6 Days in Picos de Europa | North of Spain
8 People Max
Trip start: Santander
Trip end: Santander
Are you on the lookout for an excellent way to explore the natural beauty of Northern Spain? Our Picos De Europa trip is the ideal tour for you.
Join us, the experienced guides of Hungaro Explorer, as we embark on a remarkable journey through the captivating landscapes and rich cultural heritage of Northern Spain. Our North of Spain Hiking Tour promises an unforgettable experience that combines the thrill of hiking through the breathtaking Picos de Europa National Park, the exploration of historic towns, and indulgence in delectable Spanish cuisine.
Hike the famous Las Cares Trail
Spend the night in a mountain hut
Explore historic towns
Experience the golden hour at 2000 meter high
Ride the fastest cable car in Europe
Enjoy the local Spanish cuisine
Trained outdoor guide(s) with years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes.
All transportation from Day 1 to Day 6
Lodging for the duration of the trip Day 1 through Day 6 (5 nights)
Dinner is included every day from Day 1 to Day 5
Breakfast is included every day starting Day 2
All tours and Entrance fees per itinerary
All transportation and transfers per itinerary
Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit
A discount of 10% off any Hungaro Explorer hiking tour/trip after your first one (must book directly with us to receive the discount)!
What's NOT Included
International and domestic flights
Trip insurance that includes medical coverage
Meals and beverages not listed like launch, snacks or alcoholic drinks etc.
Telephone bills, Wi-Fi bills, and other personal expenses like shopping or laundry
All expenses due to unavoidable events like flight cancellation, illness, etc. (we recommend trip insurance coverage for these events)
Water bottles, headlamps, or flashlights
Gratuity for guides is optional but always appreciated
What to bring?
Hiking shoes or boots with good grip (waterproof/GoreTex is recommended)
Hiking poles (optional) but it can help on the rocky terrain
Slippers or sandals for around the house and town
Hiking pants and hiking shorts
Puffy jacket for (it can be 35F-40F when we hike up higher elevation)
Sunglasses and sunscreen
Don't forget your camera!
6 - Day Itinerary
June 9th-14th 2024
Day 1 - Covadonga Lakes and Cangas de Onis
We will drive from Santander to Covadonga Lakes to start our journey. Covadonga Lakes, also known as "Lagos de Covadonga," is a stunning natural area located in the Picos de Europa National Park. Arriving at Covadonga we will take a short bus drive up to the mountains, where we will hike a loop around the two lakes Ercina and Enol. After we return to Covadonga we take a short visit to the Royal Cave which is a beautiful historic site, where the Christian Reconquest of Spain began in the 8th century.
Distance: 6.4 km (4 miles) with 200m (660ft) of elevation gain
Time: 3 hours
Not far from Covadonga is the charming little town of Cangas de Onis. This is a perfect place for us to try traditional Asturian dishes like "fabada" (a hearty bean stew), "cachopo" (a breaded and fried steak dish), and "sidra" (Asturian cider).
The town is most famous for its Roman Bridge, "Puente Romano," which dates back to the 14th century and spans the Sella River. It's an iconic symbol of the region and provides a picturesque setting for taking photos.
Meals included: Dinner
Day 2 - Las Cares Route and Potes Town
We will start our day with a beautiful drive through the winding mountain road to the most famous route in Picos de Europa, the Las Cares hiking trail.
The trail runs along the Cares River and cuts through the park's heart. One of the highlights of the Las Cares Trail is the Cares Gorge, where the path follows the narrow and winding canyon carved by the river. The rock walls rise dramatically on either side, creating a unique, awe-inspiring atmosphere.
The terrain is mostly well-maintained and relatively flat.
We will not hike the whole length of the trail which is 7 miles one way, but instead, we will hike halfway until we reach the tunnels and then return.
Distance: 11 km (7 miles) with 430m (1400ft) of elevation gain
Time: 4 hours
After our hike, we will drive to our next destination, Potes town.
Potes is a charming town and is known for its breathtaking natural surroundings and delicious Cantabrian cuisine including cocido lebaniego (a hearty stew), quesada pasiega (a type of cheesecake), and orujo (a traditional Spanish liquor).
Potes is a medieval town with well-preserved architecture and a historic center filled with narrow, cobblestone streets and charming buildings which worth some exploration.
Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner
Day 3 - Horcados Rojos Peak via Fuente Dé Cable Car
After a short 30-minute drive in the morning, we will arrive at Fuente Dé. Riding the cable car in Fuente Dé is a thrilling and unforgettable experience that offers breathtaking panoramic views of the Picos de Europa mountain range. The ascent in the cable car is relatively steep, and you'll quickly gain elevation as you leave the valley floor far below. The cable car journey is approximately 4 minutes each way. The upper station of the cable car is located at an altitude of around 1,823 meters (5,981 feet) above sea level.
This is where we start our hiking journey to Horcados Rojos Peak.
It's time for a hike!
The Horcados Rojos Route is one of the most iconic hikes in the Picos de Europa National Park. This route offers a thrilling and rewarding trek through rugged terrain with panoramic viewpoints on the way. The top of the mountain peak is located at an elevation of approximately 2,506 meters (8,224 feet) and offers a stunning perspective of the surrounding peaks, including the famous Naranjo de Bulnes (also known as Picu Urriellu).
On the way back we can make a stop at the popular Cabaña Verónica mountain hut for refreshments or snacks. After we ride back down the cable car to Fuente Dé we drive back to Potes town to spend another evening before the next day's journey.
Distance: 11km (7 miles) with 750m (2500ft) of elevation gain
Time: 5-6 hours
Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner
Day 4 - Hiking from Fuente Dé to Refugio Collado Jermoso
Get ready for a tough day! Our journey to Collado Jermoso will begin at Fuente Dé, but this time we will not ride the cable car, instead we will climb up the mountain on a long switchback.
This trek offers spectacular views, rugged terrain, and the opportunity to experience the natural beauty of Picos de Europa. This will be the biggest climb we do on our trip, but the amazing views will compensate for our effort. After a few hours of hiking, we will make it to the cabin which stands around 2100 meters high. It is perched on a rocky shelf, offering awe-inspiring panoramic views of the surrounding peaks and valleys.
Distance: 9km (5.5 miles) with 1400m (4500ft) of elevation gain
Time: 5-6 hours.
The good news, when you arrive at the mountain hut, you will be able to eat a good bocadillo (sandwich) or even enjoy a cold beer. You will be able to rest, take a short hike, or just sit and watch the mountain goats playing around.
If we are lucky we will be able to see a beautiful sunset over the jagged cliffs for an unforgettable experience.
Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner
Day 5 - Refugio Collado Jermoso to Fuente Dé
After breakfast, we will depart the cabin and head back towards Fuente Dé. This time we will return in a slightly different way for a change of environment and views. We will even hike for a couple of miles in some parts of the Camino de Santiago trail before we get back to the trailhead.
Distance: 11km (7 miles) with 300m (1000ft) of elevation gain
Time: 5 hours
Afternoon: Relaxation at Las Hermida Balneario
After our hike, we will drive to Las Hermida Balneario where we will relax in the thermal baths. Las Hermida Balneario is known for its healing thermal waters, so after our hiking days in the mountains we will take advantage of this rejuvenating experience.
We will spend the night at Arenas de Cabrales town where we will enjoy some special Asturian local food.
Meals included: Breakfast & Dinner
Day 6 - Arenas de Cabrales to Santander
This is our last day so we will take it easy with a ride to Bulnes town. Bulnes is a charming and picturesque town nestled in the heart of the Picos de Europa National Park. This remote and idyllic village is known for its stunning mountainous surroundings, its isolation from the rest of the world, and its unique transportation system.
One of the remarkable features of Bulnes is its inaccessibility by road. The village can only be reached by hiking, on horseback, or by taking a funicular railway, making it an alluring destination for nature enthusiasts and adventurers.
We will use the funicular de Bulnes railway to get us to the town. The village is a delight to explore, with its traditional Asturian architecture. Stone houses with slate roofs line the narrow, winding streets, creating a charming and rustic atmosphere. It's a great place to immerse yourself in the local culture and enjoy the tranquility of village life.
If you are a cheese lover, you might enjoy our last stop. Arenas de Cabrales is a small town known for its rich cheese-making traditions, particularly Cabrales cheese. We will visit a cheese cave to learn more about the cheese-making traditions and we can even try some of these delicious (at least for some) cheese types with some cider.
After this short visit to the cave, we will have a launch in town before we head back to Santander. Estimated arrival in Santander around 4 pm-5 pm.
Meals included: Breakfast
End of the trip
At Hungaro Explorer, our experienced local guides will help make your hiking tour a truly unforgettable experience! They speak the local language, know the area well, and are here to share their knowledge and expertise with you.
Hiking Guide | Adventure Photographer
Logistic coordinator | Translator
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a visa to enter Spain if I travel from the United States or Canada?
No, as of now you don't need a visa to enter Spain if you are traveling from the US or Canada. Make sure your passport is valid for at least six months.
Do I need Euros in Spain or can I just use my credit cards?
In most places, you can pay by credit card or Apple Pay on your phone.
The trip starts in Saantander, how do I travel there?
First, you fly to Madrid the capital of Spain, and from there are local, one-hour flights to Santander for about $40 one way.
What is the weather like in June?
June is the beginning of summer in Spain, but keep in mind that we will hike up higher elevations where it will get colder. Northern Spain can be very rainy, that's the reason everything is so green, so be prepared for the right rain gear.
How difficult are the activities? How should I train?
This itinerary starts with easy hiking but slowly gets tougher. You must be in good physical shape and be able to hike each day for 4 to 5 hours. hiking is the best training you can do or running. If you prefer indoor training then elliptical, Stairmaster and the treadmill will become your good friend.