The Picos de Europa are a stunning range among the Cantabrian Mountains, located in northern Spain. Last week, Ben and I attacked them from both the northwest and south, hiking a couple of its magnificent trails.
Located 7 miles (12km) uphill from where we were based in Covadonga, the Ruta de Lagos is a 3.5 mile trail that loops around a couple glacial lakes, Lake Enol and Lake Ercina.
We found that while the general direction of the route was well-marked, there was no strict path to adhere to, which allowed for a little adventurous improvisation from time to time.
After our stay in Covadonga, we drove south through the Parque Natural de Ponga, on a winding road that threaded through a few lovely mountain villages.
Our exploration of the Picos de Europa culminated in the famous Ruta del Cares, where we hiked 12.4 miles (20km) through a spectacular gorge, making a few animal friends along the way.