8 days/7 nights
Objective - to hold a high line and traverse the skyline of the Liébana valley in an incredible eight-day odyssey journeying through three Spanish autonomous communities: Cantabria, Castile-Leon and Asturias. You will stay in high mountain villages in comfortable accommodation, enjoy local cuisine and carry just day sacks. Each day your luggage is transported ahead by our back-up transport.
The route follows well-worn tracks and paths that take us through grazed meadows, mountain passes, summits and deciduous woods of beech and oak.
Experience stunning views, incredible flora and fauna and admire the local architecture.
Outline with approximate ascents, descents and distances -
Possibility of a transfer to Cahecho.
Day 1 - Cahecho to Venta Pepín - 700m asc 200 desc , 20 km
Day 2 - Venta Pepín to Caloca. 500m asc 700m desc. 15km
Day 3 - Caloca to Dobres. 700m asc 700 dec 14km. obl.
Day 4 - Dobres to Llánaves de la Reina. 1000m asc 600 desc 20km. Obl.
Day 5 - Llánaves de la Reina to Espinama 500m asc 1,100 desc 22 km.obl
Day 6 - Espinama to Sotres 500m asc 1100 desc 15km
Day 7 - Sotres to Urdón in La Hermida gorge 300m asc. 1200m Desc. 20km
Transfer from La Hermida if needed.
(N.B. Nearly all the routes have various options available on them that would, in most cases, increase the volume of ascent/descent and kilometres).
An hour and a half’s drive from Santander sits the village of Cahecho, perched high above the Liébana valley. From here you have fantastic views of 90% of the trip. Stay in a small, country hotel or a self-catering apartment.
Day 1 - A steady climb through oak-wooded glades brings you to a balcony traverse, offering splendid panoramas of the Cantabrian mountains to your right whilst on our left are the heathered flanks of Peña Sagra. Pass the Hermita de la Luz, one of Liebana’s many important cultural sites, and also the start and finish of one of the world’s longest religious processions, and make your way to the high mountain inn of Venta Pepín just below the Piedraslenguas mountain pass.
Day 2 - A day with a difference, you start the day with a descent! Through ancient beech forest to the headwaters of the Burlón river. A steady climb, a change of rock and an exciting gap brings you briefly out onto the Pisuerga river watershed. Cruise the ridge of vistrio before a gentle descent to the village of Caloca (well-known in the area for being home to the odd bear or two) and your village hotel for the night.
Day 3 - Summit the noble peak of Peña Bistruey from where, if it's a clear day, you'll have views of the Cantabrian sea. Descend to the village of Dobres to another comfortable country hotel with great views.
Day 4 - The biggest day. Following the delightful valley of the Rio Frío (cold river) you emerge onto the high alpine pastures beneath the glorious north face of Peña Prieta, the queen of the Cantabrian mountain chain and its highest peak. An optional 200m climb can take you to the dominant ridge of Sestil de Robadorio before descending over Portilo de las Yeguas. Spend the night in the highest village in the area, Llánaves de la Reina.
Day 5 - In the morning ascend the impressive peak of Coriscao and enter the Picos de Europa National Park Walking down through the magnificent beech forest of the higher Camaleño valley listen out for the belching barks of rutting Red deer stags, if making the route in autumn, before spending the night in the village of Espinama.
Day 6 - After a short early morning amble through the meadows surrounding Pido, you can cheat and take the famous Fuente De cable car which whisks you up to 1800m in the central massif. From this breathtaking cirque make your way to Sotres by way of Aliva’s high alpine pastures and the fantastic upper Duje valley.
Day 7 - Heading north-east from Sotres you leave Asturias before stopping for lunch in cheese-making Tresviso, the smallest comarca (municipality) in Spain and back into Cantabria. In the afternoon descend the winding postman’s path to Urdón in the Hermida gorge where you can be met to be transferred to your chosen destination.
The price of 575€ pp. (based on a min. of 2 people sharing rooms) includes:
- Transfers from Santander, or anywhere in between, to Cahecho and return from Urdón
- 7 nights room only (en-suite) accommodation in village inns and hotels
- Detailed trip notes and maps
- Daily bag transfers
- Telephone support
A good level of fitness and map-reading ability is required for this route.
Single supplements may apply.
If you prefer, this trip can also be guided from as little as 12.50€ per person, depending on group size.