Just arrived home from a weekend gateway in Gerês. This is a perfect destination for many types of tourists. It will suit you perfectly either if you are young and looking for adventure, or if you are a nature lover, or even for families with kids. You just need to be up for some walks in the woods so that you can find the most amazing, untouched spots.
About the Destination
Peneda-Gerês was the first ever protected area in Portugal (since 1971) and is the only one with the designation of National Park. All along it’s 69 963 acres you can get lost and be amazed by the pristine landscape you will find. Gerês is also a very important place because of its biodiversity. Therefore do not be surprised if the lagoons have many fishes or if you find wild cows and/or horses just chilling in the mountain. Still talking about its natural elements, the colossal granite rocks will present you with some outstanding waterfalls and perfect photographs scenarios (you do not need to be a great photographer in Gerês, its natural beauty will do all the work for you!) and the water is as transparent and pure as it can be.
In terms of facilities there is everything you might need. There are different types of accommodation for distinct types of tourists (high end and low budget hotels, hostels and camping) but all of them are in the range of small to medium scale; in the mountains you’ll find some small villages with traditional restaurants and a few artisans shops.
But for sure, when travelling to Gerês the most important is to let yourself connect with all the nature surrounding you! Forget the luxuries and enjoy some of the most astonishing natural scenarios you will find in Portugal and, I dare to say, the World!
Advice: Do a guided tour! Guides will know the most untouched places that will blow your mind and the prices are affordable. If you are in Porto, for example, there are also some adventure companies (I recommend you choose Detours) that start their journey in the city and spend the whole day showing you the best Gerês has to offer! Keep in mind you need a car to fully experience your stay!
The Places I visited: Tahiti Waterfall; Arado Waterfall; Portela do Homem; Pedra Bela viewpoint; A walk in the woods (with a bath in the lagoon in the middle) near the boarder with Spain; A hidden Lagoon, still with no name; Fafião Village; Vilarinho das Furnas, the submerged village.
I leave you with some photographs I took:
Vilarinho das Furnas was a village, submerged under this lake since 1971 due to the construction of a dam. When the dam is cleaned or during dry seasons the old paths and houses emerge to the surface allowing for one of a kind experience!