour Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active trip.

Activity:

Multi Center Walking | You will spend multiple nights in one or more of the locations on this walking tour

Ideal if you have an interest in:

National Parks & Trails, Mountains

Activity Level & Terrain

This walking tour is graded Easy-Moderate. Walks are between 4-7 hours and there is an ascent/descent of between 250m to 600m each day. We have chosen some of the easier walks in the Picos so that anybody with a relatively good level of fitness should be able to enjoy this tour. However, as you are in a mountainous area you should expect some rocky terrain which can become slippy when wet and there will be some steep drop-offs. The only more difficult walk is the Cares gorge walk which is 23km long in total and involves a fair bit of ascent (600m). However, it is possible to return from part way and not do the full walk and all of the ascent is near the start of the walk. As this walk also involves walking alongside a steep drop for most of the way, we provide an option for anybody with vertigo issues to travel with their luggage to Arenas de Cabrales and do an optional loop walk from there instead.

Navigation

The routes on this trip are generally way-marked but can be unclear at times so you will need to follow the route notes and maps provided. You will also have access to the Macs Adventure Smartphone App enabling you to follow the route using your phone’s GPS so using this combined with the provided route notes and maps means you should have no problems finding your way.

Accommodations

We specifically select your accommodation to ensure that you enjoy every minute of your stay. They all offer a warm welcome to walkers, traditional hospitality and delicious local food.

The hotels we normally use are detailed below. We may sometimes have to use alternative hotels subject to availability but if this is the case we will always let you know when confirming your booking.

Solo Walkers

This holiday is available for solo walkers but we would recommend that you are experienced in walking and navigating alone. If you are travelling solo the holiday is slightly more expensive as some costs are not shared.

Single Rooms

If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable.

Meals

A delicious breakfast is included each morning and 4 dinners whilst at the Tama and Sotres Hotels. The accommodations are happy to provide a packed lunch - this should be requested on arrival. Or you can pick up lunch in the village or stop along the trail. Your route notes have details for each day.

Included
  • 5 Nights in 2* mountain hotels
  • 2 Nights in a small rural hotel
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • 4 Dinners
  • Luggage transfers on days 3, 5 and 6
  • Transfers as mentioned in itinerary
  • Detailed route notes, maps and pre-departure information pack
  • GPX tracks
  • 24/7 emergency telephone support
Excluded
  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Travel to Unquera and from Nueva de Llanes
  • Dinners on days 5-7
  • Cable car on Day 4
  • Lunches, drinks and snacks
Extras
  • Additional nights before, during or after the walk
  • Cheese factory visit and tasting session (arranged and payable locally)

When To Go

This holiday is available to start any day of the week between the beginning of May and end of October, subject to availability.

The weather in this part of Spain is most comfortable for mountain walking at this time of year, and whilst sudden mists are common they usually burn off by mid-day. As with all mountainous areas and particularly because of the proximity of the mountains to the coast in this area, the weather can also change suddenly and there can be sudden rain-showers, or even snow at any time of year so you should be prepared for all weather conditions with waterproof gear and plenty of sunscreen!  We also recommend checking daily weather forecasts whilst you are out there and taking care when crossing streams which may fill up during the spring and autumn.

Getting to the Start

From Bilbao Airport - Take a bus or taxi (Approx 25€) to the centre of Bilbao. From Bilbao bus station take a bus to Unquera (2.5 to 3hrs). From Unquera an included transfer will take you to Tama.

From Santander Airport - Take a bus or taxi to the centre of Santander (15mins). From Santander bus station take the bus to Unquera (1hr 20mins). From Unquera an included transfer will take you to Tama.

Airlines flying to Bilbao include Easyjet and Vueling from the UK, and you can fly via European hubs with airlines such as KLM, Lufthansa, and Air France.

For Santander, fly from the UK with low-cost airlines such as Ryanair and Vueling. Or you can also fly with Iberia or British Airways

Getting from the End

Take one of the regular buses to nearby Llanes (20 min). From here there are regular buses to Santander (2hrs), Asturias (3hrs) or Bilbao Airports (4h15).

Luggage Transfer

Your bags will be transferred between your accommodation as per your itinerary. We ask you to limit your luggage to one bag of up to 20kg per person.

General Information

The distances and ascent/descents are approximations of the recommended routes.

Equipment

Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat, sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity and emergency evacuation and hospital care.

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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Tama Day 2 Walk to Cabañes & Potes 5.6 miles / 9 km Day 3 Transfer to Fuente Dé, walk to Sotres 8 miles / 13 km Day 4 Choice of circular walks from Sotres Day 5 Walk along the Cares gorge, transfer to Arenas de Cabrales 14.3 miles / 23 km Day 6 Transfer to Vibaño , walk to Nueva de Llanes 9.2 miles / 14.7 km Day 7 Coastal Loop Walk from Nueva de Llanes 10.6 miles / 17 km Day 8 Onward Travel

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