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Picos de Europa

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
That google photo looks like almost the same photo as my screen background - the Lago de Enol, above Covadonga.
Beautiful area as are other parts of the Picos.
We went up to the lakes by car and walked to the mirador between the two lakes. Steep but rewarding. (Not a drive for the faint-hearted!) Lovely place and a good cafe/restaurant, just visible to the right in my photo. The second photo is the other lake from the mirador -Lago de la Ercina

L Enol.jpg021 lakes.JPG

(Edit:- I have finally found the 'servicios' photo on my phone. Will transfer it and put in a new post later :))
 
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Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
Very interesting video. I have done some parts of this video.
From the refugio de Vega Urriellu he passes near Torrecerredo peak, the highest of Picos, 2648 mts (I climbed it with a guide) then he continues to refugio in Jou de Cabrones down to Poncebos and Garganta del Cares (the most popular walk in Picos).
Doing the Torrecerredo peak was a fantastic experience. It is technically easy and you don't need to be a climber but is better to go with a guide (if you don´t have vertigo, of course).
 

NorthernLight

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Le Puy to Santiago via the Frances 2012-2013. EPW2015
Aragonese & Frances 2016
Burgos to Muxia 2017
Magnificently stunning!
 

Mike Savage

So many friends to meet . . . so little time
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés,Inglés
Muxia/Finisterre
Português Coastal
Português Central
Sanabrés
Absolutely beautiful! Thanks for sharing this.
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
We passed through part of the Picos de Europa while walking our Camino Lebaniego this year (you can go higher if continuing on the Vadiniense).

It was one of the most stunning places I've ever seen in my life. And I've been to all continents, in some dozen different countries, so it was really a big deal. I am now considering the Salvador just to be around that region again.
 

Kiernan

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés febr/march (2012)
Camino Francés febr/march (2019)
Camino Francés febr/march (2020)
Thank you SO MUCH Ivar. So many memories..........hundreds of times (in my healthy youth😇....) walking that places. I'm enjoying the video conecting my laptop to the TV trying to see every smallest detail of it.
You really made my day!!
 

Thomas V

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 & 2017 FRANCES, 2018 Portuguese, 2019 Norte Irún to Santiago
Fantastic video! Did you do all the photography yourself?
 

SusanSmyth

Happy Member 😋
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017 Francés
March 2018 Inglés
June 2019 Madrid
We are on the Vadiniense right now, having completed the Lebaniego. This Camino is, for me at least, by far the most arduous and the most stunningly beautiful. Day 8 and we have met one other peregrino.
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
Picos de Europa is in the border of three regions: Cantabria, Asturias
and León.
He starts his trip in Fuente Dé (Cantabria), next villages are Sotres, Bulnes and Poncebos all of them in Asturias. At the end of Senda del Cares (when he passes tunnels) is Cain (León) and finally back to Fuente De.
There are spectacular views of Naranjo peak. Naranjo is the Cantabrian name, but in Asturias it is called Urriellu (that means little hórreo).
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Just to point out that the beginning of the video is on the Vadiniense. If you walk the Lebañiego from San Vicente to Potes, and then continue on the Vadiniense, your first couple of days take you up to Fuente Dé and then on the Senda da Remoña through that lovely valley.

If the Vadiniense ever really took off, I’ll bet they could find a lot of off-asphalt alternatives, but there is a LOT of asphalt on this route after the Picos part, which joins up with the Francés in Mansilla de las Mulas.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
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C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
Having posted 2 photos of the lakes (post #5) here is the promised one of the 'servicios'.
The entrance is round the back and I have to say that inside they were very modern and immaculate, but I did wonder when I saw the building!
servicios-lagos.jpg
 

Liz Drew

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 Coastal Portuguese
2018 Via de la Plata
(2019) del Norte
Not really on the Camino del Norte, but not far from it... I saw this video on YouTube and it looks stunning.



Wow! That is absolutely stunning! I knew they would be as I was walking within dinner got of them recently! Good on you. Really inspirational
 

Bodi

For this breath, I am present.
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to Najera Sept. 2017; Najera to Astorga Oct. 2018; SJPP to Pamplona May 2019
Wow, stunning scenery! Thanks for sharing the film, Ivar!
 

Csutak

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Since 2006 almost every year, usually walking more than two routes
Just incredible!
Thank you Ivar and Kraig.
 

Margaret Butterworth

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013 (Pamplona to Burgos)
2014 (Burgos to Villafranca del Bierzo)
2015 (Villafranca to Santiago)
2016 (Le Puy to Conques; SJPP To Pamplona)
Could anyone provide a link to Rebekah's guide?
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Could anyone provide a link to Rebekah's guide?
Try this. I think, but am not sure, that this version includes some of the updates we worked on together. But it is way out of date now, at least 6 years.


If I had time and were back in the area, I would definitely consider a few nights in Fuente De for some more day walks. I took one in 1995 when I was traveling as a tourist, up from the parador on the teleférico, and even my jaded teenage kids were gobsmacked.
 

Margaret Butterworth

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013 (Pamplona to Burgos)
2014 (Burgos to Villafranca del Bierzo)
2015 (Villafranca to Santiago)
2016 (Le Puy to Conques; SJPP To Pamplona)
Thanks, the link works! I am not intending to walk that Camino - I'm just thinking of travelling around the region by bus and doing day walks. There aren't many guide books to the Picos.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Thanks, the link works! I am not intending to walk that Camino - I'm just thinking of travelling around the region by bus and doing day walks. There aren't many guide books to the Picos.
Margaret,
If you want to splurge and stay at the parador in Fuente Dé (which is a modern building, not gorgeous by any means but well located and with great views), they have lots of information there on day walks and routes.

When I walked through, I later learned that the parador rate would not have been much more than for the hotel I stayed at across the street. When I started walking the next morning, I took a chance and found that the night clerk at the parador was happy to make me a cup of coffee, so I could get on my way. This was in my pre-electric coil days. :) https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...ric-coil-changed-my-life-on-the-camino.19167/
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
Thanks, the link works! I am not intending to walk that Camino - I'm just thinking of travelling around the region by bus and doing day walks. There aren't many guide books to the Picos.
We have a gude called 'Picos de Europa - car tours and walks' published by 'Sunflower'; ISBN 978-1-85691-386-7; published in 2010. There might b a later update.
it gives guides to various walks both long and short, good advice and some travel information.
We plan on using some of its suggestions ourselves in 2020.
Edit:-
Two links found -
Maps world wide ship worldwide and the updated book is from 2017.
Better still is Sunflower publishing's own site where you can pay for a pdf download or order a paper copy from Amazon uk. The Amazon uk site says that the paper copy takes up to 3 months for delivery.
 
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Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
Thanks, the link works! I am not intending to walk that Camino - I'm just thinking of travelling around the region by bus and doing day walks. There aren't many guide books to the Picos.
Up there (from the Cablecab in Fuente De) there is a track easy to walk. I don't recommend to leave the track to walk on the rocky area unless you are an experienced mountaineer even If you had a guide (book).
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2005,2008,2010,2015.camino Portuguese 2007 .primativo2012.camino Norte 2009.sjpdp to finisterre and muxia 2007. Le Puy to jpdp 2006. Via francigena vercelli to Lucca 2014. Lucca to Rome 2016.
A fantastic Spanish map of the Picos was available from Stanfords in London when we walked a 9 day circuit of the Picos in 2007 and we found a basic...very basic guide in the Lonely Planet "walking in Spain", but it had information re the refugios and hostals
Also as Tia Valeria said, the Sunflower books are excellent also

It is indeed an amazing place with some of the hardest walking we've ever done, including a few hairy bits that we would not even consider doing now!

In Cangas and Potes we saw some pilgrims ......not knowing at the time that they were probably walking the Vadiniense Camino...
Guess this is another one to add to the list of "to be walked caminos"!!
The list is growing I think.
Annette
 

Margaret Butterworth

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013 (Pamplona to Burgos)
2014 (Burgos to Villafranca del Bierzo)
2015 (Villafranca to Santiago)
2016 (Le Puy to Conques; SJPP To Pamplona)
Margaret,
If you want to splurge and stay at the parador in Fuente Dé (which is a modern building, not gorgeous by any means but well located and with great views), they have lots of information there on day walks and routes.

When I walked through, I later learned that the parador rate would not have been much more than for the hotel I stayed at across the street. When I started walking the next morning, I took a chance and found that the night clerk at the parador was happy to make me a cup of coffee, so I could get on my way. This was in my pre-electric coil days. :) https://www.caminodesantiago.me/com...ric-coil-changed-my-life-on-the-camino.19167/
I never go anywhere without my electric coil! And I always stay at a Parador when I come across one!
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
Question 1: is a tent necessary or could you use huts for the whole walk?
Question 2: how much of that rock scrambling holding on to ropes is there? I can see myself getting stuck, not able to go back or forwards!
 
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Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
Question 1: is a tent necessary or could you use huts for the whole walk?
Question 2: how much of that rock scrambling holding on to ropes is there? I can see myself getting stuck, not able to go back or forwards!
I am not an expert in Picos but I know that there are several refugios where you can sleep, eat and have a hot shower. Also there are some huts. Tents are not permitted but I think that you don't need them.
In normal long walks in Picos (travesias), I don' t know anyone that requires a rope (rappel). Nevertheles it is possible in some stretches to get stuck if you lose the marks/cairns. Therefore, it wouldn't be a bad idea to carry a rope (6 or 7 meters) if you walk alone (without a guide) just in case.
 

SusanSmyth

Happy Member 😋
Camino(s) past & future
May 2017 Francés
March 2018 Inglés
June 2019 Madrid
We did the Lebaniego/Vadiniense in October. Of my four Caminos (Francés, Inglés, Madrid and L/V) I think this one is far and away the most spectacular and difficult. I would definitely do it again..... but never without GPS because there are mountain stretches with little or no markings. Without GPS some parts would have been dangerous, particularly between Fuente Dé and Puente la Reina.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Lots ;0)
Question 1: is a tent necessary or could you use huts for the whole walk?
Question 2: how much of that rock scrambling holding on to ropes is there? I can see myself getting stuck, not able to go back or forwards!
As has been said "Wild camping" is not permitted in the Picos (though "emergency bivouacs" are). That said the refugio network is pretty good and the alta villages like Sotres, Cangas, Tresviso etc all have accommodation options. The key is good route planning if you want to have a wander about. Potes, Espinama, Fuente De, Sotres, Bulnes, Las Arenas will give you a great hike. As would throwing a right from Sotres to Tresviso and the Sendera to La Hermida and back to Potes. Fuente De to Cares, Oseja, Cangas, Bulnes, Sotres... is a cracker too.

Never needed a rope on any route, just good maps, a compass and careful planning. Carry plenty of water, you're in limestone country. Oh, and check the snow line forecasts every day ;)
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
Never needed a rope on any route, just good maps, a compass and careful planning.
Yes, there is no need of rope in normal 'travesias' but there are very steep stretches. For example, in Fuente De - Poncebos there was a chain in Horcados Rojos to ease the descent .In Lagos de Enol - Poncebos, Canal de Trea is very very steep and long. In those stretches is very important don' t lose the way.
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
Yes, there is no need of rope in normal 'travesias' but there are very steep stretches. For example, in Fuente De - Poncebos there was a chain in Horcados Rojos to ease the descent .In Lagos de Enol - Poncebos, Canal de Trea is very very steep and long. In those stretches is very important don' t lose the way.
On this video the first part (up) is Canal de Trea from Senda del Cares to refugio de Vega Ario.
I did it (down) 30 years ago from Lagos de Enol. There was a point in the middle not well marked, where some people had lost the way and got stuck.
Finally, I got to Senda del Cares and turned left to Poncebos (Asturias). Right is Cain (León).
 

Mima1965

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte/Primitivo/Frances (2021)
Planning to spend a couple of days hiking the Picos de Europa next June...after our Camino hike.
Question 1: is a tent necessary or could you use huts for the whole walk?
Question 2: how much of that rock scrambling holding on to ropes is there? I can see myself getting stuck, not able to go back or forwards!

Kia ora from Auckland familia Kiwi!

As Pelegrin said you have many well known and marked trails in Picos de Europa and mountain huts along the way (depending on season not all accessible due to snow) but keep in mind the video is an adventure covering 90 miles!...and often venturing into expert climbing territory. El Naranjo de Bulnes (the highest peek) is used by many people as preparation before they attemp climbs like Everest, and some parts of the video appear to be in that area.
La Ruta del Cares along the gorge of the river Cares (going through tunnels) is an amazing walk accessible to everybody as well as many other trails in Cabrales and along Lagos (lakes) de Covadonga.

On the cultural side, there are many historical sites in the area particularly Covadonga.
If you are interest in Paradors, the Parador of San Pedro de Villanueva a Romanesque 12th century monastery in Cangas de Onis by the river Sella is a great place to visit/stay.

Also, depending when you plan to visit you could be part of fastastic festivals as well, such as:
1/Certamen del Queso de Cabrales
Festival of touristic interest (30th August) Cabrales is very famous for its blue cheese.
2/Fiesta del Pastor en los Lagos de Covadonga. Festival of touristic interest (25 July) ...dia de Santiago, by the way.
3/Fiesta de la Virgen de Covadonga (8 September) Patron saint of Asturias so a festive day in the principality.
4/International Descent of the river Sella (8 August). A UNESCO world heritage tourism event with over 1,000 canoes and a train that travels at the speed of the canoes along the river to Ribadesella (on the camino del norte)
The bollos preñaos ("pregnant" bread rolls baked with chorizo inside) and asturian cider with gaitas, traditional dances and all night street fiesta follows....so no need for accommodation!
I can't advise on books/guides (other people have made suggestions) but every Officina de Turismo has plenty of information available in English.

Finally, I'll be posting this elsewhere but a number of local councils in that part of Asturias are working together to have an existing but forgotten Camino de Santiago route officially recognised as "La ruta de la Reconquista".
It is historically known that peregrinos passed through Picos de Europa (from Liebana) to Covadonga & then to Oviedo. They went to pray in Covadonga as this is the birthplace of modern christian Spain. It is also believed that the Asturian king (first to walk to Santiago on the camino primitivo) visited Covadonga to pray before his journey. So this "camino de la reconquista" route is incredibly significant in Spanish history.

Looking forward to hearing about your adventure!

Saludos y buen camino.
 

Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Primitivo June 2013
SJPP - Logroño June 2014
Ingles July2016
Mima 1965, Very good description of Picos de Europa.
Only to say that Naranjo de Bulnes (2519) is not the highest.
The highest one is Torrecerredo. 2648 mts.
Naranjo is the most difficult. The west face is extraplomo (extrathin ?).
I climbed Torrecerredo 20 years ago with a guide., The final 50 mts are very impressive because is almost vertical but easy to climb.
The guide told me that I was able (after him) to climb Naranjo on its south face. But I haven't done it.
 

Mima1965

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte/Primitivo/Frances (2021)
Mima 1965, Very good description of Picos de Europa.
Only to say that Naranjo de Bulnes (2519) is not the highest.
The highest one is Torrecerredo. 2648 mts.
Naranjo is the most difficult. The west face is extraplomo (extrathin ?).
I climbed Torrecerredo 20 years ago with a guide., The final 50 mts are very impressive because is almost vertical but easy to climb.
The guide told me that I was able (after him) to climb Naranjo on its south face. But I haven't done it.
Thanks for your contribution pelegrino. Yes, you are absolutely right! .... I'm relying on memory and what I thought was El Naranjo de Bulnes in the distance in the video....and a few people I knew who climbed the Naranjo's vertical south face ....and that is not a small achievement!

The video is spectacular with the scenery and the gorgeous refugios and villages from Fuente De to which I seem to recognise as Sotres and Bulnes ....fabada appears to be one of the meals!
Certainly no need for ropes to get to most of those places!
Gracias por tu aporte. Saludos
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
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C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
The parador is amazing. We had looked down on it when walking from Arriondas to Covadonga in 2013.
In 2018 we stopped there for a coffee, the last time we were in the area. The grass was being mown by a robot mower which was great fun to watch.
Sadly the church itself ws locked but the coffee was served in the cloisters and the exterior of the buildings was lovely.
 

Walking Nature World

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino del Norte (2018)
It is truly an amazing area to hike in, we discovered it while doing our Camino del Norte and saw the Picos from a far thinking that we need to get back and explore it. What are some of the best treks to do on the area? We would love to do some long distance ones if possible but of course not too extreme as with the backpacks it is going to be impossible. Is there some kind of Tour de los Picos when you are hiking through the best spots? Thank you in advance.
 

Tia Valeria

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Pt Norte/Pmtvo 2010
C. Inglés 2011
C. Primitivo '12
Norte-C. de la Reina '13
C. do Mar-C. Inglés '15
It is truly an amazing area to hike in, we discovered it while doing our Camino del Norte and saw the Picos from a far thinking that we need to get back and explore it. What are some of the best treks to do on the area? We would love to do some long distance ones if possible but of course not too extreme as with the backpacks it is going to be impossible. Is there some kind of Tour de los Picos when you are hiking through the best spots? Thank you in advance.
You could try looking at this little guide book 'Walking in Picos de Europa'.
Although many are linked by car it is also possible to use public transport to the start points. Mix of long and short walks. We have an older edition but this looks similar.
 

Carol Moody

Camino Carol
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese 2018, Camino del Norte, Caminos to Finisterre and Muxia 2019
I plan to go to the Picos after I finish the CP about 26 April 2020. It's nice to see the information you have all contributed. I will have to read through it, then maybe pose a few questions. Gracias :D
 

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