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Explore Gerês - The Portuguese National Park

"I hereby declare to these deep and rugged wrinkles of Portugal that I have never seen anything purer, more graceful, more beautiful than a tuft of grass I came to find one day at the top of the rocky cliffs of Calcedónia, Gerês."
Miguel Torga, in "Diário (1942)

We challenge you to explore the sole Portuguese National Park and its typical villages, centennial monasteries, and local culture while enjoying one of the most beautiful landscapes of Northern Portugal. Full of diversity and just one hour away from Porto, Peneda-Gerês National Park spreads across an area of 110 square miles and includes Amarela, Soajo, Peneda and Gerês mountains, the latter handing its name to the Park for its wider dimension. Hiking in the heart of the sole Portuguese National Park is an outstanding and diverse experience for many reasons.

The idyllic places such as the upper valley of Homem River or the stunning oak forests, green valleys and the 300 million-year-old granite mountains and waterfalls will make your day. You will never forget a swim in one of the many natural crystalline pools of the Park on a hot summer day. Guaranteed. This is one of Portugal´s major wilderness zones due to a wide variety of fauna and flora including the native wild horse-breed “Garrano”, small wild horses that run freely across the Park and you may actually get a chance to see. If you are lucky enough, a roe deer, symbol of the Park, may be kind enough to show itself, even if just for a few moments.

Here and there the Barrosã breed of cattle blinks its gentle eyes at you, whether you are visiting one of the many genuine mountain villages or climbing one of the high granite peaks. They are everywhere and free. However, peril waits amongst the rocks and dense vegetation. We are in Iberian wolf's territory. Good thing we have the Castro Laboreiro dogs, a unique breed in the world, to guard us and the cattle against this misunderstood predator.

A2Z tours are designed to show you the highlights of this paradise. Hiking in paths and trails across the unspoiled beauty of the mountains and observe the effects of the last glaciation, visit traditional villages, indulge in local cuisine or even observe the shepherds roaming the mountains during spring and summer are just some of them.

Hiking or Biking along narrow shepherd trails or over the ancient cement of Roman roads, Gerês is perhaps the most exciting destination for nature lovers."There are places in the world that are like certain human existences: everything is combined so that nothing lacks in its greatness and perfection.

This Gerês is one of them. "Miguel Torga in "Diário VII"


The Gerês Shepherd’s Lifestyle – A Traditional Way of Life


The wild animals are not alone amongst the mountains of Gerês. Here the shepherd is a man or woman who spends most of the time up in the mountains with its fellow domestic livestock species and the rustic, exclusive breed of shepherd dog, the Castro Laboreiro. Accept A2Z's invitation and discover more about this endangered profession and way of life.


Garrano - The Gerês Wild Horse


Small in size but one of strongest horse breeds, able to survive in unfavourable conditions. A2Z proudly presents you the Garrano, an ancestral pony and one of the oldest breeds originating in Portugal.


The Top 5 Walking trails to take in Peneda-Gerês National Park


Protected as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Peneda-Gerês National Park is Portugal’s national treasure and a unique place where nature and humankind effortlessly blend together in perfect harmony. Covering over 700 km2 of protected land, the national park boasts an incredibly diverse offer of mountain trails, cultural sites, river beaches, traditional gastronomy and historical villages to visit. We selected our favorite 5 walks to help you step into another world and discover ancient traditions, fascinating animal species, mesmerizing religious sites and stunning mountain landscapes.


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