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Itinerary

 

VERY IMPORTANT! You can start the Ring of Picos de Europa at any of the shelters and go in whichever direction you prefer. Following the wardens’ recommendations, it is best to start with the western or eastern massif, if you wish to do the “Tres Macizos” Ring, as both are technically easier and they are perfect to get ready to access the central massif.

Mapa Adrados. El anillo de Picos

 

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From Vega de Ario (1630 m) to Vegarredonda (1460 m)
Through Vega de Aliseda and Llampamala. Time: 4-6h

We take the path that leaves the shelter towards the Jito orientation table. There we will turn left, along a well-marked ravine that flows out into the Horcado de la Rasa, between the Rasa peak and the Bustutero peak. We will enter the Vega de Alisea, where we will go west until we reach the Collado de Conjurtado. We will go down the Canal de Conjurtada (ravine) for about five minutes and we will turn left, towards the west, until we reach the Fuente de los Desvios (spring). From there, we will continue in the same direction, crossing Llampamala, before we reach the Chabola, a stonewall around a rock wall. In front of us we will see the Collado de la Fragua. We will turn right towards the north to continue along the Resquilón and go down the Calellon del Frances until we reach the Vegarredonda Shelter. This route has no path so we must follow the milestones as well as some yellow-white waymarks. If the weather is cloudy or it is raining and there is not sufficient visibility, it is advisable to do this route through the Lagos de Covadonga, the normal path from Ario to Los Lagos and Los Lagos to Vegarredonda.

 

From Vegarredonda (1460 m) to Vegabaño (1380 m)
Through Fuente Prieta , Vega Huerta and Canal del Perro. Time: 8-10h

When we leave the shelter, we go up the Yampa Cimera and down the Porru Bolu going round its base until we reach Collado de la Mazada. The green colour under our feet turns into grey rock and we venture under the towers in the middle, the Torrezuela and the Torco, in an enormous limestone world through the Pozas Jou (karstic pothole). But first of all, we will take a rest to drink some cool water from the Prieta spring. From one “jou” to another, we will cross stony ground that takes us down to Forcadona, going around the foothills of Peñasanta before we reach the enormous Vega Huerta. We will continue along the marked path that takes us southwards down the Canal del Perro to the Frade shelter. From there we just have to make the magical descent among the beech trees that surround the Vegabaño shelter, where we will encounter some indescribable beauty spots such as the source of the Dobra River and the thousand-year-old oak tree of Vegabaño. The contrast between the rock and the tranquillity of the woodland is a surprise for anyone who decides to discover it.

 

From Vegabaño (1380 m) To Collado Jermoso (2064 m)
Through Puerto de Dobres and Canal de Asotín. Time 7h and 30min

We leave the Vegabaño shelter behind us and enter the beech grove, and going up a gentle slope we will pass the home of the capercaillie. Continuing through the virgin woodland we will go up the Dobres rock and we will start our descent into the Valdeon valley, among brooks, until the path starts to get wider and becomes a track that will take us to the village of Caldevilla. Having reached this point, we will follow the course of the Cares River to the village of Cordiñanes. We must realise that if we are doing the Vindio modality, we would only have to follow the course of the Cares River to Cain, the start of the Cares route, where it joins the start of this route. Another option is to enter the central massif to go up Collado Jermoso, going deeper down an incredible trail cut out in rock, known as the Rienda, which will leave us in the shade of the beech grove and Vega de La Sotin. The contrast between the beech trees, the meadow and the impressive hulk of the Friero tower, makes this landscape one of the most impressive places of the Picos de Europa. From now on, a world of stony ground and ravines awaits us until we reach the Argallo Congosto, a steep terrain where we will have to use our hands to reach the shelter.

 

From Collado Jermoso (2064 m) to Cabaña Verónica (2325 m)
Through Tiro Casares. Time: 2h 30min

We leave the Jermoso shelter and take the Liordes path, passing the Colladinas from where we will have a fantastic view of the shelter, Valdeon valley and Peñasanta, in the background. We will go around the top part of Cimero lake, without actually seeing it, and without going up too far, we will pass the Tiros de Casares, a former hunting post. From here on in, the landscape changes completely, and we will enter a world of moonstone. In the background, we will have a view of the metal dome of an old aircraft carrier: Cabaña Veronica.

 

From Cabaña Verónica (2325 m) to Casetón de Andara (1720 m)
Through Áliva shelter. Time: 8h

From here, if we have chosen the Extrem modality, we take the short cut to Urriellu, going down the Cable of Horcados Rojos. We will go down along a well-worn path, but before we reach it, we will pass the Aliva mountain passes, with grass underfoot and cattle. The path now goes up to an old moraine of a glacier, and then down towards the Asturias side. This descent will give us a break before we start the steep climb up the Jidiello Canalon, which will leave us at the top of the eastern massif. We will go down to Caseton de Andara, a former miners’ shelter, to rest, passing nearby the remains of some sphalerite mines.

 

From Casetón de Andara (1720 m) to Vega de Urriellu (1953 m)
Through Sotres. time: 8h

We will go down from the shelter along well marked trails and paths that take us to the Asturias village of Sotres. Following a short stretch of road that takes us to a tight bend, we take a detour to the Invernales del Texu and from there we will start the upward trek to Collado de Pandebano. The path starts at the foot of Urriellu. We will be able to make out the village of Bulnes, boxed in between large rocks. The silhouette of Urriellu will be a sight for sore eyes after the effort to go up the last stretches of the path and reach the shelter.

 

From Vega de Urriellu (1953 m) to Jou de los Cabrones (2034 m)
Through Horcada Arenera. Time: 2h 45min

We will leave the western face of the emblematic Picu Urriellu behind us to go up the pass known as Corona del Raso. A short climb takes us to Horcada Arenera, a natural pass from Urriellu to Cabrones and which separates the snowfield and the Albos. From there on, the path runs through a chaotic terrain, bypassing karstic potholes, commonly known in the Picos de Europa as “Jous”. We continue in north-western direction until we see the Cabrones shelter, in one of the wildest and most spectacular corners of Picos de Europa.

 

From Jou de los Cabrones (2034 m) to Vega de Ario (1630 m)
Through the Cares path and Canal de Trea. Time: 8h

We leave the “jou” and straightaway we encounter some exposed sections that are roped off for protection, taking us down the Trave slope to the gorgeous sheep pen of Amuesa. This was used by shepherds until not very long ago. We can now see the village of Bulnes, and we only have to go down the steep Canal de Amuesa. It is recommendable to take a rest before we start off again. This village was totally isolated until not many years ago, the only path being the one that we are going to use, along the Canal del Texu, to go down to Poncebos. Can you image the conditions in that village then? When we reach Poncebos, we will start the famous Cares route, undoubtedly one of the most well-worn paths of Picos de Europa, due to its indubitable beauty. Just before Bolin bridge, a sign indicates the start of the harsh Canal de Trea, a ravine that offers no respite until we reach the meadows of Vega de Ario, where we will take a well-earned rest. The impressive views of the central massif are due reward for such a sacrifice.

 

Desnivel positivo:
3.900m
Desnivel positivo:
7.050m
Desnivel positivo:
9.350m
Distancia: 63km
Distancia: 82km
Distancia: 110km
Horarios:
Horarios:
Horarios:
Valdeón - Ario:
6h
Valdeón - Jermoso:
4h
Valdeón - Jermoso:
4h
Ario - Vegarredonda:
4-6h
Jermoso - Verónica:
3h
Jermoso - Verónica:
3h
Vegarredonda - Vegabaño:
8-10h
Verónica - Urriellu:
3h
Verónica - Liébana:
1h
Vegabaño - Valdeón:
4h
Urriellu - Cabrones:
3h
Liébana - Andara:
7-8h
Cabrones - Bulnes:
4h
Andara - Urriellu:
6h
Bulnes - Ario:
8h
Urriellu - Cabrones:
3h
Ario - Vegarredonda:
4-6h
Cabrones - Bulnes:
4h
Vegarredonda - Vegabaño:
8-10h
Bulnes - Ario:
8h
Vegabaño - Valdeón:
4h
Ario - Vegarredonda:
4-6h
Vegarredonda - Vegabaño:
8-10h
Vegabaño - Valdeón:
4h
Entradas: Cangas, Sajambre o Valdeón
Entradas: Cangas, Sajambre, Valdeón, Liebana o Cabrales
Entradas: Cangas, Sajambre, Valdeón, Liébana, Sotres o Cabrales

* Signposting: The itinerary of the Ring of Picos de Europa connects the eight mountain shelters that exist in Picos de Europa. The route overcomes a positive elevation of 9000 m and covers a total distance of 115 kilometres.

* The times given are approximate and in the direction described.

 

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