This is a simple, straightforward hike that’s also suitable for children. It packs in a lot of epic views of the south face of Picos de Europa’s Eastern Massif in a short period of time.
The trail name is a bit misleading, because PR-27 leads to Prao La Mayor, the start of Canal de las Arredondas. It does not ascend the Arredondas Canal.
The hike starts in Brez, a mountain village in Valle de Camamleño in Cantabria. Brez is a 15-minute drive away from Potes, the most significant town in the region.
Brez to Canal de las Arredondas Circuit Trail: Easy Hike in Picos de Europa National Park, Cantabria
- Trailhead: Brez Village, Cantabria | Google Maps
- Distance: 5.4 km circuit
- Time Needed: 2 hours
- Elevation Gain/Loss: 250 meters
- Difficulty: Easy
- Minimum Elevation: 740 meters
- Maximum Elevation: 948 meters
- Where to Stay in Camaleño Valley: Posada San Pelayo (budget), Apartamentos la Ventana de Mogrovejo (midrange), and Posada Laura (luxury)
- Where to Stay in Potes: Casa Cayo (budget), Apartamentos Casa de la Abuela (midrange), or Villa Elena (midrange with parking)
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Brez to Canal de las Arredondas Hiking Map
There’s some parking available at the entrance of the village. Don’t try to drive through the village. There is no other place to park.
To locate the trailhead, walk along the main road through the village in the direction of the Iglesia de San Cipriano church.
The trailhead is marked with a green trail sign: Circuito Brez-Arredondads (2:30 hrs) / Canal de las Arredondas (1:45 hours).
When we hiked this trail in early June, there were two Spanish mastiffs sleeping on the road in the village. They ignored us as we walked swiftly to the trailhead without lingering.
Brez to Canal de las Arredondas (PR-PNPE-27) Trail Description
Brez to Canal de las Arredondas Junction / Prao La Mayor (1 hour)
At the PR-PNPE-27 trailhead, bear right. We recommend hiking this trail counter-clockwise, as it’s easier.
The trail is marked with white-yellow timber posts.
The level, cemented path follows a fence, between plots of farmland. You can see the Cantabrian mountains opposite the Camamleño Valley.
Historically, this old road was used to transport zinc ore, extracted from the mines in the mountains.
After crossing a cattle grid, you’ll soon see a sheepfold (sheep pen) on your left.
Views open up to the stunning Eastern Massif of Picos de Europa.
The wide gravel trail continues through pockets of leafy forest of oak and beech. Luckily, you’ll still see the mountains throughout.
The trail rises to the base of Canal de las Arredondas, where there is a signed junction.
Before continuing the circuit, you may want to follow the grassy trail in the direction of Alto de la Canal de las Arredondas (3 hours) for a few minutes. The views are just too good.
Note: this circular route does not lead up Canal de las Arredondas.
Canal de las Arredondas Junction / Prao La Mayor to Brez (1 hour)
Back on the main trail, follow the sign to Invernales de Rojes / Brez (1 hour).
The views continue to mesmerize, though they’re mostly behind you. At this point, Kati and I were convinced that it would have been better to hike this trail in the opposite direction (clockwise). However, the end of the route persuaded us otherwise.
This trail follows the Picos de Europa National Park boundary.
You’ll pass a fenced-off livestock area with a laminated sign indicating rules of conduct around Spanish mastiffs. The sign is in Spanish only, so we Google translated it below.
Spanish mastiff dogs protect livestock from wolves in Cantabria and other regions of Spain. These guard dogs are essential for safeguarding free-ranging cattle and sheep in alpine grazing environments during the summer season.
They are not aggressive to humans, unless provoked.
Y Si Nos Topamos Con Un Mastín?
- Mantén la calma y no los asustes: Keep calm and don’t scare them
- Aléjate suficientemente del rebaño: Get far enough away from the herd
- Si vas en bici, bájate: If you go by bike, get off
- Si llevas mascota, átala: leash your dog
- No le des comida: do not give the mastiff food.
During our hike, we did not see any working dogs. Perhaps, it was too early in the season.
The path eventually descends a rocky track to a signed junction. Turn left to Brez.
Soon, you’ll descend an extraordinarily steep cement road. This is the main reason why it’s easier to hike the trail counter-clockwise (so you don’t have to hike up this road).
Pass the cemetery and church to complete the circuit.
Where to Stay near Brez
Camaleño Valley is sprinkled with guesthouses, apartments, and a few hotels.
Espinama is the largest village in the valley, and naturally has the highest concentration of restaurants and accommodations.
Here are the best-rated accommodations in Camaleño Valley, ordered west to east.
Budget | Albergue Turístico Briz is a clean hostel in Espinama with dormitory rooms, a communal kitchen, and a garden.
Midrange | Apartamentos Remoña 1 offers simple 2-bedroom apartments in Espinama.
Budget | Rio Cubo Apartments are lovingly-furnished apartments in quiet Cosgaya with nearby free parking. The apartments are well-equipped and cozy. Like most places, sound proofing could be better.
Top-choice – Midrange | Apartamentos la Ventana de Mogrovejo boasts stylish and spacious 2-bedroom apartments in the pretty village of Mogrovejo. Stay here for the mountain views, unique location, garden access, and free private parking.
Top-Choice Budget | Posada San Pelayo is a rustic and charming country house with double rooms and a swimming pool in the village of San Pelayo. Guests love the relaxing setting, mountain views, garden, and hosts. Breakfast is available.
Budget | La Casona De Baró is an inviting guesthouse housed in an 18th-century country house in Baró. Breakfast is available.
Luxury | Posada Laura is a rural hotel with spacious rooms, situated in the quiet village of Turieno, a mere 5-minute drive to Potes. Breakfast is available.
For a more lively base (albeit more difficult parking in high season), we recommend staying in the medieval town of Potes. Read our Potes travel guide to find out what to see and do around this Cantabrian town.
Top Choice – Midrange | Villa Elena is an intimate B&B, located outside of the town center, but still within walking distance (7 minutes). Stay here for the quiet location, private parking, relaxing garden, and home-cooked breakfast.
Budget | Casa Cayo is a friendly hotel and restaurant set in the center of Potes. A hearty breakfast is included. No on-site parking.
Top-rated – Midrange | Apartamentos Casa de la Abuela (3 nights minimum stay) offers lovely 1-2 bedroom apartments with well-equipped kitchens in a central, but quiet location in Potes. No on-site parking.
Budget-Midrange | Hosteria Sierra del Oso offers clean and tasteful studio apartments in Potes. For the most comfort, book the air-conditioned penthouse apartment. No on-site parking.
Budget | Apartamento El Nial de Potes (2 nights minimum stay) offers 1-2 bedroom apartments with well-equipped kitchens and washing machines. Guests love the location and river views. Beds could be better. No on-site parking.
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Picos de Europa Trip Planning Essentials
Picos de Europa National Park stretches across three regions in Northern Spain: Asturias, Cantabria, and León (Castile and León).
It comprises the majestic Picos de Europa Mountains, a limestone mountain range composed of three massifs.
How to Get to Picos de Europa
The closest airports to Picos de Europa are Santander Airport in Cantabria, the Asturias Airport (aka Oviedo-Ranón, OVD) in Asturias, and the Bilbao Airport in Basque Country.
We recommend renting a car from the airport and driving directly to Picos de Europa National Park. Follow our 10-day Picos de Europa road trip itinerary for inspiration.
Use the intuitive Discovercars.com car rental reservation platform to search for and book car rentals. This easy-to-use booking platform compares car rental deals from 500+ trusted providers, so that you can choose the best option for your trip.
Where to Stay in Picos de Europa
We recommend dividing your time between Northern Picos de Europa and Eastern Picos de Europa. If you have more time, extend your visit to Southern Picos de Europa and Northwestern Picos de Europa.
Northern Picos de Europa: Poncebos, Arenas de Cabrales (Las Arenas), Sotres, or Tielve in Asturias
Eastern Picos de Europa: Potes, or Camaleño Valley in Cantabria
Southern Picos de Europa: Valdeón Valley, or Caín in León
Northwestern Picos de Europa: Cangas de Onís, Soto de Cangas, Llerices, or Covadonga in Asturias
Find out where to base yourself in the national park in Where to Stay in Picos de Europa.
Hiking in the Picos de Europa National Park
Hiking in Picos de Europa National Park is an extraordinary experience filled with magical landscapes of lush forests, craggy mountains, and deep gorges.
We also hiked this riveting 2-day Refugio Jou de los Cabrones trek.
Picos de Europa Packing List
- Day Pack: Osprey Tempest 30 Women’s Backpack / Osprey Talon 33 Men’s Backpack
- Grade B/C high-cut hiking boots: Meindl Schuhe Island Lady (Kati’s Boots), Women’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX (Sabrina’s Boots), Men’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX (men’s equivalent)
- CAT 4 Sunglasses: Julbo Shield Mountain Sunglasses
- Hiking Poles: Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles
- Reusable Water Bottle: Ion Leakproof 32 oz Water Bottle