Blog
2017-07-31

The Top 5 Walks to Take in Peneda-Gerês National Park

Protected as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Peneda-Gerês National Park is Portugal’s national treasure and a unique place where nature and humankind effortlessly blend together in perfect harmony. Covering over 700km2 of protected land, the national park boasts an incredibly diverse offer of mountain trails, cultural sites, river beaches, traditional gastronomy and historical villages to visit. We selected our favourite 5 walks to help you step into another world and discover ancient traditions, fascinating animal species, mesmerising religious sites and stunning mountain landscapes.

 

1. Fojo da Portela da Fairra

Extending for almost 10km, the Portela da Fairra circular trail begins and ends in the picturesque village of Parada, taking you deep into the traditional way of life of one of the most fascinating villages of the Peneda-Gerês National Park. Starting in its main square, the trail takes you into the heart of the village to discover traditional stone houses, charming fountains and ancient windmills. From there, head deep into the surrounding forest and lose yourself among the tall _ trees. A breath-taking viewpoint and an old wolf trap are some of the highlights waiting for you on your journey.
Difficulty level: Easy

2. Cidade da Calcedónia

If you want to challenge yourself on your next adventure holiday in Portugal, the Cidade da Calcedónia short trail is your ideal choice. For 7 challenging kilometres, travel back in time on this steep trail and discover an ancient fortified village from the Iron Age. Along the way, you’ll find many other historical and archaeological gems dating back centuries.
Difficulty Level: High

3. São Bento

Blending a beautiful forest landscape with fascinating religious sites, the São Bento trail is a unique window into some of Portugal’s most ancient myths and legends. Stretching along the south-eastern cliffs of the Caldo river valley for some 15km, this trail offers plenty of surprises along the way. Visit the basilica of St. Benedict which is Portugal’s second largest sanctuary and it attracts hundreds of thousands of pilgrims. And spot old coal furnaces and wolf traps along the way. The highlight of the journey, however, are the granite stones with the ancient footprints of St. Eufemia, which have fuelled the local mythology for centuries.
Difficulty Level: Medium/High

4. Trilho dos Currais

Immerse yourself in the ancient pastoral traditions of the Gerês region on this fascinating hike through one of the national park’s most beautiful landscapes. Walk along three deep valleys in the Vilar da Veiga wasteland and observe as shepherds accompany their cattle to graze in this mountainous region for days – sometimes weeks! Along the way, you’ll be met with harsh granite landscapes, steep hills and well-defined water lines that will turn your pleasant walk into a challenging adventure.
Difficulty Level: Medium/High

5. Trilho da Preguiça

Extending for almost 6 kilometres, the Preguiça trail is one of the best routes to take you into the heart of the rich natural landscape of the Peneda-Gerês National Park. Breathe in the fresh air and begin your journey at the viewpoint near Casa da Preguiça. From here, you will be able to look southward and see the Gerês valley stretching into the horizon all the way to the Caniçada dam. Turn to the north and observe the different shades of green that cover the dense forest. It is here that your adventure begins.
Difficulty Level: Medium

 
The Peneda-Gerês National Park is a treasure chest of some of Portugal’s most ancient traditions. And its sheer size and diversity ensure that there is a way for everyone to enjoy and explore this diverse region. No matter what your fitness level, interests and even available time, the Peneda-Gerês National Park has the ideal trail to take you into another world and discover this green oasis of nature, history and perfect harmony.

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