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Peneda-Gerês National Park

The Peneda-Gerês National Park is a protected area, located in the northern region of Portugal, near the city of Braga. The area of the park covers the territories of Braga, Viana do Castelo and Vila Real.

Peneda-Gerês is the only National Park in Portuguese territory and has a total area of 70,290 hectares that affect the territory of 22 Parishes.

Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês

This post is for those who love ecotourism and love being in touch with nature. We have listed some information and tips about the Peneda-Gerês National Park to help you plan your trip and enjoy it to the fullest!

Peneda-Gerês National Park 01

How to get to Peneda-Gerês National Park

Although the best option is to make this trip by car, there is the option of a bus that goes from Braga and drops you off at the village of Gerês.

It is worth remembering that all inns and hotels are located in the village of Gerês. However, when you arrive at the village, you will still be approximately 30 min (by car) from the Peneda-Gerês National Park.

There is also a taxi service, which can be used throughout the region. Evaluate considering your itinerary whether it is worth renting a vehicle, to optimize costs and make the most of your trip and time!

How to get to Peneda-Gerês National Park from the main cities in Portugal:

  • If you are departing from the city of Porto, the trip will take just over an hour to cover the more than 100 km following the A3.
  • If you depart from Lisbon, the trip is longer, approximately four hours, depending on the route chosen.
  • Departing from Braga, and following the same route the bus would take, it is a shorter journey, approximately forty minutes.

What to do in Peneda-Gerês National Park

There are MANY trails, waterfalls, activities and viewpoints in Peneda-Gerês in Portugal. We will mention the most famous attractions, that is, what you cannot miss:

  • Misarela Bridge (Ponte da Misarela): Also known as Devil’s Bridge (Ponte do Diabo), it is located in the Municipality of Vieira do Minho, over the Rabagão River. The bridge is in medieval style and was built in the Middle Ages.

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  • Sanctuary of São Bento da Porta Aberta and Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora da Peneda: The first, with its neoclassical and neobaroque style, is located in Terras de Bouro. The second is located in the Municipality of Arcos de Valdevez and is a Catholic sanctuary in honor of Mary, mother of Jesus.
  • Lindoso Castle: Medieval Castle considered an important military monument in Portugal.
  • Soajo: Village with medieval architecture, made entirely of stone. There you will be able to see the many granaries built in the 1780s.

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  • Pitões das Júnias: One of the highest, traditional and picturesque villages in Portugal. It is located in Serra do Gerês and has a beautiful view of the Paradela Dam.
  • Pedra Bela Viewpoint: A beautiful and breathtaking view of the Peneda-Gerês National Park.

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  • Castro Laboreiro: small town in the municipality of Melgaço. Between Serra da Peneda and Serra de Castro Laboreiro, this village has many traditions and intact constructions.
  • Sistelo Village: One of the winning villages of the 7 Wonders of Portugal.

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  • 4×4 Tours: There are many agencies that offer packages with buggy rides or 4×4 vehicles. The tours are varied, with the option of doing some trails with the car or even personalized tours within the Peneda-Gerês National Park.

In addition, we recommend a visit to the São Martinho restaurant, which is located near Lindoso Castle. The restaurant serves a famous typical dish, Posta à Barrosã. It is worth checking. After all, at some point, hunger presses, right?

River beaches and waterfalls in Peneda-Gerês National Park

Among the various attractions, there are also river beaches, waterfalls and wells. Check out:

  • River beaches: The Park has 7 river beaches. The main ones are Praia de Ipanema, Praia do Alqueirão and Praia Fluvial do Ermal.
  • Poço Azul: A beautiful pool of crystalline water that can be enjoyed at the end of a 5 km walk.
  • There are several waterfalls in Peneda-Gerês. Discover the 7 best waterfalls in Peneda-Gerês National Park!
  • Water sports/activities: canoeing, canyoning and many tours to discover the surrounding nature.
  • In addition, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding are also offered at some locations.

It is worth mentioning that the entrance to the Peneda-Gerês National Park is free and there is no ticket office. Some activities, however, such as ecotourism tours, active and adventure tourism modalities, and professional guides, are paid directly with the agencies that carry out these activities.

Where to stay in the Peneda-Gerês National Park region

We will leave you some accommodation options in the Peneda-Gerês National Park region for those who want to stay and enjoy multiple days in the surroundings:

  • Mosteiro de Amares Inn
  • Luna Arcos Hotel Nature & Wellness
  • Ribeira Collection Hotel – Piamonte Hotels
  • Baltazar Hotel
  • Galicia Guesthouse
  • Nations Gerês – Bed & Breakfast
  • Hotel Castrum Villae – Walk Hotels

What are you waiting for to plan your visit to Peneda-Gerês National Park and enjoy all the activities that this Portguese ecotourism icon offers? You can be sure that, there, you won’t stay still!

Natália Freitas

Natália Freitas


Graduated in Tourism at Universidade Anhembi Morumbi in São Paulo, Natália is passionate about travel. Seeks to conquer different opportunities, willing to acquire more knowledge and experience new things.

Gabriela Monteiro

Gabriela Monteiro


Graduated in Tourism at Faculdade Anhembi Morumbi in São Paulo, she was an English language instructor for 5 years and is also fluent in French and Spanish. She is passionate about beaches and loves to discover new places with new landscapes.

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