Gerês National Park
Based in Pitões das Júnias
Our tour is centred in Pitões das Júnias, the highest village in Portugal. It is surrounded by a magnificent landscape of green upland meadows with a backdrop of formidable granitic crags and silence.
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 and a stone’s throw from the Spanish border.
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.
Pitões is a natural base from which to head west into the mountains.
It is one of the finest walking centres there is, giving a range of immensely varied walks from rugged crags, rolling moorland and wooded valleys with streams cascading through.
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.>
|Comfortable en-suite accommodation.|
|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 population, whilst enjoying dining out at local restaurants every evening.|
The tour includes
Accommodation vouchers in the chosen regime
Transports according to the programme
Emergency contact numbers (24h hot line)
General information on your holiday, gastronomy and history of the region
Suggestions of local restaurants and places of interest to visit
Detailed walking maps and descriptions of the walks