Groups accepted with a minimum of 6 pax.
A showcase of great landscapes, the Peneda-Gerês National Park is an exquisite environment of outstanding beauty.
In this high country the air is crystalline and the waters pure.
This national park contains some of the most beautiful and varied scenery found in the whole of the country and here you’ll find an abundance of rare wild flowers, birds of prey, herds of wild horses and other wildlife.
Peneda Sanctuary – Peneda National Park Portugal
Our two-centre holiday in the northwest of the Park is centred in the Serra da Peneda. It is designed so that you visit the most spectacular and interesting parts of these mountains.
Our remarkably varied walks will circle the dramatic crags and granite landscape of Meadinha and follow ancient trails down the lush valley of the river Peneda.
The somewhat remote location has protected the park. You will not only enjoy the beauty of the region, from dramatic rolling moorland to towering granite crags, but also visit many of the ancient hamlets dotted about the countryside and enjoy the legendary hospitality of the mountain people.
Our first centre is in the mountain village of Castro Laboreiro overlooked by its ancient castle.
Group Walking in Peneda National Park Portugal
Isolated traditional villages with high mountain meadows and rolling moorland stretch to the frontier with Spain to the east. Yet, walk out of the hotel to the west and we are amongst towering granite crags and hidden wooded valleys.
The village with its cafés and a remarkably comfortable and well-appointed hotel gives us the ideal place from which to explore and then to relax at the end of our day.
We are able to walk across the mountains to our second location in the beautiful, remote, yet famous, sanctuary of Nossa Senhora da Peneda.
Our hotel in Peneda, once the pilgrims’ hostel, has been imaginatively converted into a high quality hotel. It is set to one side of the sanctuary with a backdrop of trees, crags and waterfalls with the grand stairway of the Sanctuary descending into the valley below.
Day 1 – Arrival to Porto
Fly into Porto & transfer by road to Castro Laboreiro (approximately two hours from Porto Airport).
If time allows we suggest a familiarisation walk around the village.
Castro Laboreiro Castle
Day 2 – Castro Laboreiro Castle and Penedos de Castro Laboreiro
A short walk to the remains of the castle above the village of Castro Laboreiro. The castle dates back to the founding of Portugal and is accessed by a circular route from the village. An ideal morning walk before an elevenses stop in the village cafés.
After that we’ll take a walk into and amongst the dramatic rock outcrops to the west of the village of Castro Laboreiro. Initially following narrow mountain trails up into the hills, then returning on easier paths and tracks.
Castro Laboreiro bridge
Day 3 – Castrejo
Based partly on a local waymarked route this walk explores the valley below Castro Laboreiro and visits many of the tiny villages in the area letting us see some traditional farming and the way of life of the area.
Day 4 – Alto de Gontim
A contrast to our other walks in the area, this walk goes along pleasant easy tracks and through villages and explores the moorland area to the east of Castro Laboreiro. As the walk climbs to the border with Spain it gives extensive views over the whole region.
Day 5 – Castro Laboreiro to Peneda
This walk links our two centres.
We head east on an ancient trail over the mountains and descend to the area of Lamas do Mouro where we have a mid-morning break and visit one of the main information centres for the National Park.
After walking up to the head of the Peneda Valley we then follow the old route as it descends alongside the River Peneda to our next hotel at one of Portugal´s iconic pilgrimage centres with its remarkable sanctuary and grand staircase.
Day 6 – Meadinha and Bouça dos Homens
This walk passes through some of the most dramatic granite scenery in these mountains and visits the isolated village of Bouça dos Homens where the local populations still spend their summer months before retreating to the valleys in the winter along with their animals.
Peneda-Gerês National Park outstanding beauty
Day 7 – Valley of Rio da Peneda
A walk descending the valley below Peneda. We begin by going down the dramatic staircase of the Sanctuary and then continue on the ancient trail that leads down the valley.
As we descend into the lower, warmer, valley we see lush vegetation and fascinating villages where the milder climate enables a more varied agriculture.
Much of our walk again accompanies the local rivers as they cascade down the valley and we visit the confluence of the rivers Peneda and Pomba.
Peneda Sanctuary – Peneda National Park Portugal
Day 8 – Departure
Transport by road to Porto airport
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