Discovering Picos de Europa in Spain's Green Heart

Join us in May 2024 for a Global Adventure you won't want to miss! Enjoy deep river gorges, soaring limestone peaks, mixed stratified forests, rural mountain villages, and much, much more as we day hike Spain's Picos de Europa National Park.
Roseanne Lorenzana Roseanne Lorenzana
Global Adventures Leader
January 18, 2024
Discovering Picos de Europa in Spain's Green Heart
All photos taken by Roseanne Lorenzana, May 2023.

Join the upcoming May 2024 Mountaineers Global Adventure  for moderate day hikes among dramatic limestone peaks and lush valleys of the third highest mountain range in Spain. Our destination, Picos de Europa National Park, is in the heart of Green Spain. Trip leader, Roseanne Lorenzana, visited there in May 2023 and declares it a “must-see” for all who love tranquil mountain hikes, spring flowers, local history, and food culture.

Register to day hike Spain's Picos de Europa



In her sampling visit of the Picos, Roseanne hiked the Cares Gorge trail, the most well-known route in the national park. This moderate 7-mile trail is sculpted and blasted out of the rock walls of the gorge and runs along caves, bridges, and tunnels. Think Kendall Katwalk, but more interesting. The blue sparkle of the Cares River far below could sometimes be glimpsed. However, the river was mostly experienced by the burble of its echoing sounds in the gorge. The soaring birds above might have been griffon vultures or the golden eagles known to be in that area.

The most exciting to see were the herds of wild Pyrenean chamois, including kids (baby chamois) almost within touching distance as they grazed the adjacent steep slopes or wandered across the trail. Although outside the gorge springtime temperatures sometimes required a sweater, it was quite warm in the gorge. So, an ice cream treat at river’s edge in Caín de Valdeón, the village at the other end of the gorge, was a nice ending. For the upcoming Global Adventure, rather than hike back the same way, the day will continue with a driving tour to visit historic sites and spectacular Beyos Gorge. That evening, there will be a cheese and cider tour  plus a dinner of Asturian foods.

On another day, Roseanne took the high-speed Fuente Dé cable car to reach trails in the southeast subalpine portion of the park. The cable car rises 2,470 vertical feet in about three-and-a-half minutes and provides a true eagle-eye view of the surrounds. If uncomfortable with heights, you can stand in the center of the car and away from windows, like Roseanne did, and still have great views.

Here in the subalpine, lush greenery and flowers are confined to protected niches. Hiking here was similar in altitude and terrain to the Burroughs at Mt. Rainier, except instead of being on top of the ridge (like at Burroughs) you’re hiking at the feet of towering limestone peaks to reach its balconies. Two hikes in the subalpine region are included in the upcoming Global Adventure.

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The trip will also include a visit to stunning Covadonga Lakes and the sanctuary. These large lakes are surrounded by green pastures of livestock and wild horses. There will possibly be snow on the surrounding peaks. The sanctuary is located in a high, natural cave alcove and has been a place of veneration and worship since at least the 12 century. After visiting the sanctuary, the group will walk along the lakes on a one-way hike through meadows and foothills of the Picos, along an ancient Roman path that ends at a small village where our private transfer will take us back to our hotel.

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20230504_Shrine(sm).jpgThere will be a total of seven moderate day hikes, one village walk, and multiple culture and history experiences. The trip will also include two nights in Bilbao with the opportunity to visit the Guggenheim Museum and take a tour of Basque country.

See the full itinerary and register today to join this unforgettable Global Adventure to Picos de Europa! 

Register to day hike Spain's Picos de Europa

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