Discover Porto and UNESCO's Biosphere Reserve of Gerês National Park and its Natural Treasures with a Local

Hosted by

Pedro

Guided trip
What's special?
special Porto historic centre
special Gerês National Park
special Waterfalls, nature hikes, hot springs
Do you want to visit Portugal's best natural destination with a local, embarking on a 4 day trip from the world heritage streets of Porto to and through the pristine and stunning nature of Gerês National Park in northern Portugal? If so, this is the right trip for you, with waterfalls, wild horses and mountain goats, nature hikes, hot springs and historic villages all on deck! Join me, Pedro, your host, on this nature-filled adventure! I'm very excited to welcome you on this trip, during which we will travel through some of the more rugged and beautiful areas of northern Portugal and indeed the whole country, visiting castles and towns steeped in history, while encountering some of the nation's best wildlife! The area we will be travelling to comprises mostly small villages, towns, and lots of natural areas, so we will move around with the help of a rental car, to make the most out of our time and provide the most confort. I can drive and know the area and the roads quite well, but other trip mates are also welcome to drive! We will blend cultural (visiting castles and historic villages), natural (waterfalls and trekking), and pure leisure activities (hot springs!), to keep the experience as varied and diverse as the lands we will visit! We will keep tabs of extra expenses, such as groceries or restaurants, using an app, preferably Splitwise, or using any other method the group suggests and is comfortable with. The ideal group size for this trip would be 4 other TripMates, but in the eventuality of not finding 4 other mates, we will sadly have to share slightly higher costs for both transportation and accommodation.

About me! I'm a very active and curious person, as you will instantly realise, open-minded to new perspectives, takes, ideas, and always keen to learn something new! This region is part of my heart and soul and it will be a great pleasure to share its beauties and treasures with you, hoping it will stir in you the same vibrant beauty and will to live that characterises it. I hope we all have a great time enjoying the natural treasures this region has to offer, alongside its many interesting cultural and historic features!

About the accommodation: 🏡 Our accommodation will be a house with three bedrooms, meaning that we'll have two rooms with double beds (ideal for couples 🫂 or friends) and a third room with two individual beds. The house is equipped with all the necessary commodities, namely a kitchen and a living room with a fireplace, wonderful to relax and use in case we want to eat at home. Any questions about the trip? You can let me know in the Q&A section and I hope to see you soon and start the year on a great note!!

What's included?
Transportation from Porto to Gerês
Transportation from Gerês to Porto
Accommodation
Rental car
Gas and tolls
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Portuguese traveller fascinated by the wonders this world has to offer, from its human history to its natural beauty

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Trip Itinerary
1

Porto

Day 1
We will meet in Porto, at a suitable location for everybody in the group. For those of you coming by plane, I'll pick you at the Francisco Sá Carneiro airport (OPO - Porto). If you are already in town, we will meet in Porto. If there are other transportation needs, we will adjust accordingly and make sure everybody is included. We will visit an attraction in town, chosen by the group, (my suggestions would be Palácio da Bolsa or one of the world-renowned wine cellars) and try Porto's most iconic dish, Francesinha, in one of its best restaurants, Casanova, for lunch. For those whose diets do not include meat (like me), there are fortunately vegetarian and vegan options. After lunch and a stroll through the historical centre, we will travel by (rental) car to Vila do Gerês (1h30).
2

Gerês

Day 1-2
After lunch and a stroll through the historical centre, we will travel by (rental) car to Vila do Gerês (1h30), reaching our accommodation for the remaining nights, with the possibility of visiting Portugal's second most famous pilgrimage site, the idyllically placed São Bento da Porta Aberta. Gerês will be our basecamp for the remainder of our trip, from which we will move to the nearby waterfalls, miradors, and nature treks.
3

Miradouro da Pedra Bela

Day 2-3
During our second day, we will visit a few nature spots! We will have breakfast in town, either at home or in one of the local “padarias” (bakeries). After breakfast, we will visit the Pedra Bela mirador, with stunning scenic views of the surrounding mountains and rivers. We will then visit the nearby Arado Waterfall, one of Gerês’ highest and most impressive, before embarking on a hike to Poço Azul (9km roundtrip), a fantastic trek through one of the park’s most beautiful canyons, the impressive Rio Conho Valley. Lunch will be prepared beforehand, as there are no options during the trail. Vegan, vegetarian, and any other options can be arranged, depending on the whatever needs anyone might have. I am myself vegan, so feel free to ask for whatever you need! In case we have time and energy after the hike, we can visit some nearby waterfalls and rivers, depending on whatever the group prefers doing, or return home and enjoy each other’s company after a satisfying day out and about in nature! We will then drive back to Vila do Gerês and have dinner either at home or in town.
4

Castro Laboreiro

Day 3-4
On our third day, we will blend in some beautiful nature spots with one of the parks most iconic villages, Castro Laboreiro. We will again have breakfast in town, either at home or in one of the local “padarias” (bakeries), or even on the road, according to whatever the group prefers. We will then drive to and hike through the Mata da Albergaria, one of Portugal’s best preserved broadleaf forests, a magical woodland crisscrossed by streams and rivers, wild horses, waterfalls, and even an old Roman road, which connected Asturica Augusta (present-day Astorga, in Spain) to Bracara Augusta (present-day Braga, in Portugal). During this walk, we will visit the stunning Cascata de São Miguel, known to many as Cascata da Portela do Homem, a crystal clear waterfall, with the magnificently blue water of the river Homem carving a deep pond within the mountain, with great views from the nearby bridge. We will then cross the nearby border into Spain, in order to visit Os Baños, a small Galician village on the other side of the mountain, home to one of the regions best hidden gems! A publicly open and free open-air hot spring, where locals go daily for their spa session, where we can enjoy the magnificent scenery, chatting while halfway deep in balmy, soothing warm waters in peace, regaining our strength. We will then have lunch either on sight (prepared lunch or at the nearby restaurant) or in Lobios, the closest village, a short drive away. After lunch, we will visit Castro Laboreiro, back in Portugal, one of the region’s most beautiful villages, perched atop a cliff overlooking a deep valley, with waterfalls abound and a medieval castle with great views and steeped in history. After this visit, we will drive back to Gerês, with a final stop at the same hot springs, if the group so desires. We will then have dinner at home or in town.
5

Lindoso

Day 4
On our last day, besides the usual bemoaning about having to leave, we will, after breakfast in town, much like the previous days, visit the village of Soajo, with its stunning "espigueiros", stone-carved granaries dotted across the landscape, and one of its most beautiful waterfalls, Poço Negro! We will then visit Lindoso, the last stronghold town before the Spanish border, with its magnificent medieval castle, overlooking the Serra do Soajo and some of the parks best landscapes. We will have lunch in town, if the group so chooses, before driving back to Porto (1h30), with the possibility of stopping along the way and visit another historic site, such as the world heritage site of Guimarães or Braga.
6

Porto

Day 4
We will return to Porto by car, dropping each TripMate at a place of their choosing, be it at the airport or downtown, at some point in the afternoon, according to everybody's plans and needs.
Trip Summary
Accommodation
Apartments
4 days trip
Porto, Gerês & 4 more
Transportation
Car
What's excluded?
Groceries
Meals
Flight tickets
Visit to a sight of choice in Porto
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