Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Inside Geres National Park: Portugal's Stunning Hidden Gem
When we think about traveling to Portugal, the first images that come to mind are cities like Lisbon and Porto, with big buildings, squares and churches, right? However, Portugal has much more to offer, including Geres National Park, one of the largest natural parks in Europe.
Located in the northern region of Portugal, it is the only national park in Portugal. It covers the districts of Braga, Viana do Castelo and Vila Real, with approximately 70,000 km and several attractions and tours for the whole family.
Gerês was chosen as a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, and has been considered in recent years as one of the greatest natural attractions in Portugal.
Want to visit for yourself? Here are the best places and activities to see and do while visiting Geres National Park.
1. Castro Laboreiro
Castro Laboreiro belongs to the city of Melgaço and is located in the Peneda-Geres National Park. It has one of the richest prehistoric heritages in the country, which includes cave engravings and paintings dating back 5,000 years.
This village has a rich historical and architectural heritage, dating from the 16th century, with medieval churches, castles, ancient bridges and mills.
Soajo is a small and village located in the park and known for its granaries, delicious cuisine, and the medieval Ladeira bridge.
There, you can enjoy a fantastic view of the surrounding countryside and hiking is the best way to discover the natural beauty of this protected area.
During your visit, you can walk through the narrow streets of the village, and taste the local cuisine at some of Soajo’s restaurants.
3. The Portela Waterfall
The Portela waterfall is located in the district of Braga. The waterfall offers crystal clear waters that form a natural lagoon, attracting thousands of tourists throughout the year. I
n summer the water temperature can reach 68 degrees, in winter, 50 degrees.
If you like hiking, Geres National Park offers dozens of nature walks that cross the park.
Most of the trails have information and maps, but it is recommended to do the longer ones with a professional.
5. Miradouro da Pedra Bela
Miradouro da Pedra Bela, in Terras de Bouro, is situated at an altitude of about 800 meters.
This is one of the most famous places in Geres, and once visitors see the landscape, they understand why.