Peneda-Geres National Park

Peneda Geres in Portugal – Beautifully Preserved Natural Park for the Brave and the Bold

Anyone in search for a great outdoor adventure in Portugal will likely find the northwest part of the country interesting. This is mainly because it is where lies an undisturbed and strikingly well-preserved area, the Peneda-Geres Portugal National Park. The Park is one of the 11 parks in Europe that are supported by the Pan Parks Foundation in an effort to preserve the natural habitats and natural resources of the continent.

The Peneda-Geres Park comprises approximately 72,000 hectares in land area, and encompasses five districts namely Arcos de Valdevez, Terras de Bouro, Melgao, Ponte da Barca, and Montalegre. It also covers various mountain ranges that include Amarela, Soajo, Peneda, and Geres. These mountain ranges, which were formed by glaciers about 300 million years ago, extend all the way up to Xures, which is already a part of Spain.

The spectacular bodies of water, which range from waterfalls to rivers and lakes, are the most notable geographical characteristics of the Peneda-Geres Park. In fact, every mountain slope in the area boasts of breathtaking waterfalls, brooks, and rivers ideal for individuals looking for adventure tours. Moreover, the park also features various types of landscapes, such as valleys and granite landscapes, which showcase diverse ecosystems and microclimates that allow several species of flora and fauna to thrive in the area. Home to rich flora and fauna, it is no surprise why the Geres Portugal Park is being preserved and protected.

However, the majestic natural features of Peneda-Geres Park are not the sole reason why it has been attracting approximately 250,000 visitors annually. There are various historical sites and small villages within and along the area that are worth paying a visit as well. For instance, there is a small museum found at the central zone of the park that allows visitors to have a glimpse of the earlier inhabitants of the village called Vilarinho das Furnas.

Visitors may also explore the small villages within the national park, including the Campo de Geres that lead towards the Sanctuary of Sao Bento where the renowned pilgrimage celebration is held every 15th of August. In addition to cultural tours, tourists can immerse in the breathtaking view of landscapes from Geres village.

From Lisbon, Peneda Geres Portugal National Park is only 4 hours away by bus or car. Since it is located at the extreme northwest part of Portugal, it is also accessible from the Spanish border.

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