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Peneda-Gerês National Park (1200G)

Geres
Guided Tour Peneda-Gerês National Park (1200G) - Peneda Gerês Natural Park
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Description
GUIDED TOUR
A walk on the wild side

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.

Quietly meander along the intricate shorelines of lakes bordered by ancient fields teaming with wildflowers 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.

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
WEEK’S PROGRAM
Each day breakfast will be taken in the Hotel before leaving for the day’s program.
We will usually leave the Hotel between 9.00 am and 9.30am.
On our return to the Hotel each day we will have time to relax and change before dinner which is usually taken at 7.30pm.
Each evening the guide will give a preview of the next day’s program.
Day’s program is subject to alteration due to weather and local conditions.

DAY 1
Arrival in Porto
We'll meet you at Porto airport and bring you to the Hotel.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

DAY 8
Departure
After breakfast transfer to Porto airport.

The Hotels
  • Beleza da Serra Guide Hotel** (or similar)
We will stay at the Beleza Serra Guide Hotel situated right on the edge of Caniçada reservoir, surrounded by the rare beauty of the Peneda-Gerês National Park. 

This country-style Hotel has its own beach on the waterfront, and with the surrounding mountains is a beautiful and tranquil place to relax after a day’s walking. Simple rooms come with TVs and en-suite bathrooms. Wi-Fi can be found in public areas. 

In the mornings a continental buffet breakfast is served. Bar service is available in the lounge.
What's Included
Accommodation:
  • 7 nights in a twin room (two stars hotel)
  • Single supplement applied in single rooms
Guide:
  • All guided tours
Meals:
  • 7 Dinners taken in local restaurants with drinks included. We are always able to cater for vegetarian or other special diets (Lunches can be bought from local shops)
  • 7 buffet breakfasts at the Hotel.
Transport:
  • Transfers from Porto airport at 12 a.m on the first day
  • Transfers from the Hotel to Porto airport at 12 a.m on last day
  • All land travel (as outlined)
  • Dedicated driver and guide
Not Included
  • 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
More Info
The land only option allows you to book your own transport to and from the holiday. You will normally meet the group at the arrival airport at 12 a.m as long as you arrive there no later than the group. Similarly, on the way home, you can return to the airport with the group as long as your departure time is no earlier than that of the group.

This guided tour already includes a transfer departing from Porto airport at 12 a.m. on arrival day and returning to Porto airport at 12 a.m. on last day.

If none of this option suits you, please add to your booking a transfer that does. You can also rent a car.

To this tour, we only accept transfers departing from Porto Airport or Porto.

Departure dates:
  • ON REQUEST