Dates: 21 – 25 July 2021
Duration: 5 days/4 nights
Prices: Euro 940 per person
You will pay a deposit of 10% to secure your spot. Once confirmed, your tour operator will charge the remaining amount.
Terrain: Trail Running
Average daily running distance: 20 KM
Longest running distance in a day: 25 KM
Group size: 12 max
TABLE OF CONTENTS
What level of running is this trip suitable for?
Intermediate and experienced trail runners.
Are there any alternatives for non-runners?
- 2 Nights will be spent in the Lagos di Nature Boutique Hotel (Twin/Double Share)
- 2 Nights will be spend in Mountain Refuges (Bunk Room style with shared bathroom)
What to bring?
- Trail Running Gear
- Trail Shoes
- Walking/Running Poles
- Base Layer T-Shirts
- Running Shorts
- 3 x pairs of running socks
- Long-trail running trousers
- Long-sleeve top
- Waterproof Jacket
- Running Cap
- Warm Jacket for the Evenings
- Sleeping Bag option (can be hired for an extra cost at the mountain refuges)
Day 1 – Arrival into Santander – Cangas de Onis
No trail running.
Welcome to the Picos de Europa!
You will likely arrive into Santander (SDR) on the Ryan Air flight around midday. Once you have collected your bags make your way through to the arrivals area (you won’t miss us!) and we’ll be waiting to pick you up.
We transfer you to the pretty mountain town of Cangas de Onis (the journey should take 1.5 hours) and onto our hotel for check-in.
With some time to relax and to get your bearings after the flight, we’ll all meet up with an adventure briefing over dinner to explain about what to expect from the next few days.
Overnight Hotel Lagos Nature, Double/Twin Room, incl breakfast
Day 2 – Covadonga Lakes -Vegabaño. Hut
– Approx. 14 miles. Gradient: + 1300m / – 1100m (5 hours Trail Running)
Departing our hotel after breakfast we transfer to Covadonga Lakes. We start this amazing journey by crossing the ‘vega de enol’ and head up towards the Vegarredonda shelter which is surrounded by amazing mountain scenery and gets us straight into the action.
The trail continues upwards until we reach the Collado Les Merines (2,100m) which is a blissful peak with jaw dropping views.
The terrain soon changes from lush grass to rocky limestone with plenty of rest stops planned along the way, particularly at the Prieta spring which is a perfect place to drink some cool mountain water.
Our trail traverses until we reach the Vega Huerta – a mountain shelter – and continues along the path southwards down the Canal del Perro to the Frade shelter. From here it’s an easy descent through beech forests where we pass some extraordinary beauty spots including the source of the Dobra River and a thousand-year old oak tree at Vegabaño.
After a well-earned rest, we’ll talk about the stage and the next day. Before tucking into a mountain dinner and good nights sleep in the mountains.
Overnight Vegabaño Mountain Refuge, Shared Room incl breakfast and dinner.
Day 3 -Vegabaño- Vega de Ario
– Approx. 14 miles. Gradient: + 1600m / – 600m (4 – 5 hours Trail Running)
After breakfast we leave the Vegabaño shelter behind us and enter a beech grove and virgin woodland which routes gently uphill.
The trail then begins to descend into the Valdeon valley, over bubbling brooks and the trail becomes wider as we enter the village of Caldevilla.
Having reached this point we follow the course of the Cares river to the village of Posada de Valdeón where we will spend some time relaxing and to buy lunch (not included).
After, our journey heads towards the village of Cain which is a beautiful 8km stretch along the Cares river. Arriving into the village we enter the Cares Gorge, crossing tunnels and bridges as we go.
Just before we reach the Bolin bridge, a sign indicates the start of the harsh Canal de Trea, a steep, long ravine that offers no respite until we reach the meadows of Vega de Ario higher up, where we will take a well-earned rest and finish the stage.
The impressive views of the central massif from here are your reward. We then check into our mountain refuge to relax and have dinner.
Overnight Vega de Ario Mountain Refuge, Shared Room incl breakfast and dinner.
Day 4 – Vega de Ario to Covadonga
– Approx. 13 miles. Gradient: – 1600m (4 hours Trail Running)
With the hard day of yesterday behind us we can look forward to a more relaxing trail ahead of us today.
From Vega de Ario we run to the Ercina Lake which makes for easy running as the trail descends.
Our first stop is as the Collado del Jito with magnificent views of the Central Massif as we head towards the Ercina and Enol Lakes. The lakes are the famous glacial lakes of the Picos de Europa and make a perfect spot for us to sit down for lunch and to relax.
After lunch, we follow the “La Senda Roberto Frassinelli” – which is named after Roberto Frassinelli, a German local who lived nearby the Picos de Europa in the 19th century. He was a great lover or the national park who frequented this route to access the high mountains of the western massif.
As we run into Covadonga it’s all smiles as we have successfully completed our circumnavigation of the Picos de Europa. The ‘Anillo’ or the Ring is finished!
From here we transfer back to Cangas de Onis for check-in with time to relax before a celebratory dinner to toast our journey.
Overnight Hotel Lagos Nature, Double/Twin Room, incl breakfast
Day 5 – Cangas de Onis – Santander – Home
No Trail Running.
It’s time to pack up and bid farewell to your new-found trail running friends and our local team.
Our group transfers back to Santander International Airport (SDR) in time to connect with your onward flight back home.
What’s Included in the Price?
- 2 nights accommodation at the hotel Lagos Nature in Cangas de Onis
- 2 nights accommodation at Vega de Ario and Vegabano mountain refuges
- Semi-supported trail running trip
- Breakfast and dinner throughout the trip
- All Transfers
- 4:1 Runner to Guide Ratio
- 3 Days of trails running on empty trails
What’s NOT Included in the Price?
- International flights
- Lunches throughout (purchased locally)
- All beverages and snacks
- Personal equipment
- Personal bills
- Additional excursions
- Travel insurance (required)
Challenging graded trail runs feature longer trails which involves some long, steep ascents, as well as steep descents which are away from civilization. The trails we travel on can sometimes reach higher altitudes up to 3,000m and follow rough and more difficult terrain. Previous experience would be advantageous, but not essential.
Suitable for runners who can comfortably be on their feet up to 4-6 hours per day (including walking). You need to have a good level of running fitness and be able to run up to distances of 20km+ in one push and be able to run back-to-back (consecutive) days. Some extra training before your trip may be required; previous trail running experience is recommended.