Drive more-or-less straight to Fuente Dé, without stopping for lunch at Potes. Go directly to the Taquilla(ticket) kiosk and buy your tickets, single (ida) or return (ida y vuelta, 16 euros in 2014). The guy will tell you approximate waiting time; in our case (at 2pm in July) it was 1. 5 hours. The tickets are numbered and clear announcements are made over a PA system in Spanish and English every 20 minutes stating which numbers should go to the cable car entrance to await departure.
Then you could head for the very nice, good value bar/café/restaurant – in the photo above – next to the lower cable car terminal and have a drink and/or a bite/lunch on the gorgeous terrace.
Behind the bar is a meter that counts off the teleférico departure numbers corresponding to your tickets, but the audio announcements are clear anywhere in the vicinity.
Combine lunch with a bit of a wander and one or two hours of waiting time will disappear and you can reach the summit at the best time, giving you a chance of grand views and decent warmth if you choose to do one of the longish walks.
A stroll around the area shows grand views and signs indicating places to stay, or walks from this point, though we find it strange that the Vega de Liordes sign above states that the hike takes 3. 5 hours but the map below and online information clearly says it’s a 5. 5 hours stretch.
Online information about the Picos de Europa is generally in Spanish and not at all well organised, along with a half-assed attempt at other languages that fails more often than it succeeds