Cares River gorge is quite spectacular and fairly easy staring from the funicular for bulnes and following the high canal with camp sites near the end. Otherwise there is a decent walk from Sotres to Espinama which follows a track through the valley of mountains. It's not very high but you'll see the mountains. Otherwise you can go from Sotres and follow the ruta de conquistas over the collado de pandebano (a bit of a climb but not too difficult) with great views of Naranja de Bulnes and drop down to Bulnes and then either walk down or get the funicular to meet the OH at the car park.
You mention an overnight camp but wild camping is strictly forbidden in the picos and is controlled quite rigorously, I have done it but didn't sleep much as there are also quite a loy of wolves in the area. If you want an overnight stop I would go to espinama and get the cable car up to 1900M or thereabouts then walk to the refuge at the base of naranjo de bulnes (only about a 200m climb) stay the night and then walk down to Bulnes.
Although wild camping is strictly forbidden (and as the mountain range is limestone there aren't many water sources) I forgot to mention that there are camping zones as in other places in spain which aren't actually campsites but areas where pitching a tent is permitted. There is one at Cain on the Care river gorge; another one near the lagos de covadonga (which is beautiful but at this time of year thronged with day trippers). But if it is wild camping you want then the Pyrenees are much more amenable.
If you take the path from Soto de Sajambre there is a Refuge up on the Vegebano which I think is unmanned (well it was in 2005!) and from there you can walk over to Posada de Valdeon and then to Cain for the Cares Gorge.
Bear in mind that although it's relatively short walking across the Picos the trip round by road can be a very long way.
Thanks for the advice, guys. Just got back from the trip - nearly six weeks in all.
In the Picos, we were staying at Santa Marina de Valdeon, just up from Posada; lovely little campsite with a superb backdrop to the mountains. We planned to wildcamp a way before the Jermosa refuge, but the police were actually out and patrolling, so we slogged down again.
Went over to Gavarnie and nipped up Pimene, with a stop at the Espuguettes. As an introduction for the 9yo to mountain huts, I fear it's rather raised her expectations - bothying in Scotland will be a bit of an eye-opener after this.
tafka, Hi there, and thanks for your trip update. I am looking to doing something similar with my 2 boys, 10+12yr olds. Can you provide any more info, such as booking links, etc. Also did you take the ferry to Santander ?
To elabotrate. Potes is small and 'rustic', but does cater to visitors with cafes/retaurants and gift shops. Anyplace bigger and brasher than that probably doesn't exist in the Picos.
Husband suggests 'possibly' Arenas (in the eastern Picos)
Potes is your best bet as it is closest to Santander. You could also go to Cangas de Onis the other side of the park which is quite close to Llanes, has the roman bridge and is close to the Lagos de Covadonga which is also worth a visit. Arenas de Cabrales as Cathy says is fine but a little smaller, and maybe a bit too remote for Two teenage girls.
Hi,there are a lot of short (5-10 km) and easy walks for children in the Picos de Europa. I would recommend walks in the Covadonga lake district, see f.ex. the route Lago Enol - Lago La Ercina - Las Rebalgas - El Bricial - Vega de Enol - Lago Enol.Other nice walks in Picos and Liebana:Brez - La Mayor - Castro de las Cerras - BrezLon - Canal de Las Arredondas - LonMogrovejo - El Acebo - Piedra de Coardes - Tanarrio - MogrovejoOn this page you find walks in the Picos and on this one walks in Liebana, all with detailed descriptions, maps, contour profiles, GPS waypoints, slide shows, photos, driving instructions and a road maps.
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