Picos mountains walking vacation in Spain

“An eight day walking vacation in Spain’s Picos de Europa Mountains, with five full days of guided walks traveling in a small group.”

Highlights

Arenas de Cabrale | Picos de Europa National Park | Collado Las Arnias | Caraves village | Collado de los Buitres | Cares Gorge walk | Peña Main | Pandebano Col | Mancondiu twin summits

Travel Team

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05 Sep 2020
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12 Sep 2020
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26 Sep 2020
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10 Oct 2020
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03 Apr 2021
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16 Oct 2021
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02 Apr 2022
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16 Apr 2022
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30 Apr 2022
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07 May 2022
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14 May 2022
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Vouchers
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Responsible tourism

As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we screen every trip so you can travel knowing your vacation will help support conservation and local people.

Environment
Accommodation and Meals:
It is ideally situated for anyone wishing to visit the Picos de Europa National Park or the beautiful beaches and fishing ports of the ‘Costa Verde’. As well as being predominantly locally staffed, the hotel also strives to buy the majority of its produce used for meals from local suppliers. The owners of the hotel also grow some of their own vegetables and you will be able to sample these in meals during the week. Meals provided are plentiful and a great chance to get in touch with cuisine in the Picos. The area is famous for its gold-medal-winning blue cheese, Queso Cabrales, which is matured in some of the thousands of deep limestone caves that dot the hills. Lesser known, but equally appealing is the local lamb Cordero al la Menta and a wholesome bean stew, Fabada Asturiana. Fresh fish comes from the coast at Llanes and Ribadesella, half an hour's drive away.

Activity:
Few vacations have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a walking trip. Erosion on and adjacent to popular paths is a growing problem in certain places and therefore our trip leaders encourage clients to stick to advised routes in order to minimise this. Your local guide knows the Picos so well that you will be able to take unmarked routes and avoid other groups entirely.We do believe in leaving no more than footprints, although this tour actively encourages guests to talk to local people, visit local cafes and restaurants and to use shops to buy handicrafts.

Water:
Water is a really important issue with active trips and whilst we must stay hydrated, it is also vital that we have a system for providing clean water without causing lots of waste with plastic bottles. We suggest that instead of repeatedly buying bottled water, guests should pack a refillable water bottle as the water at the hotel is drinkable and your guide will be able to advise where you can fill them up during the hikes.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.
Community

The Impacts of this Trip

Community:
We suppport the community by using businesses in the village. Due to its location, our using local restaurants (at least one a week is scheduled), purchasing from local shops and using local transfers, is a very important source of income for many people here. Even profit made from buying locally produced souvenirs is significant for artisans in the village; handmade clogs, pottery and walking sticks are all on sale. Day 5 is free and often clients use this time to try an optional excursion, like caving, canoeing and canyoning. Again, this brings business and income to many companies in the region

Accommodation:
We spend the week at the small, family-run Hotel Torrecerredo, which is just five minutes from the center of the rural village of Arenas De Cabrales

Climate

4 Reviews of Picos mountains walking vacation in Spain

5 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 01 Oct 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


All the walks were memorable - difficult to rank them as each one enabled us to experience a new and different aspect of the area - from mountain pastures to
dramatic gorges and airy peaks circled by griffon vultures.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Get some hill walking experience under your belt before you start - and expect to be challenged!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes - we were scrupulously careful to minimise our impact on the landscape. The food at our hotel was locally sourced and delicious.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Excellent - surpassed my expectations in every way. I managed to complete all the walks despite being the oldest in the group. Lovely, friendly companions
and a comfortable hotel, with staff that went out of their way to help. And the food was amazingly good and imaginative

Reviewed on 22 Oct 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


One of our walks included scrambling up a peak in the Macizo de Andara...it was tough but exhilarating when we reached the top. The views were amazing and
I felt a sense of achievement! Great walks throughout the vacation.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Be relatively fit in order to get the most benefit from the walks..and good quality walking shoes/boots.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


It definitely benefited local people, as we had dinner in a local restaurant and bought locally made cheese and goods.
As for reducing environmental impact or supporting conservation well, maybe, by using the routes in the mountains I hope that we helped contribute in the upkeep of the way of life in the area, which is so incredibly beautiful.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


I had the best time, the group was an excellent bunch of people and our guide was very knowledgeable, being from the area.
The hotel was lovely, my room comfortable with a view to the hills were cows were grazing. The staff were exceptionally helpful and friendly..I felt totally at
home.

Reviewed on 30 Oct 2017 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The last days (Fridays walk) was the most memorable because 1) We reached the highest part of the walk. 2) the sun shone and we relaxed in a scheduled area just before we completed the walk - a great finish and memory.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


I cannot think of anything specific. The guide and hotel were very professional and had everything well honed and perfectly practiced. Take some sun block and anti midge stuff as even in October you could well need it. On a personal note I omitted to pre-book the long stay car park and got stung on the exit - my fault but a heads up from tour rep might be useful in pointing this out!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes the local who worked in the hotel seemed to directly benefits, as did the local taxi firm and café/shops.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Very good trip. Hotel was excellent, food both great and plentiful. Trip members were all good: agreeable and excellent company. Guide was knowledgeable, approachable and helpful. Overall nothing to complain about and everything to be completely happy with the trip

Reviewed on 08 Jun 2014 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


The views from the high Picos; the varied, lush, green landscape; the amazing wildflowers…the walks were very diverse and a great introduction to a beautiful area led by an excellent and informative guide.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


The terrain and weather is variable - be prepared for a variety of conditions underfoot.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, the hotel made an effort to source local food and it is small and family run. A group vacation is also pretty travel efficient.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


This vacation was great - the combination of a very friendly welcoming hotel with excellent food, the knowledgeable, engaging and good humoured guide and the variety of walks combined to make this one of the best vacations I have had
in ages.

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