We had two hiking days planned for our trip: one was the Ruta del Cares at the Picos de Europa and the other a tasting sample of the Camino de Santiago.
The Ruta del Cares was breathtaking and also really a proper hike. I consider myself to be fit and after the day I was both really happy and tired. We had heard recommendations that the route is worth doing and indeed we stopped many many times along the way to admire the stunning scenery.
The 12 km long route starts at Poncebos and ends in Caín. The walking time estimate is three hours. We went to Caín and back and this took us a little less than seven hours including a restful lunch break and many stops for taking photographs. The path is carved in to the mountain rocks and down below you can see the bright Cares river flow. The fall down in many parts is hundreds of meters. The first 45 minutes is a good climb upwards. After this the path is pretty much level and you can fully enjoy the way and the view.
Along the way we met fellow hikers (but there was no crowd) and also some goats and goatlings and saw eagles circle in the sky. Our friends told us that they had even seen vultures. It’s good to bring water with you but along the route there are points where you can reach to take the cold and fresh water of the mountain river. Take also a snack, sun screen and a shirt with long sleeves. I’d also recommend to start the day early enough.
The route is verdant and gorgeous with waterfalls and wild flowers, the gorge and the peaks. Definitely worth the trek. In Caín you can relax and dip your feet into the cool river and either have a picnic lunch on a patch of green or order the menu del dia at one of the restaurants before you start your hike back.
This was a very good day.