The Peneda-GerÊs National Park is high country of outstanding natural beauty. Here the air is clear and the waters pure. This park contains some of the most beautiful and varied scenery found in the whole of the country and you’ll find an abundance of rare wild flowers, birds of prey, wild horses and other wildlife. Experience this journey with Ramblers Walking Holidays.
Our two-centre holiday is centred in the Serra da Peneda and is designed so you visit the most spectacular parts of these mountains. Our varied walks circle dramatic crags and granite landscape of Meadinha and follow ancient trails down the lush river Peneda valley.
Our first centre is in the mountain village of Castro Laboreiro dominated by its ancient castle. Isolated traditional villages with high mountain meadows and rolling moorland stretch to the frontier with Spain to the east. Yet walk out of the hotel to the west and we are amongst towering granite crags and hidden wooded valleys.
We walk across the mountains to our second centre in the remote sanctuary of Nossa Senhora da Peneda. Our hotel, once the pilgrims’ hostel, has been imaginatively converted into a high quality hotel. Set with a backdrop of trees, crags and waterfalls, the grand stairway of the sanctuary descends into the valley below.
The somewhat remote location has protected the park landscape. You’ll not only enjoy the beauty of the region, but also visit many of the ancient hamlets dotted about the countryside.
Fly London Gatwick to Oporto. On arrival transfer by road to the Peneda-Geres National Park, where you'll find some of the most beautiful and varied scenery in the whole country. Our hotel for the next four nights is the three star Hotel Castro Villae in Castro Laboreiro.
We spend our days at Castro Laboreiro, which is overlooked by its ancient castle, walking in the high mountain meadows and rolling moorland as well as amongst towering granite crags and hidden wooded valleys.
CASTELO DE CASTRO LABOREIRO: A short walk to the remains of the castle above the village of Castro Laboreiro. The castle dates back to the founding of Portugal and is accessed by a circular route from the village. An ideal morning walk before an elevenses stop in the village cafés.
2.5km; Ascent: 100m / Descent: 100m
PENEDOS DE CASTRO LABOREIRO: A walk into and amongst the dramatic rock outcrops to the west of the village of Castro Laboreiro. Initially following narrow mountain trails up into the hills, we then return on easier paths and tracks.
10km; Ascent: 250m/ Descent: 250m
Based partly on a local waymarked route this walk explores the valley below Castro Laboreiro and visits many of the tiny villages in the area letting us see some traditional farming and the way of life of the area.
15km; Ascent: 400m / Descent: 400m
ALTO DE GONTIM: A contrast to our other walks in the area, this walk along pleasant easy tracks and through villages also explores the moorland area to the east of Castro Laboreiro. As the walk climbs to the border with Spain it gives extensive views over the whole region.
14km; Ascent: 300m / Descent: 300m
Our second centre in the Peneda-Geres National Park is Peneda. We walk between centres today, across the mountains, with our luggage being transferred separately. Our hotel, once a pilgrim's hostel for the sanctuary of Nossa Senhora da Peneda, has been imaginatively concerted into a high quality hotel.
CASTRO LABOREIRO TO PENEDA: This walk links our two centres. After passing through villages the route passes through a wild, open, mountain section. Finally it gives magnificent views over the village of Peneda as it descends to the village on an ancient track. (It may be possible to transfer the short distance by mini–bus for those who would prefer to not do the walk, however this will incur a cost, which will be at your own expense).
15.4km; Ascent: 350m / Descent: 600m
Our walking programme from Peneda is set to the backdrop of trees, crags and waterfalls. This remote region has protected the natural landscape of the area.
MEADINHA AND BOUÇA DOS HOMENS:
This walk passes through some of the most dramatic granite scenery in these mountains and visits the isolated village of 12km; Bouça dos Homens. Ascent: 500m / Descent: 500m
VALLEY OF RIO DA PENEDA: A walk descending the valley below Peneda with lush vegetation and fascinating villages.
Transfer by road to Oporto Airport for return flight to the UK
See where this holiday travels to.
The Hotel Castrum Villae is a comfortable hotel surrounded by nature and clear mountain air in the centre of Castro Laboreir, a charming village nestled in the hills. There are small shops and cafés nearby. An elegant restaurant overlooks the village and serves highlights of traditional Portuguese cuisine, whilst the bar serves drinks such as cocktails and is a quiet and relaxing space. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel. All rooms are en-suite and feature hairdryer, air conditioning/heating, TV mini bar and room service.
Our final three nights will be spent in the beautifully designed Peneda Hotel, staffed by a friendly team and near to the Sanctuary, making an excellent base for our walks. The hotel enjoys a secluded location, near to the impressive Church that dominates the square, but from where you can enjoy beautiful views over the countryside and verdant mountains as well. Wandering into the village you can find a small café nearby but the hotels facilities do include a cosy restaurant, bar and lounge with wood burning fireplace. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel, although this can be patchy. Simple rooms are en suite with TV and heating.