Picos de Europa National Park
- Self-Guided 7 Nights
- Arrival - Oviedo
- Departure - Oviedo
- Difficulty - Medium / Challenging
- Price - From €1045
- Dates - June - 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, Collado de la Caballar, Puerto de San Glorio and Alto del Angliru.
There are two basic route options each day; one which goes mainly through the valleys and on rolling routes, while the other tackles the more challenging ascents. There are also optional extensions if you wish to cycle further on any day.
On this tour you will stay in charming Asturian towns as well as passing close to 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.
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 beautiful circular route which passes the Mirador del Fito and the beautiful Green Coast.
Day 2 – Ponga Natural Park & Collado LlomenaBoth routes today enter the Ponga Natural Park, following a series of rolling climbs along quite country lanes, before looping back along the western edge of the Picos de Europa National Park.
The longer route also climbs to Collado Llomena, a short but fairly steep ascent in a beautiful tranquil setting in the Ponga Mountains. There are no really long or challenging ascents on the ride today, so it is a good chance to prepare your legs for the days to come!
Distance: 53-82km (33-51 miles)
Day 3 – Lagos de CovadongaToday 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 with almost no traffic, and the short route is generally rolling with one more sustained climb. The longer route climbs what is probably the most famous ascent in Spanish cycling - Lagos de Covadonga - which has been featured over 15 times in the Vuelta a España, most recently in 2014.
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.
Both routes finish in the attractive village of Arenas de Cabrales.
Distance: 47-80km (29-50 miles)
Day 4 – Collado de Caballar & PotesThe longer route today begins by tackling the Collado de Caballar, one of the most challenging climbs in the Picos de Europa, and one that was selected for the first time in the 2015 edition of the Vuelta a España.
Both routes then continue along a picturesque rolling route, before climbing gently through the Deva valley towards the village of Potes. For those of you who wish to cycle further, there are some excellent extensions here to Salto de la Cabra and Collado de Hoz.
Potes is the destination for the evening. Founded in the 9th century, it is has a beautiful historic center and several excellent restaurants.
Distance: 55-97km (35-61 miles)
Day 5 – Fuente Dé & Puerto de San GlorioThe longer route begins by climbing into the heart of the National Park, reaching the stunning 'mirador' at Fuente Dé - the site of a race winning attack by Alberto Contador in the 2012 Vuelta a España.
Both routes then join to climb the Puerto de San Glorio - one of the iconic passes in Spain, which borders the Castille and Leon region. At 1,609m, it is one of the highest passes in the region, but the average gradient is just 4.8%, making it a fairly gentle ascent.
The day finishes in Riaño - the village of a thousand postcards. Surrounded by distinctive peaks and a vast lake, Riaño is one of the most recognisable villages in Spain and is a stunning setting to stay for the night.
Distance: 55-99km (35-62 miles)
Day 6 – Redes Natural ParkThis is the longest basic route of the tour, but don't worry, it is also one of the easiest as the majority of the day is downhill. After climbing over the Puerto de San Isidro, there is a very long and enjoyable descent down into the Oviedo Valley.
This route goes through one of the most remote parts of Spain and, although you pass through several small villages on the way, it is a wonderfully serene and tranquil ride.
The day finishes in Pola de Lena – a town known in the region as 'the home of cycling' for its proximity to several of Spain's most iconic climbs.
Distance: 109km (68 miles)
Day 7 – La Cobertoria / AngliruBoth routes today tackle one of the most famous cycling climbs in Spain. The shorter route crosses La Cobertoria - a regular in the Vuelta a España, which maintains a high average gradient as it rises above the Aramó Mountains. From here, there is a long and enjoyable descent along a scenic valley to the historic town of Oviedo.
The more challenging route today is only slightly longer in distance, but is significantly more challenging. It begins by ascending the Alto de Cordal, before tackling the Alto del Angliru.
Star of the show at the 2013 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 historic center of Oviedo.
Distance: 59-74km (37-46 miles)
Day 8After 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)|
|June, Sept & Oct||€1045||€610||€120|
|July & August||€1155||€680||€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
The following are optional extras available for an additional charge:
- Hire of bicycles (see here for details)
- 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 50km and 60km and involves mainly rolling climbs and valley routes, with optional extensions to do some of the more challenging climbs.
There is one longer day (from Riaño to Pola de Lena) which is just over 100km. However it is quite an easy route, with the last 50km nearly all downhill!
The shorter route is a good option if you wish to admire the scenery and do some testing rides, but without tackling high mountain climbs and passes.
The longer basic route is between 70km and 110km. It 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. There are optional extensions each day for those of you who to wish to cycle even further.
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 a few longer ascents as well though.
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:
Mirador del Fito
Collado Llomena (L)
Puerto de Pontón (E)
Lagos de Covadonga (L)
Jito de Escarandi (L)
Salto de la Cabra (E)
Collado de Hoz (E)
Fuente Dé (L)
Puerto de San Glorio Puerto de San Isidro La Cobertoria
(L) = On longer route (E) - Available as an optional extension
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 June 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 June to October. If you would be interested in doing the tour in late May or early November, please contact us and we can let you know if there is availability.
What weather can I expect?
From June 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.
PotesIn Potes, you stay in a converted cottage in the historic center. The rooms here are traditionally styled in an elegant manner, but with modern comfort and facilities. The hotel is situated in the maze of streets that make up the old town, with a wide array of buildings dating from as early as the 13th century.
RiañoIn the stunning setting of Ria&nitlde;o you stay in a delightfully small and traditional mountain hotel, which overlooks the spectacular lakes and peaks on the southern edge of the Picos de Europa National Park.
Pola de LenaIn Lena you stay in a highly rated hotel in the center of the small town. The hotel is close to several excellent restaurants and offers great views of the mountains to the west.
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.