Meet The Geres Portugals Energetic National Park

This article has a dual purpose: to show that a luxury vacation should not be too expensive, and also to present a worthy destination in Portugal, which few international travelers know. Here you will discover the only National Park in Portugal, Geres.

For starters, a bit of geographical context; although commonly (and affectionately) referred to simply as Geres, its current name is Peneda/Geres National Park – a reference to the two mountain ranges that define its outer borders – from Minho province in the north to the Spanish border (total area over 270 square miles).

Due to its special location, altitude and climate, this National park has some features and landscapes that are quite fresh and unique, especially in the Geres mountains. In the region there is a large list of endangered and endangered species (fauna and flora), which explains the strict guidelines for Nature Conservation: in many parts of the park, no campsites, no plant collectors and no cars are allowed.

If you want to discover the best of Les Geres, we recommend spending a week or two in this area for a quiet exploration. In the eponymous village of Geres there are many opportunities for rural tourism, but if you want to avoid the crowds that gather there in the summer, we recommend exploring the small picturesque village of “Campo Do Geres”.

There you will have a strategic location after exploring and you will find nice houses for rent at an almost negligible price. The locals are very friendly and easy to live in and most of the cottages are located here all over the village overlooking the beautiful mountain scenery.

From rural accommodation in the villages of Geres you have a choice of several entertainment options. There are activity centers and campsites where you can meet other people or have a drink; there you can go canoeing on local dams or enjoy horse climbing… but the real wonders of Geres are reserved for those who like to walk and communicate with nature.

For real explorers among them there are several walking routes (where every local will gladly lead you). Some of these routes are a pleasant walk through the forest, while others can be quite difficult, and crossing the harsh swirling trails can take several hours-these, Of course, are the most satisfying.

A striking example of the latter are the trips to the “Minas de Carris”, once the area of tungsten mining. This route will take you to the highest point of the Geres mountains and back to the village of Geres and its crossing can take 5 to 8 hours. The road is not always comfortable-some sections consist of random bundles of rocks and intrusive, stunning (and not only figuratively) steep paths. Tip: bring plenty of water; although there are several natural springs (and even some enticing natural pools) on the way, they are still less difficult to find when you get to the higher places that make up most of this route.

Another mandatory tourist route in Geres is the route leading to Caledonia (the remains of an ancient village). From the plains of “Junceda” it is much easier route, which can be overcome in just two hours. One of the most memorable parts is the great Caledonian rock at the end, a giant rock divided into two parts, with a narrow path leading to the top. Discover from above some of the postcard landscapes you have ever imagined.

Tip: although the paths of Geres are usually clearly marked, you should take a map and compass with you and walk carefully so as not to get lost – especially if you do not have much experience in climbing. Ideally, you should travel in groups, because there is no mobile phone coverage in the upper terrain-which means that if something goes wrong, you will really be cut off from civilization. In addition, if you have huge cattle in the mountains, do not worry, they really are not as formidable as it seems.

Despite all the difficult trails and impressive livestock, Peneda-Geres national is a fresh and relaxing place to spend your holidays. It is also a relatively inexpensive destination, ideal for the whole family. There is something to experience the tastes of nature lovers, lovers of thrills or even residents of quiet cottages. They say that beauty is in the eye of the discoverer; not here; if you explore Geres, you will certainly notice how beautiful beauty is everywhere and around you.

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