Peneda-Gerês NP hiking self guided

Come and relax in Peneda-Gerês, the only National Park in Portugal, home to the Iberian Wolf, the wild Garrano horses, mountain goat and many others. Its granite landscape is dotted with old shepherd trails which guide you along forests and rivers, mountains and valleys, ruins and rustic stone villages.

Duration: 
5 days/4 nights
Country: 
Activity: 

Highlights

  • Castle ruins
  • Granite villages
  • Peneda Mountain
  • Old shepherd trails
  • Iberian Wolf territory
  • Natural river pools
  • "Espigueros" (traditional, granite granaries)
  • Rural, local accommodation

Please note: this region has no, or no meaningful public transportation, which is part of its charm. However, this means that a car is needed to be able to travel to/from the tour starting point as well as to get around locally. Luckily, it is very easy and quite economical to rent a car at Porto airport or in Viana do Castelo. Please contact YŪGEN tours if you would like more information or assistance concerning car rental and/or extending your holiday.

 

 

Itinerary

The hikes and locations in this itinerary have been selected very carefully by local guides in order to let you enjoy the very best of Peneda-Gerês NP. This is a beautiful mountainous region with an average altitude of 700 meters, rising up to 1545 meters. Traces left by glaciers in the granite mountains, countless valleys and streams, oak and pine forests, a wide variety of birds, roe deer, rural villages where time seems to have had no impact, cultural heritage,... all form the decor of this amazing Iberian Wolf territory near the Spanish border.

DAY 1 Arrival to Peneda-Gerês NP - Castro Laboreiro

Welcome to one of the most remote areas of the Park and the heart of local traditions. If you arrive in time, walk up to the castle ruins to catch a first amazing view over the National Park mountains.

Local accommodation in Aldeia de Pontes or Laboreiro Village.

DAY 2 Castro Laboreiro trails: 16 km

The diversity of the landscape and the cultural richness are some of the highlights of the day. Initially following mountain trails and old paths, you will discover the Laboreiro Valley. While crossing the typical granite villages and oak forests you will be able to have a close look at the local way of life. And if the weather allows, why not go for a swim in the natural pool of the river Laboreiro?

Hiking distance: approx. 16 km I Level: moderate.

Local accommodation in Castro Laboreiro dorp of Aldeia de Pontes, same as on day 1. Breakfast included. 

DAY 3 Peneda Mountain - Soajo: 12 km

Embark on a journey through the magnificent Peneda Mountain. Follow the old shepherd trails, centenary pilgrim footpaths and explore the granite landscape. Discover the Iberian Wolf territory and the rural heritage.

Hiking distance: approx. 12 km I Level: moderate.

Accommodation in Soajo | Eira da Lage or Casa do Adro.

DAY 4 Mountain villages valley - Lindoso: 8 km

GranaryGranaryExplore the historical heritage and traditions of this beautiful mountain village. The area of Lindoso is well-known for its “espigueros”, granite granaries that date back a few hundreds of years. Take your time to relax on the banks of one of the natural river pools.

Distance: approx. 8 km I Level : Easy. 

Accommodation: same as on day 3.

DAY 5 Departure day or extension

This sample itinerary in the Peneda-Gerês national park can be extended or adapted any way you like, a well as what concerns the length of the hikes, the accommodations, locations and activities. The main goal of these sample itineraries is to give you an insight in all possibilities.

You can extend your stay in the National Park, the surrounding villages of Ponte da Barca or Ponte de Lima, cultural cities as Braga or Guimeraes, or why not end at an Atlantic beach in Viana do Castelo or in the vibrant city of Porto?

Please contact YŪGEN tours for custom-made proposals. We will be more than happy to assist.

Pricing and options

The price for this sample itinerary, VAT included, and based on 2 persons in a double room, is 260 EUR per person.

This price is indicative and subject to availability. It can also vary according to personal wishes, extra services, changes in the itinerary, amount of participants, accommodation (camping, bungalow, rural house, hotel, B&B) and so on. Only the confirmed price on your definite order form is valid. Please contact YŪGEN tours to request a personalized itinerary and quote according to your personal wishes. 

Included:

  • 2 nights of accommodation in local accommodation in Castro Laboreiro
  • 2 nights of local accommodation in a rural accommodation in Soajo
  • 4 x breakfast
  • Travel Roadbook (with hiking maps, road directions, itinerary and points of interest) in English
  • GPS tracks for the walking tours
  • National Park Topographic map
  • 24 hour tour assistance (phone number)

Not Included:

  • flights
  • own car or car rental or transfers between stages if you do not have a car at your disposal
  • lunch and dinners
  • drinks
  • personal expenses and everything not described as included 

Possible options:

Our tours in Northern Portugal are very flexible and can be customized in any way. Examples which you can use as inspiration are:

Optional guided walking tours (English speaking guide) in:

  • Peneda-Gerês mountain villages (Amarela mountain)
  • the Peneda granite mountain
  • exploring the Wolf territory in Sistelo (includes local products tasting)
  • shepherd for one day in Sistelo (includes local products tasting)

Optional activities:

  • Canyoning in Amarela Mountain
  • Kayaking on the Lima River
  • Horse-riding in Gerês full day (for experienced riders)
  • Horse-riding in Gerês 2 hours 
  • Biking in Northern Portugal
  • Hiking in Northern Portugal (outside the NP)
  • All activities offered from Viana do Castelo (please check our description of Viana for all possible water and land activities)

Other services on request:

  • mountain picnics (picnic box or catering)

Optional extensions in Northern Portugal:

  • extra days in the NP
  • extension at the beach in Viana do Castelo or surroundings (please check our description of Viana for all possible activities)
  • extension in Porto City

Rental Car

Contact us first to check availability for this tour on the dates of your choice. Only after receiving our confirmation for your desired travel dates, book your rental car in Northern Portugal. You can do this directly with our preferred supplier, Sunny Cars:

Please contact YŪGEN tours in order to create your personalized adventure in Northern Portugal. 

Important information

Best time to travel

This tour is available from March to October. Best time to travel is spring and September as the weather is normally excellent. During summer months it may get hot and crowdy, especially in August.

Travel insurance

  • It is aways recommend to take out a travel insurance, covering for cancellation and curtailment, medical situations, baggage, emergency evacuation. Always check the specific conditions and coverage of your insurance policy, especially when participating in more adventurous activities.
  • YŪGEN tours does not provide travel insurance.

Medical Precautions

  • Check with your local immunization authority, travel clinic, public health facility or personal physician.
  • Visit the WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION website for up to date information www.who.int

Travel documentation

  • If you do not have the Belgian nationality, you should inquire at the embassy in your country. The following is valid for people with Belgian nationality:
  • A valid Belgian identity card or an international passport. 
  • A visa is not required.
  • Children need their own identity card. Within the Schengen Zone it is recommended to bring a copy of the passport of the parent which does not accompany the other parent and the minor during the trip, as well as a document of consent of the non-traveling parent. This can prevent delays.
  • Belgian citizens should consult the website of the Federal government for all travel related advise: diplomatie.belgium.be/nl/Diensten/Op_reis_in_het_buitenland/reisadviezen/portugal

Flights

  • Flights are not included in the price of the tour. You are free to choose your flight dates, route, price and airline company if you wish to fly to Portugal.
  • If you opt for flights with a stopover or transfer in the United States of America, please note that you must complete a VISA WAIVER. You can do this up to a minimum of 72 hours before arrival, and this on the website of ESTA (link is external). The permission is valid for 2 years and costs approximately 14 USD per person.
  • Before booking your flights, please contact YŪGEN tours first to check if our local partners are not fully booked on the desired dates.
  • The closest international airport to our suggested trips is Porto's Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport.

Drive and self-drive tours

If you do not have the Belgian nationality, you should inquire in your country of nationality. Travelers from the Netherlands can consult the website of ANWB. The following is valid for people with Belgian nationality:

  • Your identity card and drivers license should be sufficient. In case of renting a car, do check the specific regulations of the rental company. Often a credit card is required to be able to rent a car and you need to be in possession of a drivers license during a certain amount of time already and/or a minimum age may apply.
  • More information on driving in Portugal and regulations can be found here: www.vab.be/nl/info-en-diensten/wegeninfo/europa/portugal
  • Please note that there are several toll roads in Portugal. Rental companies offer different solutions. On some highways you can pay in cash, but some are fully electronic and you need a special device to use them. Car rental companies can provide the device against an additional cost. Dutch speaking travelers can consult https://www.vab.be/nl/info-en-diensten/wegeninfo/europa/portugal. In case of renting a car always consult the car rental company.
  • Several car rental companies are present at Porto Airport. Cars can also be rented in Viana do Castelo, according to availability.

Feel free to contact YŪGEN tours for more information and assistance. We will be more than happy to assist.