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.
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
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.
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.
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