Picos de Europa, destination for our Picos Discovery Tour, are an iconic mountain range in the heart of northern Spain. The Camino de Santiago passes through the region which rises to 2,500m from a coastline dotted with picturesque small towns and villages.
Far and Wild has been leading european walking holidays in the Picos since 2015, working with family-run guest houses and local guides alongside Irish leaders.
Our Picos de Europa Walking holiday is a 7 night tour in May-June 2019 and includes an easy walk/orientation day followed by 6 days inspiring trekking. We call it our Picos Discovery Tour because as a moderate tour it is an ideal introduction to European walking for hikers already with some Irish or UK hiking experience under their belts.
“Iconic limestone peaks, alpine meadows, dramatic gorges and lovely trails make the Picos a rare draw for walkers from Ireland, the UK and beyond”, says Lawrence, Far and Wild’s Director. “The warmth of local people, the climate, cultural history of the region and splendid food all make us want to go back year after year”.
The tours starts with pick-up at Santander airport and a 2hr transfer to the heart of the Picos. After a welcome and overnight in a local family-run guest house and traditional evening meal, the tour departs on a 6 day circuit of the most spectacular locations, vistas and trails in the central Massif.
“The heart of the experience is a hike to Refugio Uriellu at 2,000 metres, a comfy hut tucked under a massive Tor rock, Naranjo de Bulnes which is a mecca for climbers. The Tor lights up in the sunset and morning sunrise, giving the location it’s name- the orange rock of Bulnes”.
Far and Wild knows the region well and works closely with both Irish and Spanish guides. This allows for great routes that match your ability and reveal the dramatic beauty that is quintessential to the Picos.
The Picos Discovery Tour is suitable for people of average fitness who have an interest in walking and have completed day walks in their home country. Walks last approximately 4-6 hours per day depending on the route and weather conditions and there are options to shorten or lengthen some days to suit the group.
Scenery on the route is spectacular and as good as any big European Walks. The Cares Gorge comprises one of the day’s hiking and is a stunning natural feature to see up close. As a limestone upland landscape, the entire mountain range has been transformed from a sea bed to a close-knit chain of dramatic mountains over millennia. People and commercial development have had to accommodate to the environment and find ways to adapt. Tourism is important to the region but still the Picos are quiet and very well kept compared to other walking destinations in Europe.