Go World Travel is reader-supported and may earn a commission from purchases made through links in this piece.
Peneda Geres National Park is in the north of Portugal, on the outskirts of the cities of Viana do Castelo and Braga. It is a natural area covering more than seventy thousand hectares.
Furthermore, it is the only protected area in the country with a National Park status. Its ecological and ethnographic value has also earned it the status of World Biosphere Reserve.
This natural paradise connects the Peneda and Geres mountain ranges. It encompasses mountain landscapes where you can discover waterfalls, sanctuaries, traditional villages and exceptional fauna and flora.
Its nature is vast and rugged and the best way to discover its beautiful surroundings is by walking. The park has an extensive network of trails. Some ascend peaks for breathtaking views, others take you to ruined castles, Roman roads or waterfalls.
Peneda Geres is the perfect example of a balance between landscape and history, wildlife and civilization. In this area, human activity is harmoniously integrated with nature.
Best Tips & Tools to Plan Your Trip
Thus, preserving the rural way of life and old values and traditions. For this reason, walking through its ancestral villages seems like a journey into the past. Here you can discover the cultural essence of this land full of mysticism and mystery.
To enter this national park is to discover at every step a place to stop. However, if you only have a few days to explore, here are some of the places you cannot miss if you visit Peneda Geres National Park.
The Tahiti Waterfalls, also known as Arado River Waterfalls, are one of the most beautiful landscapes of the Peneda Geres National Park. The falls are located in Caldas do Geres. They are a series of mountain waterfalls flowing from the Arado River that can be reached by a beautiful trail.
To reach the starting point of this route you must drive along the road linking the towns of Ermida and Fafiao. Once you reach the bridge over the Arado River where you can park your car there.
From here you will go down a winding and slippery path that passes through a series of crystal-clear pools. The path is not easy. There are sections of the route where you will have to hold on to a rope to descend.
At the end of the route, you will arrive at the base of the waterfalls. Here, a lagoon of turquoise waters surrounded by sand invites you to take a dip.
From here, you can also observe the beauty of the waterfall and the incredible natural environment that surrounds it. The Arado River and the gentle slope of the land give way to a succession of waterfalls that in turn create several small pools to jump into.
Undoubtedly, this is an obligatory stop for all those who visit the park. It is also a popular place of recreation for locals who go there in summer for a refreshing swim.
Portela do Homem Waterfall
The waterfall of Portela do Homem is known as one of the wonders of Geres, both for the uniqueness of the environment and for its turquoise waters.
Portela do Homem is located on the Spanish/Portugal border. The best option for going to the wonderful waterfall is to leave the car parked at the border crossing. Then descend on foot for about 800 meters by one of the routes that go into the Albergaria Forest.
You will then will arrive at natural pools of crystalline waters that reach four meters deep, perfect for a dip. In addition, the waters from the river Homem form a spectacular waterfall that serves as the end point of the route.
Pedra Bela Viewpoint
The Pedra Bela viewpoint, located at an altitude of 829 meters, is only a few kilometers from the Arado River waterfall. It is one of the places you should not miss on your visit. From here you can contemplate the incredible beauty of the Peneda Geres National Park.
This point offers a perfect panoramic view of the valley of Geres, the Canicada lagoon, the river Cavado and the mountains and vegetation of this area.
The landscape is like that of a painting and has always been considered a captivating and sacred place. The ancients thought that it had been placed there by the divine hand, as a perfect and imposing piece.
It is a must-visit at any time of the day. But, during sunset, when the sun falls on the viewpoint, the colors are even more intense.
Vila do Geres
This is one of the most famous tourist villages in the park. It is nestled in the valley of the river Geres and is known for its spa and thermal baths.
In this wooded area, you can also swim in the pools that the rivers form along the way. All this makes it the ideal place to rest after a hard day of hiking and regain strength before continuing the journey.
In this beautiful and charming village is the well-preserved 13th-century castle of Lindoso. Inside this fortress, listed as a National Monument, stands its 15-meter-high keep.
In addition, here in Lindoso, there are 62 Portuguese hórreos built in stone. It is the largest concentration of hórreos that can be found in all of Europe.
Book This Trip
Ready to start planning a fantastic foodie getaway to Venice? Get prepared with knowledge on how to get around, hotel and VRBO accommodations, local restaurant reviews, insider tips on the best shopping and more through TripAdvisor and Travelocity.
Be sure to make the most of your trip by planning exciting activities in Peneda Geres, skip-the-line tickets for top attractions and expert-led tours through GetYourGuide. Find more information and book your dates in advance here.
More helpful information: Home – Peneda-Gerês (walkingpenedageres.pt)
Author Bio: Based in France, Lucia Otero Medraño is Spanish with a master’s degree in travel journalism. She has worked in the tourism sector but her true passion is to live enriching experiences and discover amazing places around the world and write about them. In her spare time, she likes to enjoy her second passion, music.