Our treks

general overview

Our scheduled treks are six-day linear traverses of the Picos de Europa national park, plus two half-days for the trips to/from the national park. In it you are expected to walk for between six and seven hours everyday during six consecutive days, though it can be softened by skipping any day's walk and taking a taxi instead (see 'Level of walking). We arrive at a different village at the end of each day's walk, and so sleeping in a different country hotel every night. This way you can sample a variety of places and rural customs, and at the end of your last stage you will have a rewarding sense of achievement having traversed all three massifs of the national Park from one end to the other.

This type of holiday you will have to transport your personal belongings in your backpack (overnight gear, some spare clothing, etc) some days, though maximum number of days without access to your extra baggage will be two, as a vehicle containing the extra baggage will meet us at intervals.

Length of trips will be one week; however, longer or shorter ones can be arranged upon request by groups of more than four people demanding a tailor-made one, subject to availability of dates.

There is always an informal and friendly atmosphere on our treks, and the small group size (maximum group size on scheduled treks is eight) permits flexibility regarding various aspects of the trek according to the wishes of the group members as a whole.

All guides and talks will be conducted in english. For those non english-speaking clients, Rafael will make every effort to make himself understood. Furthermore, every person will be provided with maps, route details and local information.

itinerary

E-mail us and we will gladly send you a detailed account of the itinerary (daily distances, heights gained and lost, etc). However, the outline itinerary must be taken only as an indication, considering the kind of treks we offer. While starting and destination points will have been set in advance every walking day, usually there are at least two (sometimes even more) alternative routes to arrive at our destination. Which one to follow will be decided by Rafael every morning in the interest of the group based on circumstances such as weather conditions, group progress or other unforeseeable events. Our traverse includes most of the highlights of the park such as the Cares gorge, the route up to the remote village of Bulnes, and the cable-car ride at Fuente De, as well as staying overnight at some of the most remote and isolated villages of the national park.

dates/prices 2017

SEPTEMBER: 2->9  

Price (VAT included): 780 EUR.

10% supplement if you opt for single accommodation.

Price includes: Seven nights on a dinner-bed-breakfast basis in double rooms with private facilities, all meals (wine included), local transport when needed, transfer from/to Bilbao or Santander airport, daily guided walks with frequent informal tutorials on different aspects of the Park, maps, route details and local information, packed lunch every walking day, Fuente De cable-car tickets. Last meal included is breakfast on the last day of the trek.

Prices will not be inclusive of personal travel insurance. We strongly recommend that you take out holiday insurance.

Other dates are available for tailor-made treks, on request by parties of five people and up.

Hostel accommodation is also available on some of the nights of every trek (sleeping-bag or sheet required), thus allowing for a discount in the price. Ask details.

level of walking

At Walk Picos we are fully aware that in any group of walkers you can find individuals of different age, endurance, physical strength, expectations, etc. In order to consider a wide range of such factors, we have planned our daily routes with great care in a way that most of the routes can be softened by missing parts of them, thus allowing every walker to adopt the route to his own physical condition. In fact the itinerary is designed in such a way that every single walking-day can be skipped taking a taxi instead by walkers in need of some rest, and the sixth (and last) walking day has the lower station of the telepherique of Fuente De as starting and destination point, so that anyone tired or just willing to take the last day off, can opt for ambling around this beautiful area instead, thus skipping the last day's walk.

As a general indication, we can say that difference between highest/lowest point each day never will be greater than 1000 m and highest point ever reached will be 2300 m (on the day we start walking at Fuente De cable car's top platform at 1800 m). Moreover, it must be pointed out that a couple of days we will be descending for most of the day. Included in the 'extra' activities, on the last day of the trek you will have the chance to join for a quick attempt on a 2506 m/8222 ft peak if you feel like summiting. Walks are designed to be within the capability of people of all ages, reasonably fit and with sound health.

A normal day will see you starting to walk at around 9 a.m. and arriving at your destination at 5 p.m. or 6 p.m., including one hour for lunch at noon and frequent stops for informal speeches. That amounts to a total of six to seven hours walking every day.

accommodation

Accommodation will be country house and hotel based, in double rooms usually with private facilities. We will be offering simple but clean accommodation in small family-run hotels, run by friendly locals, in chosen villages so that you can taste the magic of Picos de Europa.

Hostel accommodation is also available on some of the nights of every trek (sleeping-bag or sheet required), allowing for a discount in the price. Ask details.

how to book&pay

Contact us by e-mail, fax, phone, or letter, and let us know: your name, age, postal address and telephone number, start date of your walking holiday, whether you are coming alone or as part of a group (with ages), and any additional information or requirement you may have.

At the time you make the booking, a deposit of 40% of the total price is payable either by cheque or transfer to our:

  • Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) account in Spain (for payments in euros).
  • Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA) account in the City of London (for payments in pounds).

or by credit card using PayPal, one of the most extended online payment platforms on the web.

Contact us for our bank account details. The outstanding balance of the price (60%) can be paid same way as deposit either by Paypal, or bank transfer/cheque sent to our bank any day prior to the starting date, or directly to Rafael by cash any day during your walking holiday (only in euros). That is your choice. That is the way we will be providing financial protection to our clients. Please note that if you opt to transfer us your balance before your starting date, we will always refund it to you in case you cancel your holiday even as late as the day of your departure, whereas your deposit will be subject to cancellation charges as stated on our "Terms and Booking conditions" section below.

For any payment (deposit or balance) to our bank acount in London we will apply the daily EUR/GBP rate effective at the day of payment.

how to get here

The international airport of Bilbao, located just 7 kms. from the city centre, is the leading airport in the north coast of Spain and is served by several European airlines, thus enabling easy travel to Bilbao from the main cities in Europe either by direct flights or connections with other continental and transcontinental spanish airports such as Madrid and Barcelona.

Direct flights to Bilbao from: Stansted, Bristol, Edinburgh and Manchester (EasyJet), Heathrow (British Airways), Gatwick (Vueling), Dublin (Aer Lingus), Brussels (Brussels airlines), Dusseldorf Frankfurt and Stuttgart (Lufthansa), Amsterdam (Vueling), Paris (Air France and Vueling), Zurich (Crossair and Helvetic), Milan (Azzurra, Alitalia), Lisboa, Oporto, ... Air Berlin connects daily Bilbao with several destinations in Germany-Switzerland-Austria via Mallorca.

Direct flights to Santander with Ryanair from: Stansted, Dublin, Edinburgh, Brussels, Francfort, etc.

Daily domestic flights with Ryanair, Iberia, Vueling, Air Europa, Air Berlin, etc connecting Bilbao and Santander airports with many other spanish main cities.

We meet in Bilbao in the afternoon of the first day or later in Santander. Other meeting points could be arranged whenever possible and by special request.

We will say our farewells at noon of the last day in Santander or later in the afternoon in Bilbao. You will be taken to your hotel in Santander/Bilbao (in case you stay overnight), or to the airport so that you can connect with your outbound flight home.

terms&booking conditions

1.Contract: Contract is made with WALK PICOS, registered in Spain as an autonomous trading company, in the name of the legal owner Rafael Rey, who is responsible for all operations carried out by the company. It is subject to Spanish law and the exclusive jurisdiction of Spanish court. Once we receive your deposit, a confirmation will be sent out together with an invoice for the amount paid, at which time a legally binding contract will be created, subjected to terms and conditions as stated here.

2.Cancellations by customer: If you wish to cancel your booking, the following refunds will be available:

- More than 50 days prior to departure: 100% of the deposit paid.

- Between 30 and 49 days prior to departure: 70% of the deposit paid.

- Between 20 and 29 days prior to departure: 30% of the deposit paid.

- Less than 20 days prior to departure: 0% of the deposit paid.

The customer can request a transfer to another date anytime before starting date, and if that happens we will do our best to arrange it. In case an agreement can not be reached, we reserve the right to treat it as a cancellation and to apply cancellation charges as stated before. If you opt to transfer us your balance before your starting date, we will always refund the balance to you in case you cancel your holiday any day prior to the start of your holidays. Once the holiday is in progress, no refunds will be given for any activity or walk you decline to take part in.

3.Cancellations by WALK PICOS: We reserve the right to cancel any holiday up to one month prior to starting date, in case the minimum number of bookings (four) is not reached. In this case we will contact you and will try to come to some arrangement about a possible transfer to another date. Should you prefer to cancel your holiday you will be reimborsed 100% of the money already paid plus any expenses incurred by you as a result of air/ferry ticket cancellation (including full fare in case of tickets of the type 'no-refund').

4.First aid: Medical advice and first aid will be given in good faith and to the best of our ability. You agree not to take any legal proceedings against us, for any treatment, advice, information or medicine given or administered during the holiday.

5.Your booking is accepted on the understanding that:

- you realize the hazards involved in this kind of holiday, including injury, disease, loss or damage to property, discomfort, physical exertion, weather subject to sudden and unexpected change, being far from normal medical services and evacuation difficulties if you are disabled.

- you realize that this kind of holiday is always open to flexibility, and so no exact itinerary can be guaranteed prior to the event.

6.Tour leader: You must abide by the tour leader's decisions and authority. If your health or conduct appears to be endangering the progress of the group, you may be excluded from the whole, or part, of the trip without recourse to any refund.

7.Our liability to you: We will be under no liability or obligation for any illness or injury (fatal or otherwise), or damage to personal property or baggage caused to or suffered by you during your holiday.

8.Force Majeure: We will not pay compensation for any loss, damage or inconvenience which you suffer or for the modification, reduction or cancellation of the holiday arrangements arising out of or consequent upon war, threat of war, riot, epidemics, strikes, terrorist activity, natural disasters, adverse weather conditions, fire, transport or other technical problems or any event or circumstance amounting to force majeure and/or Act of God.

9.Insurance: We strongly recommend that you are covered by insurance before starting your holiday. This insurance must cover personal accident, medical expenses, loss of effects, repatriation costs and all other expenses which might arise as a result of loss, damage, injury, delay or inconvenience. This insurance policy must explicitly cover mountain walking activities.

10.Price guarantee: We guarantee that the price of your walking holiday will not be subject to surcharges once the booking has been confirmed and the deposit paid.

11.Booking conditions: When you book with us, you warrant to us that you and any person you might be booking on behalf of, have read, understood and agree to be bound by each and all of these booking conditions. http://www.northspaincamperrental.com