Jane Sarjeant is one of our most experienced and enthusiastic leaders. She and her husband Al have been leading our clients for over 10 years and hiked over 70 of our holidays worldwide. Jane loves to share her adventures and love of the great outdoors here is an opportunity to share her experience of walking and hiking in the rich green landscapes of the Picos in Spain through her blog. We hope this will inspire you to follow in her footsteps!
If you mention The Picos de Europa National Park in conversation, it often invokes the question “Where is that?” The area is the largest limestone mountain range in Europe, & contains some of the finest & least known walking in Northern Spain, lying across the three provinces of Cantabria, Asturias & Leon. My husband Al & I led this trip for the first time last year, & can’t wait to return in 2018.
The outstanding scenery of rugged rocky peaks, spectacular gorges & verdant valleys is best explored on foot & on our trip we stay in 2 villages to make the most of the different areas.
Our first base is in the attractive town of Potes, with a fascinating old town & maze of cobbled streets. We walk from here in the surrounding villages & mountains, & the highlight has to be the walks from the top of the Fuente De cable car, giving access to the highest summits, towering peaks & incredible views – possibly to the North coast on a clear day. There are 2 walks every day, one more challenging, the other just as scenic & the only decision to make is which one to choose.
Both Hotels we stay in are very traditional family run, with great views, hearty mountain food & good wine. What’s not to like!
Our second Hotel is in the delightfully unspoilt small village of Posada de Valdeon. The walks from here are even more remote & dramatic. We rarely see another sole out on the trails, glimpses of griffon vultures, wild goats & chamois are more common than humans. We climb up through beech & oak forests to the high meadow pastures used for cattle grazing.
One day we will walk the famous Cares Gorge route, the narrow and deep gorge the Cares river has carved its way through the Central and Western Massif of the Picos de Europa. The path is on a dramatic old hydro-electric maintenance track carved into the cliff-faces, high above the river. Magnificent throughout, with varying microclimates, vast rock walls on both sides, it is another highlight of the trip.
Hope you can join us on this fantastic trip this year!