Peneda-Gerês Mountain Crossing

Crossing Peneda-Gerês National Park – 14d (Hiking)

Includes

Pick-up & drop-off from Braga/Terras de Bouro
Lunch + snack + water
Insurance
Conservation support

 

Duration and  availability

11 Stages | 14 days
Spring / Summer
Autumn / Winter

Price

1650€  | Crossing (14d)
190€    | Each Stage
family friendly
scenic views
history and culture
wilderness

Crossing Peneda-Gerês National Park (Hiking)

Take your mind of daily life during this hike across the entire Peneda-Gerês National Park, the sole Portuguese national park and an extraordinary UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.  

This adventure starts in the easternmost area, in the Mourela Plateau, embedded in Barroso (recognized as a FAO’s Globally Important Agriculture Heritage System) and it continues crossing the Gerês, the Amarela and the Peneda mountains, ending in the Castro Laboreiro Plateau. You will follow centuries old pilgrims’, smugglers’ and shepherds’ trails that take you deep into this breathtaking granite scenery.  

Along the 11 stages – see information on each below – you’ll have the opportunity to explore both the most remote areas and the rural ones, enjoying the wilderness and the rich cultural heritage of this territory. For every 3 days hike, 1 day gap is assured to allow you to restore your muscles. 

Crossing the Peneda-Gerês National Park with us is comfortable and safe: a local guide will accompany you at all times, and a second one will be nearby, to ensure a relaxed and pleasant hike through the complexity of the Peneda-Gerês landscape, enabling you to enjoy it’s fauna, flora, geodiversity, villages, monuments, history and culture.

Stage by Stage

 

You can choose to do this crossing at your own pace. Freely choose 1 or more stages, according to your availability, fitness level and interests. For example: you can choose 4 stages in a row or every other day; 3 Saturdays in a row; a few stages this month and some the next month, or even next year... you decide. 

Each stage is a full-day tour on its own, meaning it always includes guides, pick-up and drop-off in Braga or around the area you will be hiking, packed lunches, snacks, water, insurance and photos. 

Relax, everything is taken care of. 

Location

Mourela Plateau

Specifics

Difficulty | Easy/Moderate
Length | 19.3 km (11.99 mi)
High. elev. | 1380 m (4528 ft)
Elev. gain | 804 m (2638 ft)
Max. incline | 22.7%

TourémPitões das Júnias

The historical village of Tourém is the starting point of our journey. This hike starts near the Spanish border and goes through the Mourela Plateau, allowing us to enjoy its amazing moorland in contrast with the horizon of mountain peaks. 

During this stage you’ll discover ovens and other communitarian buildings, the memory of the old microstate of Couto Mixto and other peculiar heritage related to its borderland nature. 

Reaching the picturesque village of Pitões das Júnias is the goal for this day.

geology
biology
wilderness
history and culture

Location

Gerês Mountain

Specifics

Difficulty | Hard
Length | 16.3 km (10.13 mi)
High. elev. | 1267 m (4157 ft)
Elev. gain | 881 m (2890 ft)
Max. incline | 44.1%

Pitões das Júnias > Cabril

We’ll leave Pitões das Júnias behind and cross the beautiful Beredo woods and enter the mountain overseen by the white São João da Fraga chapel – a landmark that will accompany us most of the day. 

Climbing to the most remote areas we will came across with spectacular crags and glacial valleys, with old corrals and, with some luck, wild Iberian Goat, that found a perfect habitat among the harsh granite formations they can easily climb and find refuge from predators. 

Weather dependent, cool off in the crystal-clear water of the mountain creeks. 

geology
biology
wilderness
history and culture

Location

Gerês Mountain

Specifics

Difficulty | Hard
Length | 14.0 km (8.70 mi)
High. elev. | 1359 m (4459 ft)
Elev. gain | 676 m (2218 ft)
Max. incline | 40.3%

Cabril > Vilar da Veiga

Hiking mostly on the summits, we’ll leave Trásos-Montes region and enter Minho past alpine landscapes carved by glaciers.  

Discover an old mine and all about smugglers and spies that roamed Gerês during the II World War. 

The path will alternate between rocky moorlands and steep valleys until reach a beautiful meadow where will stop for lunch. 

After our delicious picnic we’ll start our descent towards a mountain pass in Vilar da Veiga, with astonishing views over the mountains, lakes and Albergaria Woods (a European Biogenetic Reserve by the Council of Europe). 

geology
biology
wilderness
history and culture

Location

Gerês Mountain

Specifics

Difficulty | Moderate/Hard
Length | 9.2 km (5.72 mi)
High. elev. | 1195 m (3921 ft)
Elev. gain | 458 m (1503 ft)
Max. incline | 42.9%

Vilar da Veiga > Campo do Gerês

Hike across the western massif of Gerês overseeing the luxuriant Albergaria Woods and the beautiful lakes of Vilarinho da Furna and Caniçada.  

Some scrambling will be needed to reach the summit of one of the most famous peaks on these mountains, but its astonishing 360º views are define.
definitely worth the climb!

The overall hike is a true walk in the park, progressing from meadow to meadow through trails and old causeways.
We’ll end the hike down in the picturesque village of Campo do Gerês. 

geology
biology
wilderness
history and culture

Location

Amarela Mountain

Specifics

Difficulty | Hard
Length | 15.9 km (9.88 mi)
High. elev. | 1359 m (4457 ft)
Elev. gain | 1062 m (3484 ft)
Max. incline | 48.6%

Campo do Gerês > Lindoso

Climb the Amarela mountain untill reaching its summit, and with some luck take a glimpse of the submerged village of Vilarinho da FurnaBe dazzled with the dramatic views of almost the entire National Park, with full panoramas of PenedaAmarela and Gerês Mountains.  

Learn about the relation between man and nature and what this landscape has to do with urban people from the XVII century who craved ice-cream.

Enjoy the unique views for the Cabril woods on your descent towards the beautiful border village of Lindoso with its majestic Castle. 

geology
biology
wilderness
history and culture

Location

Lima Valley

Specifics

Difficulty | Moderate
Length | 11.8 km (7.33 mi)
High. elev. | 505 m (1657 ft)
Elev. gain | 539 m (1768 ft)
Max. incline | 37.7%

Lindoso > Soajo

Discover the charming Lima Valley on an easy hike linking its most important villages, Lindoso, on with its medieval castle and its collection of granaries, and Soajo, with another incredible collection of granaries and a funny pillory. 

Explore the rural landscape roaming trough green terraces and scenic villages on old causeways, accompanied by the smoothing sound of water running in the irrigation systems channels. 

Understand how the villagers organized their daily lives and how they depended greatly on the seasons. 

geology
biology
wilderness
history and culture

Location

Peneda Mountain

Specifics

Difficulty | Moderate/Hard
Length | 18.9 km (11.74 mi)
High. elev. | 1416 m (4646 ft)
Elev. gain | 1406 m (4613 ft)
Max. incline | 38.0%

Soajo > Cabreiro

Reach the summit of Peneda Mountain and enjoy its astonishing views. Discover all about the peculiar relationship between local population and wolves, and how it shaped the landscape. 

This stage is rich in vernacular architecture, namely a serious of old wolf traps, summer villages and shelters. Even older landmarks can be spotted, like a complex of burial mounds more than 5000 years old. 

Enjoy the diversity in flora, from moorlands to peatbogs, that provide a fragrant and colourful experience. 

geology
biology
wilderness
history and culture

Location

Peneda Mountain

Specifics

Difficulty | Moderate
Length | 14 km (8.70 mi)
High. elev. | 1252 m (4108 ft)
Elev. gain | 792 m (2598 ft)
Max. incline | 37.1%

Cabreiro > Gave

Enjoy the wonderful scenery offered by the terraces of Sistelo Cultural Landscape (a National Monument) and be part of it while roaming in between the always fresh and green grass fields.
These ancient causeways will allow you to perceive all the details of this special ancient agricultural system. 

Discover the upper Vez Valley with its glacial features and deposits, hiking on the old trails used by shepherds to reach the summer grazing areas and centuries old summer villages. 

A particular well-preserved summer village is worth being exploredA plus is the landscape where it was built – it is located in a field of erratic boulders which were deposited by glaciers. 

geology
biology
wilderness
history and culture

Location

Peneda Mountain

Specifics

Difficulty | Moderate
Length | 12.9 km (8.02 mi)
High. elev. | 1168 m (3832 ft)
Elev. gain | 383 m (1257 ft)
Max. incline | 51.8%

Gave > Gavieira

Observe the contrast between the different landscapes that developed in different rocks, resulting in different fauna and flora. 

Visit a Megalithic burial mound and learn how these monuments altered the landscape, being some of the first attempts for humans to appropriate and transform the territory. 

Hike a pilgrims’ trail across the ridge until a beautiful lake and start a descent in zigzag to Our Lady of Peneda Sanctuary, sided by an astonishing crag, that is also one of the most famous Portuguese climbing spots.  

geology
biology
wilderness
history and culture

Location

Peneda Mountain

Specifics

Difficulty | Moderate/Hard
Length | 16.8 km (10.44 mi)
High. elev. | 1080 m (3543 ft)
Elev. gain | 1046 m (3432 ft)
Max. incline | 43.0%

Gavieira > Castro Laboreiro

A hard climb will take you to ancient corrals and spectacular views over all the mountains that take part of the National Park and have fun spotting familiar shapes in zoomorphic and anthropomorphic granite boulders. 

Explore the Laboreiro Valley, through majestic oak forests and curious winter villages and cross a picturesque roman bridge that shows how important this territory has been throughout the times and spot water mills that used to grind corn and rye for the local broa. 

Reach the village of Castro Laboreiro, named after its beautiful castle, and that names a very friendly local breed of a shepherd dog. 

geology
biology
wilderness
history and culture

Location

Castro Laboreiro Plateau

Specifics

Difficulty | Easy
Length | 22.9 km (14.23 mi)
High. elev. | 1271 m (4170 ft)
Elev. gain | 787 m (2582 ft)
Max. incline | 31.4%

Castro Laboreiro Plateau

This easy, circular stage aims to uncover the rich plateau in the northernmost area of the National Park. 

Explore some summer villages on its edge that reveal centuries of adaptation of the population to this harsh environment.  

Discover megalithic monuments, namely burial mounds, dolmens and engraved rocks – evidence of the human occupation of this territory for, at least, 5000 years – on a smooth landscape with scattered peatbogs used mainly as a grazing area. 

Celebrate the end of this stage/crossing on the Castro Laboreiros castle, overlooking some of what we hiked the days before. 

geology
biology
wilderness
history and culture
Specifics
  • 11 stages with long hikes (from 5 to 10 hours)
  • Suitable for everyone from 12 to 75 years old
  • Minimum group size: 2
  • Maximum group size: 5
  • Available all year round
  • Duration of each stage: full day – 9:00 to 20:00
Recommendations
  • Wear weather and hiking appropriate clothes and shoes
  • Depending on the stage, bring swimwear – to dress up and take off on location (to avoid returning wet) –, a towel (you can rent one for 2€) and flip-flops (not essential)
  • Bring a small backpack and hiking poles (or you can rent a backpack for 5€ and a pair of poles for 2€)
  • Bring sunscreen (if relevant)
Background
All the tours include:
  • Pick-up and Drop-off at accommodation
  • SUV with all seats facing forward
  • Toddler/child car seats available (9 to 36 kg)
  • Lunch, snacks and water
  • Photos and videos
  • Specialized local guide with first aid training and carrying a first aid kit
  • A 2,00 € contribution for a conservation project
  • Small-group tour
  • All equipment necessary for the activities
  • Insurance, both personal and liability
The tours do not include:
  • Accommodation*
  • Personal expenses
  • Gratuities
  • Swimwear
  • Towels (you can rent one for 2€)

We can help you find a nice place to stay – for 10,00€, we’ll send you between 3 to 5 options; just share the kind of accommodations you prefer (hotel, hostel, house), the type of room (single, double, shared) and your budget per night.

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