Why visit Peneda Gerês National Park?
Updated: May 26
There are many natural gems to be found in this region but the absolute highlight is Peneda Gerês National Park, an extremely varied destination by itself, where you can easily spend your entire holiday.
In summer, crowds of international tourists flock to the beaches in the Algarve, while locals travel to the pristine northern part of Portugal. This area allows you to combine it all in one holiday. Nature, culture, gastronomy, adventure and time to relax? All is possible here!
Peneda-Gerês National Park
Between the plateau of Castro Laboreiro and the plateau of Mourela a vast and beautiful, classified area is waiting to be explored. Valleys, mountains and rivers are home to various ecosystems. The Serra da Peneda and the Serra do Gerês are the most well-known mountain chains. They have distinct geological characteristics and are divided from each other by the Serra Amarela, the Yellow Mountain range. The main hydrographic basin of the Minho river, which is fed by a complex network of water ways, further defines the special character of this region. In Ramiscal, Albergaria, Cabril and Beredo truly unique forests are home to an incredible biodiversity.
Animals such as the Iberian wolf, the golden eagle and the mountain goat are examples of threatened wildlife which luckily find refuge in the PNPG (Parque National do Peneda-Gerês).
As for local flora, you can also encounter a variety of endemic species. The highlight is an Iberian endemism which can only be found in the Gerês Mountains, called the Lírio do Gerês.
On top of that, a rich historical and cultural heritage is present throughout the National Park. Megalithic, commemorative monuments, Roman bridges, medieval sidewalks, castles, granite granaries, community ovens, water mills, levadas, terraces, remains of transhumance, hermitages, shrines and ancient wolf traps, are just a few examples.
Everywhere you go in these mountains you encounter the marks of human presence. They take you right back to ancient times, making a holiday in Peneda-Gerês not only a trip full of gorgeous landscapes but also a mysterious voyage back in time.
The relationship between mankind and nature makes Peneda-Gerês National Park a very authentic and fascinating place which should actually be on everyone’s bucket list. Though, it may be better not to shout it from the rooftops. A secret can only be enjoyed to the fullest when it stays a secret to the masses, so pack your backpack quietly and be there before the word gets out ;-).
There are so many hiking trails along gorgeous landscapes and interesting man-made structures that it may be hard to choose which ones you will take during your holiday. We can help you plan. What about staying in your own traditional, rural house? Or a picnic lunch with tasty and fresh local produce? Maybe a canyoning adventure in between hiking days? 24/7 support by locals? A local guide to accompany you?
Don’t hesitate to let us know how we can help. We will be more than happy to assist.
Have a great day,