July 5, 2018
On our third day we needed some extra rest after two days of long walks. We decided to do the circular walk around Brez (730 m), a 2 hour track, which was said to be very nice. Many do this walk on their first day as a kind of warm up walk. But it also works on a slow day. We took a small breakfast at the hotel and packed, because the next two days we would stay at another hotel. We first made a stop at Potes to make a dinner reservation at restaurant Soldreria for that evening. We had a small snack and a drink for lunch.
The drive up Brez is already beautiful. Brez itself is a sleepy little village with nice traditional houses. You can park your car at the side of the road just before entering the village where you also find a panel with some information about the route.
For the start of the walk you climb up to the centre of the village where you find a sign pointing to the right. The first half of the walk is mostly going up, but not too steep, and with many flat pieces in between.
The rock formations are spectacular and there are great views after every bend. you first walk through meadows and farmland, later you penetrate a wooded area of oak and cork trees.
Halfway you reach the highest point of the walk and stand at the foot of the Picos mountains exposing the Arredondas Gorge, that used to be mined for zinc ore. You can see the glacier up high. You pass lush forest all along the way. On our second time round in 2019, we took a right here in the direction of Canal de las Arrendondas. We continued following the trail that lead up, to Cabanas de Lon and Untuje de Lon.
You have to cross the little stream, and go up to the left. You can walk around and come back down on the other side by keeping left, but the weather wasn’t very good and it started to rain when we got nearer to the highest point. We therefore decided to go back down the same way we came up. On the way up you pass caves, that seem to go deep into the mountain. The whole circular trail takes almost 8 hours and is a full day trek. (here is a link to the map of the trail and a description in Spanish)
The flatter road in the second half of the trail around Brez is surrounded by stone blocks fallen from the upper slopes. Here you get a good view of Brez. Therest of the walk is mostly going downhill. And the last part is quite a steep descent. It is an easygoing walk going through the middle of the Picos de Europe.