The Picos de Europa are divided into three massifs and the Eastern Massif also known as Andarra is the smallest of the three. For over a hundred years mining was an important activity in Andarra and its presence can still be seen by a network of tracks many of which are ideal for walking along. This circular walk uses some of these miners’ tracks and passes by the Andarra refuge, originally a miner’s hut.
The walk starts at the Jito de Escarandi four kms beyond Sotres on the road to the isolated village of Tresviso. From the car park at Jito de Escarandi the walk starts descending slightly and then the track levels out for a couple of kilometers when you can see the village of Tresviso in the distance. Soon you can also see the beautiful “Majada de Llama” with its farming huts and protected pastures. Time for a rest, listen to the cow bells and enjoy the scenery before the next part of the route which is a gradual but continual climb. You start climbing through beech forests and then after a while the scenery opens and then you cary on climbing with views over Karstic formations out towards the coast.
The snow seems to stay longer on the Eastern Massif than most of the surrounding mountains and this attracts walkers interested in doing snow walking. It also means care needs to be taken in the spring on the highest part of this track as there can often be some snow making it difficult to pass. It’s a very small section no more than 20 meters but its north facing and accumulates snow from the mountains slopes above. Despite the warm weather we were having when I did this walk I was glad I had my crampons, well it was December. Normally from May onwards this shouldn’t be a problem.
Once past this point you come to the refuge “Caseton de Andarra” dramatically set amongst rock and scree although I reckon the building itself must rate as the Picos ugliest refuge. From the refuge it’s downhill all the way back to the car park with great chance to enjoy the views and work out where you’ve come from.
Self guided walking notes and GPS trail available for guests from the hotel
|Type of walk||Circular|
|Starting Point||Jito de Escarandi|
|Finishing Point||Jito de Escarandi|
|Public transport options||No|
|Grading||Moderate – Difficult|
|Total Ascent||650 m|
|Altitude||1300 – 1100 – 1700 -1300|
|Total Walking time||5 hours|
|Refreshments||Bar in Sotres|
|Map||Adrados; Central and Eastern Massif|