7 extraordinary waterfalls in Geres National Park

Peneda Geres National Park is a well-known nature wonderland with lovely forests, wonderful waterfalls, beautiful lakes, and many walking trails for us to explore. We have been to Geres more times than we can count – it’s our go-to region in Portugal when we want to relax and enjoy nature.

We have have been to many waterfalls in Geres, but in this post, we bring you the best waterfalls in Geres National Park. We will focus on the beauty of the falls, how to get there, if it’s possible to swim, or at least refresh yourself and ultimately explain why you need to go there.

You should note that Peneda Geres National Park has dozens of waterfalls and cascades – we have visited many of them, but not all. If we discover a new that’s worth being on the list, we will update the post.

Planning a trip to Geres? Check favorite Peneda Geres traditional villages!

7 best waterfalls in Geres National Park

Fecha das Barjas (aka Tahiti waterfalls)

Fecha das Barjas is a waterfall, or a series of waterfalls, on the Arado river. Cascatas do Tahiti (Tahiti waterfalls) is the unofficial name, but trendy name of Fecha das Barjas, and they are undeniably one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Geres. They are also one of the most well-known and most famous waterfalls in the park, attracting hundreds of people every day during Summer.

These waterfalls are formed by several cascades of very different sizes, with small lagoons of blue/green water. You can swim, or at least refresh yourself in the pools, though the water is as beautiful as it’s cold. These are probably the most beautiful and fun waterfalls in the National Park.

The higher part of this waterfall is easily accessed from the road that connects Fafião and Ermida, but to reach the lower section, you’ll need to hike the trail on the left bank of the river. It should take up about 10 minutes, and take good hiking shoes as it’s steep. If it’s wet, it’s downright dangerous and we advise you not to go!

Note: there used to be a walkway of the right side, but it has been closed since 2016.

  • Fun: 5/5
  • Size: 4/5
  • Beauty: 4/5
  • Access: 2/5
7 extraordinary waterfalls in Geres National Park
Fecha das Barjas or Tahiti waterfalls

Portela do Homem waterfall

Portela do Homem waterfall (less commonly known as S. Miguel waterfall) is located in the heart of Mata da Albergaria, one of the most beautiful areas in Peneda Geres National Park. It is by the road, less than 1 km from the Portuguese border.

You should note that this is a special reserve area, and during Summer access is limited – you can drive the road, but you can’t stop. Thus, you’ll need to stop by the border and walk your way back. You have to pay a toll to cross it.

Portela do Homem waterfall is a rather small waterfall on the still incipient Homem river. The water crashes on a 5-meter drop from a big boulder into a beautiful blue water lagoon. As a waterfall, it isn’t the most impressive, but the location, the wonderful lagoon, and the easy access make it possibly the most visited waterfall in Peneda Geres National Park.

  • Fun: 5/5
  • Size: 1/5
  • Beauty 3/5
  • Access: 4/5

Pincães waterfall

Pincães waterfall is located about 2km away from the small village of Pincães on the Pincães river. It is easily one of our favorite waterfalls in the whole park as it has it all. It has a huge 20-30 meters drop, good water levels, and an inviting pool. The pool as clear water and it’s big enough to swim, dive and generally have fun.

We recommend you take a good look to higher section of the falls and notice that this is actually a double drop waterfall, and that in between them, the water goes behind and under a huge boulder stuck in the sides of the canyon. It’s pretty impressive.

The biggest downside of this waterfall is that it doesn’t have too much space for people to be around it. It’s a very narrow canyon, without grass or any flat places besides the rocks. However, it’s not the most famous falls, so it’s only really full on Summer weekends.

The only way to reach this waterfall is to drive to Pincães, park at the entrance of the village, and hike about 2 km to the waterfalls. You should note that you can’t park inside the village, so you need to leave the car before the sign. The hike to the waterfall is easy, with a short steep climb (about 100m) right before reaching the falls. The trek isn’t well signed, but it’s relatively easy to figure out where to go – you mostly need to follow the water.

  • Fun: 4/5
  • Size: 3/5
  • Beauty: 4/5
  • Access: 3/5
best waterfalls in Geres National Park
Pincães waterfall

Arado Waterfall

Arado Waterfall is another waterfall on the Arado river (like Fecha das Barjas). Together with Fecha das Barjas, and Portela do Homem waterfall they are the most visited waterfalls in Geres. Though, to be honest, we went there and felt it was too crowded, which we can’t say the same about the other two.

Arado waterfall is conveniently located close to Pedra Bela, and it’s very easy to reach. About halfway between Pedra Bela and Ermida, there’s the famous Rocas lookout. There you’ll find a big dirt road, follow this road until you reach the bridge. You can drive there in any car, despite being a dirt road it’s usually in a very good state. Or if you don’t want to risk it, you can walk. It’s not too far.

On the bridge, you have to decide if you want to go to the lookout or the waterfall. To go the lookout, you have to climb the stairs, and in 10 minutes, you’ll reach the beautiful lookout to the falls. If you want to actually go to the falls, we suggest you descend to the river on the bridge and then hike through the boulders and pools until you reach the waterfalls.

From the lookout, you can see that the waterfall is made of 3 big drops with beautiful pools along the way. You can easily see the last drop and pool, going through the river as we suggested earlier. The others are much more difficult, and we have never done it. Finally, we need to mention that during summer this waterfall usually has very little water. The pools are still amazing, but the falls become less impressive.

  • Fun: 3/5
  • Size: 3/5
  • Beauty: 3/5
  • Access: 3/5
top waterfalls of Geres National Park
Arado Waterfall

Peneda Waterfall

Peneda waterfall is located in the extreme north of the Park, in the village of Peneda, Gavieira. This is a very different waterfall from the other in this list. It’s a waterfall to see and be impressed, not to go close and bath. In fact, as far as we know, it doesn’t even have a pool under the waterfall. It’s also a very seasonal waterfall. During Summer it becomes almost dry, with almost no flow. So, to really see it you should go during winter or after a few rainy days.

Yet, Peneda waterfall made this list, instead of many other cascades in the Park. Why? Because, at its peak, it’s a really impressive waterfall, that it’s visible from a great distance due to the whime foam created by the water falling into the rocks. Plus, we said you can’t really go into the falls, but you can go very close to it and feel it’s power.

Finally, this waterfall has another exciting feature. The waterfalls’ water drops right behind the old pilgrim’s dormitories (now hotel da Peneda) and then go under the building and the square of the village before joining the Peneda river. You can even hear the water flowing under your feet. It’s a rather bizarre experience.

  • Fun: 3/5
  • Size: 5/5
  • Beauty: 2/5
  • Access: 5/5

Cela Cavalos waterfall

This is another beautiful waterfall with a small pool. The water is crystal clear and the pool is big and deep enough to dive in, refresh and relax by it. The drop isn’t too big, 5 to 10 meters but it creates a wonderful area. It’s more of a beautiful, fun waterfall than an impressive one.

As it’s in a secluded area and it’s relatively far from other main attractions it’s one of the least visited waterfalls in this list. Furthermore, it has a rather large area where one can lie down and enjoy the scenery, which means that this is one of the most relaxing to spend time.

Our favorite feature of Cela Cavalos is the small half-hidden trail to the top of the cascade. It’s quite steep and a bit dangerous, but from the top you have a beautiful view to the main cascades and the horizon. And, to top it all, there are a few other natural pools with beautiful turquoise water and very rarely anyone. Do not go there, if it’s wet!

Cela Cavalos waterfall is located about 2km from Cela, Outeiro. The fastest way to reach it is by leaving the car on the M308 and walk about 2 km. There are no signs, but there are usually cars parked by the road there. If you can’t find it, you can always drive to Santa Luzia chapel in Cela, and walk to the falls from there. The distance is fairly the same.

  • Fun: 4/5
  • Size: 2/5
  • Beauty: 3/5
  • Access: 4/5
Stunning waterfalls in Geres National Park
Cela Cavalos waterfall

Pitões das Júnias Waterfall

Pitões das Júnias Waterfall is a huge waterfall, close to Pitões das Júnias. This is one of our favorite traditional villages in Geres, and one of the reasons is the waterfall (the others are the ruins of the monastery and the location).

Similarly to Peneda, this is a waterfall to see, not to get into. Though it is worth it. The first and main drop has more than 30 meters, and during the rainy season, the flow is huge. During summers, the water levels decrease a lot, and it becomes less impressive. You can still see it’s a big waterfall, but there’s not much water.

To see the waterfalls you need to go to the village and then look for the signs to the waterfall, you’ll eventually reach the parking lot. Park there and then walk the 600 meters pathways to the lookout. There are quite a few stairs, but it’s doable by everyone without mobility limitations as it’s a very short distance.

From the lookout, you have an amazing view of the falls, but it’s quite far from the falls themselves. Supposedly there’s a trail from there to the falls, but we have never tried it, and we actually read that it is difficult and even dangerous at times.

  • Fun: 2/5
  • Size: 5/5
  • Beauty: 4/5
  • Access: 4/5 (1, if you want to actually reach the falls)
Beautifull waterfalls in Geres National Park
Pitões das Júnias Waterfall in Summer with little water flow

These are our favorite waterfalls in Peneda-Geres, yet as we mention in the beginning, there are many others, like Leonte and Laja waterfalls in Geres River, Soajo waterfalls in Soajo, and many others throughout the park. There are also many lovely lagoons with small cascades which we didn’t mention here, like the 7 lagoons or the blue lagoon, but those will have their own post “the best pools and lagoons of Geres”.

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7 extraordinary waterfalls in Geres National Park
7 extraordinary waterfalls in Geres National Park

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