Aliva Circuit

  • Aliva, Picos - © By Flickr user jroblear
  • Refugio de Aliva - © By Flickr user jroblear
  • Picos, Aliva Niebla - © By Flickr user jroblear
  • Puertos de Aliva - © By Flickr user jroblear
  • Aliva Panorama - © By Flickr user jroblear
  • Cantabria - © By Flickr user ramon_casares
  • Aliva Panorama - © By Flickr user jroblear

Key information: Aliva Circuit

  •  A fascinating and varied walk in this jagged mountain range running along Spains northern coast.
  •  This walk starts with a thrilling cable-car ride and passes through ancient high grazing land with unrivalled flora and fauna. Superb views of the spires and cliffs of the central Picos.
  •  This is high country, exposed to Atlantic weather; trails can get cut off by snow in Winter, and the area is famous for sudden and dramatic mists.

Walkopedia rating

  • Walkopedia rating90
  • Beauty34
  • Natural interest16
  • Human interest8
  • Charisma32
  • Negative points0
  • Total rating90

Vital Statistics

  • Length: 10km upward
  • Maximum Altitude: 1,900m
  • Level of Difficulty: Strenuous
Aliva Panorama - © By Flickr user jroblear


This walk is an easier (mainly downhill) variant of the day walk that is the first day of the Central Picos Traverse.

This 10-14km circuit gives a fine taste of an ancient way of life, as well as exceptional scenery and wildlife. The rugged high plateaux of the Picos, largely snowbound in Winter, provide grazing land for cattle, sheep and goats in Summer, and their middle reaches are dotted with tiny, pantiled summer villages linked by easy tracks in pasture and forest. All is surrounded by towering peaks and jagged ridges.

The walk starts with a thrilling cable-car ride rising nearly 800m in under three minutes over the natural amphitheatre of Fuente Dé, and works its way slowly back down the valley (and on to the cable-car station again).

Enjoy a wide range of landscape and scenery. You will have a good chance of seeing the delightful rebeco, the local chamoix, huge vultures and much other wildlife.

See our Picos de Europa page for further information.

Other accounts: share your experiences

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.


We have a lot of helpful practical information and tips about this walk, covering everything from the best books and maps, to timing and weather, geting there, possible problems, whether you need a guide and where to find them, and useful websites. This section is only open to members.

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Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

Picos, Aliva Niebla - ©By Flickr user jroblear

share your experiences

Add your experiences, suggestions and photos. We would be delighted to receive your writing and ideas (which will be attributed appropriately where published).

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

Puertos de Aliva - ©By Flickr user jroblear...

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