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Peneda-Gerês National Park (Portuguese: Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês) is a national park in Portugal and is the only national park in Portugal, covering an area of 695.93 km2 (268.70 sq mi).

Understand[edit]

Mergulhar com os Olhos.JPG

Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês (PAHRCK(ih) nuh-see-oo-NAHL duh p(ih)-NEH-duh zh(ih)-rihsh, /ˈpaɾ.kɨ nɐ.si.u.ˈnaɫ dɐ pɨ.ˈne.dɐ ʒɨ.ˈɾeʃ/) is in the districts of Viana do Castelo, Braga and Vila Real; set along the mountains of Peneda, Larouco, Geres, it is one of the most spectacular in the Iberian Peninsula.

History[edit]

Landscape[edit]

Flora and fauna[edit]

The park has a large variety of fauna - including deer, wild horses, wolves and birds of prey - and flora such as pine, yew, chestnut and oak trees, as well as medicinal plants.

Climate[edit]

Visitor information[edit]

Get in[edit]

You can access the park via the A3 motorway (Autoestrada de Entre-Douro-e-Minho). Take exit 11 to the N203 road into the park.

The N103 road from Viana do Castelo, Braga, Chaves, and Bragança runs close to the park's southern edge. Connecting roads into the park include the N304.

It's possible to reach the town of Gêres by bus from Braga (main bus station) using the company "Empresa Hoteleira do Gêres". Note that service is very sparse on the weekends, check schedules here. From Gêres, the bus back to Braga leaves from the opposite side of the main downtown along the southbound one way main street. Buy your ticket on the bus, €4,50 one way as of Apr 2022. Bus service also exists to Campo do Gêres from Braga using buses from the Transdev company.

Fees and permits[edit]

No fees or permits are required to visit the park.

Get around[edit]

Map of Peneda-Gerês National Park

See[edit]

  • 1 Soajo. A town known for its large number of granaries, constructed to protect crops from rodents. The town's chapel also merits a visit or pilgrimage.
  • 2 Santuário de Nossa Senhora da Peneda (Shrine of Our Lady of Peneda.). 18th-century shrine, inspired by the Bom Jesus shrine in Braga. It includes a staircase known as the "staircase of virtues", the "Yard of the Evangelists" and a church. In 1220, the Virgin Mary is said to have made an appearance in person.
  • 3 Santuário de São Bento da Porta Aberta (Shrine of Saint Benedict of the Open Door) (Rio Caldo), +351 253 390 180. Every day 08:00–19:00. Built in the 19th century, this shrine is famous for the blue tiles inside the main chapel.
  • 4 Mata da Albergaria (2 km south of Portela do Homem, on the M531 road). A botanical reserve of great importance, which hosts many oak trees which are emblematic of the region's vegetation. It is also notable for the trace remains of an old Roman road, which crosses the reserve and once linked Braga with León (Spain).

Do[edit]

There are a couple of nice hiking opportunities in the park. You can get free maps and information at the tourist information centre in Gerês, but they only offer information for nearby tracks. For information on other tracks you have to go to an office of the national park itself.

Hiking tracks from Gerês

  • PR 3: starts and ends in Gerês; duration: 5 hr:
Goes up the mountain close to Gerês through beautiful forest until a viewpoint, where you can see all over the valley and the lake. Then, the trail goes on a plateau with very nice rock formations, where you can see some wild horses and cattle. Then down you go again through forest and the valley back on an asphalt road (no traffic) to Gerês.
  • PR10: “the lazy trail”: starts and ends in Gerês; duration: 2 hr:
A circuit through the forest at the mountain in Gerês.

Buy[edit]

Eat[edit]

Drink[edit]

Sleep[edit]

Lodging[edit]

There is lots of accommodation in Gerês.

Camping[edit]

Backcountry[edit]

Stay safe[edit]

Go next[edit]

This park travel guide to Peneda-Gerês National Park is a usable article. It has information about the park, for getting in, about a few attractions, and about accommodations in the park. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.