You won’t find many resources on this route in anything that’s not Spanish. Actually, there aren’t many in Spanish either. Most internet resources and guidebooks focus on one-day activities and most of them will be about climbing peaks. Overnighting outside is not a popular thing, neither is long distance hiking.
I list here the resources that I found more useful during my planning.
This blog is strictly in Spanish. It is devoted to the Cantabrian High Route and nothing else so it turns out a very good tool. It includes a stage breakdown with a link to the route description and a track for each stage.
It also includes links to other blogs with relevant information.
The trip description and stage breakdown is subject to overnighting in available lodging with no camping involved. It’s closer to a series of day hikes as far as gear goes.
This is about the only internet resource I’ve found about a self-supported, uninterrupted thru-hike of the Cantabrian High Route. It’s done in a fastpacking, lightweight style. Once again, only in Spanish.
There is a track available for sale. Access is a bit awkward as the files are now hosted in a separate blog about a yet longer distance traverse linking Cantabrica and Pyrenaica.
The available stage breakdown does not detail start/end point. It’s mostly photos and little text so the language barrier is not significant. The pics provide for the 1000 words analogy.
This resource is interesting if you mean to buy the track files and route detail sheet. It’s probably the closest you can get to a guidebook.
I used the Transcantabrica blog for a general idea of the route. I downloaded the track files as a backup plan but didn’t use them on the trail. I also took notes on my paper maps which I did use as a base for building my own route.
There are two valid sources:
Where IGN stands for Instituto Geografico Nacional or National Geographical Institute, a state-funded organization that provides topographic maps for the whole of Spain. Paper maps are distributed in a grid with no overlap and no regard for where grid borders fall into. Your intended route may be anywhere from nicely centered in a sheet to back and forth across sheet borders to anything in between.
Useful maps are available in 1:25K and 1:50K scales.
Paper maps can be ordered from the IGN website. There are browsing facilities. Most of the website pages are in English.
There is a download service but I’m not really sure actual maps can be downloaded there.
Adrados Ediciones is specialized in the Cantabrian ranges and edits recreational-oriented maps for some popular areas. Three of them would be useful in a watershed high route:
- Parque Natural de Somiedo
- Macizo de Pena Ubina
- Macizo de Fuentes Carrionas
The company appears rather old-fashioned, producing only paper maps and without a proper website, just a Facebook page. The maps are good quality though, if only a bit overloaded (to my taste). These maps would be the best reference for trails and the main drawback is the very limited cover area in the context of a long distance route.
Digital software & smartphone apps
I used the Oruxmaps app in my smartphone. It’s nearly a de-facto standard for Spain. Downloadable topo maps are available from the IGN mapping from within the app interface.
The combination is free of charge (Oruxmaps accepts donations) and works well.