International Studies Abroad ®est. 1987


Picos de Europa

Location: Spain


One of Spain's best-known mountain ranges is the majestic, aptly named Picos de Europa (the Peaks of Europe). The range has three main massifs: Central, Eastern and Western. Spanning the large gap between some of the highest peaks is the sublime Cares Gorge, popular with hikers of all kinds. A river runs through the gorge, with water flowing out from nearby caves.

Students will leave Santander early in the morning, and take a bus ride through much of Cantabria and, at one point, a few kilometers into Asturias. The landscape is absolutely breathtaking: rivers, mountains, forests, old villages are small pieces of this awesome puzzle. After the bus ride, students will take a 5 minutes cable car ride 2000 meters up where an amazing view will be waiting. The hike is about 4 hours in length to reach the final destination of Espinama. Along the way, students will see cows, saffron flowers, and the Royal house where the Kings typically vacation. At the end of the hike, students will board the bus to visit Potes, a village famous for a hearty dish called cocido lebaniego (a soup made with chickpeas, potatoes, black pudding and local sausage) and for orujo, a liqueur made with local herbs. The final stop is Lebeña, a well-known village thanks to its well-preserved mudejar, or Moorish style church.

Available in the following sessions