Best Hikes in Picos de Europa

Walk along the best hiking trails in Picos de Europa and discover incredible mountain landscapes

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The Pandébano Pass in Picos de Europa with the Picu Urriellu in the background to the left.
Pandébano Pass in Picos de Europa - Photo by @ignacio.ds local hiker

The Picos de Europa National Park, located within the provinces of Asturias, León and Cantabria, is a paradise for spectacular mountain landscapes. Venture deep into its beauty with our proposal for the best trails in Picos de Europa.

1. The essential Cares Trail

Two mountain goats spotted en route on the Cares Trail, one of the most well-known in Picos de Europa.
Mountain goats on the rocky cliffs on the Cares Trail - Photo by @IKANDU

The hiking trail along the Cares River, also known as the Divine Gorge, passes through the towns of Caín (León) and Poncebos (Asturias). Following along the bank of the river, the Cares Trail gives way to a walk through rugged nature with narrow paths and tunnels carved into large limestone rock walls, bridges and also mountain goats. The Cares Trail is one of the most visited and well-known hikes in Picos de Europa. This path is a must-do in this national park!

Distance

15.09 mi

Elevation +

1654 f

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Distance

15.09 mi

Elevation +

1654 f

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2. Trail around the Covadonga Lakes

A panoramic view of Lake Enol taken from the Entrelagos (or “La Picota”) lookout point at the Covadonga Lakes, in Asturias.
Lake Enol in the Covadonga Lakes, in Asturias - Photo by @RobinBongiovi

The Covadonga Lakes are made up of three lakes originating from glaciers (Enol, Ercina and Bricial). The latter of the three (Bricial) only fills up in years with abundant snow and precipitation. Being one of the places to visit in Asturias, the Covadonga Lakes offer Lake Enol, which houses a replica of the Virgin of Covadonga, followed by a visit to Lake Ercina. What is the best surprise? If you follow this path on a sunny day, you will be able to see the Cantabrian Sea from the King’s Lookout.

Distance

6.31 mi

Elevation +

827 f

Distance

6.31 mi

Elevation +

827 f

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3. Trail to Picu Urriellu or Naranjo de Bulnes

Picu Urriellu, also known as Naranjo de Bulnes, in Picos de Europa.
Picu Urriellu or Naranjo de Bulnes (Asturias) - Photo by @heliodoro64.hzm

In the heart of Picos de Europa is the Picu Urriellu (2.519 m), also known as Naranjo de Bulnes. This trail going up north of this peak starts in the Pandébano Pass and goes to the Urriellu Mountain hut, where you can delight in spectacular views. Do you go wall climbing? To get to the top of Naranjo de Bulnes, there are climbing trails that vary in degrees of difficulty. The most imposing ones are found along the western face, and are only recommended for the most highly skilled.

Distance

8.29 mi

Elevation +

3048 f

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Distance

8.29 mi

Elevation +

3048 f

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with
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4. The Áliva Circuit from the Fuente Dé cable car

Photo of panorama at the Royal Chalet in Picos de Europa, taken on the Áliva Circuit from the Fuente Dé, in Cantabria.
Panorama of the Royal Chalet in Picos de Europa - Photo by @LosK2delasKumbres

Fuente Dé is one of the main points of access to Picos de Europa from Cantabria. If you are looking for a trail in this area, you can go by the Fuente Dé cable car to the upper station, where the Cable Lookout is, with fascinating views of the Liébana Valley (depending on the clouds). From there, you can follow the Áliva Circuit, which mostly goes down, and enjoy the high mountain ambience where one should not miss out on the photogenic Royal Chalet or the Áliva Mountain hut.

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5. Trail from Urdón to Tresviso

A slope with zigzags on the path from Urdón to Tresviso, in the Picos de Europa National Park in Cantabria.
Zigzagging, sloping path from Urdón to Tresviso (Cantabria) - Photo by @Xavier Duran Carvajal

La Hermida Gorge, created by the course of the Deva River, is the longest in Spain. The trail to Tresviso starts at this gorge in Urdón. Along this route, you will be on one of the best trails for hiking in Cantabria, you will zigzag your way along surprising slopes and, moreover, you will be able to see the source of the Urdón River. This is a mountain trail that must not be overlooked on your list of places of interest to visit in the national park.

Distance

11.20 mi

Elevation +

3950 f

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Distance

11.20 mi

Elevation +

3950 f

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with
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6. The Vindio Ring in Picos de Europa

The Vega de Ario Refuge at night, within Picos de Europa, and while en route along the Ring of Peaks.
Vega de Ario Refuge, in the Vindio Ring, within the Ring of Peaks - Photo by @El Anillo de Picos

The Ring of Peaks is a great circular route that connects nine shelters in Picos de Europa, and it is divided into three circuits. For starters, we recommend following only the Vindio Ring before the other two: the Extrem Ring and the Three Massif Ring. The Vindio Ring is about 60 kms long, and it can be started from Cordiñanes de Valdeón. You will discover unique panoramas with shelters in the middle of nowhere, along with cows grazing in the high mountains.

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7. The historical Arcediano Trail

Panorama from the Arcediano Trail between the León and Asturias Provinces.
The Arcediano Trail, the most historic trail in Picos de Europa - Photo by @diego xuan

The Arcediano Trail is one of the hiking paths with the most history in Picos de Europa. This path with Roman origins as well as having been used heavily by thousands of muleteers joins Castile and León with Asturian Principality. In order to do a leg of this classic trail, we can take off from the township of Soto de Sajambre until we reach Amieva by crossing 15 kms of meadows and mountain passes. This is the best option for a route between the pretty towns in Asturias and León Provinces.

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8. Sotres, the highest village in Asturias

Panoramic view of the Asturian village Sotres, in Picos de Europa.
Sotres, the highest village in Asturias - Photo by @David314

Sotres (1,050 m), pinned among impressive mountains, is the highest village in Asturias. It is a mountain town in which cattle and good gastronomy coexist and a whole world of hiking trails. With this route starting at Sotres you can get a unique view of the valley carved out by the Duje River and go to Pico Boru (2,129 m), then later go on to the Cueto Tejao (2,159 m). Once you are done, there is nothing better than a good portion of Cabrales cheese!

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9. Route in Soto de Sajambre

Panorama of the pretty mountain village of Soto de Sajambre, one of the entry points to Picos de Europa from León.
The village of Soto de Sajambre in Picos de Europa - Photo by @José Rey Martín

Soto de Sajambre is a township located at 930 m in the Sajambre Valley (León), which is an ideal place for active tourism. From this village, you can begin a route towards the Los Porros Lookout and the Vegabaño Refuge, a mountain pass for thousands of mountaineers in Picos de Europa National Park. Later on, you can go up the Roblón de Cuesta Fría and lastly, La Cotorra. This is a trail for contemplating some of the most privileged views in Picos de Europa.

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10. Hiking with children to La Olla de San Vicente

La Olla de San Vicente in the Dobra River, a river born in the slopes of León in Picos de Europa.
La Olla de San Vicente in the Dobra River, born in Picos de Europa - Photo by @jjcaminante

Can you imagine dipping into a natural pool? La Olla de San Vicente is a natural pool with clear water from the Dobra River that flows down from Picos de Europa towards the Sella River. 'Dobra' comes from the Celtic word for 'water'. The walk to the natural pool, near the national park, is ideal for hiking with children. In Asturias, close to Cangas de Onís, you should also head to the Dobra Bridge and then edge along the river for about 30-45 minutes on foot. Bring your swimsuits!

Distance

3.77 mi

Elevation +

482 f

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Distance

3.77 mi

Elevation +

482 f

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with
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