The Picos de Europa National Park is one of Spain’s best natural parks, located between the regions of Asturias, Cantabria and Castilla y León. With huge massifs, rocky pinnacles and towering mountains, it can appear daunting – however, there are a number of trails that the kids can enjoy. Here are our favourites.
One of the easiest and best trails to do with children is the Bajo los Picos Trail, which translates as ‘the trail under the peaks’. A circular route, it is approximately 9km (5.6 miles) long and starts and ends at the village of Mogrovejo, located in the northwestern part of Cantabria. Although it starts with a slope upwards, the rest of the trail is pretty flat and easy going, passing through green pastures and cute villages.
Kids will love the Fuente Dé cable car ride, carrying travellers 1,823 meters (5,980 feet) up the steep slope of the mountain. Located in the heart of the Picos de Europa in Cantabria, the hike takes just under an hour and is downhill the whole way – perfect for those with little legs who find it difficult climbing steep slopes. As well as an easy downhill run, it offers spectacular views and a great end destination at the charming village of Espinama, where you can relax with a drink.
One of the best and most famous hikes in the whole of the Picos de Europa is the Ruta del Cares, nicknamed ‘the Divine Gorge’. It runs from Poncebos in Asturias to Caín in León and is a narrow pathway that runs alongside a deep gorge. It’s 12 km (7 miles) long in total, so while it may be a challenge for the kids, it is mostly flat and has lots of places along the way where you can stop and take breaks while you admire the views.
Just 5 km (3 miles) long, the Brez circular route is an excellent choice for the whole family. It starts and ends at the picturesque village of Brez, located in the north of Cantabria, and is framed by rocky pinnacles. The route runs through the Valley of Camaleño and part of the Andara massif, but is relatively easy for shorter legs.
The Covadonga Lakes are located in the north of the Picos de Europa National Park, in the region of Asturias. The two mountain lakes of Enol and Ercina are some of the most stunning parts of the park – glinting like two mirrors, reflecting the snowcapped peaks around. The route around the lakes is easy and flat, and is just 5km (3 miles) long. Children will have a great time spotting the cows, sheep and horses which graze on the green pastures around the edges.
At the south eastern corner of the Picos de Europa, just over the border into Castilla y León you’ll find the mountain pass of Puerto de San Glorio, which runs along the Arroyo de Naranco River to the village of Portilla de la Reina. Approximately 9.5km (5.9 miles) in length, it takes around two hours and half to complete and takes walkers past mossy green cliffs and forests of mountain ash. Kids will love seeing the ‘Monumento del Oso’ (Monument of the Bear) at the Puerto de San Glorio.