This is a challenging but truly amazing hike in the heart of Picos de Europa in national park Cabrales, Spain. It’s almost 19km long and it will reward you with stunning views of the Cabrales’ peaks or many preserved shepherds huts that are so typical for this region. Although they’re over 100 years old some of them are still being used. Make sure that you take a lot of water with you as it may get really hot and the first 7km you’ll only be going up. Btw. my Spanish wife told me that this route is called Cabeza de la polvorosa so let’s just trust her.
The hike starts in camping Naranjo de Bulnes and the first 2km take you to Arenas de Cabrales. From there, once you hit the path, you’ll be ascending for the next 6km. The first bit of the ascend is fairly easy but the path is not always well visible and you may lose it from time to time. Eventually the trail gets rather steep with almost no shadow. This part cost us almost all our water supplies but we were saved by a functioning water pipe at the 6th kilometre that we had found by one of the old shepherd huts. The water was probably for the cows as it didn’t smell too nice but luckily we had the purification pills.
From these huts it’s just two kilometres to the end of the ascend and you’ll get some seriously awesome views on your right, including Peña Crimienda for instance. The second part of the track will only be going down. You’ll pass by a few huts again, and if lucky, you’ll see some wild horses. It’s a pretty chilled-out hike back down with some amazing views so make sure you’ll enjoy it.
You can download the GPX track for your GPS device below the map. And if you decide to do this hike please leave us a comment to let us know how it was…