10 Best hiking trails in Geres National Park

In this article, we will present the best hiking trails in Gerês, in the Peneda Gerês National Park. We will discuss their course, what they offer us in terms of landscapes, attractions, difficulties and for whom they are most suitable.

So, there are hiking trails in Gerês for all tastes, some short and easy, others long and hard. There are trails with well-known waterfalls and lagoons, and others where you won’t be seeing anyone for km, even during high season.

The Peneda Geres National Park is one of the finest regions for hiking in Portugal, featuring short, medium, and long-distance trails. Walking through the dozens of trails spread throughout the National Park, we can see waterfalls, lagoons, traditional villages, forests, landmarks, and much more.

Let’s explore the best hiking trails in Peneda-Gerês National Park!

8 Best hiking trails in Geres

Preguiça Trail – PR10 TBR, Terras do Bouro

The Preguiça trail is one of the best trails in Geres for beginners. With only 5.5 km, it is a very short and relatively easy trail. This circular route begins and ends next to Casa da Preguiça and is quite popular as it passes through two of the most famous waterfalls in Geres: Cascata de Leonte and Cascata da Laja.

Right at the beginning of the trail, we also have the Preguiça viewpoint, one of the most beautiful viewpoints in Gerês. The only difficulty of the route is the initial part, where we have a steep ascent of about 1km, but from there, we either go down, or it is flat. Technically it does not present any difficulties.

Best trails in Gerês National Park
View from Miradouro da Preguiça in Preguiça trail- Best hiking trails in Geres

Miradouros Trail – PR6 TBR

This is one of the most spectacular trails in Gerês. It doesn’t have waterfalls, lakes, or even particularly beautiful woods, but it offers stunning views and several of the best viewpoints in Gerês. Despite this and its beginning in the heart of Vila do Gerês, it is not a very popular trail; when we hiked it, we saw almost no one.

With more than 12 km, and 800 meters of accumulated altitude gain, it is a challenging trail, but all the difficulty is at the beginning, so after this phase, it is much more pleasant. Anyway, it helps if you have some stamina.

Best hiking trails in Geres
Beautiful view from Miradouro da Boneca in the Miradouros trail in Gerês

Poços Verdes do Sobroso Trail, PR9 MTR

Also known as the Sete Lagoas do Xertelo trail, the Poços Verdes do Sobroso trail is one of the best-known and most popular trails in the Peneda Gerês National Park. The reason is simple and obvious, the Poços Verdes are stunning and one of the best places in Gerês to sunbathe and dive in the beautiful but icy waters of Gerês.

Although the green lagoons are the main attraction, this trail shows us a few other things, such as a Fojo do Lobo and the Vila Nova waterfalls. The roughly 10 km of this circular route are relatively flat, but the final part is quite tough. This is one of the best trails for exploring the deeper PNPG, but without taking significant risks. It’s all very well indicated, it’s not technically difficult, and there are usually quite a few people along it.

Top trails in Geres
The Sete Lagoas do Xertelo trail, the Poços Verdes do Sobroso trail – One of Gere’s most beautiful trails

Trail to Poço da Dola

  • Distance: 6 km, round trip;
  • Time: About 3 hours;
  • Type: Round trip
  • Physical effort: Moderate, due to the ascents and descents;
  • Technical difficulty: Moderate to difficult because it is not marked;
  • Recommended: Experienced hikers, PNPG connoisseurs;
  • Points of interest: Poço do Dola, all the surrounding landscape;
  • If you want to hike this trail, you can find all the necessary information in this article.

The trail to Poço da Dola is not an official trail, nor is it marked, so we only advise it for people with hiking experience who know the National Park. That said, it’s not a long route at all, and it’s not especially difficult to follow the mariolas, and if you download the map, it becomes easier.

With about 3 km (6 round trips), this is a very short route, but it constantly climbs (or descends) and sometimes with many rocks or without a proper path. The great attraction of this trail is the Poço da Dola and the lakes that form in the river. The great advantage of this route is that it is not a known or popular trail, so it is very likely that you’ll have the area to yourself.

Mistura de Águas Trail – PR8 AVV

  • Distance: 12 km;
  • Time: About four and a half hours;
  • Type: Circular part, linear part with round trip;
  • Physical effort: Moderate, due to the ups and downs;
  • Technical difficulty: Easy;
  • Recommended: Any regular hiker won’t have problems with the trail difficulty;
  • Points of interest: Lagoa dos Druidas, Mix of waters, Fraga das Pastorinhas;
  • If you want to do this trek, you can see the full information needed in this article.

The Mistura de Águas trail is next to Tibo in Arcos de Valdevez. With about 12km, it takes us to see some fabulous landscapes of the National Park and allows us to go to the spectacular Lagoa dos Druidas (Druids Lagoon) and other small lagoons in the Peneda River.

This is a partially circular, partially linear, round-trip route. It does not present great technical difficulties, but we considered it physically moderate due to the distance and some accumulated altitude gain. It is well marked and can be done by virtually everyone. It’s a great trail to do in the summer because, in addition to being able to dive in the lagoons, most of the route is done in the Shadow.

Poço Azul Trail

  • Distance: 9 km, round trip; 11 if you start at the viewpoint of Rocas;
  • Time: About 3 hours;
  • Type: Round trip;
  • Physical effort: Easy to Moderate;
  • Technical difficulty: Moderated for not being tagged;
  • Recommended: Everyone who is used to mountain hiking and GPS;
  • Points of interest: Poço Azul; Cascata do Arado and Miradouro das Rocas in the begining;
  • If you want to do this trek, you can see the full information needed in this article.

The Poço Azul trail is one of those trails that exists because they have a great final goal. In this case, it’s going to the wonderful Poço Azul. With about 4.5 km (9 km way and back), it is not a long, technical, or very difficult trail. It turns out to be a beautiful walk through the park, accessible to almost everyone, and with a magnific prize at the end, Poço Azul – which translates to Blue well, although in reality, it’s more green than blue.

Despite being small, Poço Azul is one of the best known and most popular lagoons in Gerês, so it is natural that in summer peak, it is quite crowded. Therefore, we suggest going on weekdays, early in the morning, or in June, July, and September to avoid large crowds. This trail is not marked, so we advise you to use a GPS.

Most beautiful trails in Geres
Poço Azul- Best Geres trails

Trail to Minas dos Carris

  • Distance: 20 km+, round trip;
  • Time: At least 7 hours;
  • Type: Round trip;
  • Physical effort: Very difficult due to the unevenness, altitude, and distance;
  • Technical difficulty: Moderate as it is not marked, but it is pretty easy to follow;
  • Recommended: Very experienced hikers and experts in the PGNP;
  • Points of interest: Minas de Carris, the Homem River high valley, Pico da Nevosa.

This is by far the most strenuous trail on this list. So complex that we have never actually completed it, even though we have partially covered it twice. The return trip is more than 20km, with an accumulated altitude gain of about 800 meters. It’s tough, but it’s well worth it. However, we only recommend this trail to very experienced hikers or accompanied ones.

The route is spectacular and takes us from the border at Portela do Homem, through the Portela do Homem waterfall (one of the best waterfalls in the PNPG), and then climbing all the way to the old Minas dos Carris. This trail enters through the special protection zone, so you need to ask the National Park for permission to do so.

Pitões das Júnias Trail

  • Distance: 4.5 km;
  • Time: 1.5 hours;
  • Type: Circular;
  • Physical effort: Easy, only the return from the viewpoint is harder;
  • Technical difficulty: easy, without any difficulty;
  • Recommended: for the whole family, as long as you do not have mobility problems;
  • Points of interest: Pitões das Júnias Waterfall, Santa Marta das Júnias Monastery.

With only 4.5 km, this short trail takes us to discover the two wonders of Pitões das Júnias, the waterfall and the monastery of Santa Marta das Júnias. The short distance and the absence of technical difficulties make this a short and accessible trail for the whole family.

The trail starts in the village, next to the cemetery, descends to the ruins of the monastery, and then to the waterfall viewpoint through a wooden walkway. It is impossible to go down to the waterfall, only to the lookout.

trails in Geres that we recommend
Pitões das Júnias Waterfall without water

Best trails in Gerês – Bonus

Despite being outside the protected area of ​​the Peneda Gerês National Park, the following two treks are very close. Since they are stunning, we advise you to take the opportunity and hike them if you are in the Geres region.

Misarela Bridge Trail – PR5 MTR

Located in Montalegre, this trail is essentially on the fringe of the National Park. At about 12 km, it is a relatively long trail, but it is well worth the effort. It takes us to the spectacular Misarela bridge and waterfall along the ancient Roman road and offers astonishing views of the Gerês mountains.

The Misarela Bridge trail is relatively long and hard. It also presents some technical difficulties as it is not very well signposted, so we advise using GPS. The highlight of the trail is the bridge and its surroundings, but if you are only interested in this attraction, you do not need to do the entire route, only the first km. Check it out here if you just want to go to the Misarela bridge or here to hike the whole trail.

trails in Geres that you have to do
Misarela bridge and waterfall- Best trails in Geres

Sistelo Walkways and Vez Ecovia

The Sistelo and Ecovia do Vez walkways are a little further from the National Park, but they are one of our favorite destinations in the northern region, and that’s why we had to mention them.

The Ecovia do Vez is very long, as it has three stages of 10 km, which makes it extremely difficult to do in one day. So, if you only have one day, we recommend the third stage as it is the most beautiful and with the most remarkable points of interest, including the Sistelo walkways. In our opinion, these are the most beautiful walkways in Portugal.

The route is linear and goes from Sistelo (one of the most beautiful villages in Portugal) to Vilela and can be hiked in both directions; However, we suggest starting in Sistelo, as from there to Vilela is mainly downhill. See here all the information about Ecovia do Vez and the Footbridges of the Sistelo.

Best trails in Geres
Sistelo Walkways and Vez Ecovia

Grand Peneda-Gerês Route – GR50

The Great Route of Peneda-Gerês, the GR50, is a route that goes from Ameijoeira, Castro Laboreiro, to Tourém, Montalegre, passing through all the main regions of the Peneda Gerês National Park. The 190 km are spread over 19 stages, nearly always in the mountains, and some of these stages partially overlap with the trails suggested above.

Whoever takes this route will get to know the National Park better than any other, but it is a long, mountainous, and demanding trail. Although it is very tempting and we have already tried to plan it, we have never taken this route, so we cannot give specific advice.

One of the problems with this GR50 is that several stages start/end in places with no accommodation available, forcing transfers to sleep and eat, spoiling the overall experience a little.

If you are interested in this adventure, see more information on the official website.

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