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Join us on an incredible adventure that takes you through the Picos de Europa National Park and three very different and beautiful regions of Spain and ends with a night close to the vibrant village of Potes, following a week of mind blowing riding.

Price:

£965 (twin share basis)

Duration: 7 days
Departures: Various departures from July to September
Start point: Cangas de Onis
End point: Potes
 

Greentraveller’s Travel Advice: Start your holiday off the green way: Hop onboard the ferry as a foot passenger in the UK to reach Northern Spain. The international port in Santander can be reached by an overnight ferry journey from either Plymouth or Portsmouth.

>> For full details, see: Ferry from Plymouth to Santander

>> For full details, see: Ferry from Portsmouth to Santander

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Details of Mountain Biking Holiday in the Picos de Europa

Skedaddle have been guiding trips in the Picos since 1996 and have an unrivalled knowledge of the trails on offer, and are now the only company offering off road mountain biking holidays to this fantastic area.

Join us on an incredible adventure that takes you through the Picos de Europa National Park and three very different and beautiful regions of Spain, Castilla y Leon, Cantabria and Asturias, and ends a night close to the vibrant village of Potes, following a week of mind blowing riding.

Amongst the highlights… and there are many, are the traverse of the immense Urdon Gorge, the incredible circuit of the Pelono forest, the stunning views and thrilling descent from the Andara Massif and the blissful singletrack to the Rio Cares.

The big draw of the Picos apart from the fantastic riding is the fact that it remains a very un-spoilt range, the heavy hand of man has been relatively kind until now and compared with other ranges in Europe, exploitation from ‘unwanted’ types of tourism has been minimal.

The area's topography has lead to communities living in relative isolation with the well worn trails from their traditionally reared goats and cattle forming the perfect network of routes for mountain bikers to explore this pastoral paradise!

Accommodation consists of hotels, bed and breakfasts, local inns and a mountain refuge high in the Andara Massif. All offer the best of local cuisine and beverages (beware of the local cider!) and are linked together each day by heavenly mountain traverses, spectacular gorge descents, mountain lakes and dense forests on a concoction of ancient trails and blazing singletrack.

Detailed Itinerary:
Day 1
Following your flights to Spain, you will be met by your Skedaddle guide and transferred to your accommodation in the Asturian town of Cangas de Onis, the North western gateway to the Picos de Europa National Park. Flight times permitting, the afternoon will be taken up by bike fitting and with a short ride around the local trails to give ourselves a taste of the excitement to come in the week ahead. The evening will give us our first taste of the local cuisine, our guides strongly recommend the fabada (bean stew) washed down with Asturian cider to help propel you up the next days climbs!! The weeks adventure will be discussed to give you something to dream about.

Day 2
Following breakfast and a short transfer up the Rio Sella and the beautiful Beyos gorge, we begin our ride at around 1000 metres at the Llomena Pass. The fantastic forests of Peloño and Las Bedules with their amazing views over the western edge of the park is an apt arena for an introduction ride. Steady climbs on hard packed tracks lead us to amazing views of the stunning virgin mountainscapes of the Peña Ten and onto twisting trails through the beech and chestnuts to a lazy lunch in the meadows of Las Bedules.

Our guides look forward to their "working" lunch everyday, as we know that the local produce is so delicious. The farmers of the Picos region are very proud of their produce in which they invest plenty of time using traditional methods. The results are tasty cheeses, cured meats and succulent fruit and vegetables, all of which you will be grazing on, and more, throughout the week.

After a bit of basking in the mountain sunshine, our legs will hopefully carry us on a rocky loop route around the forest that will test our technical ability. A quick coffee stop in Viegu should calm our nerves before a whopping big descent of over 1000 metres back into the Beyos gorge.

Enjoy a well earned drink at the bar and then onto our accommodation in the isolated mountain village of Soto de Sajambre. Scenic Soto is well off the tourist trail and tucked into the north western corner of the park. The staff at the local inn are well versed in looking after guests after a day in the mountains, serving up steaming broths and good wine.

Day 3
A short transfer takes us to the mountain pass at Panderruedas where we’ll be greeted with breathtaking views down towards the Cares gorge with the almost sheer faces of the Western and Central massifs rising dramatically to saw-toothed limestone peaks.

We start this splendid day with a ride that you could take a first timer or an expert biker on, and they would both be bearing grins at the end of it. Descending through the beech forests on a meandering track, dodging deer, before being tested, (if you like), by the 'camel humps' on the trail.

A late morning coffee in the sleepy Posada de Valdeon will set us up for the 'lung buster' to the foot of the southern limestone walls before a stupendous singletrack feast that will take us to lunch by the crystal clear Rio Cares.

The afternoon ride is world class and high up on the list of our guides' favourites and it's easy to see why! If you like short climbs with long descents packed with singletrack, switchback and rocky technical sections than you will love this ride. If not, then maybe you should have gone to Holland!

But the views are even better as we drop deeper and deeper into the Cares gorge and the sheer faces of the two massifs get closer and closer until we come round from our delirium in the awesome Cain. A refreshing swim in the Cares or resting on the terrace with a cooling drink are both recommended, but a walk into the narrower sections of the Cares gorge is a must for those with a little energy left in their legs.

Day 4
Post breakfast the support vehicle(s) / Landrover will 'drag' us out of the Cares valley to the pass of Pandetrave. An immediate singletrack descent starts the proceedings and should shake and wake us up enough to climb back up beyond the pass towards Caben de Remona. From here we can take a breather with splendid views to the natural monument of Fuente De, a sheer sided cirque that reaches 1300 metres from the Eastern valley to the peak of Padiorna. The descent to come drops us 800 metres to the foot of Fuente De on a rollercoaster thrill of a ride using tracks, singletracks and meadows. A late lunch in the flower littered meadow gives rise to choices...Aaahh!!

For the weary the hotel, with terraces and splendid views is a few minutes ride away. Those with a bit of poke left will probably want to try the fun, slick singletrack following the Rio Deva, a first taste of the Liebana Valley our playground for our centre based trip in the area on which our home is nearby Potes.

Day 5
Just around the corner of the hotel we hop on the Fuente De cable car that assists us with 800 metres of climbing, taking us to over 1800 metres. It’s an exciting ride, being the longest singlespan cablecar in Europe, and the views on a clear day over the Cordillera Cantabrica are unforgettable. A short climb hooks us onto some fantastic natural singletrack underneath the huge walls of Peña Vieja.

After a ‘must stop' coffee and sneaky mid-morning snack at the mountain hotel in Aliva we can map our route out below us, following the never ending trails down into the Duje Valley. Before we loose too much height we take in further classy high mountain singletrack to the closed mines at Manforas, where we can often get a glimpse of a Rebecco, a beautifully agile deer-like animal that covers the rough broken karsic terrain like no other.

Following the Duje Valley downstream between the Eastern and Central massifs, a feeling of insignificance will wash over us as the mountains reach higher and higher. A short climb takes us to the highest village in the Picos, Sotres, whose meadows offer a perfect siesta area. As we abandon civilization thoughts will be on the job ahead, the climb of the week and our destination the Caseton de Andara, a mountain refuge sitting at 1725 metres.

The climb from Sotres up past the Jito de Escarandi on good hard pack trail will seem effortless compared to the views that we will be rewarded with. Once at the refuge an interesting excursion on foot, to stretch the legs, around the closed mining area of the Andara is worthwhile to appreciate the lives that the workers here once had. The peace and adventure of a night in the high mountains is a beautiful experience. It is warm, cosy experience and perfect for team spirit.

Day 6
Waking up at the Caseton is always a fantastic experience, looking across misty mountains towards the coast and waiting for the sun to melt the shadow on the mountain Mascondiu, with the knowledge that from 1725 metres there is only one way to go...DOWN!! Our descent is superb as we speed down through the impressive limestone mountains on a mixture of fast trails and beech forests until we meet the Wolfs Spring Trail. This trail follows the dramatic Urdon Gorge Valley, luckily for those with vertigo the trail is much wider at this point!

En route we stop at the "leap of the goat" fault; which reveals a heart stopping 800metre drop from the trail down to the gorge floor below. Our climb of the day takes us high above the isolated village of Beges, on an impressive switchback trail back into the heart of the Andara Massif. Once at around 1500 metres we literally drop off the trail onto some fantastic freeriding through meadows, goat tracks and blissful singletrack while mixing with the local herds. This is a fantastic ride through wild country that we are almost sure no other bikers have seen except lucky Skedaddlers!

Once we hit the Pelea pass we can see the Liebana Valley, our destination, stretching out below us and it’s fast down switchbacks to lunch under a cooling canopy of ancient chestnuts. We can siesta as long as we wish as our accommodation is not too far in the valley bottom. One possibility to take us there is on fun trails and singletrack picked by the guide to suit the group and test your technical metal!! Our traditional village guest house is home for the last night in the Picos, where our hosts serve delicious home cooked fodder for our weary bodies. This is our accommodation for the centre based Top Trails of The Picos Trip and close to the ancient market town of Potes. A final dinner in a fantastic family run restaurant and drinks around lively Potes will see the last night festivities out in style.

Day 7
No biking today alas! Just need to pack those bags for the last time and get to your departure point.

Equipment
We provide everything except personal equipment, clothing and a bike (although we are able to hire bikes at each location.) Apart from your emergency tool kit & spare inner tube you will not be required to take any extra equipment. If you are planning on bringing your own bike we strongly advise a mountain bike with a minimum of 24 gears and at least front suspension as well as tyres with an appropriate level of tread for the trip. It is essential that this bike is in good working order and so if you are not mechanically minded we recommend taking your bike to a local bicycle dealer for a service in good time before departure.

What the price doesn't include
A) Personal clothing and equipment.
B) Alcoholic drinks.
C) Travel insurance (available if required, £28).
D) Bar bills, telephone calls, souvenirs, etc.
E) Bike hire (if required, £140).
F) Guaranteed single room (£140 if available)

What price includes

 
  • Guided and vehicle support
  • 80% of meals provided
  • 5 nights local inns, 1 night mountain refuge
  • Place to place
  • 5 days biking
  • Train station collection and drop off
 

Location

 

Plan your journey by train

Meeting point:
Oviedo Pepe Cosmen train station

Nearest train station to meeting point:
Oviedo Pepe Cosmén train station

Transfer to meeting point:
Operator collects guests from station
There is also a ferry service to nearby Santander from Plymouth Brittany Ferrys.

How to get there:
Train from London to Oviedo (via Madrid).

 
Plan your journey by train to Madrid
 

Plan your journey by train

Finish point:
Santander train station

Nearest train station to finish point:
Santander

Transfer to finish point:
Operator drops guests off at station
There is also a ferry service to nearby Santander from Plymouth Brittany Ferrys.

How to get back:
Train from Santander to London (via Madrid).

 
Plan your return train journey from Madrid