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Picos Family Explorer

Guided activities, freedom to explore | View photos »

8 day trip described, guide price £965pp i Fully customisable to you

Swim off a sandy beach in the middle of a meadow, stand on a high peak with a blanket of clouds at your feet or slide drop down a mountain stream. Discover the very best of the Picos de Europa with days of guided activities to complement independent days exploring as a family.

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Day-by-day itinerary

Travel to Spain

Travel to northern Spain today and drive down to your first hotel, to the north of the impressive Picos massif. Collect your car at the airport and drive to your rural hotel. Settle in to your hotel with dinner included this evening in the restaurant. Your Pura Aventura guide will call to say hello and arrange meeting times for the following day’s activity.

Canyon down a mountain stream

Spend today with one of our guides as they lead you canyoning and canoeing. The activity is great fun in a rough and tumble sort of way, but it is expertly supervised and no experience is needed. Hike up a steep path into a narrow canyon. Drop down into the stream and make your way back down to the bottom by negotiating the river bed. This can include abseiling down a waterfall, jumping into pools, sliding down slippery rocks and swimming.

Walk the Cares Gorge path

Start the week by walking the most famous path in the Picos: the Cares Gorge. The walk starts you uphill on a winding, gravelly path before levelling out and leading into the gorge opening up ahead. The path runs along the wall of the gorge, cut into the rock, narrowing to just two metres in places. Your guide serves a deli picnic at a meadow in the heart of the gorge. Finish the day visiting a village to learn about traditional lifestyles here in the mountains.

Mountain bike along the coast

Spend another day with your Pura Aventura guide, as they lead you on a bike ride along the coast. The coast of northern Spain is defined by rolling hills breaking off into the sea to reveal hidden sandy coves and beaches. Today’s ride takes you out along the edge of the coastal mountain range and then down to the sea to ride along the undulating cliff tops.

Head south to the Liebana Valley

Drive to the south-east part of the Picos mountains today where you spend the next three nights in a comfortable hotel with its own pool, something of a rarity in these parts. Before you set off, you might like to saddle up for a morning on horseback - one of our guides has his own stables near to your hotel.

Explore medieval Potes

After several active days, perhaps you’d like to take it easy today. There are lots of options within striking distance. Potes, the medieval capital of the Liebana Valley is a short drive away and is the hub of activities. Equally, you have notes and maps for some lovely walks in the area. One of the options is a walk between very traditional villages, crossing meadows, streams and beech forests along the way.

Climb one of the highest peaks

You might like to climb a high peak today. Set off early to beat the queues as you ride the cable car into the high mountains. The cable car at Fuente Dé provides a spectacular three minute ride up 1,000m to the upper reaches of the mountains in the heart of the National Park. The contrast with the green valley floor is striking as you step out into a moon-like landscape of splintered rocks, jagged peaks and deep ravines.

Travel home

Head back to the airport, port or railway station for your journey home.

Note: This is just an itinerary idea and we'll therefore tailor everything to you.

Request full PDF itinerary »

About this trip

Is this the right trip for you?

Flexible departures: If you're ready to start travelling again, you can book now secure in the knowledge that we offer you the freedom to defer your trip, until the point your balance is paid, to any available date before the end of 2021.

Financial protection: For complete peace of mind in these uncertain times, your money is fully protected by our membership of ABTOT and the ATOL scheme.

Ensuring your safety: Please rest assured that your safety is always our top priorty. Our partners will all follow the strict guidelines set out by the government to ensure your safety whilst travelling, and we will fully support them to ensure they are able to do so.

Covid-19 travel FAQs   Spain's covid-safe guidelines

How can we tailor this trip to you?

Whilst there are plenty of options to tailor this trip to you as you explore the Picos, part of our role is to get to know you and what you and your children enjoying, or don’t enjoy, doing on holiday and tailoring the trip accordingly. If the holiday is in honour of a special occasion, we’d love to know. We can also vary the length of the itinerary to fit the time you have available, taking out a night or perhaps adding in more time.

Ask us how we can tailor this trip for you »

How adventurous?

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Best time to go i

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec

Departs any day of the year, from April through November. In May or June expect daytime temperatures of around 15°- 20°, though you will almost certainly see some rain and cloudy days. It is a beautiful time of year in the forests and mountains with spring flowers in the meadows and snow still on the high mountains. The peak summer months are warmest, unlikely to go much over 25°. September is usually the driest month of the year, will be pleasantly warm and the sea should still be good for a refreshing dip. October is going to be similar in temperature to May/June, perhaps a little drier, and the autumnal colours will be beautiful as you get into latter part of the month.

What's included?

The price is per person based on four sharing two rooms and includes:

First-class accommodation with breakfast, some lunches and some dinners
Family-size vehicle hire
Guided activities and walk as described
Picos de Europa Holiday Guide with personal recommendations
Spain driving guide
Detailed walking notes where appropriate
Pura’s expertise, local contacts, support and advice throughout

International flights are quoted separately for this holiday. Best routings are into and out of Santander (SDR), Asturias (OVD) or Bilbao (BIO).


The accommodation on this itinerary falls into the category of comfortable and characterful, as opposed to luxury. The hotels we use are traditional rustic stone buildings with thick walls and small windows. Expect a warm welcome, delicious food and very peaceful nights' sleep.

For more details, please get in touch to request a detailed PDF itinerary.

How does this trip benefit the destination?

Pura co-founder Diego Martín is a Picos native and still lives there to this day, heading up our Spanish office. His first-hand experience, personal connections and unique understanding of the ways of life here absolutely ensure this trip maximises its positive impact on the region. The hotels and restaurants that we use or recommend are small, family-run businesses.

An important aspect of this trip is the introduction it gives you to the local culture and ways of life in the mountains of Northern Spain. Although the way of life has been changing quickly in the last 50 years, a lot of people still live from the land and traditions are alive and well. Thoughtful tourism is essential in providing an alternative source of income to agriculture and dairy production, maintaining a balance which keeps future generations in employment, without them having to leave for the nearest big city or town.

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The described itinerary is just a taster of what this trip could involve. We would work with you to tailor your personal trip.

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  • Day 1 - These are a few of my favourite views
  • Day 2 - Our dream day of Spanish food
  • Day 3 - Clichés to avoid, clichés to embrace
  • Day 4 - Why we love Rioja wines
  • Day 5 - Some of our favourite buildings in Spain

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Book Subscribe to The Pothole » Children enjoying the great surf along the Cantabrian coast Traditional festivity in Bejes Canyoning in the high Pyrenees Walking along the Cares gorge. Llanes coastal walk in Picos de Europa Spain-Picos_de_Europa-Near-Tollo Potes historical center. Kids at sunset in Vega de Ario, Picos de Europa Domestic goats at the steep hills of the Beyos gorge