Walking Holidays

Europe’s majestic mountains ~ with a genuine specialist
Organised & Self-guided Walking

Walking Holidays | Welcome | Contact | Offers | Reviews |Collett's Ltd. is ABTA bonded W6883 - Travel with confidence
p +44 (0) 1799 513331
- Open Today - 9am to 5.30pm
Tel. 01799 513331 - - Open Today - 9am to 5.30pmCollett's Ltd. is ABTA bonded W6883 - Travel with confidence
Organised & Self-guided Walking with a Genuine Specialist

There are 31 recommended walking routes in the Picos de Europa and they range from easy, moderate and hard. One particular route stands out in the ideas and information folder; with an ascent/descent of 1650m, a walking time of 8 hours and a distance of 20km, not forgetting the added 1hr drive each way, the Naranjo de Bulnes circular route is a super challenge for some of our guests. Three guests in particular were up for giving this hard walk a go this week which gave our eager walk organiser Jack an opportunity to explore the area for the first time.

Walking Holidays in the Picos de Europa
Accommodation in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain Holidays
The Picos de Europa
Accommodation in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain Holidays
Organised or Self Guided Walking Holiday in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain Holidays
Potes
Posada El Corcal, Tama, Potes - Picos de Europa
Posada El Corcal, Tama, Potes - Picos de Europa

As we reached the hidden village of Bulnes an hour into our walk, we looked back at the track we had just ascended in amazement. For us, it was a mere morning stroll which was enhanced by the towering rock and flowing waterfalls. For the small community (of no more than 50 people) this track used to be their only access into the isolated village until a funicular was opened in 2001, reducing 370m and a distance of 6km for the transportation of animals and food goods. With the boost and support of rural tourism, small tapas bars and restaurants now thrive which is more than can be said for the abandoned village of ….. which is set slightly higher up in the mountains. The dramatic limestone peak of Naranjo de Bulnes, or the Orange of Bulnes (deriving its name from the orange glow during sunset), could be seen from this point in the distance.

Our ascent to the top took us through woodland, across many brooks and amongst lush, open fields which were covered in wild flowers and abandoned farm buildings. Fresh running mountain water allowed us to re-fill our bottles as we found a beautiful spot for lunch. Guest Kate decided to head back down to Bulnes as the rest of the group persevered up towards the peak which still seemed quite far away at this point!

But we finally made it! The Alpine Choughs were quick to scavenge whatever they could but we had earned our biscuits and we weren’t sharing. The peak of Naranjo didn’t look quite as dominating from this perspective and as tempting as it was to enjoy the warmth of Refugio de Urriellu, we decided to begin the 4 hour descent.
A mix of scree slopes, patches of snow and basic scrambling over rocks kept us on our toes all the way back down to Bulnes. We had agreed that the Funicular ride to the car park was deserved by all but to our disappointment we had missed the last run by half an hour. Never mind, spirits still high we continued on down and absorbed the completely new view that we had turned our back to on the way up.

A relieved wave from Kate as we came into view reassured us that we were almost done. The added bonus of finding an open bar that sold cold beer and ice-cream helped us all wind down after such a big day. 9 hours after we had set off, we toasted our achievement and headed back to the Posada in time for a late dinner to tell everyone about the real mountain adventure we had just experienced together – an adventure that I can safely say will be remembered by all for a long time to come.

Collett’s Blogs

Collett’s blogs are written by our resort diarist, photographer, walker and skier, Kelly Diggle. If you are out on a walk, wildflower walk or any day out with her you are sure to be included in her photographs and in one of her weekly blogs. Kelly’s personal travel blog can be found here. You can keep up to date with Kelly on Twitter here.

Follow Collett’s on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & Pinterest.

There are certain locations which make walking holidays in the Picos de Europa special and memorable. The Fuente de cable car is the only one in the area and after only a 3 minute ride will drop you off high amongst the peaks, opening up terrific views as far as the eye can see. Today’s walk saw 11 guests joining both Jack and Beth, this summer’s walk organisers, for a day’s ramble at over 1,500m to see if this moderate/hard walk really did live up to its name.

Walking Holidays in the Picos de Europa
Walking Holidays in the Picos de Europa
Walking Holidays in the Picos de Europa
The Picos de Europa
Hiking in the Picos de Europa
Walking holidays in the Picos de Europa
Picos de Europa
Hiking Holidays in the Picos de Europa
Walking Holidays in the Picos de Europa
Walking Holidays in the Picos de Europa
Walking Holidays in the Picos de Europa
Self guided walking holidays in the Picos de Europa
Organised or Self Guided Walking Holiday in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain Holidays
Organised or Self Guided Walking Holiday in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain Holidays
Organised or Self Guided Walking Holiday in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain Holidays
Organised or Self Guided Walking Holiday in the Picos de Europa with Collett's Mountain Holidays
The Picos de Europa

Looking up at the cable disappearing into the cloud, we could only hope that our return ticket would get us above them and into the sunshine. And our positivity paid off! As we climbed higher everyone turned round to admire the stunning cloud inversion as we all ‘ahhhh’d’ in turn. It was only right to take time for photos at the top and he who dared stood on the see-through platform that hung over the edge of the rock face!

Once we reached the top of the track the views opened up over the Forgotten Mountain – an impressive rock formation protruding solo with its head sticking above the cloud. Our walk group fancied a bit of a challenge and decided to climb to the top of 3 small(ish) peaks which ran along the ridge of the massif. It was well worth the detour as a small herd of Chamois came to investigate and conveniently posed on the rocks for photographs. We stopped for a quick snack break but it was hard to choose a direction to face as the 360° view was continually breathtaking.

As we wandered down into the glacial bowl, the clouds began to rise so that the sunshine could follow us. Young cattle showed an interest as we wandered by, chatting away to each other whilst identifying the flowers. We all agreed that flower enthusiast David Charlton would have appreciated the hundreds of deep blue Gentians dotted amongst the grass, but a photograph to show at office hour would have to do.

The Rifugio that had been in view most of the day had been in discussion all morning. Would it be open? Was there a cold beer waiting? After a hot zig-zag climb to its doors, a sigh of relief and big grins let the rest of the group know that it was open for service. Being the only group on the mountain, we enjoyed a cool drink along with our packed lunch and watched the Vultures soar above on the thermals.

It was no surprise to find some snow up at this level and on the way back to the cable car, a small snowball fight let loose – and not just between the staff!
The view we enjoyed earlier was now covered in cloud so our timing to head back down to the car park was perfect.
A massive well done to guest Ailie for overcoming her fear of heights and for getting up and down the cable car (without the aid of the Dutch courage she was carrying in her bag!)

Collett’s Blogs

Collett’s blogs are written by our resort diarist, photographer, walker and skier, Kelly Diggle. If you are out on a walk, wildflower walk or any day out with her you are sure to be included in her photographs and in one of her weekly blogs. Kelly’s personal travel blog can be found here. You can keep up to date with Kelly on Twitter here.

Follow Collett’s on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & Pinterest.

The start of a brand new summer season in the Picos de Europa has begun and David Charlton has joined the team for 3 weeks to share his extensive knowledge and enthusiasm for wild flowers in the area. Having spent the past few years wild flower walking in the Italian Dolomites and subsequently producing a book (Wild Flowers – The Dolomites) about the different species, David and his wife Judy know Collett’s well and they never fail to stir up some excitement before heading out into the mountains for the day. With a large interest in resort this week, guests went out in convoy to try and find as many orchids as possible; setting the challenge of 20 different species in one day.

Walking Holiday Ideas and Information
Walking holidays in the Pyrenees - Hotel Sabocos, Panticosa
Walking holidays in the Pyrenees - Panticosa
Swimming pool Panticosa
Walking in the Pyrenees - Foratata Peak
Hiking the GR11 in the Pyrenees
Walking in the Spanish Pyrenees
Walking Holiday Accommodation, Hotels in the Pyrenees
Walking Holiday Accommodation, Hotels in the Pyrenees
Walking Holiday Accommodation, Hotels in the Pyrenees
Walking Holiday Accommodation, Hotels in the Pyrenees
Walking Holiday Accommodation, Hotels in the Pyrenees
Walking Holiday Accommodation, Hotels in the Pyrenees
Walking Holiday Accommodation, Hotels in the Pyrenees
Walking Holiday Accommodation, Hotels in the Pyrenees
Walking Holiday Accommodation, Hotels in the Pyrenees
Walking Holiday Accommodation, Hotels in the Pyrenees
Walking Holiday Accommodation, Hotels in the Pyrenees
Walking Holiday Accommodation, Hotels in the Pyrenees
Walking Holiday Accommodation, Hotels in the Pyrenees
Walking Holiday Accommodation, Hotels in the Pyrenees

The clouds were beginning to part as the three cars wound their way through the Hermida Gorge to the first orchid spotting place of the day. David brought with him a collection of reference books and between the group enough cameras hung around necks to ensure each and every find was captured. The first spot was an unlikely place to find beautiful orchids – in a lay-by at the side of a quiet road. However, putting all faith in the flower enthusiast it wasn’t long before we were all crouching down to have a look at the intricate Man orchid, quickly followed by the Bee Orchid.

At the next stop the group split up along the valley, staring intently at the ground as they walked along. Whilst some guests admired the Pink Pentrocoptis (a flower found only in the Picos) hanging from the rocky outcrops, others called over to David in hope that they had found another Orchid to add to the list. The small walk along the river was stunning and the large cave encouraged everyone to look up and admire the view every now and again.

We diverted onto a windy road in order to reach a wildflower meadow that was now flourishing and ticked off a number of Orchids including Heart Tongue, Pyramid, Fragrant, Woodcock, Early Spider and the Red Helleborine Orchid. With a proud total of 12 so far, we headed up to Pica de Laspuertas to enjoy the view and a well earned sandwich. But this lunchtime break did not go without entertainment and this time we were looking to the skies. Griffin and Egyptian vultures appeared in their numbers, with a total of 20 soaring above as at one time! They flew in from above, below and almost within arms reach which resulted in group neck ache by the end of the show. Lizards chased each other along the fence and one went in search of food in a guest’s rucksack when she wasn’t looking.

On our last stop we were given the challenge of finding the Fly Orchid. After 20 minutes of searching we were about to give up when a proud guest spotted it amongst the grass. This took our daily total to 15 which everybody was happy with; ensuring the day was left on a high we decided to end it by enjoying a refreshing drink in the sunshine. It was evident that sharing a day with interested guests, regardless of whether they knew their flowers or not, brought to life the enjoyment and passion that David holds for wildflower walking, spotting and identifying. It was a great day to be a part of.

For more information or to book our Organised Wildflower Walks click here.

Collett’s Blogs

Collett’s blogs are written by our resort diarist, photographer, walker and skier, Kelly Diggle. If you are out on a walk, wildflower walk or any day out with her you are sure to be included in her photographs and in one of her weekly blogs. Kelly’s personal travel blog can be found here. You can keep up to date with Kelly on Twitter here.

Follow Collett’s on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter & Pinterest.