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10-Day Picos de Europa Road Trip Itinerary, Northern Spain

This Northern Spain road trip route circuits the Picos de Europa National Park, traveling through the regions of Asturias, Cantabria, and León (Castile and León).  

This is our exact day by day Picos de Europa itinerary with an integrated 2-day Refugio Jou de los Cabrones hut hike. We also provided an alternative itinerary if you opt out of the 2-day trek.

This Picos de Europa road trip showcases the most memorable areas of the park. It’s a well-balanced itinerary, which combines adventurous hiking trails and scenic roads with historic places and delicious food. 

We divided our time in Picos de Europa Mountains between three bases: Poncebos (3 nights), Potes (3 nights), and Cangas de Onís (2 nights). We ended the trip with a 1-night stay in Llanes.

When we started planning this Northern Spain itinerary, we were tempted to allocate more time to the coast. But, we’re so glad we didn’t. Picos de Europa National Park is so unbelievably stunning and it deserves time, as much as you’ll give it.

If you’re comfortable driving serpentine mountain roads, driving around Picos de Europa is manageable. It’s vital to drive cautiously, since there are often cattle on the road.

We recommend following this road trip in mid-late May, June, or September.

Tip | Download the Google Translate app on your phone and then download the Spanish dictionary. Unless you’re conversant, or fluent in Spanish, you’re going to need this. 

Picos de Europa, Fuente De, Cantabria, Spain
  • Day 1: Arrive in Northern Spain, Drive to Poncebos 
  • Day 2: Ruta del Cares Hike
  • Day 3: Sotres, Duje Valley, Tresviso 
  • Day 4: Bulnes to Refugio Jou de los Cabrones Hike (Stage 1)
  • Day 5: Refugio Jou de los Cabrones – Refugio de Urriellu – Bulnes Hike (Stage 2), Drive to Potes
  • Day 6: Potes and Valle de Camaleño
  • Day 7: Fuente Dé Cable Car, Puertos de Áliva Hike 
  • Day 8: Drive to Cangas de Onís, Sanctuary of Covadonga 
  • Day 9: Lakes of Covadonga 
  • Day 10: Asturian Beaches and Llanes

  • 3 Nights in Poncebos
  • 1 Night in Refugio Jou de los Cabrones
  • 3 Nights in Potes
  • 2 Nights in Cangas de Onís
  • Optional: 1 Night in Llanes

Picos de Europa Road Trip Route Map

DESTINATIONS

Ruta del Cares

Sotres / Tresviso

Picos Trek Stage 1

Picos Trek Stage 2

Potes

Camaleño Valley

Puertos de Áliva Hike

Drive to Cangas de Onís

Cangas de Onís / Covadonga

Llanes


How to Book This Northern Spain Itinerary


Accommodation

Book 3 Nights in Poncebos | Arcea Hotel Mirador de Cabrales (budget), Hostal Poncebos (budget), or Hotel Garganta del Cares (budget). More accommodation options in Arenas de Cabrales (Las Arenas):  Apartamentos El Caxigu (budget), Hotel Torrecerredo (budget), Logis Hotel Restaurante La Casa de Juansabeli  (top-rated budget), or Hotel Picos de Europa (budget-midrange).

Optional – Book 1 Night in Refugio Jou de los Cabrones | reservarerefugios.com

Book 3 Nights in Potes |  Villa Elena (midrange – top choice),  Casa Cayo (budget), Apartamentos Casa de la Abuela (midrange), Hosteria Sierra del Oso (budget-midrange). More accommodation options in Camaleño Valley: Apartamentos la Ventana de Mogrovejo (midrange), Posada San Pelayo (budget), or Posada Laura (luxury).

Book 2 Nights in Cangas de Onís | Hotel Ecos del Sella (midrange – top choice), Apartamentos Prestin (midrange), Hotel Mirador de la Cepada (luxury), or Hotel El Repelao (budget in Covadonga)

Optional – Book 1 Night in Llanes | Hotel Don Paco (midrange)


Rental Car

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.

Check car rental rates here


Picos de Europa Itinerary Alternative: Without 2-Day Trek

If you skip the 2-day Refugio Jou de los Cabrones trek, we recommend hiking to Refugio de Urriellu from the car park near Collado de Pandébano, near Sotres. Please ask local authorities about trailhead access.

Stay 4 nights in Poncebos, or Las Arenas.

  • Day 1: Arrive in Northern Spain, Drive to Poncebos 
  • Day 2: Ruta del Cares Hike
  • Day 3: Hike to Bulnes / Explore Sotres and Tresviso
  • Day 4: Collado Pandebano – Refugio de la Terenosa – Refugio de Urriellu hike (13 km out-and-back, 6:45 hours, 1056 meters elevation gain/loss)
  • Day 5: Drive to Potes
  • Day 6: Potes and Valle de Camaleño
  • Day 7: Fuente Dé Cable Car, Puertos de Áliva Hike 
  • Day 8: Drive to Cangas de Onís, Sanctuary of Covadonga 
  • Day 9: Lakes of Covadonga 
  • Day 10: Asturian Beaches and Llanes

Day 1: Arrive in Northern Spain, Drive to Poncebos 

Picos de Europa National Park, Northern Spain

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 Baque Country. 

After picking up your rental car, drive to Arenas de Cabrales (Las Arenas) in Asturias.

Kati and I flew from Vienna to the Santander Airport in Cantabria. On our way to Las Arenas, we detoured to Costa Quebrada, the stretch of coast between the Bay of Santander and Puerto Calderón.

We visited the striking Arnía Beach (Parking: Google Maps) and ate lunch in the nearby Restaurante Pausau.

Pick up any needed supplies (e.g. hiking snacks) in the town of Las Arenas, detour to the roadside viewpoint of Mirador del Naranjo de Bulnes, and then continue driving along the Cares River to your accommodation in Poncebos. 


Mirador del Naranjo de Bulnes / Mirador del Pozo de la Oración

Before heading to Poncebos, we recommend detouring to the Mirador del Naranjo de Bulnes, which is also called Mirador del Pozo de la Oración (“Prayer Well Viewpoint”). This viewpoint is located just off the AS-114 road, next to a car park. Exact Location: Google Maps.

This is possibly the most famous photo spot of the Picos de Europa Mountains. It captures the iconic Naranjo de Bulnes (aka Picu Urriellu) peak towering above the rolling Asturian countryside. Most photos create the impression that the mountains are a lot closer, when in reality, they are very far away.


Stay in Poncebos 

We recommend staying 3 nights in Poncebos in order to hike the Cares Route and visit the villages of Bulnes and Sotres. Accommodations in Potes are basic, but clean. We think it’s worth staying in Poncebos, because of the location. 

Where we stayed – Budget | Arcea Hotel Mirador de Cabrales is a hotel and restaurant that offers clean rooms with private bathrooms. Breakfast is included and consists of bread, tomato olive oil spread, jams, croissants, orange juice, and coffee. It’s simple, but the location is unbeatable. You can park in the hotel car park, or along the road, across the hotel. 

Budget | Hostal Poncebos is the unmissable orange building, located at the entrance of Poncebos, along the Cares River. This accommodation offers rooms with private and shared bathroom facilities. Breakfast is included. They also have a restaurant and free on-site parking. 

Budget | Hotel Garganta del Cares offers simple private rooms and on-site parking in Poncebos. This is the closest hotel to the Ruta del Cares trailhead. Breakfast is an additional charge. 

Look for accommodation in Poncebos.


Or, Stay in Arenas de Cabrales

If there’s no availability in Poncebos, stay in either Las Arenas, or Sotres.  

Budget-Midrange | Hotel Picos de Europa is a 3-star hotel in the heart of Las Arenas with spacious rooms, an outdoor swimming pool, bar, and free parking. Breakfast is à la carte.

Budget | Apartamentos El Caxigu offers clean and tidy 1-3 bedroom apartments in the center of Las Arenas. Parking is available on-site, but must be reserved in advance (8 EUR/day). 

Budget | Hotel Torrecerredo boasts stunning mountain views, lovely rooms, and an on-site restaurant. Breakfast and parking are included in the room rate. The hotel is walking distance to the town center (7 minutes). 

Top-rated – Budget Logis Hotel Restaurante La Casa de Juansabeli is a stone country house and restaurant surrounded by lovely grounds and a flowing stream. The hotel is 1.5 km from the center of Las Arenas (3 minute drive). Parking is free. Breakfast is an extra charge.

Look for accommodation in Arenas de Cabrales


Day 2: Ruta del Cares 

Cares Gorge, Picos de Europa National Park, Northern Spain

The Ruta del Cares (aka Senda del Cares) trail runs through the impressively deep Cares River Gorge, which divides the Western Massif (Cornión) from the Central Massif (Urrieles) of Picos de Europa. 

It’s the most well-known hike in Picos de Europa National Park. Many say that it’s the most beautiful hiking trail in Spain

This 22 km out-and-back hike starts directly in Poncebos and leads all the way to Caín in León (Castilla y León).

It’s a full-day undertaking. Pack plenty of water and get an early start.

Read our Ruta del Cares trail guide for a detailed trail description and tips. 


Stay a Second Night in Poncebos, or Las Arenas 

Poncebos Accommodations | Arcea Hotel Mirador de Cabrales (budget), Hostal Poncebos (budget), or Hotel Garganta del Cares.

Las Arenas Accommodations | Apartamentos El Caxigu (budget), Hotel Torrecerredo (budget), Logis Hotel Restaurante La Casa de Juansabeli  (top-rated budget), or Hotel Picos de Europa (budget-midrange).


Day 3: Sotres 

Invernales del Texu, Sotres, Picos de Europa Road Trip, Spain

On day 3 of your Picos de Europa trip, we recommend exploring the villages of Tielve, Sotres, and Tresviso, and eating local cheeses. 

Today is a flexible day. You can be as active as you want to be. Or, if you need to rest, in preparation for tomorrow’s hike to Refugio Jou de los Cabrones, you certainly can. 

Kati and I decided to have an active morning and a lazy afternoon. We drove the stunning CA-1 road from Poncebos to Sotres, where we started the hike to Las Vegas del Toro (2 hours out-and-back). 

It’s possible to extend this hike through the Duje Valley all the way to Refugio de Áliva and El Cable (Fuente Dé cable car mountain station) in Cantabria. 

Another popular trail is the circular PR-PNPE-20 Monte Camba route, which links Sotres and Tielve together. 

After the short hike, we ate lunch in Sotres (1050 meters), the highest village in Picos de Europa National Park. This Asturian village is famous for producing Cabrales cheese.

This blue cheese is made with cow’s, goat’s, and sheep’s milk. It’s aged in the humid limestone caves of Picos de Europa for 2-5 months. We sampled this spicy Cabrales blue cheese in Peña Castil along with other regional cheeses. 

After lunch, we continued driving along the CA-1 road to the village of Tresviso in Cantabria. Tresviso produces the regionally famous picón de Tresviso, which is also a blue cheese cured in the caves of Picos de Europa.  


Stay a Third Night in Poncebos, or Las Arenas 

Poncebos Accommodations | Arcea Hotel Mirador de Cabrales (budget), Hostal Poncebos (budget), or Hotel Garganta del Cares.

Las Arenas Accommodations | Apartamentos El Caxigu (budget), Hotel Torrecerredo (budget), Logis Hotel Restaurante La Casa de Juansabeli  (top-rated budget), or Hotel Picos de Europa (budget-midrange).


Day 4: Stage 1 of 2-Day Refugio Jou de los Cabrones Hike

Refugio Jou de Los Cabrones, Picos de Europa itinerary, Spain

On day 4, we hiked from Bulnes to Refugio Jou de los Cabrones (2034 meters), the highest mountain hut in Picos de Europa.

Bulnes is a small, picturesque mountain village in Asturias. From Poncebos, you can access Bulnes by foot (1:15 hours one-way), or by underground funicular. 

This is a difficult, high-alpine hike, which requires stamina and good trail intuition. The trail is marked, but it’s not always obvious, especially if there’s thick fog. 

This 2-day hike is an incredible introduction to the high mountain areas of Picos de Europa National Park. During the ascent, I remember thinking: “Ohhhh this is why we love hiking!”

If you’re an experienced hiker, who is willing to sacrifice some comfort (hut dormitory), we highly recommend tackling this 2-day route and staying a single night in the Jou de los Cabrones refuge.

Read our 2-Day Refugio Jou de los Cabrones hiking guide for details on how to make a hut reservation, what to expect, and a complete trail description. 


Day 5: Stage 2 of 2-Day Refugio Jou de los Cabrones Hike

Picos de Europa trek, Northern Spain itinerary

On day 5, we hiked back down to Bulnes via Refugio de Urriellu, which is located at the base of Naranjo de Bulnes (Picu Urriellu). That’s the mountain you saw on day 1 at the Mirador del Naranjo de Bulnes (aka Mirador del Pozo de la Oración) roadside viewpoint near Las Arenas. 

From this refuge, we followed the gorgeous path to Refugio de la Terenosa and then looped back to Bulnes. We returned to Poncebos with the funicular and then continued our road trip to Potes in Cantabria. 


Drive to Potes 

Our Picos de Europa road trip continues to the riverside town of Potes in Cantabria. This drive takes 1:15 hours. 

First, drive east along the AS-114 road to Panes and then travel south along the N-621 road to Potes. 

The N-621 road meanders between the towering limestone walls of the Hermida Gorge (Desfiladero de La Hermida in Spanish). This 22-km-long gorge follows the Deva River in the Eastern Massif (Ándara) of Picos de Europa. It’s the longest gorge in Spain. 

Learn More: What to See and Do in Potes


Dinner in Potes

Potes has a plethora of dining options, which is one of the reasons this is a great place to stay.

For something quick and casual, eat dinner at Anybun? (Google Maps). Try to grab a seat on their balcony, which overlooks the river. Everything is excellent here. 

For something more refined, eat dinner at La Soldrería, located along Calle El Sol (Google Maps). At some point during your stay in Potes, you absolutely must eat here. Their Cantabrian-fusion cuisine is both delicious and creative. 


Stay in Potes

Potes is a charming medieval town, characterized by cobbled streets, stone bridges, and historic buildings.

It’s the beating heart of rural Liébana, where cows and herdsmen roam the streets, Spanish mastiffs guard flocks of sheep, and pilgrims trek the El Camino Lebaniego. 

We recommend staying 3 nights (or more) in Potes, or anywhere in Valle de Camaleño, the valley which runs from Fuente Dé to Potes. 

Most accommodations in the town center of Potes do not offer on-site parking. If you’re traveling to Potes during the week, you shouldn’t have any problems finding parking. If you’re visiting Potes during the weekend (or during peak seasons), parking will be more difficult. If you’re concerned about parking, stay at Villa Elena

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. 

Look for accommodation in Potes.


Or, Stay in Camaleño Valley

Camaleño Valley is essentially the upper Deva River valley, stretching between Fuente Dé and Potes. 

This verdant river valley is wedged between the Picos de Europa Mountains and the Cantabrian Mountains. There are many rural guesthouses, apartments, and hotels in the valley. All of these accommodations are a short 5-20 minute drive away from Potes.

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. 

Look for accommodation in Espinama.


Day 6: Explore Potes and Camaleño Valley

Potes, Cantabria, Northern Spain

There is a lot to see and do around Potes, which we’ve summarized in Best Things to Do in Potes. 

For a gentle adventure, we suggest walking from Brez to Canal de las Arredondas

You may want to visit the Santo Toribio de Liébana Monastery, which harbors the largest preserved piece of the True Cross, the cross upon which Jesus Christ was crucified.

If you want to learn more about Picos de Europa National Park, swing by the Sotama Visitor Center in Tama. 


Stay a Second Night in Potes, or Camaleño Valley

Poncebos Accommdodations | Villa Elena (midrange with parking), Casa Cayo (budget), Apartamentos Casa de la Abuela (midrange), Hosteria Sierra del Oso (budget-midrange), or Apartamento El Nial de Potes (budget).

Look for accommodation in Potes.

Camaleño Valley Accommodations | Apartamentos la Ventana de Mogrovejo (midrange), Posada San Pelayo (budget), or Posada Laura (luxury).


Day 7: Fuente Dé

Puertos de Áliva hiking trail, Picos de Europa trip, Northern Spain

Fuente Dé is located at the end of the Camaleño Valley road in Picos de Europa National Park. 

Along with the popular Teleférico Fuente Dé cable car, there are two hotels here: Hotel Rebeco and Parador de Fuente Dé

On day 7 of your Picos de Europa itinerary, we recommend riding the Fuente Dé cable car to the central massif of Picos de Europa. 

From the mountain station (aka El Cable), you can hike to the Puertos de Áliva meadows, or to the summit of Horcados Rojos.


Eat Lunch in Espinama 

Espinama is a village that straddles the Nevandi River in Camaleño Valley. It’s located on the main road near Fuente Dé (5-minute drive). 

After hiking around Fuente Dé, we recommend stopping in Espinama for lunch. 

We ate a mouthwatering meal at Vicente Campo Restaurante (Google Maps), starting with the cheese platter featuring Picón Bejes-Tresviso (blue cheese), Quesucos de Liébana, and other local cheeses. 


Stay a Third Night in Potes, or Camaleño Valley

Poncebos Accommdodations | Villa Elena (midrange with parking), Casa Cayo (budget), Apartamentos Casa de la Abuela (midrange), Hosteria Sierra del Oso (budget-midrange), or Apartamento El Nial de Potes (budget).

Camaleño Valley Accommodations | Apartamentos la Ventana de Mogrovejo (midrange), Posada San Pelayo (budget), or Posada Laura (luxury).


Day 8: Drive to Cangas de Onís 

Desfiladero de los Beyos gorge road, Picos de Europa Road Trip, Northern Spain

The road trip continues along the “Picos de Europa Ring Road” to Valdeón Valley and onwards to Cangas de Onís. 

Make sure to fill up your tank in Potes before setting off, because there are no gas stations along this drive (at least we didn’t see any). 

With stops, this 118 km drive took us 4:45 hours. Without stops, it should only take 2:35 hours. 

You’ll drive south along N-621 to Portilla de la Reina. Turn right and continue northwest on LE-2703 to the town of Posada de Valdeón in Valdeón Valley. Follow LE-2711 southwest in the direction of Soto de Valdeón. Continue on N-625 to Puerto del Ponton and north through the Desfiladero de los Beyos gorge along the Sella River. 

The beginning of the drive isn’t terribly interesting, because you lose sight of the Picos de Europa Mountains. But, the drive down to Valdeón Valley is gorgeous as is the stretch through the Desfiladero de los Beyos gorge


Picos de Europa Ring Road Viewpoints

Here are the main viewpoints along the Picos de Europa Ring Road, between Potes and Cangas de Onís.

Mirador del Corzo (Google Maps) is a viewpoint along N-621, marked with a chamois statue. 

Monument to Oso Pardo (Google Maps) is a stone sculpture of a brown bear at Collado de Llesba. From the Puerto de San Glorio pass, turn right and follow the Collado de Llesba access road to a small car park. The statue is a few meters away. Note: When you drive over Puerto de San Glorio pass, you’ll enter León. 

C. Calvo Sotelo Photo Spot (Google Maps) isn’t an official viewpoint. After re-entering Picos de Europa National Park and driving over the Puerto de Pandetrave pass, the LE-2703 road twists down to Valdeón. About halfway between Santa Maria de Valdeón and Posada de Valdeón, there’s a great photo opportunity of the Western Massif. Park on the side of the road and walk to the parallel road, C. Calvo Sotelo. You can follow this road (used by cyclists) for as long as you want. 

Mirador De Valdeón (Google Maps) is an observation deck overlooking Valdeón along LE-2711. 

Puerto de Panderrueda (Google Maps) is located along LE-2711. Next to the car park at the pass, there’s a large meadow studded with picnic tables. Follow the trail across the meadow to Mirador de Piedrashitas (Google Maps). It takes 10 minutes to walk up to this viewpoint. 

Puerto del Poton Viewpoint (Google Maps)

Mirador de Oseja de Sajambre (Google Maps) overlooks a canyon. From the car park along N-625, you have to walk down a few minutes to reach this observation deck. 

Desfiladero de los Beyos – The N625 road leads north to Asturias. It follows the contours of the spectacular Beyos Gorge, formed by the Sella River. This lush narrow gorge is bursting with thick vegetation. IT’S INCREDIBLE!! Roll down your windows to hear the birdsong. Unfortunately, there are very few opportunities to stop along this road. 


Eat Lunch in Cangas de Onís

Park in the large P1 Cangas Centro car park (Google Maps) and walk 5 minutes to the town center.

Eat lunch in town. We ate the daily lunch menu at La Madreñeria (Google Maps) and then walked over the Roman Bridge, built in the late Middle Ages. 

The town didn’t really captivate us (we liked Potes a lot more). But, it’s a necessary base for exploring Covadonga and the northwestern area of Picos de EUropa National Park. 

At some point during your stay, definitely drink traditional Asturian sidra (cider) in a sideria (cider house). 


Visit the Covadonga Sanctuary 

The sacred and legendary Sanctuary of Covadonga is located in Picos de Europa National Park between the town of Cangas de Onis and the Lakes of Covadonga. 

Covadonga is a very important historical and religious site in Asturias. It’s where the first battle of the Spanish Reconquest (Reconquista) took place in 718. 

We summarized the history and legends surrounding this important place in our guide to Covadonga Sanctuary

During your visit, walk up the stairs to the Holy Cave (Santa Cueva), which houses the sacred doll-sized statue of Our Lady of Covadonga (La Santina, the Little Saint). Continue walking through the cave tunnel and then to the pink Basilica of Our Lady of Covadonga. This eye-catching Neo-Romanesque Church was built between 1877 and 1902.


Stay in Cangas de Onís

Where we stayed – Midrange | Hotel Ecos del Sella stands out with its modern, millennial-friendly decor, air-conditioned rooms, and relaxing communal spaces. We loved staying here. The breakfast was phenomenal. The design and concept were refreshing. And, there’s plentiful parking. The only downside is that it’s not within walking distance to Cangas de Onís (3 minute drive to the main car park). 

Midrange | Apartamentos Prestin offers spotless 1-2 bedroom air-conditioned apartments with on-site parking. It’s a 7-minute walk to the town center of Cangas de Onís.  

Luxury | Hotel Mirador de la Cepada (3 nights minimum stay in high season) is a 4-star hotel that stands on a hill overlooking the Sella River Valley and Cangas de Onís. Rooms are beautifully-furnished, spacious, air-conditioned, and equipped with tea and coffee makers. Free parking is available on site. Definitely book the breakfast. The restaurant and bar are open seasonally. 

Look for accommodation in Cangas de Onís.


Or, Stay in Covadonga

Budget | Casa Rural Priena is a comfortable B&B with a garden, bar, and free parking. 

Budget | Hotel El Repelao is a hotel and restaurant in Covadonga, 1.5 km from the Sanctuary. Rooms are clean and decorated in a country-house-style. We ate lunch in their restaurant and it was wonderful. Breakfast is included. 

Midrange | Hotel La Casona de Llerices (3 nights minimum stay in high season) is located in Llerices, close to Covadonga. This is a lovely hotel with 11 comfortable and lovingly-furnished rooms. Breakfast is available. Parking is free.

Look for accommodation in Covadonga


Day 9: Lakes of Covadonga

Drive up to Covadonga Lakes, Picos de Europa, Spain

The Lakes of Covadonga (Lagos de Covadonga in Spanish) are two glacial lakes in the Western Massif of Picos de Europa National Park. 

Lago Enol and Lago Ercina are encircled by mountains and meadows, grazed in summer. It’s a beautiful area, if you visit early in the morning. 

This is one of the most popular attractions in Picos de Europa, so private traffic is regulated during peak seasons in order to preserve the environment.

Read How to Visit Lakes of Covadonga for more information. 

After hiking around the lakes, you can eat lunch at Lake Ercina at Bar Restaurante Maria Rosa.

Kati and I drove back down to Covadonga and ate a delicious meal at El Repelao, a hotel and restaurant. 


Stay a Second Night in Cangas de Onís, or Covadonga

Cangas de Onís Accommodations | Hotel Ecos del Sella  (midrange), | Apartamentos Prestin (midrange), or Hotel Mirador de la Cepada (luxury).

Covadonga Accommodations | Casa Rural Priena (budget), Hotel El Repelao (budget), or Hotel La Casona de Llerices (midrange).


Day 10: Llanes and the Asturian Coast 

Llanes, Asturias, Northern Spain

Day 10 is the last day of this Northern Spain road trip itinerary. If you have some extra time, you can visit a few beaches, or towns along the Asturian coast. 

What we did…

After a leisurely breakfast at Hotel Ecos del Sella, we drove to the coastal town of Llanes. Along the way, we stopped at Playa de Cuevas del Mar, Playa de Barro, Playa de las Cámaras, and Playa de Poo. 

We wanted to end this Northern Spain trip on a leisurely note, so we stayed one night in Llanes at Hotel Don Paco, a lovely hotel housed in a 17th century convent. Private parking is included. The car park is located a block away from the hotel.

For lunch, we ate traditional Asturian food and drank sidra at Bar Sideria La Amistad. Their Fabada asturiana was wonderful. For dinner, we ate goat cheese salads at Tapas & Arte (Google Maps). 

We really wanted to eat at El chibiski del chilito (open Thurs – Sun), but it was closed during our visit. 

Look for accommodation in Llanes.



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.


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.

During our road trip, we hiked the Ruta del Cares trail, the El Cable to Fuente Dé trail, Brez to Canal de las Arredondas circuit trail, and the Covadonga Lakes to Vega de Ario trail.

We also hiked this riveting 2-day Refugio Jou de los Cabrones trek.


Picos de Europa Packing List

Hiking Gear

Outdoor Photography Gear


Picos de Europa Road Trip Itinerary, Northern Spain

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Moon & Honey Travel is an independent blog created by two passionate hikers. We are able to provide free content to you, because of ads and affiliate links. When you make a purchase using one of these links, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Happy travels and happy trails, Sabrina and Kati

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