Portugal's Hidden Wilderness

Dominated by ancient granite massifs, the Peneda-Gerês National Park was established as Portugal’s only national park in 1971 and features deep woodlands, ancient archaeological sites and wide open spaces.

Truly one of the most strikingly beautiful and undisturbed places in Portugal, it lies in the extreme northwest of the country, just 2 hours from Porto’s airport by car.

The Park has a real abundance of rivers, reservoirs and waterfalls, and whether your interests lie in walking, bird-watching, rock climbing or a cool relaxing dip in a clear mountain stream, the natural scenery of Peneda-Gerês has much to offer.

It’s also a very rich historical area. Early signs of human presence date from around 3,000 to 4,000 BC, and many dolmen graves and megalithic monuments can be found along the Park. Evidence of medieval times is present in castles and churches located throughout the rustic hill towns and mountain villages, with cobblestone streets.

Peneda-Gerês, a UNESCO World Heritage site, is a big, overwhelming, wild landscape, formed by glaciers more than 300 million years ago.

A set of mountain ranges act as a natural barrier between the park’s eastern plateaus and the seaward lowlands to the west, and within its more than 700 square kilometres are high windswept plateaus, old growth forests and majestic mountains that shelter an incredible diversity of flora and fauna.

Some of the most common trees and shrubs include oak, holly, yews and silver birches, as well as several endemic species of lily and fern. This all provides ideal shelter to wild goats and a large population of otters, not to mention roe deer, wild horses, golden eagles, peregrine falcons and some of the continent’s last surviving indigenous wolves.

The Park has a real abundance of rivers, reservoirs and waterfalls, and whether your interests lie in walking, bird-watching, rock climbing or a cool relaxing dip in a clear mountain stream, the natural scenery of Peneda-Gerês has much to offer.

This is a tour centred on the mountain village of Castro Laboreiro overlooked by its ancient castle.

On our walks we will not only enjoy the natural beauty of the region, but also visit many of the ancient hamlets spread through the countryside and enjoy the legendary hospitality of the mountain people.

Comfortable ensuite accommodation.
Sociable evenings spent in local restaurants.
A fantastic itinerary of walks, developed and perfected by local resident Portuguese tour leaders, very knowledgeable of the region.
The hospitality and warmth from the local poulation, whilst enjoying dining out at local restaurants every evening.

The tour includes

Airport transfers.

En-suite accommodation in comfortable hotels, beautifully located.

Breakfasts taken at the hotel and dinners in local restaurants.

All transport costs in conjunction with the programme.

Services of a dedicated leader.

Please note:

The walking and sightseeing programs are integral with each other. However because we have dedicated transport with the group there will be considerable flexibility within the program for individual clients.

A wait at the airport may be necessary to enable all passengers to travel together to and from the hotel.

Photo Gallery


A wonderful serenity has taken possession of my entire soul, like these sweet mornings of spring which I enjoy with my whole heart. I am alone, and feel the charm of existence in this spot, which was created for the bliss of souls like mine.

I am so happy, my dear friend, so absorbed in the exquisite sense of mere tranquil existence, that I neglect my talents. I should be incapable of drawing a single stroke at the present moment; and yet I feel that I never was a greater artist than now.

When, while the lovely valley teems with vapour around me, and the meridian sun strikes the upper surface of the impenetrable foliage of my trees, and but a few stray gleams steal into the inner sanctuary, I throw myself down among the tall grass by the trickling stream; and, as I lie close to the earth, a thousand unknown plants are noticed by me: when I hear the buzz of the little world among the stalks, and grow familiar with the countless indescribable forms of the insects and flies, then I feel the presence of the Almighty, who formed us in his own image.

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