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Asturias & Picos De Europa
Asturias is a magnificent outdoor museum that stands out for the diversity of its countryside. Our Walking Tour in Asturias & Picos de Europa, on the north coast of Spain, between the Bay of Biscay and the interior plateau, takes you off the beaten track, where the discerning tourist can enjoy magnificent and varied scenery, wildlife and walking in an uninterrupted way, discovering another face of Spain which seems to have been overlooked by the twentieth century – an undiscovered natural paradise!
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- Vacation Style Holiday Type
- Activity Level Challenging
- Group Size Small Group
PICK UP & DROP OFF: Asturias Airport
Asturias is a region of spectacular mountain scenery in a peaceful, rural setting off the beaten track and away from the crowds. It has a unique cuisine based entirely on locally produced foods. In a traditional Asturian pantry you will find cheeses, beans and cider used to create wonderful dishes like “fabada” hotpot. As is often the case in the countryside the inhabitants are friendly and keep strong traditions. All these are ideal ingredients for an incredible journey to this astonishing destination.
Join us as we hike in the Picos de Europa mid-way along the north coast of Spain, a high mountain range separating the coast of the Bay of Biscay from the high dry plateau of the interior. Follow in the footsteps of the pilgrims who walked the Camino. There were many routes which lead to the sacred city of Santiago de Compostela and two of them pass through Asturias – the Primitive Way and the Coastal Way. On this amazing trip you will see prehistoric cave paintings, taste cheese aged in ancient caves, climb to the high lakes of the Somiedo Natural Park and maybe even spot some bears roaming in the wild.
Your wallet? You won’t need it! Except for postcards and souvenirs we’ll take care of everything
- 2 experienced guides 24/7
- All breakfasts, lunches and dinners as for itinerary
- Wine, water & coffee with meals
- All accommodations
- Walking sticks
- All gratuities for baggage, porters and hotel service
- Minibus transport from start to finish
- Entrance fees to museums, events and parks as listed on itinerary
- Local specialist guiding fees
- Transfer to the meeting point
- Travel insurance and other emergencies
- Visa fees and entry clearing fees
- Single room accommodations
- 1 lunch & 1 dinner
- Day 1 Cangas de Onís
We meet at 13.00 at Asturias Airport and head straight into the Picos de Europa to the town of Cangas de Onís.
Cangas de Onís is a charming village located close to the entrance to the National Park. After settling in to our hotel in the evening we head out to explore the old town, visiting the Monastery of San Pedro de Villanueva, built on pre-Roman ruins in the 8th century and an impressive old bridge arching over the Sella river.
Dinner will be in a cider tavern making for a light-hearted and fun evening accompanied by some delicious local specialities.
- Day 2 Picos de Europa National Park & Cavadonga Lakes
Today we hike through one of the most spectacular National Parks of Spain to discover the two Lakes of Covadonga (Enol and Ercina) and the surrounding area. The Picos de Europa were the first area of Spain to become a National Park in 1918. The high massifs and limestone mountains of the Picos stand imposingly over the Atlantic Ocean, so close to the cost that they create a dramatic scenery all along northern Asturias. The ecosystems of the park combines both Atlantic (Beech, Holm and Pyrenean oaks) and Mediterranean forest habitats (including Cork oak) alongside that of alpine pasture and man-managed hay meadows.
On our way back to Cangas de Onís we will stop for a short visit to the Sanctuary of Covadonga linked to the beginning of the Asturian Monarchy, which constituted the first Christian Kingdom to begin the Reconquista of Spain from the Moorish invaders.
- Day 3 Cares Route - the Divine Gorge & the Cabrales Cheese Caves
Today we head to Cabrales, which lies in the rugged heart of Picos de Europa National Park. Here we find small villages, high mountains gorges and many caves used to make the famous Asturian cheese known as Cabrales. Our walk today takes us straight through the middle of the rugged Divine Gorge along the Cares Route which used to be an ancient mining route and water conduct. Few words can describe what we will encounter along this route, it is simply incredible.
After our mornings walk, we will head to explore one of the oldest caves still in operation used to age the local artisan blue cheese, followed of course by a tastings of this cheese of exceptional quality.
In the evening we return to Cangas de Onís for our final dinner in this charming mountain town.
- Day 4 Palaeolithic Cave Paintings & Ribadesella
The beauty of Asturias is that along the coastline rise the high mountains of the Picos de Europa. Today we head out from a high viewpoint from where we can appreciate a view of the coastline in front of us and the endless mountains behind. Our walk descends all the way down to the coast where a picnic lunch will be waiting for us on the beach. The brave may even wish to go for a swim in the ocean.
In the afternoon enjoy some free time to roam the streets of Ribadesella and visit Saint Marina’s beach with its promenade and its spectacular Indiano buildings raised in the early 20th century by returning immigrants who had made their fortune in the Americas. After some free time we visit the Tito Bustillo Cave, where we can admire some of the world’s best preserved Palaeolithic Cave paintings in a 700m gallery discovered in 1968. The paintings are some of the most impressive in the world, and the cave it’s self is equally stunning with its many stalagmites & stalactites.
Tonight our hotel will be just outside of the costal town of Lastres, a cute fishing villages with a marina and many narrow streets.
- Day 5 Coastal Path of the Camino de Santiago
Today our walks takes us along Asturias coast, through landscapes of beaches and cliffs as we stroll along an ancient section of the Camino de Santiago Coastal Path making our way through many small fishing villages. The Camino de Santiago which start in Asturias is known as the Camino Primitivo as historically it is the oldest route, the one which king Alfonso followed when he first heard of the discovery of the tomb of Saint James. This historic event spawned the pilgrimage phenomena which for centuries has been walked by thousands of pilgrims.
In the evening we spend some time meandering around the streets of the fishing village of Lastres.
Tonight we dine on the elegant balcony of a gourmet restaurant where good food is accompanied by breath-taking views of the sunset over the Picos de Europa mountain range.
- Day 6 Cider tastings & Oviedo
We start our day with a visit to a llagar (cider producer) to get to know all about the most typical drink in Asturias: Cider. We explore the apple orchards, hear the incredible story of the owner Antonio, who returned from Japan to dedicate his life to producing cider and up-keeping his grandfathers farm, and most importantly taste some cider.
In the afternoon we explore the city of Oviedo and get to know all about the origins of the Camino de Santiago which starts in the ancient capital of Asturias and follows in the steps of King Alfonso II to the tomb of the apostle Saint James. Along this route we will discover true architectural gems, hidden landscapes and important religious and cultural remains, declared World Heritage by UNESCO.
After enjoying a day in the ancient city of Oviedo we head into the heart of the Somiedo Natural Park, to the town of Pola de Somiedo.
Tonight’s accommodation will be in an ancient family residence, charmingly decorated with historic memorabilia and furniture.
- Day 7 Somiedo Natural Park
Today we hike in the Somiedo Natural Park, also a UNESCO Biosphere Resererve. In this incredible area we will hope to spot the Cantabrian brown bears in it’s natural habitat.
Our walk takes us high up through some spectacular landscapes to the four Salencia lakes, each more beautiful than the other. On our way back we will get the chance to admire the typical thatched house used by the shepherds in these mountains and hope to meet some of the few remaining inhabitants.
Our final nights dinner will be prepared be prepared by our host in the ancient family residence we are staying in.
- Day 8 Departure day
9.00 After breakfast we head to Asturias Airport where the trip ends.
Enchanting Mountain sceneries
Discover a new face of Spain
Accommodations are an important point of your overall holiday experience. One of our first thought is to find and choose the best hotel and b&b solutions, ensuring that each night of your itinerary finds you comfortably settled in a space that is welcoming and full of authentic local charm.
When considering a hotel, we look at more than just the rooms and wherever possible, we arrange for stays close to the places you most dream of seeing like historically iconic, coveted high-design or supremely located at the edge of a wilderness.
Take a closer look at some of the properties we have chosen for your next Caspin Journeys holiday!
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