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PICOS DE EUROPA - NORTHERN SPAIN 2013

24th May - 2nd June 2013
View above Fuente De Picos de Europa  

PICOS DE EUROPA
 
Leader: Dr Christopher(Kit) Grey-Wilson. Cost: £550 per person
 
After the highly successful self-catering tour led by Kit Grey-Wilson to the Picos de Europa in 2010 we have decided to repeat the tour in 2013.
 
One of the great scenic delights of Northern Spain is the Picos de Europa, shared between the provinces of Cantabria and Asturias. The Picos are very different to the mountains of central and southern Spain due to their close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean. The scenery is splendid, the high mountains rugged limestone in the main, the slopes and valleys densely wooded. Here wild bear, lynx and boar still roam and the mountains are renowned for their birds and butterflies. The flora is rich and includes a good number of endemic species such as Aquilegia discolor, Asperula hirta and Genista legionensis. Many western Pyrenean plants are also found in the Picos but the region is particularly rich in ericaceous plants (Erica and Daboecia in particular). In spring (April to early June) the high meadows are full of colour, particularly different species of Narcissus and various orchids. The Picos has a great deal to offer the walker and photographer.
 
The group will be centred on the mountain hamlet of Tudes staying in beautifully converted farm buildings in what is a rural idyll, with splendid views of the Picos. The apartments (English owned and run) are self-catering. The charming medieval market town of Potes is close by and has excellent restaurants shops and supermarkets and can be reached from Tudes in 15 minutes by car, or by an excellent walk down through meadows and woodland in an hour or so.
 
Day excursions (by car) from Tudes will include the Puerto de San Gloria, the cable car ascent at Fuente Dé, the Picos de Macondiu in the heart of the Picos and Somaniezo in the Sierra de Peña Sagra east of the main Picos range. There will also be plenty of time for local walks and visits to ancient mountain towns.
 
Couples or singles can share apartments which range from two to four person. This is a self-catering holiday (each apartment is fully equipped) and transport will be by car hire (not coach) as the latter greatly restricts the places that can be visited. If any participants wish to stay longer this can also be arranged.
 
Christopher Grey-Wilson is an experienced tour leader and has visited the Picos on several occasions. His standard field guide ‘Alpine Flowers of Britain and Europe’ (HarperCollins) covers the Picos area. For further reading by far the best guide is ‘Picos de Europa – car tours and walks’ by Teresa Farino published in the UK by Sunflower Books (ISBN 978-1-85691-332-4).
 
The Picos is very accessible from the UK with regular flights from Stansted and elsewhere to either Bilbao or Santander (the latter more convenient and only one and a half hours from Tudes by car!)
 
 
For further information on this tour please contact AGS Centre.
Tel: 01386 554790 or email: ags@alpinegardensociety.net

 

Saxifraga felineri

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