Walking in Picos de Europa

£10.00

Landscapes of the
PICOS DE EUROPA
:
walks and car tours

by Teresa Farino

We found your book and it became our bible! I don’t think we have ever used a guide book more intensely or enjoyed one so much!(C&LM, Lowestoft)

We have walked and climbed in the Rockies and the Himalaya, but the Picos are unique, and we are so glad that we went. Your book contained so much information, together with the beautiful pictures and the very useful maps, that we felt we were really getting under the skin of this part of Spain. (MH, Glos)

Your walks took us through flower meadows awash with fragrance, buzzing with insect life and clouds of butterflies, through sleepy villages lined with cherry trees so heavily laden that fruit fell to the ground untouched, and up through steep mountain gorges with goats and donkeys for company. Thank you so much. (SP, Harrogate)

I have just returned from my third visit to the Picos de Europa and am writing to tell you what an absolute godsend your Sunflower book has been on all three visits. I am now hardly able to walk at all without poles but even so have been able to enjoy very short sorties from the car and obviously all the breathtaking sights from the miradors. Thank you again for your indispensable book – several of my friends have bought it after seeing my copy.

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Description

Picos de EuropaThe Picos de Europa, one of Europe’s last mountain wilderness areas, are the high point of a long ridge of mountains which runs along the north coast of Spain, the Cordillera Cantabrica. Rising to 2648m (about 8700ft), the Picos are divided into three spectacular limestone massifs separated from one another, and from the surrounding ranges, by precipitous gorges — a truly spectacular area in which to walk or tour. This guide contains a wealth of information about the dazzling array of plant and animal life you can expect to see when exploring the range. The author, an all-round naturalist, has been living and walking in the Picos de Europa for almost 30 years. Together with Mike Lockwood, she has also written Sunflower’s guide book to the Costa Brava.

Area covered: the entire range, consisting of three separate limestone massifs: Urrieles (central Picos), Cornión (western Picos), and Ándara (eastern Picos)

The best months for walking in the Picos de Europa are June to September.

To find out more about the author or to join one of her tours, visit her website: www.iberianwildlife.com/teresa-farino.htm

Where to stay

The best bases are Potes for the southern Picos, Cangas de Onís for the northern side and Arenas for the Cabrales region (including the Cares Gorge).

Edition/contents etc

1 car tour with several detour options, 
18 long and short walks, 6 easy walks for motorists, 5 picnic suggestions
128 pages + touring map, large-scale (1:50,000) topo maps
6th edition, 2015 ISBN 978-1-85691-466-6 UK retail price £12.99 / USA retail price $18.00

Table of contents:

Preface 5
Acknowledgements; Useful books 7
Getting about 8
Picnic suggestions 11
Short walks for motorists 13

TOURING

HIDDEN SECRETS OF THE PICOS DE EUROPA    24
Potes · Puerto de San Glorio · Portilla de la Reina · Puerto de Pandetrave · Posada de Valdeón · Puerto de Panderruedas · Desfiladero de los Beyos · Cangas de Onís · Arenas de Cabrales · Panes · Desfiladero de La Hermida · Potes
Detours
Caín 30
Covadonga 31
Sotres and Tresviso 32
Fuente Dé 34

WALKING
Guides, waymarking, maps 37
Where to stay 37
Weather hints 39
Clothing and equipment 39
Dogs – and other nuisances 40
General advice to walkers 42
Language hints 43
Glossary 44
Organisation of the walks 45
A country code for walkers and motorists 46

THE WALKS
LIEBANA: The sun-drenched southern valleys 47
1 Potes · Frama · Lubayo · Collado de Porcieda · Tudes · Porcieda · Invernal de Tolibes · Potes 48
2 Beges (Puente La Llambre) · Invernales de Panizales · Collado de Pelea · Invernales de la Prada · Allende · Bar El Desfiladero (N621) 56
3 La ruta de Tresviso   61
4 Somaniezo · Ermita de Nuestra Señora de la Luz · Luriezo · Somaniezo 67
5 Puerto de San Glorio · Collado de Llesba · Invernal de Conjortes · Cosgaya 73
6 Fuente Dé (cable car) · Refugio de Aliva · Invernales de Igüedre · Espinama · Pido · Fuenfría · Fuente Dé 80

CABRALES AND COVADONGA: The northern reaches 91
7 La Garganta del Cares: Puente Poncebos · Caín · Puente Poncebos 92
8 Puente Poncebos · Bulnes (La Villa) · Bulnes (El Castillo) · Puente Poncebos 99
9 Picos de Macondiú: Jito de Escarandi · Vao de los Lobos · Casetón de Andara · (Pozo de Andara) · Jito de Escarandi 104
10 Lago de la Ercina · Vega Bricial · Vega de Enol · Lago Enol · Refugio Entrelagos · Lago de la Ercina 113
11 Lago de la Ercina · Majada de las Bobias · Llaguiellu · Collado El Jito · Vega de Ario · Majada de Belbín · Lago de la Ercina 118

Index 127
Fold-out map of the Picos de Europa inside back cover
Bus timetables reverse of fold-out map

FLORA AND FAUNA ILLUSTRATED IN THE BOOK:

Alytes obstetricans (male midwife toad) 66
Aquilegia discolor 109
Asphodelus albus (white asphodel) 71
Caltha palustris (marsh marigold) 78
Casina cow and calves 115
Cistus psilosepalus 53
Fraxinus excelsior (common ash) 55
Gentiana acaulis (trumpet gentian) 91
Gentiana lutea (great yellow gentian) 87
Geranium sanguineum (bloody cranesbill) 65
Gymnadenia conopsea (fragrant orchid) 60
Hemaris tityus (narrow-bordered bee-hawk) 42
Hepatica nobilis (hepatica) 71
Lilium martagon
(martagon lily) 87
Linaria faucicola 113
Lysandra bellargus (Adonis blue butterfly) 66
Melanargia galathea (marbled white butterfly) 1
Pinguicula grandiflora (large-flowered butterwort) 125
Pulsatilla vernalis (spring pasque-flower) 81
Quercus suber (cork oak) 54
Salamandra salamandra (fire salamander) 64
Saturnia pyri (giant peacock moth) 47
Sempervivum cantabricum (Cantabrican houseleek) 87
Silene acaulis (moss campion) 104
Trollius europaeus (globeflower) 79

Guidebook index

Ajero (crags) 56-7
Allende 56-7, 58-9, 60
Andara Massif 3, 24, 34-5, 37, 48-9, 52, 75, 88, 104
Arenas de Cabrales 9, 24, 28, 33, 38
Asiego 28
Asturias 6, 11, 25, 37, 81, 115
Avín 38

Balcón de Pilatos (viewpoint) 41, 61, 65
Bedoya (valley) 19
Beges 29, 56, 58-9, 104, 106-7, 112
Bulnes 94-5, 99, 102-3 see also Naranjo de Bulnes

Cabrales
parish 8-9
valley 8
see also Walks 7-9

Caín 24, 26, 30, 92, 93, 94-5, 98
Camarmeña 32, 93
Canales de Cabrales 16, 27
Cangas de Onís 9, 11, 24, 27, 31, 37-8
Cantabria (province) 6, 7, 8, 10, 12, 19, 61, 70-1, 81
Cares Gorge 28, 30-1, 92, 93, 94-5, 97, 99, cover
Carreña de Cabrales 28
(El) Cascajal (peak) 77
Casaño (river) 16
Casetón de Andara (refuge) 104, 106-7, 108-9
Cicera 18-9
Colio 2
Collada (pass)
de la Aldea 106-7, 109
Collado (pass)
de Llesba 11, 12, 73, 74, 75
de Pelea 56, 58-9
de Porcieda 48, 51, 52
El Jito 120-1, 122

(Los) Collados (majada) 94-5
Cordillera Cantábrica 5, 70
Cordiñanes 30
Cornión Massif 3, 24, 37
Cosgaya 35, 73, 74, 78
Covadonga 9, 24, 31, 32
see also Walks 7, 10, 11
Cubo (river) 73, 74, 77, 78
Cuetodave (peak) 63

Desfiladero de La Hermida (gorge) 8, 24, 28, 56-7
Desfiladero de los Beyos (gorge) 24, 27

Espinama 35, 80, 82-3, 85

Frama 48-9, 51
Fuenfría 80, 82-3, 87
Fuente Dé 8, 12, 24, 29, 34-5, 38, 80, 82-3, 85, 87

(La) Hermida 28, 56, 104, 106-7
see also Desfiladero de La Hermida
Horno del Doblillo (zinc ovens) 104, 106-7, 112

Invernal (a barn where livestock spends the winter)
de Conjortes 73, 74, 76
de Tolibes 48, 51, 55
de Hoja 106-7, 111

Invernales
de Igüedre 80, 82-3, 85
de la Prada 56, 58-9
de Panizales 56-7, 58-9
de Prías 61, 66

Jito de Escarandi (crossroads) 33, 104-5, 106-7, 110, 112

Lago (lake)
de la Ercina 11, 32, 113, 117-8, 120-1, 122-3, 126
Enol 32, 112-3, 117, 120-1

León
city 8-9; province 81
Liébana (valley) 8, 47-90, 48-9, 110-1
Llaguiellu (vega) 118, 120-1
Llánaves de la Reina 13, 25
Llanes 9
Llano Los Jitos (pass) 120-1, 122
(Los) Llanos 35, 80, 82-3, 89
Lubayo 48, 50, 51
Luriezo 67, 68-9, 71

Macondiú (mountain peaks) 104-12, 106-7, 108
Majada (a barn where livestock spends the summer)
de Belbín 118, 120-1, 125
de las Bobias 118-9, 120-1

Mirador (viewpoint)
de la Reina 32
de Piedrashitas 12, 26
del Naranjo 93
del Tombo 14, 30-1

Mieses 34, 38
Mogrovejo 80, 82-3, 89
(La) Molina 16
Mosquital (peak) 120-1, 122-3
Mostajal (stream) 12

Naranco (valley) 13, 14-5
Naranjo de Bulnes (mountain peak) 28
Nuestra Señora de la Luz (chapel) 67, 68-9

Ojedo 29
Oseja de Sajambre 22-3, 27
Oviedo (city) 9

Panes 8-9, 24, 28
Peña (mountain peak)
Oviedo 80, 82-3, 88
Remoña 82-3, 86
Sagra 67, 68-9, 72-3
Vieja 12, 88-9

Peñarrubia (mountain range) 63
Pica Ten (peak) 22-3
Picos de Europa National Park 31, 96, 118
Pido 80, 82-3, 85
Póo de Cabrales 28
Porcieda 48, 51, 53
Portilla de la Reina 24, 25
Posada de Valdeón 14, 24, 26, 30
Potes 8, 24, 25, 29, 34, 37, 38, 48-9, 51, 55
Pozo de Andara (marshland) 104, 106-7, 108-9
Puente (bridge)
del Jardu 94-5, 100, 101
de los Rebecos 94-5, 97
La Llambre 56, 58-9
Romano 27

Puente Poncebos 9, 32, 92, 94-5, 98-9, 103
Puerto (pass)
de Panderruedas 12, 24, 26
de Pandetrave 24, 26
de Pembes 80, 82-3, 88
del Pontón 26
de San Glorio 8, 11, 24, 72-3, 74

Pumareña 20

(La) Quintana 110-1

Refugio (mountain refuge)
de Aliva 80, 82-3, 88-9
de Ario 120-1, 123
de Tajahierro 13, 14-5
Entrelagos 113, 117, 120-1

San Miguel (chapel) 34-5
San Pedro de Bedoya 19
San Pelayo 35, 38
Santa María de Lebeña (church) 29, 58-9
Santa Marina de Valdeón 26, 29, 39
Santander (city) 8-9
Santo Toribio de Liébana (monastery) 34
Somaniezo 67, 68-9, 70, 72
Soto de Valdeón 26, 39
Sotres 17, 24, 28, 32, 33, 104, 106-7
see also Vegas de Sotres

Tama 29
Tesorero (peak) 80, 82-3, 84
Tielve 33
Tresviso 24, 28, 32-3, 61, 66
La ruta de Tresviso 41, 61, 62, 63, 64-6
Tudes 48, 51, 53
Turieno 35, 38

Urdón 28, 61, 66
Urrieles Massif 3, 24, 37, 52, 75

Valdeón (valley) 8
Vao de los Lobos 104-5, 106-7, 112
Vega (alpine grassland)
Bricial 113, 115, 120-1
de Ario 118, 120-1, 123
de Enol 113, 116, 120-1

Vega de Liébana (village) 24, 38
Vegas de Sotres 16-7, 33

Current update

Picos de Europa, 6th ed (2015); updated 20/8/2015

Updates for walks and car tours (drives) in the Picos de Europa given below supplement those provided in the guidebook. It is vital that this Update is read in conjunction with the text of the book, but note that the Update applies only to the edition stated and not to any earlier editions. (If you have an older edition of this book you can “upgrade” to the latest edition at half price.)

Information has been forwarded to us by users of the book, and Sunflower Books offers the data in good faith but cannot be held responsible for any misleading or inaccurate content in the Update. Unless indicated otherwise, what appears here has not been verified by the author or publisher, so please allow due caution when new or amended routes are suggested. Each piece of information is dated; bear in mind that some of the older observations may have since been overtaken by events or further changes. If, during your holiday, you are using the current edition of the guide and are able to provide any additional updating to add to this page, we will be pleased to hear from you. Please send information, preferably by e-mail, to info@sunflowerbooks.co.uk.

Short walk 1, page 13: The petrol station at the start of the walk no longer exists, it has been demolished. Also, there is a footbridge over the stream where the petrol station was that you can cross, walk along a paved path then cross another footbridge which brings you out at the real start of the walk (the signpost Senda Valle del Naranco …), thus avoiding the 100 metres or so walk along the main road. (User, 8/15)

Short walk 5, page 18: Just before the 1hour 10 min point you should ignore the very steep track that goes off to the right. (User, 8/15)

Walk 5: The directions are perfect. (User, 8/15)

Walk 6: The directions are perfect. (User, 8/15)

Walk 7: The directions are perfect. (User, 8/15)

Walk 10: The directions are perfect. (User, 8/15)

The below are comments and suggestions (not corrections):

Picnic Suggestions, Page 11: The LUPA supermarket in Potes is not only very good/large, and has an excellent fresh fish counter; daily different, but with no fish on Mondays. Importantly, it is open Monday to Saturday, plus Sundays in the summer, the hours being 9.30-21.00 weekdays and Saturdays. The local sidra is good but (very) dry. (User and author)

 Walk 6: The cost of the cable car at Fuente Dé in spring 2015 is 10 euros one way, 16 euros return for adults, and 4 euros one way, 6 euros return for children between 6 and 12 years; children aged 5 and under go free. Animals are not allowed, and bicycles are only permitted on the first two journeys of the day, or when there are no other passengers. Price increases are usually applied in July. (the author, 1/15) + We did this a little over a week ago, and found that there is well-marked Park’s track that goes right over a small bridge immediately after going through the Invernales de Igüedre gateway. It is a bit up and down but more pleasurable than the motorable track to Espinama. (User, 7/12). Author’s note: the constant up-and-down nature of this route back to Fuente Dé is actually a very strenuous end to a long walk, and should not be undertaken if you are feeling at all tired, as once committed you will need to carry on to the bitter end. (Author, 2015)

Walk 8: The prices of the funicular at Poncebos are now (Jan 2015)

Single adult: 17.10 Euro
Adult Return: 21.50 Euro
Child (4-12 years) one way: 4.20 Euro
Child (4-12 years) return 6.50 Euro (Author, 2015)

Walks 10 & 11: From 21 Apr (Holy Week) and at other peak visitor periods until early September, the road to the lakes may be closed to private cars between 8.30 and 20.00, but there is an excellent bus service every 15 minutes from Cangas. A return ticket is euros 7.50. The same fare applies from the car parks along the road; boarding at Covadonga is discouraged as parking there is almost impossible. (User)

New walk: Although we realise that there is only space in the book for a limited number of walks, the omission of the popular and easy walk from Brez to the Canal de Arredondas is surprising. We only found out about this walk by chance. The Fuente Dé bus gives public transport access although it is even easier if a moderately priced taxi from Potes to Brez is used for the outward journey, and afterwards you walk downhill on the track from Brez through Lon to pick up the bus near Baró. The walk itself is well-signed and circular (two hours) and is very interesting and varied with impressive views into the mountains – even more impressive in overcast weather. A diversion can be made some way along the path into the ‘canal’ itself. (User, 7/08) + I did this walk. It is well signed as PR-27) and gives magnificent views of the nearby peaks and distant mountains. Although short , this is delightful. Having completed it I repeated ‘the loop as far as a sign indicating the path to Lon, which I followed. This soon passes through a forest area where forks in the path are not signed, but the correct route is generally the lower, right-hand path. After a few hundred metres this led to a broader gravel path going downhill beside the river to Lon, where I enjoyed tea at the hotel and picked up an information leaflet describing walks from the hotel, including a route onwards (fairly well waymarked yellow and white) through San Pelayo, Beares and Santo Toribio which I followed back to Potes. (User suggestion, 7/09)

Taxi numbers:
Potes: +34-659662771 (José speaks English)
Panes: +34-659056489 (or 985414023)
Arenas: +34-636360273, +34-985346487, +34-625201900, +34-616961202