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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.
Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss a tailor-made itinerary
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Head back to the airport, port or railway station for your journey home.
This trip has been designed for active families, with a range of activities which parents and children typically enjoy doing together. As set out here, you’ll be hiking, canyoning, canoeing and mountain biking, with the opportunity to throw Stand Up Paddleboarding and sit-on sea kayaking into the mix should you wish. Conversely though, there’s plenty of opportunity to set the agenda yourself as you go; you have a car, the mountains and plenty of time to go explore, or take it easy.
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.
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.
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.
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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