Picos de Europa

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Picos de Europa or the Peaks of Europe are in the Cantabrian Mountains of Spain.

Lying only 15km from the Atlantic coast between Oveido and Santander,

they are 20km from north to south and 40km west to east,

split into the three different autonomous communities of Cantabria, Asturias and
Castille y Leon.

Perhaps because of this jigsaw puzzle-like formation

over the geographical Picos area,

finding information in general is a bit more problematic than normal.

Geographically the Picos are divided by the

western massif,

central massif

and eastern massif.

The Principado de Asturias covers most of the western massif

and across the northern limits,

the Eastern is mostly Cantabria

and the southern central area is in Castille y Leon.

The different autonomous regions like to specialise in their own region only

some information centres

only have details about their own comarca.

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There are several towns that allow access to the Picos;

Cangas de Onis, in Cantabria on the north west edge of the park,

and then going in a clockwise direction,

Arenas, Panes, Potes, Posada de Valdeon, Oseja de Sajambre and Sames.

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Arenas, Asturias

In between this circle of towns lies the Picos, a stunning range,

the altitude rising only to 2600m meaning the lower slopes are green and lush,

cow grazing country, blue cheese and natural cider land,

little stone villages scattered throughout like some land long forgotten.

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And hiking, the options almost endless.

From the Sendero de Reconquista, that crosses the entire park in the north,

to the short Poncebos to Bulnes 7km round trip that goes up a gorge

to the once isolated town, which now has a train tunnel cut deep into the cliffs.

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Bulnes

The scenery by road is spectacular too, the north lush and forested,

the spectacular gorge of the Desafiladero de Boyos south of Cangas,

the deciduous and broadleaved trees giving way

to rocky pines and scrub country in the south.

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Oseja de Sejambre

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From Asturias to Castille and Leon,

the mountain roads wind through cheese making villages

before going east over the pass of Puerto de San Gloria on the N621,

before a long drop down to Potes, greener again,

oaks and meadow land ushering us into the capital of Leibana,

a town nestled amongst the foothills on the edge of the eastern massif

and a short drive to Fuente de

where a teleferico lifts walkers up to 1800metres to access the national park.

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~ by Drifting, Rambling on October 18, 2016.

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