Four breathtaking trails in Portugal’s Gerês national park
Northern Portugal’s Peneda Geres National Park, which covers around 697 square kilometres, is a hiker’s paradise. Home to breathtaking oak forests and wild animals like Garrano ponies and deer, it was established in 1971. While it’s a two hour drive away from Porto Airport, it’s well worth the trip. Here are four of the most beautiful trails to explore.
This is an intermediate trail for the more adventurous. The Poço Azul (‘Blue Well’) is an idyllic lagoon with crystal-clear water that comes from the Landeira stream, which flows through granitic rocks to create a waterfall, and takes around 11 km to reach. To get there, park at the Miradouro das Rocas car park and walk by the trail that runs along the Arado river and leads up to the picturesque Arado waterfall. From there, another trail will lead you up to the Poço Azul.
Trilho da Preguiça
Starting along the N308, this trail is perfect for families as it’s not too challenging, although the terrain is a bit uneven and stony. The trail (‘trail of laziness’) begins by the Casa do Guarda Florestal da Preguiça and is around 4km long (a 3-hour walk approximately). The view of the Geres valley is truly stunning.
Trilho dos Currais
This 10 km loop winds through dense oak and pine trees, and is suitable if you’re an intermediate or experienced hiker. You’ll need around four or five hours to complete it. It offers spectacular valley views from the top and is signposted on the east side of the N308.
If you’re curious to explore religious sites and ancient mythology, the São Bento trail is a great option. A moderately challenging route, it is some 15 km long, takes around 6 hours to complete and stretches along the cliffs of the Caldo river valley. The basilica of São Bento da Porta Aberta (Saint Benedict of the Open Door), which attracts thousands of pilgrims and is the country’s second largest shrine, is one of the gems you’ll encounter on this magical journey.
Discover more must-see breathaking destinations, including the Clos Vougeot vineyard in the Burgundy wine region.
Credits for the Main photo: © Eric Bontul, CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons