This 3 day trekking adventure is a pure Picos de Europa mountain walking experience. The whole of your time spent walking, eating and sleeping in the heart of the Picos de Europa, the Central or Urriellu Massif.
Stage 1. Cordiñanes to the Collado Jermoso Refuge.
Height gain: 1200 metres. Distance: 4.5 kilometres. Time: 4-5 hours.
Meeting in Cangas de Onis. Introduction, equipment check and transport to Cordiñanes. The start of the tour although short is still a fairly hard walk due to the steepness of the route. It starts in a lovely shaded beech wood and then climbs up the Asotin gully, on across the Argayo Congosto rock fields to reach the Collado Jermoso mountain refuge. The refuge is on a natural terrace on the western edge of the Central Massif in one of the most stunning locations in the Picos de Europa, with stunning views of the valleys and the Valdeón ridge of the Western Massif. Sunset with incredible (weather allowing) views. Cooked evening meal and overnight stay in the refuge.
Stage 2. Collado Jermoso Refuge to the Vega Urriellu Refuge via the Jou Los Boches.
Height gain: + 800 metres. Distance: 10 kilometres. Time: 5-6 hours
Breakfast in the refuge. This stage has less height change than the previous day and is only 10 kilometres in length, but because of the difficulty of the terrain is still a full day’s walk. The walk starts by climbing up to a wide mountain pass and on passing the tiny Cabaña Veronica mountain refuge until it reaches the towering Horcados Rojos. From here, accompanied by spectacular views of the iconic Naranjo de Bulnes the scramble descent starts to Jou Los Boches with the help of a cable. It then crosses the lunar landscapes of the Jou Los Boches and the Jou Sin Tierre up to the base of the Naranjo de Bulnes and the Vega Urriellu mountain refuge. Dinner and overnight stay at the refuge.
Stage 3. Vega Urriellu refuge to Poncebos via the Pandebano pass.
Height Gain: – 1,780 metres. Distance: 14 kilometres. Time: 4-5 hours
Breakfast. The final stage of the tour of the central massif is a thigh burning 1,780 metre decent to Poncebos. The path is a Picos de Europa classic dropping down to Pandebano pass via the Vallejo pass and the Terenosa high mountain pasture. From Pandebano the route continues down to the village of Bulnes and then the Tagus to Poncebos gully where the 3-day Picos de Europa adventure ends.Transport back to Cangas de Onis.
Difficulty level: Medium – reasonable fitness and previous mountain walking experience required.