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Picos Mountains, Spain

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Homepage > Spain > Picos Mountains, Spain
  • Duration: 7 Nights
  • Difficulty: Level 2-3
  • Tour Type: Self Guided
  • Availability: Daily 1st April to 30th October
  • Location: Arenas de Cabrales
Tour Details

On this hiking holiday in Spain, you will explore the fabulous Picos Mountains. The Picos de Europa is a hikers paradise with the idyllic countryside, glacier valleys and dramatic limestone peaks. This region is also known as “Green Spain”, which you will certainly understand why once you arrive. The Picos de Europa Mountains are situated to the west of Bilbao and south of Santander.

You may experience the valleys covered in wildflowers and even the added bonus of wildlife which you may get to see. Why not try some of the regional dishes made from local produce including the tasty Cabrales blue cheese and Apple cider.

On this 8-day trip during which you’ll stay on the north side doing easy or more difficult day walks around the eastern and central massifs, including an ascent to a mountain hut at the foot of the famous Picu Urriellu.

Starting Location

Arenas de Cabrales

Price Includes

  • 7 nights Bed and Breakfast and 4 dinners
  • 6 nights in hotels, 1 night dormitory at mountain hut
  • Information Pack
  • Navigation by Smart Phone App
  • Luggage Transfers on days 3 and 7 (take overnight items with you to mountain hut)
  • GPS Files on request

Price Excludes

  • Transport before and after tour
  • Single Rooms
  • Flights
  • Public Transport
  • Entrance to attractions
  • Travel Insurance
  • Optional Funicular railway
  • Blankets in mountain hut
Trip Info

Please Note

Until the first half of June, the climb to the refuge can’t be guaranteed because of snowfall. In case the mountain hut cannot be reached, you will stay an extra night in Sotres and do one of the walks offered on day 5. On day 7 you walk from Sotres to Bulnes, combining parts of the walks of days 6 & 7. Extra fee of approx. 20-40€ paid locally if refuge cannot be reached. You can only take advantage of this offer if the refuge cannot be reached due to snowfall or if it is dangerous to reach the hut, our local ground staff shall inform you if it is not possible to reach the hut.


6 nights in good family run hotels with en-suite bathrooms in all the rooms and 1 night in a dormitory at a modern mountain hut with about 100 beds, a large restaurant-sitting room with fireplace and some basic toilets. Blankets can be rented

Arenas de Cabrales – Hotel La Rivera
Small family-run hotel in a quiet lane of Arenas de Cabrales, with ample rooms, en-suite bathrooms and a cosy dining room. The friendly owner serves tasty regional dishes for dinner and a true hikers’ breakfast.

Sotres – Hotel Sotres
Situated in the village of Sotres (1050m), this new hotel offers ample rooms with en-suite bathrooms, two terraces with panoramic views, a cosy living room and a sunny dining room where delicious local dishes are served by an always friendly group of family members


Walks of 4 to 5,5 hours during which you climb and descent 550m as an average if you choose the easy walks and 750m and if you like a more difficult program. In both cases, you have to climb 1200m on day 6 and descent 1350m if you go up to the mountain hut.

Travel Insurance

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


Day 1Arrival at Arenas de Cabrales

Arrival to Arenas to Cabrales the gateway to the Picos National Park. If you arrive by car you can leave your car at the private parking lot for the duration of the trip.

Day 2Circular walk from Arenas 5.9-7.5 miles , 9.5-12KM, 380/560 up/down, 4 hours walking time.

You are in for a treat with a fabulous walk today along farm tracks that run between Arenas and Poo de Cabrales. If you wish to walk a little further you can choose to extend the walk to Humones Col with amazing panoramic views across the valley of Cabrales.

Day 3Walking to Sotres

After a 30 minute transfer to Tielve, one of the most authentic villages in this part of the Picos where people still make a living raising livestock and producing a famous blue cheese, Queso de Cabrales. You walk up through a fairy-tale landscape of moors, old beech woods and streams to a pass at 1240m and then down to Sotres (1050 m), the highest village of the Picos de Europa. (4 hours). 5.6 miles 8.9km 575m up, 250m down

Day 4Circular Walk

A circular walk through the Eastern massif of Picos that was exploited in the 19th century by mining industries, a limestone landscape with its sharp ridges, depressions and shafts. Brightly coloured alpine flora is hidden among the rocks. There is a good chance of seeing chamois, vultures and different kinds of eagles. Several options (4 or 5.5 hours) 7.8 miles 12.8km 500m up, 800m down.

Day 5Today there are three options, 5.7-14-18.25km, 300-500/700-635m up/down

Today you choose among three different walks: an adventurous and varied circular walk of 5,5 hours through the meadows and beech woods of Tresviso, in which you gaze deep down into the Urdón Gorge and walk through quiet woodland where you may hear the sound of the rare Capercaillie OR another technically easy but longer walk of 6,5 hours, to the summer meadows of Áliva and back down, in which you walk into an interesting glacier valley up to 1650m, in the shadow of the impressive limestone walls of the Central and Eastern Massifs.

Halfway you can take a rest on the terrace of the Hotel Refugio de Aliva, with extraordinary views OR should you prefer a more relaxing day today, we have included a description of a shorter circular walk which starts directly from the hotel, in which you walk through woods and fields enjoying the quiet surroundings of the village of Sotres.

Day 6 Mountain RefugioVega de Urriellu

The most spectacular walk of the entire trip, as you climb up to the mountain refuge Vega de Urriellu, located at 2000 m, right at the foot of the outstanding silhouette of the Picu Urriellu in the heart of the Central massif (5,5 hours). The Picu Urriellu is one of the most famous climbing areas in Spain because of its 500 m vertical wall and conical top. If you still have energy left, you could take a short walk around the refuge to the edge of the Jou sin Tierra, one of the deepest and widest natural depressions (doline) in the Picos. You will take some belongings for just one night with you to the refuge. The rest of your luggage will be transported to the hotel in Arenas. 6.8 miles 11km 1200m up, 165m down

Day 7Arenas de Cabrales

In the morning you follow the same track as the day before, back to Pandebano pass, and then turn west. A footpath leads through natural meadows and shrubs down to Bulnes (4,5 hours), which can only be reached on foot or by cable railway (since 2001). Here you can either take the funicular railway train through the tunnel to Poncebos or extend your walk for another 1,5 hours through an impressive gorge where vultures nest.  At Poncebos you take the public bus to Arenas or if the public bus is not running a taxi will pick you up in Poncebos and drive you to Arenas de Cabrales, to the same hotel where you started the trip. 7.8 miles 12.5km down 1275-1600m

Day 8Departure

After breakfast, your walking holiday in the Picos de Europa ends. If you have to go back to the airport in Bilbao or Asturias, we can arrange bus tickets for you.


How to get there

By plane to Bilbao airport or to Santander airport
By Ferry to Santander or Bilbao from UK.
Public Transport from Bilbao around 3.5 hours and from Santander around 1.5 hours.
Private transfer available to/from Santander
Private transfer available to/from Unquera  – Arenas.

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2024 Prices – For a complete tour price breakdown please click the book now button and select your holiday tour date. Prices will then be listed.

 Tour Code Prices From (per person) Book Now
Picos8 (7 Nights)  from £474 Book Now
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