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Picos de Europa Hiking in Spain 2024

Conquer the most beautiful mountains in the Pyrenees known as "the Dolomites of Spain"

Best time: March–November

Picos de Europa Hiking
Picos de Europa Hiking
Picos de Europa Hiking
Picos de Europa Hiking
Picos de Europa Hiking

The Picos de Europa—a mountain range 20 km inland from the northern coast of Spain. The mountain range consists of three major massifs: Central (also known as Urrieles), Eastern (Andara) and Western (also known as the Picos de Cornion). Today, it is a National Park that covers the south-western area of Asturias. It was the first National Park of Spain and was marked as a Biosphere Reserve in 2003 by UNESCO. The highest peak in the park is more than 2,600 m.

The park is populated by many species of wildlife, such as Cantabrian brown bears and wolves. Bird lovers will have an opportunity to see the buzzard and chough. In different rivers crossing through the park, there are also species of trout and salmons.

What is really interesting and unique about these mountains is that they are really easy to hike. Even students come here for weekend trekking. This means it does not matter if you are a professional hiker or just a beginner—amazing landscapes are still available for you. This place is ideal for a family weekend. Another surprise: even during the high summer season, roads and trails are pretty quiet.

You can start your adventure at the Fuente Dé cable car station. Two small cars make their way up the dizzying 800-metre climb. This can help you to get to the peak quicker allowing you more time for the journey down.

During your trek, you can visit many unique places, such as the Marian shrine in Covadonga—a holy cave where the "Santina" rests in a sanctuary that has been carved into the mountain stone by a natural waterfall. This place is very popular among tourists.

This is not the only cave in the Picos de Europa. Some of the world's deepest caves, including Torca del Cerro (1589 m), Sima de la Cornisa (1507 m), Torca los Rebecos (1255 m) and Pozo del Madejuno (1252 m) are located here. Exploring and studying caves can be another incredible activity during your trip.

Many name summer to be the best time to visit the Picos de Europa, as this is the only time when remote trails to the mountain peaks are accessible. Besides, it's warm and there is a lower chance of rain. However, spring and autumn are also fine if you are content with lower-level walks.

Practical info

What is the best time to visit the Picos de Europa for hiking?

From March to November, visitors can hike the remote trails and mountain peaks of the Picos de Europa because of the warmer temperatures. Most people prefer visiting during the summer since there is a lower chance of rain, but the spring and autumn months are also ideal for lower-level walks. Regardless of the season, you will be rewarded with breathtaking views of the Pyrenees and unique wildlife sightings. Show more

Where is the Marian shrine in Covadonga located?

A holy cave within the Picos de Europa region in the northwestern region of Spain is home to the Marian shrine in Covadonga. The sanctuary, carved into mountain stones by a natural waterfall, houses the 'Santina' statue and is a popular pilgrimage destination for tourists. A visit to this religious site is a rich, memorable experience filled with history and spirituality that is hard to forget. Show more

When was the Picos de Europa marked as a Biosphere Reserve?

The Picos de Europa, consisting of Eastern, Central, and Western massifs named after their mountain location, became Spain's first National Park. Due to its unique ecosystem and ecological importance, it was marked as a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO in 2003. With breathtaking views of mountains and unique wildlife sightings, it is a haven for nature lovers who want to delve into the flora and fauna found in this southwest area of Asturias. Show more

What species of wildlife can you see in the park?

Wildlife enthusiasts will enjoy the variety of creatures populating the Picos de Europa, which include wolves, Cantabrian brown bears, and birds such as the buzzard and chough. Different rivers within the park also boast species of trout and salmon. Observing these animals and their habits can provide great insight and a closer understanding of the park's natural wonders. Don't forget to bring binoculars to spot some elusive Cantabrian brown bears in the woods. Show more

Are the trails quiet even during the high summer season?

Despite the high summer season, the trails and roads in Picos de Europa remain surprisingly peaceful and quiet, offering hikers and trekkers a serene environment. Perhaps because the Picos de Europa isn't on the standard tourist map, people flock to other regions of Spain. The Picos de Europa offers a great escape from fast-paced city life for nature enthusiasts seeking self-discovery and adventure. Show more

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