WALK ON THE WILD SIDE in the Peneda – Geres National Park

The Peneda – Geres is Portugal’s only National Park, established in 1971 to help preserve the traditional way of life of its dwindling inhabitants but also a unique set of ecosystems – from granite peaks to lush forests of oak and pine. In this walking tour we will experience the whole variety of landscapes and visit some of Portugals oldest villages – it promises to be a week to remember (for all the right reasons!). The first 3 nights will be spent in the far north-west corner of the Park right by the Spanish border in a comfortable 3 star hotel. For the final 4 nights in a 4 star hotel with spa in the town of Arcos de Valdevez, one of the gateways to the National Park.

This week is rated moderate because there are some climbs on most walks but these are always done at a gentle pace.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Stunning mountain scenery
  • Beautifully rich landscapes
  • A well preserved historical heritage
  • Acclaimed gastronomy
  • Ancestral traditions

ITINERARY

Day 1. Transfer from Porto to Castro Laboreiro near Melgacao (about 2 hours).

Day 2. A circular walk from the hotel in the morning that will show the wonders of the Labreiro plateau with its granite peaks. In the afternoon after a short drive to Lamas de Mouro we will walk through some of the most ancient countryside with scenic bridges, old watermills and terraced farms, 10.2km. Overnight Castro Laboreiro

Day 3. Today we walk along paths dating back to the middle ages that connected the higher summer villages (brandades) to the lower winter ones (inveirnos) and the walk will offer us a unique glimpse into a way of life that sadly is no longer. Stunning scenery along the way, 16.8km. Overnight Castro Laboreiro

Day 4. We drive south to Arcos de Valdevez but this is not just any drive! We pass into Spain as the National Park extends across the border and then back to Portugal and the historic town of Lindosa. The town is famous for its 13thcentury castle and medieval grain stores – we have time to explore before an afternoon walk to stretch our legs, 7km. Overnight Arcos de Valdevez

Day 5. The northern slope of the Peneda Mountain is our destination today where we find a unique landscape that has been fashioned by the ice age. The valley of Alto Vez and the amazing terraced fields and the sheer beauty of the area will take your breath away, 12.8km. Overnight Arcos

Day 6. Today we walk on the southern flanks of the Peneda mountain where we follow a trail that winds through oak forests and over open fields where the local Barrosa cattle graze. We pass the old summer village of Branda of Gorbelas that used to offer protection to shepherds from wolves and cold nights, 12km. Overnight Arcos

Day 7. We travel east to walk in the Geres Mountains today where you should see goats, cattle and horses enjoying the pastures of the hillsides and our path takes us along the margins of the Canicada reservoir and up into the hills above, 15km. Overnight Arcos

Day 8. Transfer back to Porto in the morning.

INCLUDED

  • 7 night’s accommodation in twin/double room with en-suite facilities
  • 7 breakfasts and dinners
  • 6 lunches will be picnics which we carry with us
  • Movement of luggage between hotels
  • Transfers to and from Porto and throughout the week
  • Experienced walk leader

NOT INCLUDED

  • Flights and travel to Porto
  • Travel insurance
  • 1 lunch

Dates: MAY 31 and SEPTEMBER 20 2020

Cost per person: 980 euro

Single room supplement: 180 euro