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Accomodation in summer (July, August) & tourism in the Picos


Active Member
Well, all that bear stuff made me curious about the Camino Vadiniense.

Does anyone know how difficult (or not) it may be to find a bed during summertime?

I speak at once about 2 options:
From San Vicente de la Baquera via Lebeña towards Leon
From Sin Vicente via Lebeña, Bulnes and Covadonga towards Oviedo

Some information I got about the second option:
The author of the pages about the alternative (Oviedo - Covadonga) wrote me that they had to fetch a taxi at the end of their days to get to a hotel/hostal or what so ever because there is no accomodation along this GR.
(besides, he thinks it is not a good idea to walk that alternative alone...)

In a very old guide (2004),it is written that the Picos are a very touristy region and that the albergues have to be reserved sometimes for a long time in advance (section +- Lebeña via Bulnes to Covadonga).

Are there camping spaces on that Camino as an alternative?

Might the Camino from Lebeña to Leon be less crowded during summertime?
Is it better not to think about this way in summer?

Thank you a lot for your answers.




Hi Fatma,

Accommodation is going to be hard in July/August (more so the latter). Wild camping in the Picos is allowed above 1600 meters, but with a load of conditions attached to it. If you do go via the Bulnes route then I think there will be a couple of places where you have pastures or ground above that height, a few km before Sotres and if you go up to the refuge at the base of Picu Uriellu I have seen pictures of people camping outside of it, you will need a thick roll mat for the stony ground.

The only way of really knowing is what is possible with accommodation is to leave it until Potes and find out about places to stay and availability at the tourist info. One of the friends I am walking with has walked in the Picos before and he says that often you find little places with beds above shops or bars and you do not know about them until you get there.

Sorry I could not be of much more help to you, but good luck and Buen Camino.

Hi there, FatmaG. Here is a link to the spanish guide book which I used from Potes to Leon in July/August 2011. http://www.rutavadiniense.org/ It has an interactive map which links to each step of the route. One click gives the map and profile. A second click (map, right) produces beautiful photos and things of historical interest with a link to albergues & hotels (bottom). Alternative routes are included. It is a lovely guide.

I was able to purchase a copy of this guide at the Riano Tourist office for €1 but not in Potes. I wasn't disturbed by tourists (lots in Potes). I encountered other peregrinos at the Potes albergue where I rested up for a few days but not out walking (swarms of pilgrims at Monestario de Santo Toribio). Two peregrinos overnighted at the albergue in Cistierna, that's all.

Each day I walked as far as I felt able then found somewhere to sleep. If there wasn't an albergue, private or municipal, I asked arround and found other options. I carried a mat and summer sleeping bag, a mosquito net and two large black plastic rubbish bags which came in handy for extra warmth. I did see some wild camping spots but chose to sleep on porches.

Cheers, Lovingkindness

Rebekah Scott

Camino Busybody
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Many, various, and continuing.
I did not walk this route in the high season, and had no problem at all finding accomodation.. we were the only pilgrims just about everywhere we went. Tourism, even up north, is WAY down due to the economic crash. I do not think you will have to worry about finding a place to stay. And if you do, just ask a policeman to help you find something. That is part of their job.
Just do it. It is fabulous.




Staff member
Donating Member
Hi, FatmaG,

When are you thinking about walking this route? I'm going to be going in late May, and I've decided to forego the lovely GR through the Picos. So I'll be sticking to the Vadiniense from Potes. It looks to me like once you're out of the Picos there won't be any accommodation problem even in high summer, because they don't seem to be popular vacation spots. But I don't know that for a fact.

I would prefer to walk the Covadonga-Oviedo route just for the chance to stay in the mountains, but I'm not that adventurous. Once in Leon, though, I'll get some more mountains on the Salvador till Oviedo, and then onto the Primitivo. Not too many mountains, but that is one heck of a lovely Camino.

Buen camino to you, looking forward to hearing your plans, Laurie


Active Member
Hi Laurie,

well, it was your "bear"-post that brought me back to that camino...
In summer, I will be on holidays from +- mid-july till mid-august.
And when reading the comments here, I guess, I should also decide to walk towards Leon and keep the "ruta de la reconquista" or "camino de las peregrinaciones" for later on, accompagnied and not during Spanish Summer holidays. I am not that adventurous neither - as you might have understand already by reading my "bear"-comment...

But now, I will first walk on the Baztan camino and have to prepare some stuff just now before my train leaves.
They announce rain and thunder storms, not really nice in the mountains...


PS I walked the Camino del Salvador after having read especially your and Rebekahs comments about the beauty of that way. So, I keep following your footsteps... ;)

Buen camino to you, I guess, we will hear about your camino...
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Astorga to Santiago, 2010
Camino Frances SJPP to Muxia, 2011
Camino del Salvador, 2012
Camino Primitivo 2012
Camino Portuguese, Coastal, 2013
I look forward to hearing about your walk! I hope you have a beautiful time. FatmaG, it looks like we'll be on the Vadiniense around the same time? I'm going mid-July.


Active Member
Hi Kelly!
Did you walk the Camino Vadiniense this summer?
If yes, tell us a bit more, if you want?!
I am still interested to learn more - even if my summer plans were finally different ones.


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