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A guide to walking in the Cordillera Cantabrica mountain range in northern Spain. This guidebook describes 60 routes spread throughout the area from selected valley bases with easy access. All the routes are circular and can be done in a day. In difficulty they vary from straightforward, half-day outings to strenuous, full-day ascents.
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|Buy your choice of routes or chapters to read online, on your mobile device or to download as a PDF to print or read.||Browse Routes|
Walking in the Cordillera Cantabrica is a mountaineering guide to one of Spain’s premier ranges, and includes detailed descriptions for 60 routes spread around the whole of this magnificent mountain chain. Based on selected valley bases, the routes are readily accessed, thus minimising travel time. All of the routes can be done in a day and all are circular, whilst in difficulty they vary from straightforward, half-day outings to strenuous, full-day ascents demanding fitness, good overall mountain skills, and the ability to deal with short sections of scrambling.
This guide is complemented by articles on four specialist topics of interest to any who wish to know the range in greater depth: place-names, transhumance, the Civil War and alpine flora. The Cordillera Cantabrica is currently home to a total of nine protected areas, including three UN-designated areas.
We are always grateful to readers for information about any discrepancies between a guidebook and the facts on the ground. If you would like to send some information to us then please use our Feedback form. They will be published here following review by the author(s).
|When to Visit|
|Using the Guide|
|Access from the UK|
|Bases and Accommodation|
|Timing and Grading|
|Dogs, Bulls and other Inconveniences|
|Climate and Weather|
|Walk 1 Alcornón de Busmori from Degaña|
|Walk 2 Catoute from Colinas del Campo de Martín Moro|
|Walk 3 Tambarón from Salientes|
|Walk 4 Arcos del Agua from Fasgar|
|Walk 5 Peña Correa from Abelgas|
|Walk 6 Muxivén from Lumajo|
|Walk 7 Montihuero from Torre de Babia|
|Walk 8 Peña Orniz from La Cueta|
|Walk 9 Ferreirúa from Torrestío|
|Walk 10 Picos del Fontán from Torrebarrio|
|Walk 11 Cirbanal from Caldas de Luna|
|Walk 12 Amargones from Piedrasecha|
|Walk 1 Cornón from Santa María del Puerto|
|Walk 2 Cogollo de Cebolleo from Villar de Vildas|
|Walk 3 Peña Blanca from Aguino|
|Walk 4 Peña Chana from Valle de Lago|
|Walk 5 Lagos de Somiedo from Valle de Lago|
|Walk 6 Camino Real de la Mesa from Saliencia|
|Walk 7 Calduveiru from the Puertos de Marabiu|
|Walk 8 Cordal de la Sobia from Carrea|
|Walk 9 Gamonal from El Campo|
|Walk 10 Pico la Hoya from Proaza|
|Walk 11 Peña Rueda from Lindes|
|Walk 12 Ranchón from Bueida|
|Walk 13 Tapinón from Tuiza de Arriba|
|Walk 14 Peña Ubiña from Tuiza de Arriba|
|Walk 1 Estorbín Valverde from Tonín de Arbás|
|Walk 2 Pico Faro from Canseco|
|Walk 3 Fontún from Gete|
|Walk 4 Correcillas from Felmín|
|Walk 5 Peña Valdorria from Valdorria|
|Walk 6 Susarón from Puente de San Tirso|
|Walk 7 Peña Corada from Fuentes de Peñacorada|
|Walk 8 Pico Cerroso from Santa Olaja de la Varga|
|Walk 9 Pico Yordas from Liegos|
|Walk 10 Mampodre massif from Maraña|
|Walk 11 Peña Ten from La Uña|
|Walk 12 Coriscao from Portilla de la Reina|
|Walk 13 Peña Prieta from Llánaves de la Reina|
|Walk 1 Pico Torres from Puerto de San Isidro|
|Walk 2 Retriñón from Felechosa|
|Walk 3 Peña Mea from Les Campes|
|Walk 4 Desfiladero de los Arrudos from La Encrucijada|
|Walk 5 Cuyargayos from Agues|
|Walk 6 Pico Trigueiro from Condado|
|Walk 7 Pileñes from Ventaniella|
|Walk 8 Tiatordos from Taranes|
|Walk 9 Vízcares from Riofabar|
|Walk 10 Peña Salón from Puente Vidosa|
|Walk 11 Pienzu from Cofiño|
|Walk 12 Hibeo from Villanueva|
|Palencia and Cantabria|
|Walk 1 Cardaño Cirque from Cardaño de Arriba|
|Walk 2 Espigúete from Cardaño de Abajo|
|Walk 3 Curavacas from Vidrieros|
|Walk 4 Santa Lucía from Vidrieros|
|Walk 5 Peña Mayor from Colonia Sierra del Brezo|
|Walk 6 Valdecebollas from Santa María de Redondo|
|Walk 7 Pico Tres Mares from Piedrasluengas|
|Walk 8 Bistruey from Caloca|
|Walk 9 El Cornón de Peña Sagra from San Mamés ....|
|Appendix 1 – Useful Information|
|Appendix 2 – Guidebooks in Spanish|
|Appendix 3 – Emergency procedure in the Cordillera Cantábrica|
|Glossary of Common Map Terms|
|Place-names: the Magic of Words by David Caballero|
|Transhumance in the Cordillera Cantábrica by Victor Guerra|
|The Cordillera Cantábrica in the Spanish Civil War by Claudia Cabrero|
|Alpine Flora of the Cordillera Cantábrica by Teresa Farino|
|Index of Summits|
The mountain ranges covered by this guide are not the Alps, but they do offer high mountain terrain, frequently well above the tree-line and often trackless once the woods and meadows have been left behind. This is not, therefore, a guide for those looking for a pleasant stroll to while away the afternoon. In fact, the majority of the walks here will take between 5 and 8 hours to complete and will involve anything between 500m and 1500m of height gain, whilst the summits undertaken almost all stand between 1300m and 2500m in height.
The route descriptions assume readers can use a compass, and can read both maps and mountain terrain. Thus, although the guide is as explicit as possible with directions, especially in order to take the reader through and away from villages (often the hardest piece of navigation the day will bring!), no attempt has been made to give directions foot by foot along the trail. Instead, it makes a conscious attempt to find that elusive balance between insufficient and overwhelming detail.