Walking Holidays

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

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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
Walking Holidays Picos

Your Online Handbook for the Picos de Europa

We look forward to seeing you in the mountains. Please forward this link to all members of your party – and perhaps bookmark it for quick reference?
Any questions or concerns? Please call us on 01799 513331.

Essential Info.
Austrian Alps - Zugspitze Handbook Information

Useful to know before you go

Click here to print this page as a PDF.

Arrival

On your arrival at the Posada El Corcal, you will be asked to hand in the signed disclaimer sent to the person who booked the holiday prior to your departure. This should be signed by all members of your party. See the Disclaimer tab for a copy and more details.

We will also need to take a copy of your passports for the purposes of tourist registration, so please ensure you have your passport to hand or bring your own copy.

Banks

There are a number of banks and cash dispensers in the nearby town of Potes, but not in Tama.

Day Off

We have our local day-off on a Thursday. In Posada El Corcal, breakfast is served but dinner is not included as a part of your full-board stay, although the restaurant still serves food. Most guests use Thursday as an opportunity to eat out locally. There are no organised walks and there is no Office Hour. You can subscribe to Friday’s organised walks on Wednesday evening. If you are arriving on a Thursday, there will be somebody around to meet you, settle you in, recommend somewhere to eat and pass on the walking options for the following day.

Dietary Requirements

Please contact us now if you have not informed us of any dietary requirements. If you are organising a group, have you checked the dietary requirements of your party? This concerns vegetarians, vegans and coeliacs. Unfortunately, we cannot cater for personal food preferences.

Disclaimer & At Your Own Risk

During your stay, please always bear in mind that you are responsible for your own safety. You join organised walks at your own risk as part of an autonomous group, in which each member has a duty of care to each other. Similarly, we cannot be held responsible for the opinions and information we offer for self-guiding. In an age of litigation, we repeat the ‘at your own’ risk message at the start of each organised walk and it can become repetitive, but the message is too important.

Estimated Time of Arrival

Please contact us ASAP with your arrival time if you haven’t already. So that we can be there to greet you and settle you in. Please visit www.colletts.co.uk/eta and enter your details. Have a guess if you are not sure.

Fly-Drivers & Self-Drivers

According to the AA, all valid UK driving licenses should be accepted in Spain.
If you have booked a hire car, a credit (not debit!) card is essential. It is generally swiped but not debited, although it is wise to make sure it is not being debited.
You will also need your license DVLA Licence Check Code from the DVLA website.
Self-drivers should familiarise themselves with the driving requirements for Spain, and the compulsory equipment that must be carried in your car. See www.theaa.com
For driving directions see the Travel & Directions tab.

Hairdryers

All the rooms in Posada El Corcal have hairdryers. For self-caterers, there is a hair dryer provided in the Aliezo apartments but not in the Ojedo apartments.

Internet

Free WiFi access is available in Posada El Corcal and the Ojedo self catering apartments. There is also a desktop computer available in Posada El Corcal for guests to check emails, print off flight boarding passes or seek out information online. Some of the bars in Potes also have WiFi access.

Packed lunches

Packed lunches are available to you wherever you are staying, except on Thursdays. Simply order one at Office Hour for collection from Posada El Corcal the following day. A standard packed lunch includes a sandwich with a choice of fillings, a piece of fruit, a snack bar and a drink. They cost €6 and we will add the cost of any packed lunches to your Red File account, which you can settle up on the eve of your departure.

Supermarkets

There are a number of small supermarkets in and around Potes, the largest of which is Lupa on the main road just before you enter Potes from the north (approximate opening times: Mon-Sat, 9.30am-9pm). Self catering guests may prefer to visit a larger supermarket (E.Leclerc, Carrefour or Eroski) at Gijón, Torrelavega or Santander before heading into the mountains. Please note – certain supermarkets will be closed on Sundays.

Other Info. & Local A-Z
Austrian Alps - Zugspitze Handbook Information

Local A-Z

Here is some local information in an A-Z format that will hopefully whet the appetite and help you hit the ground running.
Click here to print this page as a PDF.

Bakers

In Spain they are called Panaderias and are home to a dazzling array of pastries, such as croissants, napolitanas and cakes. They also sell empanadas (similar to cornish pasties) filled with chorizo or tuna. The nearest baker is located on the main road in Potes about 2kms from Tama.

Banks

There are a number of banks and cash dispensers in the nearby town of Potes, but not in Tama. Opening times: Mon‐Fri, 8.15am‐2pm.

Beer

If you would like a draught beer ask for una caña. If you would like a bottled beer ask for una cerveza. The most popular beers are San Miguel, Ambar and Estrella Damm.

Bike Hire

Mountain bikes are available to hire locally for approximately €18 per day and guided trips (including bike hire, transport and insurance) are available from €45 per half day. We will be happy to recommend local bike hire suppliers, who will also provide details of bike routes in the area.

Birds

You may see eagles (short‐toed and golden), vultures (griffon and egyptian), ravens, wallcreepers, woodpeckers, alpine accentors, rock thrushes, wheatears, snow finches, eagle owls, peregrines and more.

Bolero

These are outdoor skittle alleys on which the Asturian and Cantabrian form of ten‐pin bowling is played. These alleys are found all over the region, even in the smallest of villages. If you are lucky enough to pass one when a game is being played, it is definitely worth a watch.

Breakfast

In Posada El Corcal, a continental breakfast is served between 8am and 11am. There is tea, coffee, fruit juice, along with cereals, fruit, bread, jams, marmalade, ham and cheese.

Buses

Buses operate 2 or 3 times daily between Potes and Santander and peak season between Potes and Fuente Dé. Please ask us if you require more information.

Cares Gorge

The most renowned walk in the Picos de Europa. Not for the vertigo prone, this deep narrow canyon separates the western and central massifs and is home to a walking route which exists only because of an amazing feat of engineering. This route was carved out of the cliff faces of the western walls of the gorge with a series of bridges and tunnels during the 1920’s while building a 12km water canal for a hydro electric station at Poncebos.

Cider

Local cider deserves a mention since it is both a speciality of the region and it is served in a very special way which requires a whole ritual named escanciado ‐ which consists of pouring the cider from the bottle (whilst it is held high over the head in one hand) into special glasses so that it acquires strength and flavour, and then drinking immediately after pouring.

Chemist

In Spain a chemist, or farmacia, is always indicated by a green cross. The nearest chemist to the Posada is in Ojedo. Follow the main road towards Potes, turn right at the mini roundabout, it is located on the right, shortly after the Dia supermarket.
Opening times: Mon‐Fri, 9.30am‐2:30pm & 4.30‐8:45pm and Sat, 9.30am‐1.30pm.

Coeliacs

See – Dietary Requirements.

Collado

The Spanish word for a mountain pass or saddle.

Costa Verde

From Tama, it is under an hour to one of Europe’s most unspoilt and stunning coastlines, interspersed with breathtaking beaches and picturesque fishing villages. The fascinating villages of Llanes, Comillas and Santillana del Mar are easy drives from Tama and they all make for an excellent and culturally interesting day out. Please see www.llanes.com, www.comillas.es and www.santillana‐del‐mar.com or chat with us at Office Hour for more information.

Day Off

We have our local day-off on a Thursday. In Posada El Corcal, breakfast is served but dinner is not included as a part of your full-board stay, although the restaurant still serves food. Most guests use Thursday as an opportunity to eat out locally. There are no organised walks and there is no Office Hour. You can subscribe to Friday’s organised walks on Wednesday evening. If you are arriving on a Thursday, there will be somebody around to meet you, settle you in, recommend somewhere to eat and pass on the walking options for the following day.

Desfiladero de la Hermida

The La Hermida gorge ‐ this impressive gorge, 20km long and in places over 600m deep, has been created over thousands of years by the River Deva. Travelling through this gorge en‐route to Posada El Corcal is almost certain to provide you with your first close-up views of the limestone landscape for which the Picos de Europa is famous.

Dietary Requirements

We need to know of any dietary requirements at least 7 days before your holiday. Please contact us now if you have not informed us if you, or any of your party, are vegetarian, vegan or coeliac etc. Thank you.

Dinner

Dinner for guests staying at Posada El Corcal is served 50m from the Posada in Casa Fofi at 8.15pm. Casa Fofi is a traditional Spanish trattoria, which is run by the same family that own Posada El Corcal. Guests sit together over a three course meal during which wine is complimentary. On Thursdays, dinner is not provided as part of your holiday and guests usually use this as an opportunity to try one of the restaurants in Potes.

Disclaimer & At Your Own Risk

During your stay, please always bear in mind that you are responsible for your own safety. You join organised walks at your own risk as part of an autonomous group, in which each member has a duty of care to each other. Similarly, we cannot be held responsible for the opinions and information we offer for self-guiding. In an age of litigation, we repeat the ‘at your own’ risk message at the start of each organised walk and it can become repetitive, but the message is too important.

Doctor/Medical Centre

Call 112 for all medical emergencies and a paramedic ambulance, see Emergency. Remember your EHIC card. There is a medical centre in Tama (Opening times: Mon‐Fri, mornings) and a doctor based in Potes (Opening times: Mon‐Fri from 3.pm and Sat & Sun, mornings). If you need to see a doctor during your stay, please come and see us and we will be happy to help.

Emergency

Call 112 for all emergencies.
Ambulance: 061 Fire: 080 or 085 Police: 091

Fauna

The entire region of Liébana forms a natural reserve where native tree species still exist forming beautiful forests that serve as a home for animal species that are protected or in danger of extinction, such as the capercaillie, the Cantabrian brown bear, the golden eagle and the occasional wolf. Roebucks, deer and rebecco are abundant, as are wild boar.

Flowers

Between 19 May and 9 June we offer dedicated ‘Wildflower Rambles’ holidays, but thereafter you will still be able to walk amongst sensational flora such as gentians, saxifrages, pasque flowers and numerous others. We can help you locate a splendid range of other glorious species.

Fuente Dé

This impressive glacial cirque is the starting point of both one of the most spectacular cable car rides in Europe ‐ 753m of ascent in 3 mins 40 secs ‐ and one of the ‘must do’ walks in the Picos de Europa! As soon as the snow recedes in April/May, the cable car runs throughout the summer everyday from 9am.

Full Board

Full-board accommodation includes bed, breakfast, packed lunch and evening meal (except Thursday evenings). Packed lunches can be ordered daily (except on Thursdays, our day off) and paid for locally at the end of your stay.

Guides & Other Activities

If you would like to book a Mountain Guide or Bike Guide, or any other activity such as canyoning, horseriding, white water rafting etc., simply drop into Office Hour and we will be happy to help. It is important that you understand that: these excursions and activities are neither run nor controlled by Collett’s (even if advertised by us); that we only act as your agent; and that your contract for these services is with the third party supplier in question and not Collett’s Limited. Consequently, we are not responsible/liable for the provision of any such third party excursions or activities or for anything that happens during the course of its provision by the supplier.

Hairdryers

All the rooms in Posada El Corcal have hairdryers.

Hórreos

These small rectangular shaped buildings rest upon four wood or stone pillars and were designed to isolate the building from the ground so as to preserve the harvests that they housed. They have always formed part of the traditional architecture in Liébana and several can still be seen today in and around Potes.

Horseriding

Hacks or lessons can be organised. Drop into Office Hour for more information.

Ideas & Information Files for Self-Guiders

Our Ideas & Information Files contain suggestions for many outstanding walks of all grades and other days out. Copies are available at Office Hour. You can browse the files for itineraries and ideas. You can also borrow a copy of any of the featured walks in the form of a Route Laminate for use the following day.

Internet

Free WiFi access is available in Posada El Corcal and the Ojedo self catering apartments. There is also a desktop computer available in Posada El Corcal for guests to check emails, print off flight boarding passes or seek out information online. Some of the bars in Potes also have WiFi access.

Invernals

These old barns are used to shelter livestock in the winter and can be found scattered throughout the mountains. They are a feature of almost every walk. Their continued presence bear testament to the rural way of life which has been prominent in the Picos de Europa for many centuries.

Market Day

A market is held in Potes every Monday morning.

Mogrovejo

A peaceful and picturesque village nestled under the limestone cliffs of the Picos de Europa. It merits a quick stop‐off, perhaps on the way back from Fuente De, if only to allow you to soak up the traditional village buildings with their wooden balconies, the church and the Palacio de la Torre (Medieval tower ‐ not open to the public). A small bar is also open during high season serving cold drinks and ice creams.

Monastario de Santa Toribo

This monastery, situated on the slopes of Mount Viorna, is thought to have been founded in the 6th century and is now well known as the custodian of the Lignum Crucis ‐ the largest surviving piece of the Cross of Christ ‐ which was brought back from Jerusalem by Santa Toribio himself. This has made the monastery an important detour for pilgrims on the Santiago de Compostella.

Mountain Safety

Remember you join our walks at your own risk. You can read about our walks procedures and refresh your mountain safety know-how at colletts.co.uk/handbook

Office Hour & Planning Your Days

Help, advice and suggestions are always on hand at Office Hour. Over a map and a drink, you can chat with our staff and obtain information on walks, wildflowers and more. You can also obtain details of (and subscribe to) the organised walks for the following day. It is more informal and relaxed than its name suggests and often people just gather for a sociable drink. Office Hour is held every evening (except Thursday, our day off) from 7pm in the lounge of Posada El Corcal or, weather permitting, on the terrace.

Organised Walks

At Office Hour you will find out about the organised walks taking place the following day. You will find out when and where you need to meet up with our organiser and other participants. Remember you join an organised walk at your own risk, so please make it your business to study the walk before you choose to join it. Our team can help you do this at Office Hour, using maps and their own extensive local knowledge. Also, please come to the walk meeting place with everything you need for the walk. There are no organised walks on our day-off, Thursday. Organised walks are only cancelled when bad weather might deem them dangerous.

Orujo

Liébana is famed for its orujo which is distilled from the skins and pips of grapes left over from wine making. Similar to Italian Grappa it comes in many different varieties often flavoured with herbs, honey or fruit.

Packed Lunches

Packed lunches are included in all our ‘themed’ holiday packages, except on Thursdays. If you are self-guiding and would like a packed lunch simply order one at Office Hour for collection from Posada El Corcal the following day. A standard packed lunch includes a sandwich with a choice of fillings, a piece of fruit, a snack bar and a drink. They cost €6 and we will add the cost of any packed lunches to your Red File account, which you can settle up on the eve of your departure. See – Red File.

Packing Suggestions

See – Inside back cover of this booklet.

Paella

Being so close to the ocean means that seafood will always feature strongly on any menu in the Picos de Europa and Paella is no exception. The name comes from the Valencian word for frying pan and the main ingredients are rice, saffron, and olive oil together with vegetables, seafood and meat.

Petrol & Diesel

Petrol = sin plomo (95 & 98 octane) / Diesel = gasoleo. The nearest petrol station (E.S. Liébana) is located on the main road to Potes about ½km from Posada El Corcal and is open 7am ‐ 11pm.

Picos de Europa National Park

The mountains of the Picos de Europa were most probably created by alpine folding that took place more than 60 million years ago. However it was not until 1918 that the original national park (which only covered Covadonga in the western massif) was created as one of Spain’s first national parks. The present day park was then created in 1995 when the original park was significantly extended to cover 64,660 hectares, one of the largest in Spain.

Peña Prieta

At 2539m, this is the highest summit of the Cordillera Cantabrica outside of the Picos de Europa National Park and a walk to its summit features on our programme of Organised Walks. En‐route to the summit you will also visit Mojon de las Tres Provincias which (as its name suggests) is where three Spanish provinces meet ‐ but can you name them?

Posada

The word Posada as in Posada El Corcal traditionally means Inn or Shelter. However, in modern times Posadas have come to represent smaller, well-appointed guest houses with a slightly upmarket character.

Potes

Potes is our nearest town just 3km down the road from Tama where the Posada is located. It’s a beautiful and vibrant old town, a maze of interesting alleys and steps with bars, restaurants and shops.

Potro

Originally a specific form of torture device, the name is now given to a simple, roofed structure for restraining livestock when being shod. They are common in many village centres and you are certain to see them during your stay.

Queso

The Spanish word for cheese. The Picos de Europa is well known for its mountain cheeses made from either pure cow’s milk, goat’s milk or sheep’s milk. The distinctively flavoured Quesucos de Liebana and the Picón de Bejes‐Tresviso, which is a locally made piquant smooth blue cheese, are definitely worth a try and they consistently win the top awards at international cheese festivals. The Gamoneu, which is smoked and then left to mature in natural caves, also stands out for being one of the rarest in Spain.

Rainy Days

Hopefully there won’t be any! If you are unlucky, please bear in mind that mountain weather can be very localised and it is not unusual to leave the village on a rainy day to find brighter conditions higher up or on the coast. Suggestions for rainy days are available at Office Hour. We do not cancel our Organised Walks because of rain, unless it is deemed to put safety at risk.

Red File

In Posada El Corcal, each of our guests has a page in the Red File, where you enter any drinks or snacks taken from the casual bar. We will enter any packed lunches you order, if these are not included with your holiday. You can settle up with us in cash or with a card. Card payments are processed in £GBP using the prevailing exchange rate. There are no charges for debit or credit card payments. Local self catering and hotel guests also have a page in the Red File, as they might want to put Office Hour drinks, packed lunches etc. We ask you to settle your Red File account on the eve of your departure.

Refugios

Refugios are mountain huts offering basic overnight accommodation in spectacular settings, serving mountaineers, climbers and long distance walkers. Refugios are found throughout the Picos de Europa and by early July, all are open. They start closing from about early‐mid/September.

Route Laminates

These are laminated copies of the walks featured in our Ideas & Information files. They are available for you to borrow at Office Hour. Please return them soon after your walk. You must not use the Route Laminates as definitive walking guides. They are for reference only, as the maps they contain are not necessarily to scale. You should mark up your own map accordingly to determine independently whether the itinerary is suitable for you and your party. You borrow Route Laminates at your own risk. Remember that terrain and route conditions can change at any time, rendering any map or itinerary description outdated.

Ruta del Tresviso

The Ruta del Tresviso is another Picos de Europa classic walk. It is an old mining track that ascends in great switchbacks from the depths of the Rio Deva to the remote mountain village of Tresviso which is nestled in the highlands of the Andara Massif. This trail involves almost 800m of ascent and descent and was, for many years, the only means of transporting goods between the village and the rest of Spain. The village is famed for its strong mountain cheese and the settlements of the valley below.

Siesta

Probably needs little introduction as a short nap taken in the early afternoon after the midday meal. The word is from the Latin hora sextathe sixth hour (counting from dawn, therefore noon, hence midday rest). In Potes, the siesta is not such a ‘short’ affair and businesses generally close from 2pm until about 5.30pm.

Smoking

Since January 2011, smoking in public places has been illegal in Spain. Posada El Corcal and all our self catering apartments are non‐smoking.

Spa

Guests staying in Posada El Corcal are welcome to use the fitness room and spa area (Finnish sauna and Jacuzzi) located on the lower floor.

Stamps

A stamp (un sello in Spanish) for a postcard to the UK (Reina Unido) from Spain will cost around €0.65 and it will take about 4 days to arrive.

Sun Protection

At higher altitudes the sun is much more intense, and can easily cause sunburn, even when it appears to be a cloudy day. Make sure you use a high factor sun protection. We recommend SPF30+ as a minimum and SPF50+ for those at higher risk. The sun is also intensified by reflecting off residual snow and also the light coloured rock.

Supermarkets

There are a number of small supermarkets in and around Potes, the largest of which is Lupa on the main road just before you enter Potes from the north (approximate opening times: Mon‐Sat, 9.30am‐9pm). Self catering guests may prefer to visit a larger supermarket (E.Leclerc, Carrefour or Eroski) at Gijón, Torrelavega or Santander before heading into the mountains. Please note – certain supermarkets will be closed on Sundays.

Swimming

Guests self-catering at Ojedo apartments have use of a communal swimming pool. During high season there are other outdoor pools in the area that anyone may use.

Tama

Tama is a small hamlet on the outskirts of Potes, where the Posada is located. You can walk into Potes in 40 minutes.

Taxis

Taxis are available to hire in Potes. A taxi from Potes to Posada El Corcal will cost approximately €8 for 4 people.

Tea & Coffee Making Facilities

There are tea and coffee making facilities in the lounge at Posada El Corcal which are available to you on a complimentary basis throughout your stay.

Towels & Bed Linen

Posada El Corcal supply a bath towel and a hand towel for each guest. These can be changed on request. Please place your towels in the shower or bath if you would like them replaced. Naturally, for environmental reasons, please keep towel changes to a minimum.

Towels for Self Caterers

Towels are supplied in both our Aliezo and Ojedo apartments ‐ in the Ojedo apartments they will be changed every three days.

Vega de Liordes

One of our hardest walks after the snow has retreated. It includes a tough switchback path up a steep gully which emerges into an almost surreal mix of landscapes ‐ a flat grassy plain situated at 1900m (used as summer pastureland for herds of horses) which is hidden by the towering limestone peaks which surround it. Further to the west, the jagged peaks of the Cornion massif march across the horizon.

Walker’s Checklist

When walking in the mountains, we recommend you take the following in your rucksack: Waterproof jacket, extra layers for cold weather, water (at least 2 litres), sunglasses, sun hat and sun cream, food, map and compass, money (for chairlifts/drinks/snacks etc), and your mobile phone!

Water

The tap water in the area is safe to drink. Remember to pack a water container and to take plenty of water out with you.

Weather Tips & Climate

Please don’t ring us to find out what the weather will be like during your holiday! We would hate to get it wrong and with mountains it is hard to get it right! Generally, the prevailing weather in the Picos de Europa during the summer months is good, but as in any mountainous area, the weather can be unpredictable and very localised.
If you wish to find out about the local weather before you go, visit www.aemet.es and search for Potes, Spain. As for temperatures, June and September can sometimes be chilly at night, whilst it can go up to more than 30°celcius during the day, although the average would be nearer 25°celcius. An up‐to‐date forecast will be available in Posada El Corcal each evening and at the local tourist office.
Naturally, our Walk Organisers keep a firm eye on weather conditions and try to ensure it is safe to proceed with an excursion, but it is everybody’s responsibility to consider the possibility of cancelling an excursion (and voice any anxiety) if worried about the risk of adverse weather conditions.

Travel & Directions
Austrian Alps - Zugspitze Handbook Information

Travel & Directions

Click here to download detailed driving directions and map.

Directions for Fly-drivers & Self-drivers

Hiring a car? Make sure you print your DVLA Licence Check Code – Click here for our information on what you need to do.
Driving Directions – Click here.
Guidelines on driving in Europe – Visit theaa.com.
ETA – Have you contacted us with your ETA?
Come to the Posada El Corcal – Wherever you are staying, in the first instance, please come to the address below on arrival.

Address for Sat Navs:
Posada El Corcal
Carretera General
39584
Tama
Spain
0034 942 730 734

Parking is available at the the roadside directly opposite the Posada El Corcal. Do not drive down the narrow entrance lane to the Posada, instead park up and walk on foot to the Posada, where there will be someone waiting to greet you, help with your luggage and settle you in.

See here for driving directions to the Posada El Corcal.

Google Map Directions

Go to www.bit.ly/Posada-El-Corcal-Directions for Google Map Directions from any location.

Before leaving home

Passport – Is it in date? Contact the passport office here if you need to renew your passport
Walking Holiday Insurance – Do you have any? Contact us on 01799 513331 or click here for details
Flight Check-in – Remember to print off your boarding pass
Baggage – Have you checked the size & weight of your baggage?
Book Airport Hotel – Click here
Book Airport Parking – Click here

Resort Contacts

Useful Numbers & Contact Info.

Please ensure you enter the following telephone numbers in to your phone so you have them with you on your day of travel.

Collett's Mountain Holidays
Posada el Corcal
Carretera General
39584
Tama
Spain
Google Map Link
0034 942 730 734
Resort Mobile - 0044 7413 145 889
Collett's Mountain Holidays UK - 0044 (0) 1799 513331 Monday - Friday 9am-6pm / Saturday 9am-3pm
(Outside of these hours please call the resort mobile - thank you)

Disclaimer
Austrian Alps - Zugspitze Handbook Information

Important

On arrival, you will be asked to hand in the disclaimer sent by post to the person who booked the holiday. In this age of litigation, it is important that you understand your relationship with Collett’s Ltd. when joining our organised walks or using our information to self-guide.
1. The disclaimer below sets out this relationship, emphasising that we are not qualified guides and that you join our organised walks at your own risk as a member of a group in which each member has a duty of care to the other. See more detailed notes in our brochure on Page 81.
2. Ideally it will be signed by each member of your party and handed to us on your arrival. If you require more copies, click here to print it as a PDF.

Copy of our Disclaimer – for your reference

Party Name:
Mobile Phone No:

Everything you do during your stay in the Picos de Europa is done ‘at your own risk’.
To make your arrival in the Picos de Europa as plain sailing as possible, please could you and each member of your party read and sign this disclaimer, handing it to us on your arrival. If it is not possible to obtain all signatures prior to your holiday, signatures will need to be obtained on your party’s arrival in the Picos de Europa.

In these days of litigation, it is important you and your party understand your relationship with Collett’s and without your party’s signatures on this disclaimer, you will not
be able to join our Organised Walks and we would be reluctant to pass on information and opinions to you during your stay.

Information & Opinions
We are happy to offer information and opinions on the area (including walks, protected paths, bike rides, scenic drives, places of interest etc). We always endeavour to give accurate and appropriate information and opinions, but we do not take any responsibility for them and they are acted upon by you at your own risk. By signing this disclaimer, you agree you do not hold Collett’s responsible for any information or opinions it offers you during your stay and that you do everything during your stay with Collett’s at your own risk.

Organised Walks
The Walk Organisers attend these on a goodwill basis so that you might partake in an itinerary you might not otherwise come across during your stay in a sociable atmosphere with like-minded people.
By signing this disclaimer you confirm the following:

  • You understand the Walk Organisers are not qualified mountain guides.
  • You join them at your own risk and of your own free will.
  • You are part of an autonomous group, responsible for your own safety and happy to accept the discretion and actions of any or all participants on that Organised Walk or activity in the event of injury to you, the need to have you rescued or otherwise.
  • You will only sign up to an Organised Walk having independently studied the route sufficiently and deemed it to be within your capability.

Transport
When joining an Organised Walk, you might be asked to drive (or accept a lift from) someone, who is not in your booking party, to and from an excursion. The system works well but by signing this disclaimer you accept that Collett’s will not accept any liability in the event of a road accident and that you enter into such an arrangement with another driver/passenger by mutual consent.

Activities supplied by Third Parties
We are happy to inform you of (and book) activities supplied by third parties but it is important that you understand that: these excursions and activities are neither run nor controlled by Collett’s (even if advertised by us); that we only act as your agent; and that your contract for these services is with the third party supplier in question and not Collett’s Limited. Consequently, we are not responsible/liable for the provision of any such third party excursions or activities or for anything that happens during the course of its provision by the supplier. This applies to all activities advertised by Collett’s in our brochure, on our website and in resort.

Finally, during your stay, you might inadvertently (or not!) be included in photography that subsequently appears in Collett’s promotional materials. By signing this disclaimer, you agree that this is ok with you.

Signature 1 :
Print Name :
Date :

Signature 2 :
Print Name :
Date :

Signature 3 :
Print Name :
Date :

Signature 4 :
Print Name :
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Thank you. Have a good and safe stay in the Picos de Europa.
Collett’s Limited trading as Collett’s Mountain Holidays – 3a Market Hill, Saffron Walden, Essex, CB10 1HQ

 

Packing Suggestions
Austrian Alps - Zugspitze Handbook Information

Checklist & Packing Suggestions

Click here to print this page as a PDF.

Essential Items

☐ Passport
☐ Euros or credit/debit cards (there is a cash machine in Potes)
☐ Holiday Insurance
☐ EHIC (European Health Insurance Card)
☐ Mobile telephone & charger
☐ Signed disclaimer
☐ Medication?

Flyers

☐ Flight tickets and/or printed boarding pass
☐ Have you checked the size & weight of your baggage?

Fly Drivers

☐ Driving licence
☐ Printed copy of driving licence ‘check code’ Visit gov.uk/view-driving-licence
☐ Car hire voucher
☐ Credit card of the lead driver
☐ Sat Nav & European road map
☐ Torch

Self Drivers

☐ Driving licence
☐ Ferry / tunnel ticket
☐ Insurance & car registration documents
☐ European breakdown cover
☐ GB Sticker (must be displayed in the EU)
☐ Warning triangle (must be carried in the EU)
☐ Fluorescent bibs (must be carried in the EU)
☐ Spare bulbs
☐ Sat Nav & European road map
☐ Torch

General

☐ Clothes, footwear & wash kit
☐ Sunglasses, sun hat & sun cream
☐ Swimming kit
☐ Travel hairdryer (for Ojedo apartments only)
☐ Camera, memory card, batteries & charger
☐ Binoculars
☐ Pocket reference books (e.g. flowers)
☐ Spanish phrase book
☐ Games, playing cards, books?
☐ Continental plug-adapter (European voltage for normal appliances is 220-240 Volts)
☐ A level of fitness to suit your own intentions!

For Walking

☐ Strong, light, comfortable walking boots,
which support the ankle
☐ Waterproof jacket and trousers
☐ Clothing suitable for hot and cold temperatures
☐ Lightweight rucksack (25 litres plus)
☐ Telescopic walking poles
☐ Basic first-aid kit
☐ Water bottle (min. 2 litres, 3 litres is recommended for harder walks)
☐ Map case
☐ Compass, whistle, torch, survival bag

Procedures & Safety
Andalucia Handbook Information

At Your Own Risk, Duty of Care, Procedures & Mountain Safety

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At Your Own Risk & Duty of Care

As you will know, we offer a weekly programme of organised walks which you can join at no extra cost. Our walk organisers are not qualified guides and you join them at your own risk. Similarly, if you choose to walk independently, we cannot take responsibility for information gleaned from our Ideas & Information Files, Route Laminates and the first-hand knowledge/opinions of our own people. To this extent, it is essential that you ultimately decide independently whether any itinerary you choose to do – be it self-guided or ‘organised’ – is suitable for you and your party.

In short, everything you do during your stay in the Picos is done at your own risk. In the event of personal injury or death, we are not liable for efforts made by us to enhance your stay, amongst which are our organised walks and various printed and verbal suggestions. It is a fact that activities undertaken in the mountains are associated with personal injury and death. By coming to such an area with Collett’s Mountain Holidays – or indeed independently – you are exposing yourself and your party to the (thankfully small) possibility of personal injury or death. In such an event, Collett’s Mountain Holidays will not be held responsible for your interest in mountainous areas and your involvement in mountain pursuits, which can occasionally have tragic consequences.

We put safety first but you are as responsible as we are!
You join our organised walks as part of an autonomous group, in which each member has a duty of care to each other. Not being professionally responsible for you does not mean we turn a blind eye to safety, nor does it make us exempt from owing a duty of care to you. Your safety is essential to us and we therefore take our own safety measures, endeavouring to minimise the possibility of personal injury and death. We do this in line with legal requirements pertaining to duty of care. We assess, communicate and manage risk as part of a formal company Health & Safety Policy, which is regularly reviewed and includes the training our own walkers. We try to make people aware of the importance of mountain safety and their responsibilities as part of a group. As with any person or organisation involved with activities where there is a possibility of personal injury or death, the issue of duty of care is ever-present and, in the absence of a qualified guide in ‘non-professional’ activities anywhere in the world, such as walking (whether organised by a company, club, university or even a friend) every member of the group has a legal commitment to all involved. This commitment to your fellow walkers should form the basis of your behaviour and actions during an organised walk, especially in the event of accident or injury. Our focus on safety should not influence whether you decide to join an organised walk or not, for at the heart of our procedures are basic mountain safety measures, which should be undertaken by any walker when preparing for a day out in the mountains, especially when walking/climbing in a group, where your actions (or inaction) could compromise your safety as well as that of other people in the group.

Some notes about our Organised Walks

Our programme of organised walks is put together on a goodwill basis by our own walk organisers and we ask you to accept their discretion where the selection of walks is concerned. You won’t be disappointed. Each week the programme changes and is duly published to our guests. Everyday except on our local day-off, Wednesday – and with a reduced programme on Saturdays – we offer two different walks, one more demanding than the other. Prior to joining up to an organised walk, please remember somebody else’s opinion of a walk is their opinion, not your knowledge. Try to acquaint yourself independently with the proposed route using the relevant map to help you decide if it is suitable for your level of fitness and experience. Also, ask about precipitous features if prone to vertigo. Some walks feature ledge paths with significant drops and switchback tracks on steep slopes. Wednesday is our staff day off and there are no organised walks on this day. Our organised walks take place in a sociable and informal atmosphere and, whilst you are encouraged not to join one unless you are certain it is within your physical capabilities, we walk at the pace of the slowest person and pause regularly. You do not pay to join our organised walks and in the event of a walk organiser being ill, we cannot guarantee the excursion will take place. Children can join our organised walks but only if accompanied by a guardian, who takes full responsibility for their safety and behaviour.

Guest Car Sharing & Taxis – Such is the geography of the area around Tama, our base in the Picos, having your own transport is essential on a Collett’s holiday in the Picos. Even so, with various people choosing to join various walks in various locations, you might be asked to give (or take) a lift with someone. Please do not do either unless you are happy that, in the event of an accident, Collett’s will not accept any liability. If ever taxis are used, the cost is shared across the party.

Procedures on meeting up for a walk – All organised walks will depart from the Posada El Corcal at a time established at Office Hour the night before. Prior to leaving, the walk organiser will run through an equipment checklist and at the start of the actual walk, he/she will state the following:

  • They are not qualified guides and everyone joins the Organised Walk at their own risk;
  • The party is walking as a group of non-qualified individuals and the walk organiser, as someone who knows the route, is the nominal leader only;
  • Everyone should follow the course and progress of the route on their map checking the correct route is being adhered to;
  • They will generally walk at the pace of the slowest person in the party and it is the responsibility of each member of the party to keep the rest of the group in sight;
  • If anyone wants to rest at any time, they should not hesitate to ask;
  • If anyone wants to leave the party at any time could they please let someone in the group know, otherwise we might have to assume you are lost and alert mountain rescue;
  • Everyone owes a ‘duty of care’ to each other. In the event of an accident, the organiser will act in a way they deem safest to offer assistance, but would of course appreciate the assistance of the rest of the party;
  • If it is the first time the organiser has done a route, the party understand this and it is an ‘adventure’ for all involved.

Mountain Safety & Emergency Procedures

Here are some notes that might help you refresh or improve your awareness of safety in the mountains. When in the mountains and when planning itineraries, apply your mind to safety at all times. Poor preparation is often the cause of many accidents and dramas. As a general guide to safety we have used information published by the Italian Alpine Rescue Corps and the British Mountaineering Council to produce the following notes:

Prevention Of Accidents – Basic Rules For Increased Safety In The Mountains

  • Never underestimate the dangers and the risks attached to a day out in the mountains – hostile environments, rapid changes in weather conditions, etc.
  • Select itineraries within your level of fitness and technical/physical ability and within those of your party members.
  • Do not go alone – if possible, go with others or, for more safety, go in the company of an alpine guide or a qualified organisation. (Collett’s is not a qualified organisation but we will endeavour to arrange local guides if requested to do so). Prior to departing, research and familiarise yourself adequately with the characteristics and difficulties of the itinerary. Study carefully the relevant topographical map.
  • Let someone know where you are going and leave details of your itinerary. (Do not change your itinerary without informing somebody).
  • Have a contingency plan in the event of the unexpected. An innacurate or out of date map, route deterioration or a landslide, could all cause a change in your itinerary.
  • Mountain Weather conditions should always be taken into account. A forecast is available from local tourist offices every day and whilst variations in mountain forecasts are not uncommon, they are worth consulting.
  • Have the right clothing. You should have a robust pair of walking boots/shoes, which support the ankle. Take a waterproof/wind-proof jacket and some spare clothes in your rucksack.
  • Be responsible. Always carry the relevant map at all times. Carry safety equipment such as a compass, torch, whistle, spare food and an understanding of how to use them in case of emergency. If you have a health condition, please ensure that you carry any necessary medication at all times, and inform another member of your party so that somebody is aware of your circumstances.
  • Have adequate insurance cover. Don’t leave home without it, you can’t take out insurance after you departure!

Some Points Specific To Mountainous Areas

  • Avalanches – residual snow and early snow falls, coupled with high summer temperatures can lead to the risk of avalanche. Avoid walking on steep sided, snow covered slopes.
  • Lightning – thunderstorms are a feature of mountain weather. If lightning is close, avoid any cables, summits, ridges, trees and caves. There are various opinions as to the best course of action in this event, but it is probably safest to sit the storm out on a rucksack in open ground.
  • Residual Snow – in early-mid summer be aware of residual snow on some trails. Late lying snow can be treacherous underfoot, and if you slip it may be difficult to stop. There may also be hidden hazards underneath (ditches, streams etc). If you are concerned, talk to members of your party and if appropriate, consider walking around these areas. If you are thinking about crossing any snow, always ascertain, as far as possible, what risks are involved and only cross if you think it is safe to do so.
  • Rock Falls – due to the easily fractured nature of limestone, loose rocks and rock fall are a significant feature of the mountains. Take care when walking near the base of cliffs, and consider taking a climbing helmet if planning a long walk in such areas. Be careful not to dislodge loose rocks yourself, as there may be other people below you. Warn other if you dislodge a rock. In English the usual shouted warning is ‘Below!’, but in Spain you should shout ‘Piedra!’.
  • Steep, loose paths – many of the waymarked routes in the area include sections of steep, rocky track, often loose under foot. Walking poles are widely recognised as being helpful on such terrain. Check the gradient of any paths you are unsure of using a map and looking at the contour intervals (there is a contour interval of 25 metres on the 1:25,000 scale Tabacco and Kompass maps). If faced with exceptionally steep ground, the general rule to remember is not to go up if you don’t think you can come back down.
  • Vertigo – many of the routes in the area include paths that traverse steep sided sections of mountainside. If you suffer from vertigo then sections like this can give you a sense of exposure. Plan your walks carefully.

Emergency Procedures

Based on information published by the Spanish Mountaineering and Climbing Federation (FEDME), the Fédération Française de la Montagne et de l’Escalade and the British Mountaineering Council – for anyone wishing to take the following emergency notes with them on an itinerary, a printed copy is available:

  • Stay calm and do not do anything on impulse.
  • Evaluate the situation and identify the actual dangers;
  • Take immediate and sensible precautions to prevent further risk;
  • Give spare clothing to the injured person and do your best to provide shelter
  • All reasonable efforts should be made to cope with the situation without resorting to the rescue services, providing that you do not make any injuries worse than they are already. If self-help is not possible, rescue services should be contacted. Call for 112. The rescue team will need to know where you are and have an idea about the condition of the victim;
  • If you do not have a mobile, you would have to use a nearby refugio, or descend to find a landline. Choose a safe route – this might not be the quickest, but the possibility of a second accident must be avoided;
  • Mark the casualties’ position on a map and take it along with you. Going for help is a relatively easy decision to make if there are four or more people in the party. At least two can leave to ring for help, leaving one to care for the casualty. If there are only two or three in the group then this becomes a more difficult judgement. In this situation, attracting help from others in the mountains will help;
  • To attract attention use the International Distress Signal, using either a light, a whistle or by shouting: six long flashes of a torch/blasts of a whistle/shouts/waves in succession, repeated at one minute intervals. Repeat until replied to. A reply is given 3 times a minute (every 20 seconds) in either a visible or audible manner. If a helicopter is involved, the pilot’s questions can be answered as described on the right;
  • If no local help is forthcoming a decision will have to be made to leave the casualty alone or potentially sending somebody on his or her own. To make this decision you would have to consider the injury, the conditions and the capabilities of the other members of the party; and
  • As far as the injured are concerned, do for them only those things that you are certain you can do safely.

Emergency Contact – Call 112

If the operator manning the emergency line does not speak English and you are unable to communicate, please try calling one of our staff and we will relate the information as best we can.

  • Call 112 – give your full name.
  • Say where you are calling from and let them know your telephone number.
  • If the location of the accident (and casualties) is far away, try to memorise some landmarks to help the search party find the group.
  • Explain in brief what has happened.
  • Give the time of the accident and the exact number of casualties and their relative conditions.
  • Give the number of people in the rest of the group still at the accident, and try to remember the colour of their jackets etc. in order to aid finding them.
  • Describe the weather conditions and the visibility.
  • Do not leave the place from which you are making the call, in case the rescue services have to contact you again.

Mountain Weather

We keep a firm eye on weather conditions and try to ensure it is safe to proceed with an excursion, but it is everybody’s responsibility to consider the possibility of cancelling an excursion (and voice any anxiety) if worried about the risk of adverse weather conditions.

  • Winds increase and temperatures drop at altitude
  • Snow and ice are not uncommon at high altitudes, especially in early and late season
  • Take plenty of liquid (min. 2-3 litres)
  • Protect yourself from the sun with high factor sun cream, sunglasses and a hat
  • Plan your route according to the weather
  • Plan for worse weather than forecast as the weather can change rapidly
  • Always carry clothing for poor weather, even if the day starts fine

Insurance
Tuscany Handbook Information

Travel Insurance with Campbell Irvine

Being adequately insured during your stay with us is essential - we strongly recommend you buy a comprehensive holiday insurance package at the time of booking. Having a travel insurance policy is one of the booking conditions for joining us on a Collett's Mountain Holiday.

If you have an existing insurance policy, please take the time to make sure it is up to date, and cover is adequate for your chosen destination and activity.

If you would like to obtain cover for your trip please feel free to contact specialist Insurance Brokers, Campbell Irvine Ltd for a quote by visiting their website or by telephone on 0207 938 1734.

The following declared activities are covered under the standard policy terms:

  • Walking up to 3,500m,
  • via ferrata
  • guided glacier treks
  • trekking to the summit of Marmolada

Collett’s Limited is an Introducer Appointed Representative of Campbell Irvine Ltd. who is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. This can be checked on the FCA's register by visiting the FCA's website at www.fca.org.uk or by contacting them on 0800 111 6787.