Explore Peneda Gerês National Park

1-week Self-guided Walking Holiday in Peneda-Gerês National Park through majestic mountains, magical forests and highland villages in northern Portugal.


Tour Description

Peneda-Gerês National Park, located in the northwest corner of Portugal, is a stunning natural haven that spans across the Peneda, Soajo, Amarela, and Gerês mountain ranges.The park is characterized by granite mountains, deep valleys, pristine rivers, and dense forests, providing a habitat for a variety of flora and fauna.

Begin your adventure by exploring the delightful riverside town of Ponte de Lima in the heart of Northern Portugal’s Minho region. Explore its renowned gardens, medieval centre and Roman bridge before enjoying traditional Minho cuisine with a glass or two of locally produced vinho verde wine at one of Ponte de Lima’s excellent restaurants.

Once fully briefed and refreshed, your first day of walking will explore the stunning boulder-strewn mountains and valleys around the remote mountain village of Castro Laboreiro, your home for the next two nights.

The next trail leads from the village to Peneda Sanctuary, with amazing views in every direction and plenty of beautiful forests. You may encounter the long-horned Cachena cows and Garrano horses as they wander freely to graze on the surrounding slopes.

The following day, you’ll make your way south, via villages, waterways and a gorgeous valley, to see Lindoso castle and its collection of communal stone granaries and threshing area. Rest and enjoy your cosy village cottage accommodation and a delicious traditional meal in a nearby restaurant.

Using Lindoso as your base, you will discover the beauty of the Serra Amarela mountains on a village to village trail the following day. You’ll have ample opportunity to glimpse local lifestyles both past and present in Lindoso and the villages you walk through en route.

Your final day of hiking encompasses some of the wildest and most spectacular scenery on this tour as well as curiosities like a wolf trap as you walk back to Soajo from the village of Avelar. You’ll also have the opportunity to bathe in pristine natural pools set in beautiful woodland before walking through more forest and traditional villages towards the village of Soajo.

End the day in the fascinating, beautiful and ancient city of Viana do Castelo on the mouth of the River Lima. Viana is steeped in culture and history and is famous for the filigree Viana heart jewellery and embroidery, among other things.

You can choose to spend your last full day of the holiday exploring the charms of Viana do Castelo or take an earlier train or bus to the city of Porto for your last night. While there, you could explore the UNESCO World Heritage centre, port wine cellars and fantastic restaurants.

Spend the night in a comfortable city centre hotel before making your onward journey.

Walking grade
Moderate to challenging

Total walking distance
87.1 km | 54.1 miles

Cosy rural accommodation

breathtaking landscapes

Insights into rural community lifestyles

Authentic mountain villages,

Peneda Sanctuary, lakes, rivers, forests, mountains, Lindoso Castle, wolf traps, summer settlements, pretty riverside towns of Ponte de Lima and Viana do Castelo

UNESCO World Heritage city of Porto.

Detailed itinerary

Day 1:

Day 1: Arrival in Ponte de Lima

Make your way to the charming riverside town of Ponte de Lima where you will be greeted at your accommodation by a member of our team for a full briefing about your Peneda-Gerês National Park program and handover of the support documents and equipment.

Spend the rest of the day exploring this attractive town at leisure. Among the highlights are the International Garden Festival, Arnado Park, the Gothic parish church, a riverside walkway and cycle path, the Roman bridge and a compact medieval centre with interesting squares, shops and cafés.

Choose from one of the town’s many excellent restaurants and enjoy tasty local cuisine with a glass or two of vinho verde wine.

Accommodation: 3-star hotel

Day 2:

Day 2: Castro Laboreiro circular walk | 12.5 km (7.8 miles) | +440m

After a satisfyingly tasty breakfast, your private driver will meet you in the hotel lobby to drive you to the remote village of Castro Laboreiro. After leaving your luggage at the hotel, you will walk out of the village into the rugged hills and gorgeous countryside full of quirky rock formations.

Once in the valley, a pleasant area of woodland leads to an ancient bridge where you may like to bathe your feet in the untainted waters.

Enjoy the shade of the trees and the sound of the stream as you climb steadily to the plateau, full of smooth granite boulders and sweeping views across the valley to other hills, valleys and ridges.

The trail ends back in Castro Laboreiro.

Accommodation: 3-star hotel

Meals: Breakfast and packed lunch

Day 3:

Day 3: Walk from Castro Laboreiro to Peneda | 15.1 km (9.4 miles) | +311m

Set off from your hotel, through the village, and cross wild rocky highlands with glorious views over the surrounding mountains on the way to Lamas do Mouro park gates.

From here, the enchantment of the forest takes over as you make your way towards the sanctuary at Peneda, at times following ancient stone paths built for local pilgrims.

Accommodation: 3-star hotel

Meals: Breakfast and packed lunch

Day 4:

Day 4: Walk from Peneda to Lindoso | 18.8 km (11.7 miles) | +372m

Leave Peneda Sanctuary by walking down the valley along a centuries-old pilgrim route used by people from surrounding villages to attend religious festivals at the religious complex.

Dramatic mountain scenery and enormous rock faces surround you as you follow the Peneda river through the small village of Tibo and continue down the valley to a place where two rivers converge. At this point, the river forms the frontier with Spain and it is easy to imagine the considerable flow of contraband that crossed this remote border.

From the village of Várzea it is an easy walk along a paved road beside the spectacular dam across the River Lima to nearby Lindoso, where the castle stands as testimony to its former importance.

Spend the night in a beautifully restored traditional village cottage and take a while to examine the traditional tools and examples of embroidery on display.

Shorter option: Linear walk | 11.3 km (7 miles) | +173m

Accommodation: Country cottage

Meals: Breakfast and packed lunch

Day 5:

Day 5: Serra Amarela circular walk | 21.4 km (13.3 miles) | +745m

Walk through the ancient streets of Lindoso village and through a forest to follow an unpaved road that leads gently uphill, offering spectacular views of the Soajo Mountains opposite. Once you begin your descent, the views get even better! Enjoy the utter peace and quiet and pure mountain air as you make your way downhill to the village of Cidadelhe. At this point, you have walked 15.5 km. If this is enough for the day, you can take a taxi back to your lodgings.

For those who want a longer walk, complete the circuit and walk all the way to Lindoso.

Shorter option: Linear walk | 15.5 km (9.6 miles) | +470m

Accommodation: Country cottage

Meals: Breakfast and packed lunch

Day 6:

Day 6: Walk from Avelar to Soajo | 19.3 km (12 miles) | +576m

A scenic drive via private transfer takes you from Lindoso to Avelar, a small village of shepherds in the heart of the spectacular Soajo Mountain.

Your reward for a rather steep start to today’s walk is striking views of unparalleled landscapes; the peaks and dips of the Peneda and Soajo Mountains and the lush Ramiscal Valley. You will also see rare examples of local heritage in the form of wolf traps and shepherd shelters.

As you make your way down to the Mezio Park Gate, the going gets considerably easier and you’ll be rewarded by some enchanting pools in a crystal-clear river.

Make your way to Soajo through mixed woodlands and natural and semi-natural mountain meadows. The finest views on this section extend across the Lima Valley to the Amarela Mountains opposite.

The trail ends in the village of Soajo. While you wait for your transfer to Viana do Castelo, you can pop into a local café or visit the collection of espigueiros and the unique pillory.

End the day in the small, attractive city of Viana do Castelo and explore the medieval town centre in the evening.

Shorter option: Linear walk | 12.3 km (7.6 miles) | +529m

Accommodation: 3-star hotel

Meals: Breakfast and packed lunch

Day 7:

Day 7: Free day in Viana do Castelo and Porto

You can choose to spend part of the day discovering the charms of Viana do Castelo, which has several interesting sights including the Santa Luzia Basilica, the Costume Museum and the Gil Eanes Hospital Ship.

When you are ready to leave Viana do Castelo, take the train or bus to Porto for the last stop on this Northern Portugal adventure

The rest of the day is yours to explore Porto at leisure. Roam the historical streets, go souvenir shopping, admire the views or go on a port wine tour and tasting in the cellars of Vila Nova da Gaia.

With a plethora of restaurants to choose from, you can end your holiday with a fine dining experience or in a more traditional setting.

Accommodation: 3-star hotel

Meals: Breakfast

Day 8:

Day 8: Departure

After breakfast and check out, your onward journey begins.

Meals: Breakfast

Simply tell us what you’re looking for. We’ll happily adapt this itinerary to suit your personal interests, needs and schedule to create your ideal holidays.

Tour Info

What's included:

Not included


From 1st March to 31st October


7 nights | 5 walking days

Group Size

Minium 2 persons

Price Info

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