Picos de Europa National Park & Potes, Bilbao

Enjoy a trip to the Parque Nacional de los Picos de Europa with a private guide for mountainous scenery and ancient towns.

Overview

Explore the Parque Nacional de los Picos de Europa (Picos de Europa National Park) on a day trip with an expert private guide. Drive through the rugged landscape in a 4WD, enjoying views of river valleys, gorges, lush meadows, and jagged mountains. You'll stop to wander the historic village of Potes, enjoy a traditional lunch, and have a chance to ride the Fuente Dé cable car for panoramic views of this staggering national park.

Highlights

  • Discover the Picos de Europa National Park on a private 4WD tour
  • Visit natural wonders like Garganta de la Hermida, Áliva, and the Liébana river valley
  • Wander the 8th-century village of Potes
  • Enjoy a traditional Spanish lunch in a local restaurant
  • Have the opportunity to ride the Fuente Dé cable car for aerial views of the park

Know before you go

Duration
9 hours
Recommended for
All ages
Group
Private

What you'll do

Embark upon a private day trip to Parque Nacional de los Picos de Europa, one of Spain's first national parks. Meet your  geologist guide Juan, who'll drive you two hours from Bilbao to the park. Founded in 1918, the Picos de Europa covers nearly 250 square miles (650 km²) of mountainous landscape scattered with meadows, lakes, and river gorges. You'll travel in a 4WD in order to navigate this wild terrain.

When you reach the park, you'll drive through the dramatic Garganta de la Hermida (Hermida Gorge), a popular climbing spot with 700 routes that crisscross towering limestone rocks that reach heights of over 1,968 feet (600 m). The gorge leads you to the lush Liébana river valley, which is fringed with forests, pastures, and mountains.

Around midday, you'll reach the village of Potes, which was founded in the 8th century by Alfonso I of Asturias and is Liébana's capital. Here, Juan will take you on a guided walk of the ancient town, and you can opt to stop for a coffee in one of the local cafés or visit the 15th-century Torre del Infantado, which is an emblem of Potes. At 1 pm, you'll continue your drive, following the sparkling Río Deva, which carved La Hermida gorge over centuries.

Lunchtime calls for a visit to one of the local restaurants for a traditional meal, such as the renowned cocido lebaniego, a rich stew made with locally sourced meat, chickpeas, and vegetables. Drive on to Fuente Dé, where you're surrounded by a glacial landscape and limestone walls that soar up to 3,280 feet (1,000 m) high. Here, if the weather's good, you can opt to ride the cable car up the mountain for panoramic views of the park.

Your next stop is Áliva, where you can admire rolling green meadows surrounded by some of the park's highest peaks, including Peña Vieja, Peña Olvidada, and Pico Cortés. You can spend time in this serene spot hiking, relaxing, and taking photographs. Afterward, if there's time. you can continue to the remote mountain village of Sotres or make the journey back to Bilbao, perhaps stopping for dinner in Tresviso, famed for its blue cheese.

What's included

  • Private geologist guide
  • Transport in a 4WD 

Itineraries with Picos de Europa National Park & Potes

Discover Spain, North to South - 18 Days

Discover the highlights of Spain's cities and nature on this tour, starting in Picos de Europa National Park near Bilbao, and heading into Madrid via the UNESCO city of Segovia with its ancient Roman aqueduct. Visit the region of Andalucía, exploring the cities of Granada, Seville, and Ronda, plus hiking the Caminito del Rey, exploring the white villages, and enjoying an optional beach day. End your trip on the island of Mallorca, discovering its historic inland villages and coastal harbors, as well as its caves, mountains, and wineries.