With weeks of unbroken sunshine and warm temperatures behind us the final patches of snow have receded, allowing access to some of the impressive high level walks in the Picos de Europa. Ranging from moderate walks using the cable car, to harder days taking in some of the highest peaks in the Cordillera Cantabrica there is plenty on offer for those who want to stretch their legs and enjoy some breathtaking views.
A trip up the well known Fuente De cable car is exciting in itself, in just 3 minutes 40 seconds the cable car gains 750 metres and brings you up close to the impressive limestone peaks of the central massif of the Picos. From here one of our favourite walks climbs a further 600 metres to the col of Horcadas Rojos. With expansive views across to the iconic Naranjo de Bulnes and beyond it is a spectacular viewpoint. It is also possible to extend the walk slightly to visit Cabana Veronica; a small mountain refugio which was built in 1961 (well before the construction of the cable car) from pieces of the gun battery of a US aircraft carrier. This walk has featured on the walk programme a number of times so far this season and has become a firm favourite amongst staff and guests alike, not only thanks to the striking scenery but also the regular sightings of wildlife such as Chamois, Wallcreepers and Alpine Choughs.
One of the best ways to see the whole Picos de Europa range is from just outside the national park. At 2539m the peak of Peña Prieta is a prominent feature on the skyline and easily visible from Posada el Corcal, Collett’s base in Tama. The walk to this peak was recently included on the organised walk programme for the first time, with 3 guests keen to join Sarah, one of our walk organisers, to take on the challenging walk! Starting from the pass of San Gloria, at 1609 metres, the walk follows an imposing ridge line and passes over a number of other peaks before the final accent to the peak of Peña Prieta. Clear skies meant that the hard work to reach this point paid off and we were rewarded with 360 degree views of the Cordillera Cantabrica and all three massifs of the Picos de Europa national park from one of the highest peaks in the region. After a descent by the same route we had certainly earned a quick stop on the way home for an ice cream! Click Walking Holidays in the Picos de Europa for more information.
Thanks to Sarah Barr, one of our hosts from the Picos team, for these superb photos and blog piece!