I traveled around National Park Picos de los Europa for several weeks and never once paid for a campsite. The area offers plenty free campsites where you can easily spend a night (or two) in your camperhome. I use the app Park4night to find these sites; this app offers an overview of all the (free) campsites you are allowed to stay overnight. This app has made vanlife so much easier (and cheaper) but it can be tricky to find places that are suitable for large campervans though. So I made it my my mission to explore the majority of them and make a selection of what I believe to be the best spots for campervans! All of the sites are located in or near the national park and will provide you with solitude, trails and breathtaking views of the mountains!
This was the first campsite I stayed at in the area and it was so incredibly lovely that I stayed 3 nights. You’ll find this campsite at the edge of the small village Cimiano; an old town located at the foothills of Picos de Los Europa. It is situated near a beautiful little church and the only passengers you’ll see will be the occasional herder and his cows. I stayed several days in this spot and used it as a basecamp to take long hikes in the north – east part of the national park from. There are no services but you’ll find a little stream with very clear water next to the meadow. Cell reception was really good.
How to get there. The campsite is located at 1 Aldea Cimiano. Coordinates: 43.32196, -4.570787
2. Castanos Milenarios
Between Pendes and Cabanes you’ll find a beautiful campsite deep in the mountains. It is a parkinglot with picnic tables, a drinking fountain and decent gravel parkingplaces. The views are spectacular and it is a perfect place to start several beautiful trails. The way up is suited for large vehicles and will provide you with stunning views on the snowy mountaincaps of Picos de los Europa. Enjoyed a very quiet (yet cold) night up here without cellservice.
How to get there. The campsite is located at the CM – 22/04 road between Pendes and Cabanes, about 6 km from the town Potes. Coordinates: 43.205164, -4.612917
This campsite is located on the way to Fuente Dé; the gateway to Picos de los Europa. The place offers beautiful views, level parking and the perfect basecamp to take stunning hikes from. The cellreception was pretty good and there was a drinking fountain and several picnic tables. Even though it is located next to a road it is a really quiet spot with very little passage. It get’s really cold at night here though!
How to get there. The campsite is located next to the CA – 185 in Camaleno, just before Restaurante Los Molinos. Coordinates: 43.141578, -4.710948
A little further down the same road you’ll find another lovely campsite. It is located at some sort of restarea next to a river. Enjoyed a lovely, yet very cold, night over here.
How to get there. The campsite is located at Barrio Bárcena 4F in Camaleno. Coordinates: 43.135646, -4.715117
Riaño is located at the southest point of the national park. It is a beautifull little village surrounded by stunning mountain vistas and the breathtaking lake Embalse de Riaño. This was the first town with an actual store I found in days so I spend a couple of days here to stock up on goods and enjoy some hikes in the foothills. You’ll find several campsites in the area but I thoroughly enjoyed the ones next to the reservoir and the little church downtown.
How to get to the Iglesia de Nuestra Señora campsite: This campsite is located at 63 Calle Sedenal 24900 Riaño
How to get to the campsite next to the reservoir: This campsite is located at the 101 Carretera Riaño 24911 Boca de Huérgano.
5. Soto de Sajambre
This location was definitely the one that blew me away right from the start. The drive through the Desfi gorge was one of the pretties I had ever driven and the road up through Oseja the Sajambra was both nervewrecking and breathtaking. Even though the roads are small it was perfectly doable with a large vehicle. The road is partly single track and the tunnels only allow vehicles till 3.50m height. So I wouldn’t attempts this with really large motorhomes. This parking lot is located deep into the mountains and will provide you with ample level parking spots, cell reception and 360° snowcapped vistas. I have ‘lived’ here for 4 days and basically saw 2 other cars pull up for a hike in that time. There was no one around and I absolutely enjoyed the quiet and the beauty.
How to get there: This campsite is located at the 5 Calle Guad.noriega 24916 Oseja de Sajambre.
Covadonga is one of the two main gates into the Picos national park. You can tell from the way this little village is designed that they are set up for loads of tourists in the summer. I traveled here during the pandemic so when I got to visit this medieval town it was quiet. The huge parking lots were deserted and I camped out on parking lot 3 for several days.
How to get there: This campsite is located at 22 AS – 262 33589 Cangas de Onís