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Peneda-Gerês National Park: Day Trips and Tours from Porto

Peneda-Gerês makes for the perfect day trip destination from the Portuguese city of Porto. The national park is located in a relatively short distance away from the city and has a wealth of natural beauty to offer to visitors. From hot springs and mountains to ancient Roman roads, there is plenty to see and do in Peneda-Gerês.

You'll want to spend at least a full day exploring the park, and there are plenty of great hiking trails to keep you busy. A Peneda-Gerês day tour from Porto is the perfect way to get out of the city and explore the Portuguese countryside.

How to get to Peneda-Gerês from Porto?

The Peneda-Gerês National Park is located roughly 100 kilometers from Porto. The best way to get there is by car or private transport although public transport options are available. To make the most of your jaunt to Peneda-Gerês, you should consider joining a guided tour.

From Porto to Peneda-Gerês by car

It takes roughly 1.5 hours to drive the 100-kilometer distance from Porto to Peneda-Gerês. The drive is relatively straightforward, although you should be careful on the winding mountain roads as you approach the park.

From Porto to Peneda-Gerês by bus/public transport

Most visitors choose to take a guided tour to Peneda-Gerês or arrive by car. It is, however, also possible to get there by bus and train. First, get on the IC train in Porto and then head to Braga.

The ride takes just under 1 hour and tickets cost approximately €6 per person. There are also buses that go from Porto to Braga but the ride is slightly longer.

Once you are in Braga, there will be buses available to take you to Gerês. The most popular bus company is the Empresa Hoteleira do Gerês, so keep an eye out for their vehicles. Be aware that schedules might change depending on the season.

Guided tour to Peneda-Gerês from Porto

If you don't want to drive, you can book a Peneda-Gerês excursion from Porto. These tours usually last for a full day and include transportation, a guide and often lunch.

How much does the entrance ticket to Peneda-Gerês cost?

Entry to Peneda-Gerês is free of charge except for the Mata de Albergaria forest, which has a €2 toll per vehicle.

What is the typical itinerary of a day tour to Peneda-Gerês from Porto?

Usually, your Peneda-Gerês day tour will include hotel pickup. You will then travel to Gerês in an SUV or van.

Once you arrive, your guide will take you on a hike through the forest of Albergaria, where you can see ancient Roman roads and ruins. You will also stop at several viewpoints to admire the stunning views of the valley below.

In the afternoon, you will visit the hot springs of Carvalhal and take a dip in the therapeutic waters. You may also hike to one of the park's many waterfalls.

All of the hikes are fairly easy and require only a basic level of fitness. They are suitable for all age groups, and your guide will have first aid training.

As you walk, your guide will tell you all about the local flora and fauna. You should also spot some of the park's resident animals, such as horses, wild boars and deer.

Your Peneda-Gerês journey will end with a drive back to Porto, where you will be dropped off at your hotel.

What kinds of tours are available to go to Peneda-Gerês?

Small group Peneda-Gerês day trip from Porto

A small group Peneda-Gerês day tour from Porto is perfect for those who want to explore the national park with a knowledgeable guide. You will marvel at the waterfalls and enjoy a picnic lunch, as you take in the stunning views.

Private day tour to Peneda-Gerês from Porto

This private tour to Peneda-Gerês from Porto is perfect for couples or families who want to explore the national park at their own pace. You can tailor the itinerary to suit your interests and preferences.

Hiking tour in Peneda-Gerês from Porto

This hiking day tour in Peneda-Gerês from Porto is perfect for those who want to explore the national park on foot. You will hike to some of the park's best viewpoints and waterfalls, such as the Tahiti Waterfall.

There will also be the chance to enjoy a traditional Portuguese lunch at a local restaurant within the park. Of course, your jaunt to Peneda-Gerês will be accompanied by an expert guide.

Peneda-Gerês extended mountain hike

This Peneda-Gerês day trip offers adventurous the chance to get closer to nature. The routes you take will be tailored to your interest and the season. This means that you will experience the best trails that the park has to offer at any given time of year.

During this Peneda-Gerês excursion, you'll experience many different landscapes throughout the park and learn all about the flora and fauna from two expert guides.

This tour is a chance to get off the beaten track and experience amazing views from one of the park's mountain summits. Since you will be venturing into quieter areas of the park, you also have a greater chance of spotting rare wildlife.

How much does a tour to Peneda-Gerês from Porto cost?

A Peneda-Gerês excursion costs anywhere between €65 and €90 per person, depending on duration, group size and inclusions.

The extended mountain hike has a higher price tag of €165. This is because it is longer, involves more advanced hikes and requires at least two guides to accompany the group.

What will you see and do in Peneda-Gerês?

The Tahiti Waterfall

This is one of the most popular attractions that Peneda-Gerês has to offer. With clear waters and a natural pool at the base, it's the perfect place to take a dip or enjoy a picnic lunch.

The Seven Lagoons

This is one of the most beautiful sights in the park, with more than seven lagoons cascading down the mountain, impressive views and secluded natural pools. This journey is done hiking or on a jeep tour of the Peneda-Gerês National Park.

Mata de Albergaria Forest

The Mata de Albergaria Forest is a must-visit on any Peneda-Gerês day tour. It's an oak forest where you'll find ancient Roman roads and ruins.

Depending on the time of year that you visit, you may be able to spot some of the park's wildlife during your Peneda-Gerês journey. The park is home to several species of deer, as well as wild boar, eagles and otters.

Pedras Parideiras

The Pedras Parideiras are huge granite rocks that have been eroded by the wind over time. They are one of the most iconic landmarks in Peneda-Gerês and offer stunning views of the surrounding countryside.

Hot springs

There are several hot springs located within Peneda-Gerês, each with its own unique mineral content. The most popular is the Caldas do Gerês, where many tour groups stop for a dip.

Traditional Portuguese villages

Within Peneda-Gerês, you'll find several traditional villages that offer a glimpse into the past. You can visit the village of Rio Caldo, which is known for its picturesque stone houses and quaint streets.

You’ll also be able to find a variety of authentic local restaurants, where you can enjoy a traditional Portuguese lunch. Many of these offer great views of the surrounding countryside.

When is Peneda-Gerês open over the year?

Peneda-Gerês is open all year round, but certain hiking trails and attractions may be closed during the winter months (from December to February).

When is the best time to visit Peneda-Gerês?

If you're mainly interested in hiking, the most comfortable time to visit Peneda-Gerês is during the spring or autumn when the weather is milder. During the spring, you will also be able to enjoy the sight of blooming flowers and blossoming trees. Meanwhile, fall sees the leaves change color, creating a vibrant landscape.

If you're interested in spotting wildlife, then the best time to visit Peneda-Gerês is during the summer months. This is when the animals are most active, and you're more likely to see them out in the open. However, a Peneda-Gerês day trip during the spring may mean that you get to see baby animals in the park.

Summer is also the ideal time to visit the park if you are interested in taking a dip and relaxing in one or more of the many waterfalls in the park. Keep in mind the water comes from natural springs and is cold all year long.

Are there any tours to the Peneda-Gerês National Park from other cities in Portugal?

Yes, there are other tours departing from other cities in Portugal:

Travel tips

  • Peneda-Gerês is a large national park, so be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes and bring plenty of water.
  • If you're visiting during the summer months, bring sunscreen and a hat to protect your skin.
  • Don't forget your camera. the park is one of the most scenic areas of Portugal, and you'll want to capture its natural beauty.
  • If you're interested in doing some hiking, be sure to check the trails before you go. Some of the more difficult routes may be closed during periods of bad weather.
  • Bring swimwear for visiting the waterfalls and hot springs.
  • If you plan on swimming, you may want to bring a towel with you. Towel rental is sometimes available from your tour provider, so double-check before you go.
  • Bring snacks and drinks for the journey to Peneda-Gerês, as there are limited options available inside the park.
  • If you're taking a Peneda-Gerês day trip during winter, be sure to wrap up warm and wear appropriate footwear. Some of the trails may be slippery when wet or icy.
  • If you have any medical conditions, be sure to bring any necessary medication with you. There are no pharmacies located within the area.
  • Be sure to check the latest weather forecast before you go, as the weather can change quickly in the region.