Picos Mixed Activity Week

8 days
from
£1,099
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Traveller ratings
5 / 5 from 4 reviews >
Moderate
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Trip code: 
ASQ
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Mixed-Activity Holidays
Min age:
16
Group size:
4–16

Enjoy a variety of exciting activities in Spain's stunning Picos de Europa

Spain's first national park offers some of the finest, most dramatic mountain scenery in the country. With lush valleys, wide rivers, deep rocky gorges, huge cave systems and cliffs that have long been a mecca for climbers, the Picos de Europa provides the perfect location for a mixed activity week. Based in a small family-run hotel at the foot of the high Picos, we try a new, adrenaline-powered activity every day. Previous experience is not required as full instruction will be given, but those who have experience will also be catered for.

Highlights

  • Canyoning in the Rubo Gorge
  • Canoe on the spectacular Sella River
  • Trek through the famous Cares Gorge
  • Cycle on the coastal paths of the old Camino de Santiago
  • Stay at the foot of the Picos de Europa mountains

Key information

  • 7 nights at the family-run Hotel Torrecerredo
  • 5 days of mixed activities and 1 free day
  • Group normally 4 to 16, plus local leader. Min age 16yrs
  • No previous experience necessary but must be able to swim

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 5 picnic lunches and 6 dinners
  • All accommodation
  • Transfers for group flights

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Visas & vaccinations
  • Single supplement
Day by day breakdown
Day 324.0km/15.0miles
Day 612.0km/7.0miles
Day 730.0km/18.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

The hotel we stay in is very conscious of its environmental impact and does a number of things to minimise this. Where it can it uses solar power to heat water and low energy lighting is used where practical; the owners grow some of their own vegetables and you will be able to sample these at dinner; and, there is a recycling policy throughout the hotel. The hotel also strives to buy the majority of its produce from local suppliers and employ staff from the local area.

Itinerary

  • Day 1

  • Day 2

    Day of canyoning in the Rubo Gorge with optional water slides, jumps and abseils.

    A short drive and a short walk bring us to the start of the Rubo Gorge, where our fun day of canyoning begins. Over the course of our 3 hour descent there are 6 abseils (12m max), 6 optional jumps into deep pools, and 2 water slides. We enjoy a picnic lunch in a beautiful natural setting before making our way back to the hotel in the afernoon.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 3

    Classic Cares Gorge walk, one of the most popular walks in Spain.

    The classic Cares Gorge has been described as the jewel in the crown of Spanish hiking. For 12 km the engineered path has been blasted into the rock face. Originally built in the 1940s as part of a hydroelectric scheme, it is now one of the most popular walks in Spain. In places the surrounding peaks rise over two thousands metres above the path and if we're lucky, we may catch a glimpse of the rare and beautiful wall creeper. The path eventually emerges in the village of Cain, where we have lunch before our return along the same route to Puente Poncebos. Transport will be waiting here to take us to back to our hotel in Arenas de Cabrales.


    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 4

    Canoeing along the famous River Sella, renowned for its annual canoe competitions.

    We drive 45 minutes to Arriondas for a 4 hours' downstream canoeing trip on the River Sella. The river is one of the most popular destinations for this type of activity and it has been hosting a major canoeing festival since 1930. Every year, on the first Saturday of August, canoeists from all over the world come to Asturias to take part in the Sella River race. It is full of music and colour, and has become one of the most important dates on the international canoeing calendar. Our day won't be as challenging but it will be packed with fun. Using open-decked two-person canoes we cover about 15 kms with some easy class 1 rapids en route.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 5

    Free day to relax at the hotel, take a trip to the coast or choose from optional activities including climbing and caving.

    Choose amongst several other optional activities such as climbing and caving, or take a day to relax and sightsee in the beautiful coastal towns of Asturias.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Spectacular ride on Fuente Dé cable car; afternoon walk and visit to the mediaeval village of Potes.

    Undoubtedly one of the most spectacular trips you can take in a cable car, the Teleferico of Fuente Dé allows quick access to the heart of the Picos de Europa where you can enjoy breath-taking views of the surrounding peaks and the valley far below. In just 5 minutes you will climb 753 meters on a 1450m long cable. After lunch we make our way back descending the whole route on foot while enjoying some spectacular scenery. In the afternoon we have time for a quick visit to Potes, considered one of the most attractive villages in the region of Cantabria.

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Mountain biking along the coastal paths of the old Camino de Santiago; free time at the beach (seasonal).

    Today we take to two wheels and enjoy a bike ride that takes us from the village of Llanes to the beautiful coastal town of Ribadesella. The route is paved road as well as off-road tracks and follows the ancient routes of the old Camino de Santiago through the wild northern coast of Spain. The ride will end on a lovely beach and here we conclude our week with a well-deserved dip in the fresh blue sea (seasonal!).


    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 8

    Transfer to Bilbao; fly to London.

    Transfer to Bilbao; fly to London.

    Meals included: Breakfast

Essential Info

Visas

Spain

No visa required for British passport holders.

Vaccinations

Spain

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 5 picnic lunches and 6 dinners are included.

The region has several delicious specialities for you to try while you are staying here. The area is famous for its gold-medal-winning blue cheese, Queso Cabrales, which is matured in some of the thousands of deep limestone caves that dot the hills. Lesser known, but equally appealing is the local lamb Cordero al la Menta and a wholesome bean stew, Fabada Asturiana. Fresh fish comes from the coast at Llanes and Ribadesella, half an hour's drive away. The local wine is very drinkable, though a glass of local cider can be more refreshing.

Breakfast: Fruit juice, tea, freshly ground coffee, cereals, bread, cold meats, cheeses and a selection of local fruit (depending on season) offered buffet-style. There are also eggs cooked to order, sponge and Anis cake.

Lunch: Generally includes a large bread roll, with a choice of fillings daily, chocolates and fresh fruit.

Dinner: Homemade three-course meal usually consists of soup or salad for the first course, a choice of 3 main courses, with meat, fish, or vegetarian, followed by a homemade dessert.

Wine: To accompany the evening meal, the hotel has a reasonably comprehensive wine list available.

Over the years, the hotel has developed tasty vegetarian alternatives. Please let us know in advance if you are vegetarian or have any other special dietary requirements.

Weather

There can be snowfalls in the Picos as late as May, and the area is subject to rain at all times of the year (although this typically falls in the evening and rarely affects the walking). From early June to early October the weather should be very pleasant for all the actvities, though it is rather unpredictable and mists can come in from the coast. Average maximum temperatures during these months range from 20 to 25ºC and minimum temperatures range from 10 to 15ºC. Certain activities in the programme such as biking or canyoning are dependent on weather conditions. Suitable alternatives will be offered if they cannot take place.

Picos de Europa region

Is this trip for you?

This trip is a Mixed Activity trip and Activity Level: 3 (Moderate).

This is an exciting and adventurous holiday designed to put a smile on your face as well as have your pulse racing. There is the chance to go canoeing and canyoning, in addition to mountain biking and walking. As with all of our mixed activity trips, no experience is required to sign up for this holiday and those that have experience will still be entertained as there are a wide range of levels and grades to suit all. To enjoy this trip to the full, a decent level of fitness and agility is required. Please note that each activity leader is fully qualified to instruct in their field and reserves the right to refuse participation of any client on any activities if they feel this will compromise the safety and enjoyment of the group.

Accommodation

Hotel Torrecerredo

Our base for the week is the lovely Hotel Torrecerredo, a small family-run hotel in Arenas the Cabrales, It has a pleasant garden terrace attached to the café bar and the panoramic restaurant gives views right up to the mountains peaks. All rooms have en-suite facilities along with TV and Wi-Fi. The hotel is situated in a rural setting, five minutes’ walk from the centre of the village, which is well serviced with banks, cafes and shops. The hotel's restaurant serves delicious meals all cooked with locally sourced ingredients.

Single supplements are available (on request).

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed August 2015
    Michael Bailey

    Picos in August

    Superb holiday with some wonderful new friends. Hotel was excellent with spectacular views of the Picos, and 4 course food worthy of a Michelin star. Canyoning, gorge walking and hiking were excellent. Canoeing was at an easy level in what is a very busy river in August. Cycling along the coastal path was just right, with the chance to see different scenery. Javi our guide was brilliant as were the other supporting staff. Highly recommended.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The walk along the Cares Gorge was probably the highlight, as I am not good with heights. So it was a challenge. And 24k in warm weather is a good workout. Canyoning is always a favourite of mine and did not disappoint.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Javi was excellent. He has an excellent sense of humour and fun, and went out of his way to make the trip memorable. He also switched the schedule around to make the most of the weather.
  • Reviewed August 2015
    Emma Barthel

    Picos Mixed Activity week

    A fantastic trip, with a good variety of activities. The hotel was lovely, homely and had amazing views. All activities were carried out with a view to safety but were always enjoyable and challenging.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    I'm not sure there was one inspirational moment but what really made it was a fantastic group of people. The hotel was great and the food well... 4 course meals everyday! My personal favourite 3 dishes were the local trout, seabass and the surprise winner was Jim's carrot and coriander soup! It was like being on Masterchef guessing the ingredients! I enjoyed all the activities too, although I think I needed a rest after the week. The canyoning was great. I was a bit scared of jumping but you felt really looked after, it was made fun and jumps were not obligatory. Canoeing in the sun was lovely and I spend the free day with a group walking by the coast and swimming in the sea which was great. I think we all particularly enjoyed the cable car and walking day - despite the rain! Felt like being in the Lakes! The pace of the trip was just right with fairly leisurely starts but then really full days. A great balance of activities.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Javier was great! He soon entered into the group sense of humour! (He had no choice with our group!) Always professional but fun, he added an extra dimension to the trip and was always willing to go that step further to ensure things were ok for everyone. He adapted the programme of activities to the weather which maximised the enjoyment gained from each one.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you bring a wide range of clothes. Don't expect wall to wall sunshine. The weather was just right for most of the activities but being in the mountains means we did have some rain. You will need trainers/walking boots for canyoning and canoeing and they WILL get wet! The drying room at the hotel was good but I was glad I had taken a range of footwear and trousers/shorts.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    You need to be relatively fit for the activities as some of the walks are fairly long (although not too difficult). However, no activity is obligitory and people were able to go at their own pace. If you are in any doubt - book it - I'm sure you won't regret it!
  • Reviewed July 2015
    Rosalind Fuller

    Miss

    Excellent accommodation, beautiful weather and amazing views.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    One of the optional activities was caving. I cannot recommend it more.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Bring a backpack, hat, sunglasses. A camelback is also useful.
  • Reviewed July 2015
    Hayley Mallery

    A fantastic week!

    A brilliant week of mixed activities giving something that everyone will enjoy. Northern Spain is stunningly beautiful and totally different from the Spain most people expect. We would thoroughly recommend this trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The canyoning day was amazing, especially abseiling down waterfalls and jumping into deep pools.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Mike was a fantastic group leader. He was friendly and professional but still retained a wonderful sense of fun and good humour. We had so many laughs with him. He was extremely knowledgeable and confident about all of the activities we did and he was very supportive on the gorge walking day, as due to the weather the gorge heated up like an oven!

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Everyone in the group coped with all the activities but they were fairly challenging, especially in the hot weather we experienced. Make sure you are prepared for all types of weather, from rain to very high temperatures. We experienced both rain and 36 degrees in the shade within days of each other.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Hotel Torrecerredo is a family run business. The rooms were rustic and quaint and very clean and comfortable. The food was exceptional. We have done lots of exodus trips and it was by far the best food we have ever had. We don't think you could have eaten better in a 5* restaurant. Jim and Pilar were very friendly and really made us feel comfortable and welcome throughout our stay. The bar was cheap!!!

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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