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Walking the Picos de Europa

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ends on 26 Sep 2018
This tour is operated by
Walking the Picos de Europa - Exodus Travels
Walking the Picos de Europa - Exodus Travels
Good
81 reviews
Starts
Bilbao
+6 Destinations
Northern Spain
Ends
Bilbao
Map

Highlights

Start and end in Bilbao! With the hiking & trekking tour Walking the Picos de Europa, you have a 8 day tour package taking you through Bilbao, Spain and 5 other destinations in Spain. Walking the Picos de Europa includes accommodation in a hotel as well as an expert guide, meals, transport and more.
Age range
16 to 80 year olds
Accommodation
Hotel
Max Group Size
16
Travel style
Hiking & Trekking, Mountain Hikes, Centre Based Walking Holidays

81 Reviews

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  • A
    Written on June 3, 2018
    5.0 - Excellent

    The worst part of the tour was the weather which is something we can't control. The guides made the best of a less than ideal situation however. The hikes were moderate as rated, and we could often go at our own pace. The village of Los Cabrales is charming and the local cheeses are fabulous.
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  • Walking the Picos de Europa reviewer 2
    Written on May 21, 2018
    5.0 - Excellent

    The Pico's de Europa tour was amazing due to our two fantastic guides and the hotel staff who all were great, welcoming and going out if their way to make sure your experience was outstanding. We were lucky to have Nacho and a new guide Hairo join us in our day hikes, both have a love for the outdoors and love for Asturias culture and history. I loved each day of the tour I was lucky to stay an extra day that the hotel owner Jim helped with my solo hike route. Highly recommended to all
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  • Walking the Picos de Europa reviewer 3
    Written on November 7, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    The perfect mix of good walking companions, an excellent leader, fantastic scenery and a friendly hotel with excellent food. The walks were varied in length and pace and were well designed to take in the variety of scenery from deep gorges, spectacular mountain views, wildlife as well as a few village bars!What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Every day had at least one WOW moment. The (slightly scarey) view looking deep down into the Carres Gorge. Sharing the exhileration of climbing a 2000m summit with the rest of the group. Falling asleep in a sunny meadow after lunch. A cup of coffee bought from a mountain refuge on a chilly morning.  What did you think of your group leader?Alvaro was fantastic. He made us all feel welcome right from meeting us at the airport with a big smile. He was excellent at preparing us for each walk - what to expect in terms of difficulty and what weather to expect. He was  very good at judging the pace of the group, supporting members when needed to acheive that final scramble to the summit. He was very knowledgeable about his country's history, heritage and wildlife and was also interested in finding out about each person in the group. He had a good sense of humour and a charmingly creative use of English. Now, if he was only to get a decent hair cut.....  Do you have any advice for potential travellers?If you like walking in mountains but without the extremes of too much scrambling or difficult descents then this is the perfect trip. We were lucky with the weather in early October but be prepared for wet or cold weather particularly up high.Is there anything else you would like to add?I'd love to go back to this region to do some more walking. It would be great if Exodus offered more than one programme of walks at this grade.

  • Walking the Picos de Europa reviewer 4
    Written on November 7, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    A fantastic week filled with great walking, beautiful views, great food and excellent company.  The walking was strenuous enough to almost work off the wonderful food without being too full on.  October seemed to be the perfect time of year for warm and sunny weather in this beautiful area of 'green Spain'What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?It's always pot luck as to who your fellow group members are, but it is always fantastic when you get on with everyone despite the mix of personalities and backgrounds.  Great moments included the wonderful views as our daily climbs got a little higher, the siesta in the field on the way down from one walk wtih the cow bells tinkling in the background, the magnificence of the Carres Gorge, the cameraderie and chat over the post walk/pre dinner beer and the sampling of the local delicacy of percebes at the well recommended fish restaurant in Llanes.What did you think of your group leader?Alvarro was the perfect guide, his local knowledge of flora and fauna was excellent. He was enhtusiastic and keen and more than willing to answer the many questions our group had for him on the local area and the history of his country.  His knowledge and insight into the history of his country would put most of us to shame.  His English was excellent and he was extremely patient with those of the group who found one particular part of one walk a little tricky - he even picked one of the ladies up and carried her down - to the accompaniment of some rather loud screams.  When Alvarro said 'you will love it' we invariably did!!!Do you have any advice for potential travellers?If you think you want to lose a couple of pounds on a walking holiday don't pick this one!! The food was excellent, from the breakfast through to the packed lunch and the wonderful evening meals. The countryside was beautiful and in early October we hardly met another soul (apart from Carres Gorge).   Is there anything else you would like to add?The hotel for this holiday was great - although the rooms were a little basic, the bathroom/shower facilities were great and as I have said earlier the food was to die for.  Nothing was too much trouble for the hosts Jim & Pilar who were also great company.  Great views from the hotel itself .  The itinerary was tweaked perfectly to account for the weather - all the warm sunshine when we were walking and the rain only arrived on our 'day off' when we all opted to do the coastal walk to Llanes and try the local seafood.A great trip which is highly recommended 

  • Walking the Picos de Europa reviewer 5
    Written on October 8, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    This was a great holiday, made special by the great group leader and a lovely group of people.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Creeping up on the Gryphon vultures perched on top of a hill.What did you think of your group leader?The group leader is one of the best I have ever had. Very enthusiastic and knowledgable about all the flora and fauna, geography and geology of the Picos.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Yes, book this trip.

  • Walking the Picos de Europa reviewer 6
    Written on September 23, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    This was a brilliant trip, with amazing surroundings, a great group and an excellent leader. The inclusion of "options" worked well (i.e. additional peaks within a walk, which you could either climb or alternatively relax in the sunshine at a refuge or coll while others climbed them!) N.B. I did grade C.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Visiting the refuge with the "postcard" views, a family with 3 young children running it, and donkeys, a cat etc.What did you think of your group leader?Alvaro was very considerate, sweet and keen. There is nothing negative to say.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Take a very sturdy/strong pair of walking boots with you as the paths are very rocky in Picos.Is there anything else you would like to add?If you love walking, mountains and peace in a beautiful and unspoilt area then go for it!

  • Walking the Picos de Europa reviewer 7
    Written on September 17, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    One of the best holidays I have ever been on....go do it now! What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?I went on the Challenging itinerary and the views from the summits we reached were incredible. The walking was varied and well suited to everybody in the group and I loved every minute of it!What did you think of your group leader?Alvaro was one of the very best guides I have been on a trip with. Highly competent, great with people and always ready with a joke or two. Fantastic organiser and a top man.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Do the challenging itinerary.....you won't regret it!Is there anything else you would like to add?Would definetely consider doing this again, the hotel we used was great and cooked the yumiest food!

  • Walking the Picos de Europa reviewer 8
    Written on September 4, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    My holiday in de Picos de Europe has been the best I've had in the last ten years! Everything was perfect!Work has been miles away, thoughts were vanished. It is also always a pleasure to be among englisch.Go to the Picos! It's lovely. Greetings, Monica Wesseling, Holland What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?There is not one special. Every moment was fineWhat did you think of your group leader?Perfect!Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Go!

  • Walking the Picos de Europa reviewer 9
    Written on July 15, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    This was a really good trip, scenery, people and activities all great, but too short!  It would work really well as a 10 day tripWhat was the most inspirational moment of your trip?gryphon vultures swooping over us as we walked up into the hills, waking up on the first day to see the mountains in front of the hotel after we had arrived pretty late the first day, and our very good guide Alvaro, who was very knowledgeable and good fun!What did you think of your group leader?Alvaro was very knowledgeable about the area and informative about life in the area.  He was fun company and always ensured that the mixed abilities of the group were taken into account.Jim and Pilar at the hotel were also very good hosts, friendly and keen to ensure we all had a good time.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Be prepared to be flexible.  We had to have some changes to our activities due to the heat, and apparently the trip before us had changes due to the rain.  Mountains are un-predictable.  Also make sure you have good boots, some of the walking can be quite difficultIs there anything else you would like to add?As stated earlier, it felt very short, and personally I would have liked more time in the area to go to the higher peaks and another "relax day".  Overall though it was a very good trip and I would definitely consider going back to the Picos for a third time.  I was last there 17 years ago and it was as amazing as I had remembered!

  • Walking the Picos de Europa reviewer 10
    Written on July 7, 2013
    5.0 - Excellent

    A wonderful week's walking, with lovely Alvaro, our fantastic local guide. Fantastic scenery, beautiful birds and flowers, lovely weather, good food and really lovely company - what could be better?What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Every one of the five summits was an achievement, so it was a week of inspirational moments, and the best moment was our final summit, the Pica del Mancondiu at 2000 metres. But there were many other wonderful moments: Drinking a freshly-brewed cup of coffee at the refuge halfway up Mancondiu - higher than Ben Nevis! The steep walk through the beech forest on the way to Thursday's peak, the Cabeza La Mesa - the fresh green leaves were almost magical.Almost everything about the walk through the Cares Gorge - the spectacular limestone mountains looming above the rushing river far below and the canal running in and out of the rock beside the path.  And, of course, the moment on the rest day when I got on a bike and hurtled downhill for many kilometres into Llanes! A great idea by our lovely host, Jim, at the Torrecerredo hotel - we put the bikes in the back of the van for the first bit of the journey, thus avoiding a long uphill ride.  What did you think of your group leader?Alvaro was a superb group leader. He had fantastic local knowledge and a truly caring approach: he was always thoughtful of our different capabilities and stayed flexible the whole time to find us the best routes and footpaths. He was a positive guiding light the whole week, combining excellent idiomatic English ("let's get the show on the road") and a great sense of humour with a wealth of expert knowledge about the local area, its history and geography, its flowers, trees and birds, its people and customs and the ways in which it is changing. He took great pains to ensure that we could live, as a group, entirely in the present, savouring every moment on the mountains.  I missed him when I got home!Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Go to this relatively little-known part of Spain. You will have a fabulous time.  Don't forget to take a shirt with a collar - the sun can be fierce up on the mountains.Is there anything else you would like to add?This was a wonderful week's walking and I felt really looked after not just on the walks themselves but by all the staff back at the hotel. I had a very comfortable room and all the food was excellent. Many thanks to Pilar, Jim and all their staff, for looking after us so well. It also has to be one of the best views while eating breakfast that I have ever had, looking across to the peaks of the mountains in the central massif! 

Itinerary

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  1. Introduction
  2. Expand all
  1. Day 1: Start Arenas de Cabrales.
  2. Day 2: Visit the Arenas de Cabrales valley; pastures of Vanu and spectacular views- Moderate departure (level 3)
  3. Day 3: Ascent to Pandescura peak with superb views of the Western Massif- Moderate departure (level 3)
  4. Day 4: Classic Cares Gorge walk, one of the most popular walks in Spain- Moderate departure (level 3)
  5. Day 5: Free day. Optional activities include caving, self-guided canoeing, canyoning or a trip to the coast- Moderate (level 3) & Challenging (level 5) departures
  6. Day 6: Summit of Peña Main, one of the classic viewpoints of the Picos; continue on to Pandebano Col- Moderate departure (level 3)
  7. Day 7: Walk up to the twin summits of Mancondiu offering fantastic views of the Central and Eastern Massifs- Moderate departure (level 3)
  8. Day 8: End Arenas de Cabrales.

What's included

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  • Accommodation

    Rated Excellent by past passengers
  • Guide

  • Meals

    Rated Excellent by past passengers
  • Transport

    Rated Excellent by past passengers
  • Additional Services

  • Insurance

  • Additional Services

Download PDF Brochure

Video

Western Europe Travel Guide

Questions & Answers

Here we have collected and answered the most frequently asked questions about this tour.

    • As a solo traveller, is it compulsory to take a single room?

      The single supplement is completely optional. You are not required to pay a single supplement to join the tour. The tour price advertised is based on a twin share basis, if you are a single traveller you will be roomed with a passenger of the same gender. The single supplement optional cost is if you would like your own room on the tour.

    • Is all of the accommodation and meals included in the cost?

      7 breakfasts, 5 picnic lunches, 6 dinners All accommodation (see below) All transport and listed activities, Tour leader throughout are included in the cost.

    • What are the inclusions of this tour?

      This tour includes:

      7 breakfasts, 5 picnic lunches, 6 dinners, all accommodation, all transport and listed activities, plus a tour leader throughout.

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    • Ann10th August 2018
      Staff are available 24/7 and because there is a record of the correspondence, someone can pick upi your file and respond. All the people I dealt with had a very positive attitude. No question was too simple and their customer service was excellent.

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    About the countries

    Useful things to know before you go

    Currencies

    Euro
    Spain

    Plugs & Adapters

    Spain

    Visa

    Here is an indication for which countries you might need a visa. Please contact the local embassy for help applying for visas to these places.

    Vaccinations

    These are only indications, so please visit your doctor before you travel to be 100% sure.
    Hepatitis B
    Recommended for Spain. Ideally 2 months before travel.

    Policies

    Location
    Start and end in Bilbao.
    Hold my space
    TourRadar can request Exodus Travels to hold spaces for you for up to 48 hours without any credit card details.
    Deposit
    TourRadar only requires a deposit of 20% to confirm this Exodus Travels booking. The remaining balance is then payable 60 days prior to the departure date. For any tour departing before 21 November 2018 the full payment of $1,282 is necessary.
    Cancellation policy
    No additional cancellation fees! You can cancel the tour up to 60 days prior to the departure date and you will not need to pay the full amount of $1282 for Walking the Picos de Europa, but the deposit of 20% is non-refundable.
    Credit Cards
    The following cards are accepted for Exodus Travels tours: Visa - Master Card - American Express

    Destinations

    Covering a total distance of approx 370 km.
    • Bilbao (Spain)
    • 153 km
    • Arenas de Cabrales (Spain)
    • 7 km
    • Caraves (Spain)
    • 14 km
    • Canales (Spain)
    • 11 km
    • Cain (Spain)
    • 12 km
    • Arenas de Cabrales (Spain)
    • 14 km
    • Parque Nacional Picos de Europa (Spain)
    • 158 km
    • Bilbao (Spain)

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