The Picos de Europa National Park

The Picos de Europa are a mountain range in northern Spain, that stands out because of both the hight of the mountains and their proximity to the ocean. It is one of Spain’s 15 national parks It is currently the second most visited national park in Spain, the first being the Teide national park in Tenerife.

The range spans over three regions of northern Spain: Cantabria, León, and Asturias and features several different peaks of over 2500 m and the park span over  67 455 hectares.

The Urrieles cluster is the ranges tallest point with several summits of over 2600 the tallest being Torre Cerredo that stands 2650 m tall.

The name Picos de Europa or in English “the Peaks of Europe” is said to come from the renaissance era sailors returning from the Americas on ships. As they would approach the coast of Spain, the first thing that was visible was the enormous peaks of the mountain range and that meant that they were back in Europe.

Picos de Europa

Where to stay in the Picos de Europa? 

The way to make this decision is to consider what area of the rage of the park you want to visit. There are 3 distinct areas of sectors to the park: the Cantabrian portion, the Asturiano portion, and the Leonés portion.

If you are interested in the more northern sector of Cantabria, the best place to stay in the village of Potes. If you are headed to Asturias, Cangas de Onís is your best bet, and if León is your objective, head on over to Posada de Valdeón.

All of these villages are reasonably big, with good access and with all the services you might need.

How much time do I need to visit los Picos de Europa?

Ideally, you should set aside at least 2 or 3 days for a proper visit. If you can take a week, you won’t regret it.

Where are the Picos de Europa?

They are located in northern Spain, very close to the Cantabrian coast of the country. At it’s closest, the Picos de Europa is just 15 km from the ocean.

Best routes through the Picos de Europa

There is a great number of different hiking routes through the park. Here is a list of our expert guides top picks:

  • Summiting the base of mount Urriellu (Asturias). A simple and beautiful trek, suitable for even the most novice hikers. You can make it up and back down again in the same day or, if you so choose, spend a night at the Refugio de Urriellu, a mountain refuge / hostel.
  • Summit Torrecerredo (Asturias). This is the tallest peak of the range located in the region of Asturias, but don’t be too worried, it is a rather simple trek. You can do the full rout in a day if you really try but it’s probably better to take your time and spend 2 days on the trail.
  • Summit Collado Jermoso (León). This route offers some of the more spectacular views in the whole park. Hikers usually take about two days to complete the full route and spend the night in the Collado Jermoso refuge.
  • Picos de Europa inner circle. This is the most challenging route on the list and should take about two or three days. It is the most comprehensive route you can take in the park and you will end up knowing the range like the back of your hand.

Fuente Dé Cable Car

This cabale car station is located in the beautiful town of Potes. It easily the quickest and most comfortable way of getting into the heart of the park.

  • Schedule: The station is open every day from  9:00 to 20:00 during the summer months and the rest of the year between 10:00 and 18:00. The last car leaves 15 minutes before closing.
  • Pricing: Tickets cost 11€ one way and 17€ round trip.

The ride takes just 4 minutes to get all the way up to  1823 meter. From here you can either set off on your voyage through the mountains or just enjoy the amazing views from here.

Video tour of the Picos de Europa

Other amazing things to do near the Picos de Europa


Santander City Guide

Santander is the largest city and capital of Cantabria, located in Northern Spain. The North of Spain is lush, green, and mountainous but at the same time is home to some of the most amazing beaches you will find in Spain. Asturias is no different. The city is wealthy and beautiful, full of culture, with all sorts of delicious local delicacies to be enjoyed.

PLAYA DE GULPIYURI-Small is beautiful! Fantastic landscapes. Better to arrive early

Best beaches in Northern Spain

There are many reasons to visit Santiago in addition to it being the final destination of the pilgrimage. Besides its main tourist attractions of monuments and museums, the city has an incessant cultural agenda with arts, entertainment and leisure time activities offered throughout the year such as music, lectures, theater, cinema, concerts, exhibitions and festivals.

Picos de Europa tours and experiences

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