What is someone looking for in Peneda-Gerês anyway?
Peneda-Gerês National Park.
During the month of August, Portuguese and Spaniards, along with many other nationalities, enjoy their holidays. All visiting guests of our bed and breakfast visit Portugal's oldest and largest national park Gerês: or in full Peneda-Gerês National Park. Of course, it is easy to google to find all the information about that park, and visitors have done so many times. Gerês is the wet, and therefore green, part of the park. Peneda I always call the dry rocky part. Both are very attractive to nature lovers and sportsmen. The park lends itself perfectly to a half-day, day or even several days. Picnic, sightseeing and sports are the main activities. For the picnic, national sport, many tables and benches are available, often also with barbecues. For sports, you can choose from hiking, mountain biking, horse riding, but at least swimming in the lakes near the vel waterfalls in Gerês. You can either go on your own, but a guide can add value. The guides usually speak some English, but if you haven't checked, you are taking a risk or opportunity to improve your Portuguese.
From Barreiros, it's just under an hour by car. This drive, via Amares, is also beautiful. Breathtaking views as you follow the Covádo river, puddles, mountains and elevation changes. At the end of the drive, you arrive in the town of Vila Gerês, gateway [1 of many] to the park. A similar picture, with the road appearing narrower due to the many overhanging trees, than reality actually is. If you stay in your car you will see several smaller waterfalls. The light through the trees can be wonderfully beautiful. The route ends at the Spanish border. Get out, walk around, recharge for the way back. You can follow the same road, but there are alternatives with also very interesting villages and historical sites to visit.
Watch out for crossing cows, goats, elderly people and horses!
This blog previously appeared in a modified form on saudadesdeportugal.nl.
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