Vega Ario and Jultayo

This classic Picos de Europa walk starts at Lake Ercina, and ascends to the Ario meadow ("vega"), dramatically situated in front of the western massif, high above the Cares gorge. This popular walk is a continual gradual climb, first through scenic mountain pastures, then along a limestone channel to the Jitu col, with its stunning views, before reaching the other-worldly Vega de Ario. Here there is a refuge (where drinks can be brought), plus a wealth of sub-alpine flora, and the entrance to the very steep Trea Canal, the main descent route from this area into the Cares gorge. A small steep cairned path can be followed in good weather to the airy summit of Jultayu, for even better views. The route retraces its steps to Lake Ercina.

Type of walk: There and back

Starting point: Lake Ercina

Finishing point: Lake Ercina

Access: 33km from hotel 45 minutes by car

Public transport options: Bus from Cangas de Onis only in summer months

Grading: Difficult to Vega de Ario, very difficult to Jultayo

Total length: 13km there and back to Vega de Ario, (Jultayo 4km more

Total ascent: 500m to Vega de Ario, 840,m to Jultayo

Altitude: 1100—1600—1940–1600-1100

Total walking time: 5 hours to Vega de Ario, 7 hours to Jultayo

Terrain: Rocky mountain paths, some scrambling to Cotalba

Navigation: Mostly way marked to Vega de Ario, great care needed with mist

Refreshments: Bar at lake Ercina

Map: Adrados Western Massif Picos de Europa

Maps and self guided walking notes for this and other walks are available for guests at Hotel Posada del Valle; Asturias.

At the hotel we are only too pleased to help advice guests on the best and most suitable walks according to their walking abilities and the weather conditions, as well as provide information on any recent occurrences which may affect the walk.

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