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Picos de Europas: Run the Anillo

Run 71km
Event details
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Over the course of five days this epic trail running journey will take you around the Picos de Europa in northern Spain. This trail run has everything and more: from rocky crests, gorges, lush valleys, vast glacial lakes, and leafy forests. There is no doubt that you'll be amazed by what you find.
C-19 Plan
Pure Trails Adventure has confirmed that this event will be going ahead as planned on Tuesday 20th Jul 2021 in accordance with the COVID-19 safety measures. Learn more

How to enter the Picos de Europas: Run the Anillo

  1. Run Picos de Europa

    Run 71km
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Picos de Europas: Run the Anillo route


  • Trail running the ‘Anillo’ (The Ring) as we make a circumnavigation of the Picos de Europa
  • Run amongst stunning landscapes which offers immense views from the heart of the National Park
  • Stay in high mountain refuges which gives the journey more of an expeditionary experience
Approximate details:

  • Total Distance: approx. 71.0 km
  • Total Running Days: 3 Days
  • Lowest Elevation: 221m
  • Highest Elevation: 2,134m
  • Elevation Gain: 4,017m

Event Details

What’s Included
  • 2 nights accommodation at the Hotel Lagos Nature in Cangas de Onis
  • 2 nights accommodation at Vega de Ario and Vegabaño mountain refuges
  • Semi-supported trail running trip
  • Breakfast and dinner throughout the trip
  • All transfers
  • 1 : 4 Guides to Runners Ratio
  • 3 Days of Trail Running on empty trails
Raceday Logistics
Day 1 - Arrival into Santander or Bilbao - Cangas de Onis

No trail running.

Welcome to the Picos de Europa!

You will likely arrive into Santander (SDR) or Bilbao (BIO) on the Ryan Air or Easyjet flight. Once you have collected your bags make your way through to the arrivals area (you won’t miss them!) and there will be someone there to pick you up.

You'll be transffered to the pretty mountain town of Cangas de Onis (the journey should take 1.5 hours) and onto the hotel for check-in.

With some time to relax and to get your bearings after the flight, everyone will meet up with an adventure briefing over dinner to explain about what to expect from the next few days.

Day 2 - Covadonga Lakes -Vegabaño

Approx. 14 miles. Gradient: + 1300m / - 1100m (5 hours Trail Running)

Departing the hotel after breakfast you transfer to Covadonga Lakes. You start this amazing journey by crossing the ‘vega de enol’ and head up towards the Vegarredonda shelter which is surrounded by amazing mountain scenery and gets you straight into the action.

The trail continues upwards until you reach the Collado Les Merines (2,100m) which is a blissful peak with jaw dropping views.

The terrain soon changes from lush grass to rocky limestone with plenty of rest stops planned along the way, particularly at the Prieta spring which is a perfect place to drink some cool mountain water.

The trail traverses until we reach the Vega Huerta - a mountain shelter - and continues along the path southwards down the Canal del Perro to the Frade shelter. From here it’s an easy descent through beech forests where we pass some extraordinary beauty spots including the source of the Dobra River and a thousand-year old oak tree at Vegabaño.

After a well-earned rest you'll tuck into a mountain dinner and get a good nights sleep in the mountains.

Day 3 -Vegabaño- Vega de Ario

Approx. 14 miles. Gradient: + 1600m / - 600m (4 - 5 hours Trail Running)

After breakfast you leave the Vegabaño shelter behind you and enter a beech grove and virgin woodland which routes gently uphill.

The trail then begins to descend into the Valdeon valley, over bubbling brooks and the trail becomes wider as you enter the village of Caldevilla.

Having reached this point you follow the course of the Cares river to the village of Posada de Valdeón where you will spend some time relaxing and to buy lunch (not included).

After, the journey heads towards the village of Cain which is a beautiful 8km stretch along the Cares river. Arriving into the village you enter the Cares Gorge, crossing tunnels and bridges as you go.

Just before you reach the Bolin bridge, a sign indicates the start of the harsh Canal de Trea, a steep, long ravine that offers no respite until you reach the meadows of Vega de Ario higher up, where you will take a well-earned rest and finish the stage.

The impressive views of the central massif from here are your reward. You then check into the mountain refuge to relax and have dinner.

Day 4 - Vega de Ario to Covadonga

Approx. 13 miles. Gradient: - 1600m (4 hours Trail Running)

With the hard day of yesterday behind you, you can look forward to a more relaxing trail ahead of you today.

From Vega de Ario you run to the Ercina Lake which makes for easy running as the trail descends.

The first stop is as the Collado del Jito with magnificent views of the Central Massif as you head towards the Ercina and Enol Lakes. The lakes are the famous glacial lakes of the Picos de Europa and make a perfect spot to sit down for lunch and to relax.

After lunch, you'll follow the “La Senda Roberto Frassinelli” - which is named after Roberto Frassinelli, a German local who lived nearby the Picos de Europa in the 19th century. He was a great lover or the national park who frequented this route to access the high mountains of the western massif.

As you run into Covadonga it’s all smiles as you have successfully completed our circumnavigation of the Picos de Europa. The ‘Anillo’ or the Ring is finished!

From here you transfer back to Cangas de Onis for check-in with time to relax before a celebratory dinner to toast your journey.

Day 5 - Cangas de Onis - Santander/Bilbao - Home

No Trail Running.

It’s time to pack up and bid farewell to your new-found trail running friends and the local team.

The group transfers back to Santander International Airport (SDR) or Bilbao (BIO) in time to connect with your onward flight back home.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a visa?
British citizens do not need a visa to visit Spain.
Why are groups kept so small?
By splitting the group will allow everyone to move more fluidly, allowing all team members to run at their own comfortable pace, without feeling pressured.
What will the temperature be like?
In July expect long, summer days with blue skies and lots of sun. Being above 1,000m should mean that daily temperatures are perfect for trail running. It must be stressed that given the journey routes around the Picos de Europa you need to be prepared for all weather with the possibility of rain and foggy conditions. At night/early morning temperatures outside will dip, but these soon vanish as soon as the sun comes up.

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