Walking in Peneda Gerês National Park

Small Group Walking

Duration: 8 Days / 7 Nights

Grade: Hard (6/8)

In northern Portugal perhaps the most magnificent of all the mountain ranges is the Serra do Gerês.

It comprises half of Portugal’s biggest Natural Reserve and varies from lush lowland lakes and rivers to dramatic high mountain granite ridges separating Portugal from Spain.

The Peneda Gerês National Park is one of the greatest natural attractions in Portugal due to the rare and impressive beauty of its landscape, its ecological value and the variety of its fauna and flora.

  • Groups accepted with a minimum of 6 pax.
  • The amazing Portuguese gastronomy and wines
  • Dedicated driver and tour leader to make sure everything runs smoothly

Groups accepted with a minimum of 6 pax.

 

In northern Portugal perhaps the most magnificent of all the mountain ranges is the Serra do Gerês.

It comprises half of Portugal’s biggest Natural Reserve and varies from lush lowland lakes and rivers to dramatic high mountain granite ridges separating Portugal from Spain.

Walking in Peneda National Park Portugal

Group walking in Geres

The Peneda Gerês National Park is one of the greatest natural attractions in Portugal due to the rare and impressive beauty of its landscape, its ecological value and the variety of its fauna and flora.

Quietly meander along the intricate shore lines of lakes bordered by ancient fields teaming with wild flowers and lined with vines and olives. In the lower hills we explore ancient villages which seem to still exist in an age long since past and whose people still live in close harmony with nature and their surroundings.

There are wooded valleys carved by rivers cascading down into wonderful pools of sparkling clean cool water. Then ancient granite trails take us over the mountains into high hidden valleys where one will still encounter herds of goats on their daily circuit and cowherds protecting their cattle as they slowly move from one pasture to the next, deep within the mountains, until they are ready to come down in the autumn.

GERÊS NATIONAL PARK crystal clear waters

GERÊS NATIONAL PARK crystal clear waters

Here, wild Garrano horses, whose ancestors inhabited these hills even before the Celts arrived, still roam free.

Wolves and wild boar range the most remote parts of these mountains while eagles and other birds of prey soar above.

This is truly one of Europe’s last wildernesses.

At the end of our day, down in the sheltered valley, our hotel provides a haven of comfort with its bar and terrace and its locally renowned restaurant.

This holiday has been designed by our Portuguese experts who live close to the park; you can’t get a higher recommendation than that.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrival 

Transfer by road from Porto airport to Gerês.

 

Day 2 – Monte Walk

A scenic and varied walk. A series of fascinating villages and their field systems to walk through.
The high villages are some of the few in the north where animals can be seen wandering free, in and around the villages.
Our descent through wooded slopes in the afternoon gives tremendous views over the mountains and lakes stretching out in front of us.

Distance: 19.5km/12.11mi; Ascent/descent – 300m/600m

 

Day 3 – Caniçada

Relatively easy walk as a contrast to the mountains. Today is a gentle stroll meandering around the Shore of Caniçada Lake. Shaded by the mixed woodland sheltering innumerable smallholdings where people tend immaculate plots of vines, fruit trees & vegetables.

Distance: 16.5km/10.25mi; Ascent/descent: 150m/300m

 

Day 4 – Ermida

Spectacular walk, over varying terrain and through ever changing scenery.
An ancient trail used by the goats from the village of Ermida leads us to dramatic boulders & outcrops.
We visit Cascata do Arado, one of the most iconic waterfalls in the National Park and winding wooded trails lead us to Pedra Bela a high rocky viewpoint towering above the valley of Gerês and our hotel far below.

Distance: 16.6km/10.3mi; Ascent/descent: 500m/700m

 

Day 5 – Calcedonia (Option: free day)

Attractive walk through the village of Campo do Gerês then tremendous open rocky scenery.
Our mountain trail visits the ancient and evocative settlement of Calcedonia going back to Celtic times and before. The oldest signs of human habitation in the park date back to 6000 years bc. We then return to civilization with a welcoming café in the village of Covide.

Distance: 16km/10mi; Ascent/descent: 350m/470m

 

Day 6 – Vilarinho Walk

A walk through the lush Mata da Albergaria, the richest area of the park for trees and vegetation.
We crisscross the cascading Rio Homen and then enjoy the views as we stroll above the lake of Vilarinho das Furnas. If weather permits we can enjoy a swim in the crystal clear waters.

Distance: 15.4km/9.5mi; Ascent/descent: 250m/300m

 

Day 7 – Hidden Valley

A big walk in every way, one of the classics of the Gerês. Bleak and dramatic high mountain scenery.
An ancient trail leads us up into the mountains and the high Hidden Valley within, passing through timeless mountains pastures set amongst the harsh mountain terrain.

Distance:13.3km/8.26mi; Ascent/descent: 415m/900m

 

Day 8 – Departure

After breakfast transfer to Porto airport.

 

What's included

Accommodation

  • 7 nights in a twin standard room for two pax
  • Shared ensuite room with a travelling companion of the same sex
  • Single supplement available with a surcharge
  • Extra nights available on request

Meals

  • 7 buffet breakfasts at the Hotel
  • 7 Dinners with drinks included

Transport

  • Meet & Greet Airport Transfer to the hotel on the first day – group transfer
  • Transfer from the hotel to the Airport on last day – group transfer
  • All transports to walks and activities (as outlined) with dedicated driver and vehicle
  • Additional transfers available on request at an extra cost

Tour Leaders

  • Dedicated English speaking local tour leader
    The tour leader will assist and guide the group throughout the holidays, handle all the arrangements and other needs that might arise, making sure that you don’t have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday
    Each evening, your tour leader will discuss the details and program for the following day

Walks and Activities

  • Walks according to program

Exclusions

Any services not listed as included

  • Flights to and from Portugal
  • Meals, tips/gratuities, baggage or personal insurance (except as outlined)
  • Admission fees to castles & attractions or events (except as outlined)
  • Personal expenses
  • Supplements
  • Guide services inside monuments

Insurance

You must be adequately insured to join our Guided holidays and Self-Guided holidays. We do not insist that you insure with us but we require that you are adequately insured for the nature of your holiday.

BeCool Travel has partnered with WorldNomads.com to keep you travelling safely. WorldNomads.com Travel Insurance is designed for independent and adventurous travellers, with coverage for overseas medical expenses, cancellation, baggage, and other expenses.

Please consult our Travel Insurance page, where you’ll be able to get more detailed info about insurance requirements and an immediate quote for your trip.