Walking holidays in Asturias
With the stunning national park that makes up the Picos de Europa mountain range, Asturias has some of the best scenery and the most enjoyable walking country in Europe. The result of this is that many people travel to Asturias and the areas around Covadonga and Cangas de Onis to having a walking holiday.
If you are a walking or hiking fan and you like short walks, or the longer treks, this mountainous part of Asturias is an ideal location for a vacation. The Picos de Europa is approached through beautiful rolling hills and at its centre it has many much higher peaks. The winter month will see the higher elevations capped with snow, sometimes for many weeks or even months.
Throughout the roads, trails and towns that feed into this beautiful park there are tourism offices, all focussed on walking and hiking and they have an extensive selection of maps and advice. The routes that are recommended vary from two and three hours walks to much longer hikes that require multiple days and overnight accommodation.
As a region, Asturias is very geared up towards outdoor pursuits and other activities like caving, mountain biking, quad riding and even abseiling can be enjoyed in the districts that cover the Picos de Europa.
If you plan to have a walking holiday in this part of Spain you have many options. There are a number of specialist companies who have experienced guides who take visitors on supervised walks around the Picos. These guides are experienced in the locality and they are ideal for novice walkers, or for any groups hiking outside of the summer season when the weather can be changeable (and potentially dangerous).
For those who want to explore independently there are plenty of good maps available (many are free at tourist points) and, provided that common sense is use, most of this area can be walked with safety.
Although many walkers like the challenge of ascending some of the peaks and the more taxing routes, and equal number enjoy some of the scenic walks that skirt around the base of the Picos de Europa. Many of these walks are not physically demanding, but they still manage to provide spectacular views and show off the flora and fauna that surrounds the mountains. This part of Spain has many large birds of prey and wolves and other predators still live and thrive in the wild.
Irrespective of the time of year that you visit Asturias you will require a mix of clothing. This part of Spain has very changeable weather and rain in the middle of July and August is very common. For this reason waterproof clothing and boots are essential and, if you intend to limb at altitude, the temperatures will also fall significantly.
If you plan a multi-day walk it is always advisable to reserve any accommodation in advance. If you plan to travel between the end of July and the beginning of September this is essential unless you intend to camp in the outdoors.