September 13 to 25, 2017

Status OPEN
Cost $2,950 (per person)
Travel Dates September 13 to 25, 2017
Description The very popular and spectacular Picos de Europa National Park also referred to as the “Peaks of Europe” or just the Picos is a range of mountains 12.5 miles inland from the northern coast of Spain, forming part of the Cantabrian Mountains. The first National Park of Spain, its history goes back to 1918, when it created the Montaña de Covadonga National Park, which was later renamed Picos de Europa National Park on May 30, 1995. The jagged, deeply fissured Picos de Europa Mountains consist of some the finest hiking country and most spectacular vistas of any kind in Spain.
Our trip starts in Bilbao, Spain where we will meet our local expert guide to begin our hiking trip through the impressive Picos ending each day at a comfortable hotel (dbl. occ., en suite) with good food and drink. This is a hiking trip that requires good hiking ability, preparation and level of effort for the hikes described. The hikes range from 7.5 miles to 9.9 miles and elevation gains from 1,148 ft. to 2,871 ft. By ADK standards they would be rated B moderate to B+ moderately strenuous hikes. There are several fabulous walks, ranging from a few hours to full day hikes of truly magnificent and varied scenery known to locals as “natural paradise”.
Included Expert Local Guide; All meals from Day 1 Dinner to lunch on Day 12, (except Day 8 lunch) 9 brkf, 9 lunch, 9 dinners; Accommodations (dbl. occ. en suite) Day 2 through Day 11; Transportation from Day 1 through Day 12
Not Included Airfare; Transfer from/to airport from Bilbao hotel not included (bus less than 5 euros, taxi about 25 euros); Guide gratuity; Prior day arrival hotel and food; Day 1 breakfast and lunch; Day 8 lunch; Day 12 hotel and dinner ; Day 13 is on your own as well as option to extend your trip.
Payment Policy A Deposit of $1000 is due with the Application forms to register for the trip. The Balance of $1,950 is due no later than May 15, 2017.
Cancellation Policy If registrant cancels prior to July 4, 2017 all payments received by ADK minus $100.00 registration fee and $162 Outfitters deposit will be refunded. After July 4, 2017 refund will only be made if the vacancy can be filled from a waiting list maintained by the leader, if any, and then all but $100.00 ADK registration fee will be refunded. Note that there is a $100 registration fee included in the trip deposit, which is not refundable if you have to cancel for any reason whatsoever. If the leader decides that this trip is not for you, or the trip is canceled by ADK, all payments received by ADK will be refunded.
Accommodations and Meals
Trip Insurance It is very strongly recommended that all participants have trip or travel insurance that will cover trip cancellation by the participant, travel delays, medical expenses and medical evacuation. ADK does not provide this insurance and does not cover medical expenses or evacuation in the event you are injured or become ill during the trip. Note that if you have to cancel after the date indicated above, and cannot be replaced from the leader’s waiting list (if any) you could be out the entire amount you paid for the trip.
Daily Itinerary

Day 1 – Wednesday, September 13, 2017 Arrive at Bilbao airport

Depending on flights from your location you may have to arrive the day before and lodge at your own expense.
We will meet at the airport between 1 and 2 PM for introductions and meet our guide for the start of the ADK trip. From the airport, it is a four hour drive to our first hotel, the Hotel Palacio Florez Estrada, Pola de Somiedo. It is a lovely hotel by the river with parts of the structure dating back to the 1100’s. If time permits we may have time for a short late afternoon walk before dinner.

Day 2 – Thursday, September 14, 2017 – Hotel Palacio Florez Estrada, Pola de Somiedo

To start, we will hike a valley route up to El Lago (Lake) del Valle and Lago de La Mina. Six hours walking at first along the valley through fields and then up to the Lago de La Mina at 5,249 ft. elevation. Then we retrace our steps and hike up to the Lago del Valle. This is a classic Asturian hike with beautiful high pastures, picturesque shepherds’ huts, ancient Roman mines and great views. The bird and plant life is exceptional and we may see Vultures and Golden Eagles and enjoy many alpine flowers. Elevation gain: 1,208 ft., Distance: 9.9 mi.

Day 3 – Friday, September 15, 2017

Today’s hike is a circular route taking in stunning Brañas (shepherds settlement high in the hills), two gorges, hay meadows, oak forest and two beautiful villages. This is a spectacular day of views, rural and high country farming and stunning scenery with very few people around. Elevation gain: 1,394 ft., Distance: 8.7 mi.

Day 4 – Saturday, September 16, 2017- Transfer Day to Arenas de Cabrales to Hotel Torrecerredo

We will have a 3-hour drive through rugged hill country towards the Pico’s de Europa. On the way we´ll stop off at a couple of lovely villages and do a short walk to a fabulous picnic spot. Then we´ll continue to Arenas de Cabrales. A lively Asturian village at the northern foot of the highest peaks in the Pico’s and the perfect base for the second part of the trip.

Day 5 – Sunday, September 17, 2017

Arenas de Cabrales – Circular hike from Arenas following old tracks to high summer pastures and on to a long ridge which we follow back to Arenas. You really get a feel for the old shepherd way of life in this part of the mountains. This is a beautiful hike with very few other hikers around. The views south to the main Picos range and North towards the coast are spectacular. Elevation gain: 2,710 ft., Distance: 9.8 mi.

Monday, September 19, 2017- Arenas de Cabrales

A short drive to a trailhead from where we hike 3 hours, uphill to the foot of the Picos most famous mountain – the Naranjo de Bulnes/Uriellu. We return via a different route to Bulnes – a gorgeous, tiny village set above the main valley. You can go down to the road head either hiking down the Bulnes gorge or by using the funicular railway (optional). There is an easier hike if you prefer not to go all the way up to the Naranjo de Bulnes. This is a spectacular day with gentle pastures giving way to the steep and rocky limestone peaks of the high Picos. Elevation gain: 2,736 ft., Distance: 8 mi.

Day 7 – Tuesday, September 19, 2017- Hotel Rural Picos de Europa

Today we head towards the southwestern Pico’s hiking along the famous Cares gorge. This spectacular and easy trail was made to channel water to a hydro station in Arenas. It´s a hike of incredible views, steep cliffs, the raging river Cares and at the end the village of Cain, the highest village in the Valdeon valley. A stunning day, we take a 20 minute drive down the valley in the stunning village of Posada de Valdeon. Elevation gain: 1,148 ft., Distance: 7.5 mi.

Day 8 – Wednesday, September 20, 2017

This is a free day to visit the village or just relax. There is an excellent loop walk from the hotel for those who would like to keep moving. Otherwise the river, meadows and forest are blissful places to stroll, relax and explore.

Day 9 – Thursday, September 21, 2017- Hotel Rural Picos de Europa

A 6 hour walking circuit from the village climbing through forest and along a dramatic ridge of conglomerate rock to a high pass (possible peak here) before descending through Beech forest and pastures down to Posada de Valdeon. There are great views over the Sajambre and Valdeon valleys and of the towering limestone pinnacles of the western and central Picos. Elevation gain: 1,312 ft. (descent 2,635 ft.), Distance: 7.5 mi.

Day 10 – Friday, September 22, 2017- Posada Maximo, Espinama

Today’s walk from Posada de Valdeón to Fuente Dé. is about 5.5 hours. This route follows the Senda de Mercadillo – so called because the mountain villagers used to follow this route to get to markets and fairs between the Valdeón and Liebana valleys. You will experience beautiful scenery, high pasture, forest and, hopefully, plenty of wildlife. Once at Fuente Dé it´s a five minute drive to our hotel in Espinama. Elevation gain: 2,215 ft., Distance: 8.7 mi.

Day 11 – Saturday, September 23, 2017- Posada Maximo, Espinama

A circuit from Fuente De up into the wild landscape below Pico Horcados Rojos following a trail beneath towering cliffs and then up to high pastures and over a pass from where we can catch a cable car back down to our starting point. This is a better route avoiding the busy cable car on its way up. Elevation gain: 2,871 ft., Distance: 9.3 mi.

Day 12 – Sunday, September 24, 2017- Hotel Petit Palace Arana, Bilbao

We return to Bilbao, a 4-hour drive, for our final day before flights home the next morning. We may have time for morning/afternoon walking/sightseeing stops such as in Llanes, a beautiful old town on the north coast for lunch on the way to Bilbao before arriving in time for a farewell dinner and overnight in Bilbao and the end of the ADK trip.

Day 13 – Monday, September 25, 2017- Departure Day

Breakfast and taxi to Bilbao Airport at your expense for flights home. Those who wish to extend your vacation and spend an additional day or two in Bilbao, let me know and we can arrange for a full day guided sightseeing tour of Bilbao/including Guggenheim museum.

Notes Do not make your flight arrangements until Trip Leader tells you that this trip has the minimum participants for the trip to go.

Trip prices and arrangements are subject to change due to circumstances beyond ADK’s control.

Planned activities are subject to change due to weather, trail conditions or other unforeseen circumstances, at the sole discretion of the Leader.

Registration Procedure Please carefully read the above detailed trip description and itinerary, and contact Trip Leader if you have any questions. Then, if you decide to join this adventure, please contact me (email, phone or snail mail) and I will send you the registration paperwork, consisting of the Registration form, the Health and Physical Condition Questionnaire and Release of Liability form. Complete these forms and send them to me by U.S. Postal Service with the deposit (check payable to “ADK” or the Credit Card Authorization) to reserve a spot. Please note that original signatures are required on all forms. Spaces are reserved in the order that complete and acceptable registration forms and deposit payments are received, so don’t delay.

You must be a member in good standing of ADKto be a participant on an ADK Adventure Travel Trip. Join ADK online.

Trip Leader Phil Seward
79 Waterman Ave. Albany, NY 12205;