One Week in Picos de Europa

August 1 – August 8

Let’s spend spend the first week of August in the heart of the Picos de Europa natural park exploring both the wild mountains and the typical villages of the area.
Picos de Europa, the mountainous massif found between Asturias, Cantabria and Castilla y León, is one of the most beloved National Parks on the Peninsula. A high mountain area just 10 kilometers from the Cantabrian coast, ideal for enjoying the mountains and the beach on the same day.
We will mainly stay in Potes – the ideal place for its location and beauty, which will give us the opportunity to enjoy the best sites in the area; but we are also going to spend a couple of nights in other famous towns like Poncebos and Cangas de Onís.

Although these are high mountains, all the routes will have medium difficulty, similar to what we usually do around here in Valencia. On top of that, we will have two relatively easy days, during which it will be possible to recover.

The Plan:

  • Saturday, August 01: transfer Valencia-Madrid-Potes
  • Sunday, August 02: Desfiladero la Hermida
  • Monday, August 03: Fuente De + Horcados Rojo
  • Tuesday, August 04: puebleando in Potes
  • Wednesday, August 05: Ruta del Cares
  • Thursday, August 06: Bulnes + Naranjo de Bulnes
  • Friday, August 07: Lagos de Covadonga
  • Saturday, August 08: return to Valencia through Madrid

We are going to take the train to go from Valencia to Madrid, but then we move around with a minibus/car. The group is limited to only 6 people (including the guide) to ensure the logistics of the trip.


Potes is a small town located in Cantabria, at the foot of Picos de Europa. Thanks to its exceptional location – at the confluence of four Liébana valleys and between two rivers, Deva and Quiviesa, the town seems to be embraced by mountains. Potes is known as the town of bridges and towers. Among these bridges are San Cayetano, de la Cárcel and Puente Nuevo. As for towers, the ones lieke Orejón de la Lama and Infantado (both 15th century), stand out. The latter was built by Mendoza, who turned Potes into the capital of Liébana.


Desfiladero de La Hermida

La Hermida is a set of narrow gorges in the Ándara massif that converge in the main one, formed by Deva river bed, which runs between huge, almost vertical, limestone walls, some more than 600 meters high. The 21 kilometers length makes this gorge the longest one in Spain.
Among other points of interest, Santa Catalina viewpoint stands out. It has some of the best views of the deepest section of La Hermida gorge.This panoramic point sits on top of the ruins of the early medieval castle Bolera de los Moros, strategically located to gain control of the gorge from the high, accessible landing point, that communicates with the historic road from Carmona to La Hermida.
Apart from that we are going to visit Santa Maria de Lebeña church. It is not on the trail, but it is essential to go see the church – one of the main tourist spots in Lebeña. It is a pre-Romanesque monument in Cantabria, in the Mozarabic style, where some Romanesque architecture solutions can be seen, such as the pillars of the square nucleus with attached columns.


Mirador de Horcados Rojos

The summit of Los Horcados Rojos is a magnificent viewpoint in the interior of the Central Massif, which is reached by taking a mountain path that starts from the upper station of the Fuente De cable car. Along the route you can see the essence of the high mountains of Picos de Europa: vegetation adapted to harsh climatic conditions, rocky landscape of sharp peaks and alpine birds.
This route is linear, so it is necessary to go up and then return along the same path. The last stretch of climb to Horcados Rojos pass runs along a rocky, steep path, although it is worth the climb and the views come as a reward. It is enough to go up to this point and return. Access to the summit is reserved for well-trained mountaineers.

Ruta del Cares

Ruta de Cares is one of the most spectacular itineraries in Picos de Europa, linking the towns of Caín (León) and Poncebos (Asturias). Also known as Divina Garganta, this route is famous for its views and the narrowness of the path, which crosses an impressive gorge.
Formerly this route was a pastor trail, or rather the “goat path”, and linked the towns of Cain and Poncebos, being the only way to get across in the snowy season. At first the trail was complicated and sometimes completely disappeared. Nowadays it is a 12-kilometer route that follows Cares river, a path where channeled water enters and leaves through its 71 drilled tunnels. An engineering work that continues to operate today and that today we can enjoy it and its impressive landscapes with much less effort than those who built it.



Bulnes is one of those towns that are so delightful to visit. Every corner, every detail and its wonderful location will make you enjoy a wonderful day of rural tourism. This small Asturian town is isolated within the Picos de Europa National Park. It is not accessible by road but there are two options of getting there, the best one being hiking up to the town, and the other – cable car. We are going to walk there from Poncebos and spend a more relaxed day in the town, of course enjoying the views of the Naranjo de Bulnes from the viewpoint.

The report of the hike at

Cangas de Onís y Lagos de Covadonga

Cangas de Onís used to be the capital of the Kingdom of Asturias until 774. Here an epic Covadonga battle was fought (722), which praised the rebellious figure of Don Pelayo in his fight against the Muslims and signified the beginning of the Christian conquest over the peninsula. The Sanctuary of Covadonga is known as the «site of the Spanish nation». For eight centuries Cangas de Onís was not a city of kings, but also remained beautiful and dynamic. Cangas de Onís, Covadonga and Picos de Europa make up an essential space for any traveler who enjoys history and nature.

The Covadonga lakes are just as beautiful. There are three of them: Enol, Ercina and Bricial, the smallest one. To see them you have to go in the thaw season. They are lakes situated at above 1,000 m altitude and surrounded by pastures and cows. The lakes are 12 km from the Covadonga Sanctuary.



At the moment I have hotel rooms reserved for 6 people, but I am going to try to find guesthouses, which will probably be the best option for a small group. I will add more information about accommodation before July 10, which will also be the registration deadline.


The total price of the trip is 585 Euros (185 paid in advance). This includes:

  • Transport from Madrid and back
  • 7 nights of Accommodation
  • Fuente Dé cable car
  • Insurance
  • Guide

Does not include transportation between Valencia and Madrid, meals and other expenses not mentioned above.

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