Picos de Europa National Park
- 7 Nights (G / S-G)
- Arrival - Oviedo
- Departure - Oviedo
- Difficulty - Medium - Challenging
- Price - From €1070
- Dates - May - October
The Picos de Europa National Park is a great destination for a road cycling holiday, making an excellent summer alternative to the Pyrenees or the Alps.
This self guided cycle tour conquers some of the greatest and most scenic climbs in the Vuelta a Espana, including: Lagos de Covadonga, Alto de Sotres, Angliru and the stunning Asturian coastline.
There are two route options each day; the shorter route tackles the most scenic climbs, but the daily distances are quite short and manageable for riders of different levels. The more challenging route option includes additional climbing and longer days in the saddle.
On this tour you will stay in charming Asturian towns as well as riding alongside the beautiful Costa Verde (Green Coast). It is multi-centered and changes location nearly every day, allowing you to really explore and discover the many different faces of this fantastic region.
The Asturias region is also known throughout Spain for its gastronomy, with many excellent restaurants in the region.
Check out our video of cycling in the Picos de Europa and Asturias region below:
Day 1 - Cangas de OnisWe will transfer you from the arrival point to the town of Cangas de Onis. The capital of the Kingdom of Asturias until the 8th century, Cangas de Onis is a beautifully picturesque town on the edge of the Picos de Europa. It is famous for its Roman bridge and the high concentration of restaurants and artisan shops that line the narrow streets.
Depending on your arrival time, there is the opportunity to do a picturesque circular route around the Ponga Natural Park.
Day 2 – Lagos de Covadonga & Ponga Natural ParkThe Tour begins today by tackling one of the most iconic climbs in Spain - Lagos de Covadonga. The climb is known for the beautiful scenery, culminating in two mountain lakes at the top. Lagos de Covadonga is a tough climb with an average gradient of 7.3% over 12.6km, and it fully deserves its reputation as one of the most spectacular in Spain. We urge you to take your time and enjoy the incredible views as the scenery really opens out towards the top.
If you would like to cycle further, you can extend the route to include Collado Llomena, a short but fairly steep ascent in a beautiful tranquil setting in the Ponga Mountains, before returning for a well deserved meal in picturesque Cangas de Onis.
Day 3 – Alto del TornoToday you head east along the northern boundary of the Picos de Europa, on a route which offers excellent views of the mountains. You mostly follow quite, single track country lanes for most of the route, with the highlight being the wonderful Alto del Torno - one of the most enjoyable climbs in Spain. You pass through several small villages, but the wide open scenery - a combination of vibrant green fields and rocky peaks, make this area really special.
The day finishes in the small town of Arenas de Cabrales, famous for its very strong local cheese. There is the option to extend the route from here, doing a circular loop around the northern boundary of the National Park.
Day 4 – Jito de Escarandi (Alto de Sotres)The longer route today begins by tackling the Jito de Escarandi, one of the most challenging climbs in the Picos de Europa, and certainly one of the most spectacular. It was not selected for use in the Vuelta a España until 2015, with National Park restrictions prohibiting its earlier use. However, it made an instant impression with Spanish climber Joaquin Rodriguez first over the line.
There is the option to extend the route with a glorious gentle climb to the village of Tresviso - one of the most geographically isolated in this part of the world. The open views along the way make this a special experience.
The route then returns to Arenas, where you can try one of the local dishes, such as the delicious Fabada Asturiana.
Day 5 – RibadesellaToday you leave the distinctive slopes of the Picos de Europa behind and head towards the Asturian coastline. The day begins with a shortish and pleasant climb over the Alto de Mazuco, before a spectacular winding descent down to the town of Llanes, home to several spectacular sandy beaches.
The route continues along the coastline, visiting some of the hidden coves and beaches which line this rugged shore, before arriving in the picturesque town of Ribadesella, where you will spend the evening. Ribadesella is known for its golden beach and for its excellent fish restaurants. Distance: 65-82km
Day 6 – Green CoastThe route today begins by heading inland from Ribadesella and visiting the tiny village of La Cuevona, via a dramatic road built underground where you ride through the natural cave. From here you return to the coast, with the option of adding in a climb to Mirador del Fito.
The ride finishes with fine views of the coast, before arriving in the historic town of Villaviciosa. Originally settled in pre-historic times, Villaviciosa is nowdays best known for its cider production, with the drink being exported throughout Spain.
Day 7 – Alto de Naranco / AngliruThe final day in the saddle can be the easiest or the hardest of the tour, depending on how your legs feel! The easier option follows a rolling route inland, culminating in a delightful climb to Alto de Naranco, a famous hill often used in the Vuelta a España, and which overlooks the Asturian capital - Oviedo.
The more challenging route today is significantly longer in distance, and is mostly gentle, but with one (big) sting in the tail. The Angliru.
Star of the show at the 2017 Vuelta, Angliru is one of the toughest mountains in professional road cycling. The climb averages 9.9% gradient over 12.5km, with the last six kilometres closer to 13%.
As with all the climbs in the region, the views on the climb are superb, and the sense of achievement at completing Angliru will live long in the memory. However, don't worry if you can not make it to the top; it is a one way climb not a pass, so you can turn around and roll back down any time to continue with the route.
The tougher route also finishes in the delightful historic center of Oviedo.
OviedoAfter breakfast the tour ends in Oviedo. We wil transfer you to the departure point, or can arrange for you to extend your holiday in this beautiful part of the world. We would be happy to show you even more of the fantastic climbs in the area.
Prices & Dates
|Price (per person)*||Single Supplement||Bike Hire (Optional)|
|7th-14th July 2018||€1350||€260|
|Other Dates||contact us|
|Price (per person)*||Single Supplement||Bike Hire (Optional)|
|May, June, Sept & Oct||€1070||€510||€120|
|July & August||€1190||€580||€120|
*Based on two people sharing a double or twin room. If you would prefer to stay in a single room, the single supplement is applicable.
Guided TourGroups of six people or more contact us to arrange a private guided tour starting on any date.
The following is included in the tour:
- Seven nights accommodation in double, twin or single room with en-suite. Please see price list for details of single supplement.
- Transfer to and from the arrival/departure points
- Continental breakfast every day
- Luggage transferred between hotels
- Detailed maps and route information for each day, with clearly marked points of interest.
- Route extensions every day for those of you who wish to cycle
- 7 x Lunches (Three Courses) and refreshments every day while cycling the route (Guided Tour Only)
- 1 x Evening Meal (Guided Tour Only)
- Carbon Road or Hybrid Bike Hire (Guided Tour Only)
- Experienced guide cycling the route with the group (Guided Tour Only)
- Support vehicle along the route (Guided Tour Only)
The following are optional extras available for an additional charge:
- Hire of bicycles (see here for details) Self Guided Tour - Optional Extra)
- Tour Extensions
The following is not included in the tour
- Lunches and Dinners
- Any transfers not stated above
- Travel Insurance
- Entry to any attractions (e.g. museums, churches) except were explicitly stated
Frequently Asked Questions
Please browse through some of the frequently asked questions about this cycling tour. If you have any further questions, or would like any more information, please contact us and we will answer by email.
How far do I cycle each day on this tour?
There are two basic route options each day. The shorter route is between 40km and 60km and includes the most scenic routes, with some longer more sustained climbing mixed in with gently rolling sections
The shorter route is a good option if you wish to admire the scenery and do some testing rides, but without tackling many high mountain climbs and passes.
The longer route is between 70km and 110km. It also includes the most famous cycling climbs and is our recommended option for riders that wish to challenge themselves on the great ascents of the region. If you would wish to do harder routes, then please let us know and we would be happy to arrange additional extensions!
You are free to mix and match the routes, as they both start and finish in the same place. If you wish to do the shorter route one day, then the longer route the next day, for example, it is entirely up to you.
How difficult is this tour?
The difficulty depends on which route options you choose. The shorter route options is of medium-challenging difficulty. There is significant climbing, but mostly in the form of fairly short hills (less than 5km long) and with quite gentle gradients. There are two longer ascents as well - but both Lagos de Covadonga and Jito de Escarandi are on short days, so you can really take your time climbing and enjoying the scenery.
The longer route is challenging every day. It involves high mountain climbs that offer stunning scenery, but are generally quite long and with more challenging gradients.
With extensions, the route can be made even more challenging.
This tour use 100% paved roads, which carry little traffic.
Which famous mountains will I climb?
The following are some of the most famous and spectacular mountains that you will climb on the holiday:
Lagos de Covadonga
Alto del Torno - Labra
Collada Llomena - Beleno (L)
Puerto de Ponton (L)
Jito de Escarandi
Alto de Mazuco
Mirador del Fito (L) Alto de Naranco
(L) = On longer route
Can I personalise or change aspects of this tour?
Absolutely! We have designed a tour that we feel strikes a great balance between cycling routes, accommodation and interesting towns. However, if, for example, you would like to do the tour
for a different number of days, stay in a different level of accommodation, or extend the route to a different location, we would be happy to discuss the options with you.
What are the arrival and departure points?
Oviedo is the arrival and departure point for our Picos de Europa cycling tour. It is the nearest major city to the Picos de Europa and Somiedo Mountains and has good transport links.
Oviedo is served by Asturias Airport, which has international flights, as well as regular domestic routes. It also has a train station with several trains running each day to Madrid.
If you have trouble finding a good connection to and from Oviedo/Asutrias Airport, please contact us, as it is may be possible to arrange transfers from other cities in the area, such as Santander or Leon.
What type of bikes do you hire?
For this tour we recommend that you use road bikes (although hybrids are also available). The bikes we use on this tour have low gearing, set up for use in the mountains. Please see our bicycles page for further details.
When can I do this tour?
We run this tour between May and October each year. These are the best months for cycling in the mountains, as many of the routes are closed in winter and can be quite wet in spring.
The tour can start on any day of the week from May to October. If you would be interested in doing the tour in late April or early November, please contact us and we can let you know if there is availability.
What weather can I expect?
From May to October the weather in the Picos de Europa is usually very good for cycling. It is warm, but without the searing temperatures that are common in much of Spain throughout the summer months. Typical day time temperatures range from
Rain is not especially common, but there are a few wet days in each month - even during the summer - so be prepared for this possibility. There is a good chance though that you will have dry, sunny days throughout the holiday.
Can I see the altitude profiles for each day?
Below are the altitide profiles for both the shorter and longer route each day (the shorter one is always first). In addition to this there are optional extensions, with a lot more climbing available!
We believe that the hotels that you stay in are just as important as the towns that you visit and the scenery that you ride through. On this tour we have chosen accommodation that
is of a high quality and is typical to the area. These include mountain chalets and small boutique hotels in the center of the villages where you stay.
Cangas de OnisThe tour begins in the delightful village of Cangas de Onis. Here you stay in a small boutique hotel in the center, close to the river and the Romanesque bridge.
Arenas de CabralesArenas is situated at the foot of Naranjo de Bulnes - the most distinctive peak in the Picos de Europa range. The small hotel, in the heart of the is charming village is designed in the style of a traditional mountain chalet. The rooms are very comfortable and are close by to several excellent restaurants and boutique shops selling the local artisan chocolate and honey.
RibadesellaIn Ribadesella you stay in an excellent **** hotel situated in the heart of the town, overlooking the main beach.
VillaviciosaIn Villaviciosa you stay in a large country house on the edge of the town, with beautiful gardens and stylish, spacious rooms.
OviedoIn Oviedo you stay in a luxurious **** spa hotel situated in the historic old town. It is less than a five minute walk from Oviedo Cathedral and the Holy Chamber - a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
To find out more about how we select our hotels, please see our accommodation page.
To reserve a place on the tour, please follow the link below to continue to our reservation form.
Once we have received the form, we will be in contact to confirm the booking and to arrange for the payment of the deposit.
If you would like to do this tour in a group of more than six people as a guided tour, please contact us and we can arrange a private guided tour.