Discovering the Beauty of Montesinho's Natural Park & Bragança's Medieval Citadel with a Local Guide

Hosted by

Pedro

Guided trip
What's special?
special Bragança's historic centre
special Montesinho Natural Park
special Villages of Montesinho and Rio de Onor
Do you want to visit one of Portugal's best natural destination with a local, embarking on a 3 day trip from the cobblestone street of Bragança to the rocky heights of Montesinho Natural Park in northern Portugal? If so, this is the right trip for you, with winding rivers and lush forests, wildlife (Iberian wolves, red and roe deer, and others!) sightseeing opportunities, nature hikes, 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 take the wheel! We will blend cultural (visiting castles and historic villages, such as Bragança, Montesinho and Rio de Onor), natural (waterfalls and trekking), and pure leisure activities (such as enjoying the region's many fresh rivers), 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!

🏡 Our accommodation will be a beautiful, riverside house with three bedrooms, meaning that we'll have three rooms with double beds (ideal for couples 🫂 or friends). The house is equipped with all the necessary commodities, namely a kitchen and a living room with a TV, dining table, and fireplace, wonderful to relax and use in case we want to eat at home. It is idyllically situated by the river, making for a perfect rest spot, steeped in nature, with a beautiful veranda overlooking the water. Any questions about the trip? You can let me know in the Q&A section and I hope to see you soon!

What's included?
Transportation to and from Bragança
Rental Car
Transportation around the Natural Park
Accommodation
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

Bragança

Day 1
Our trip starts in Bragança, the district capital, where we will visit its historic centre and its medieval citadel, which contains many different monuments, such as the Romanesque Domus Municipalis, its impressive 13th century, Gothic castle, and the 14th century Romanesque-Baroque Church of Santa Maria.
2

Outeiro

Day 1
Our first stop will be Outeiro, a small village just a short 20-minute drive from Bragança, as we make our way to the eastern edge of the Montesinho Natural Park. We will visit the village’s magnificent 17th century Baroque Holy Christ Basilica, a national monument and the only one of Portugal’s eight basilicas not to be situated in a city.
3

Gimonde

Day 1
After visiting Outeiro, we will head to Gimonde, our lunch stop, roughly 20 minutes away, where we will eat at one of the region’s most famous restaurants, “O Abel”, and try some of the local culinary treats. After lunch, we will enjoy the village’s idyllic riverside, spanned by a beautiful Roman bridge, where the Igrejas, Onor (Malara), and Frio rivers converge into the Sabor, the region’s largest waterway.
4

Rio de Onor

Day 1
After a much-deserved rest by the water, we will drive northeastward for about 25-30 minutes, through the village of Guadramil, famous for its wolf packs and rugged terrain, before arriving at the village of Rio de Onor. This village is one of the highlights of the park and one of the very last examples of a true, communal settlement, with shared and collective ownership of many of the plots of land, meadows, hillsides, and riverbanks. To make matters more interesting, the village is divided by the Portuguese-Spanish border, making this a truly unique example of a borderless, fraternal community. Its well preserved and traditional architecture is a a great example of the local adaptations to its surroundings. If the group so decides and time permitting, there is a museum dedicated to the preservation of the Iberian wolf located just 20 minutes away, in the Spanish village of Robredo.
5

Soeira

Day 1-2
At last, we will drive westwards, towards the central area of the park, to our accommodation, between the villages of Soeira and Vila Verde, on the banks of the Tuela river, roughly 45 minutes away. We can either have dinner in Bragança or prepare it ourselves back home, depending on what the group decides.
6

Montesinho

Day 2
Our second day starts with a 45 minute drive through the park to the emblematic village of Montesinho, completely surrounded by the adjacent mountains that bear the same name. With its iconic schist houses and slate roofs beautifully set against the surrounding landscape, the village is renowned for its delicious honey products and chestnut based delicacies. There are lunch options in the village or we can bring our own, if we elect to do the hikes. Many treks into the higher areas of the mountain depart from the village and can be hiked if the group chooses to do so.
7

Montesinho Natural Park

Day 2
This second day will be mostly dedicated to enjoying the area surrounding the village of Montesinho and reaching the plateau areas of the park, whether by car or on foot. Highlights include the Lama Grande high-mountain shelter, the Veiguinhas and Serra Serrada reservoirs, where one can swim, and the Sabor river canyon, with its impressive cliffs, waterfalls, springs, and small wells.
8

Soeira

Day 2-3
After spending the whole day in the park, we will drive back to our accommodation between the villages of Soeira and Vila Verde, on the banks of the Tuela river, roughly 45 minutes away. We will drive past one of the region’s finest restaurants, “O Javali”, on the way back, and can eat dinner there if the groups wants to. There are also dinner options in nearby Bragança or self-made back at our accommodation.
9

Moimenta

Day 3
We will start our last day by driving towards the border village of Moimenta via Fresulfe, home to a beautiful river beach, where we can stop and have breakfast, if the group so decides. This stretch of the natural park is one of the most sparsely populated, due to its altitude, and offers some of the region’s best views, overlooking the Gamoneda mountains, on the Spanish side, and the Tuela river valley. The village of Moimenta is home to one of the region’s most peculiar sites, the “Museu do Contrabando”, the smuggling museum. Here we can learn more about the history of smuggling between the two countries and the numerous artefacts (and people) that crisscrossed the border through the centuries. We will also visit the “Fraga dos Três Reinos, the three-kingdom rock, a stone monument marking the old border between the three medieval kingdoms of Galicia, León, and Portugal.
10

Vinhais

Day 3
After that, we will head to Vinhais, the second biggest town near the park, overlooked by a beautiful medieval castle, a pre-Roman fortified settlement, and home to the region’s best and most distinguished cuisine. We will visit any sites the group chooses to, with a chance to visit the town’s Biological Park, where injured animals from the Montesinho Natural Park are nursed back to health, where we can also learn more about the region’s rich fauna and flora. There are also nearby lagoons and reservoirs where we can also venture for a swim and a picnic. We can have lunch in town if the group so decides or head back to our accommodation to prepare some food and enjoy the rest of our trip on the river.
11

Soeira

Day 3-4
We will then drive back to our accommodation, between the villages of Soeira and Vila Verde, on the banks of the Tuela river, a short 10-15 minutes away. We can either have dinner in the town of Vinhais or prepare it ourselves back home.
12

Bragança

Day 4
On our final day, we will drive back to Bragança either during the morning or in the afternoon, after breakfast or after lunch, depending on what the group decides, concluding our trip with another visit to Bragança!
Trip Summary
Accommodation
Bed & Breakfast
4 days trip
Bragança, Outeiro & 10 more
Transportation
Car
What's excluded?
Transport to Bragança before the trip
Groceries
Meals
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