Preguiça trail – PR10 TRB is one of the most well-known and popular trails in Peneda Geres National Park. First, because it goes through several interesting places in the park, like Leonte and Laja waterfalls, Preguiça lookout and preguiça woods. Second because it’s reasonablt short and circular, thus not too hard.
Lastly, it’s close to Gerês village and on the way to Portela do Homem, the most popula area in the park, making it easily accessable to may travellers. The only problem is not having many parking spots in the area.
Preguiça trail has several variants consisting basically on shortcuts to the bigger 5.5km trail. In this post we will describe the full 5.5km, but we will explain where the shortcuts appear so you can choose the route that better fits your needs.
Preguiça trail – general information
- Name: Preguiça trail – PR10 TBR
- Start – Preguiça house
- End – Preguiça house
- Distance – 5.5 km
- Time required – about 2 hours
- Difficulty – moderate
- Max/min altitude: 850/670 meters
- Altitude gain: 370 meters
- Type – Circular
- Signalization (1-5) – 5
- Highlights: Leonte waterfall, Laja Waterfall, Preguiça lookout
- You can download the official map here (in Portuguese)
The trail starts next to the Preguiça house, which is one of the old houses of the guards of the national park. Since there is not a car park, you will have to park on the roadside, between the house and the viewpoint of the sloth. Note that it is not allowed to park inside the property of the preguiça house.
From the Preguiça House to the viewpoint it is only 50/100 meters, we suggest you start the trail by going to the viewpoint because when you arrive you will be tired and possibly with less inclined to go there. This is one of the best viewpoints in Gerês, with fabulous views over the valley of the Gerês river and the reservoir of the Caniçada dam.
From the viewpoint, you have to descend back and follow the trail on the left. It is well signalized, and even has a sign with general information about the route. There is no way to miss it. The trail starts with a descent for a few meters and then a more or less flat phase, but don’t get too used to it, because right after that comes the hardest part of the trail.
For almost a km, it is always going up, and it goes up a lot. Don’t forget to take pictures! First, because it is beautiful. Second, because it is an excellent excuse to catch your breath. Eventually, and after crossing a small watercourse, we find the first fork. There you can choose between continuing to go up or turning left and descend. If you decide to descend you’ll take a shortcut, making the route a little shorter and less challenging. If you continue climbing you will be rewarded with incredible views over the valley of the Gerês River.
After the viewpoint, the trail starts to descend and continues for about half a kilometer until we reach the main road, cross it, and continue descending until we reach the wooden bridge over the river Geres. During this part of the route, there is an alternative to turn left towards the starting point, or continue straight towards the Cascade de Leonte. The next section of the route is linear, that is, when you reach the waterfall you will have to return the same way to turn at this same point. So, the decision is whether you go to the Leonte Waterfall, or not.
Moving on, the path eventually begins to ascend slightly for about 500 meters. Note that the Leonte Waterfall isn’t that big, it is more of an area of violent rapids than a waterfall itself. In addition, the river dries out completely during drier periods. As we said before, after the waterfall we have to go backwards through the same route, then turning right at the place we mentioned earlier.
From the waterfall, and for about 1.2 km the route drops altitude consistently, with some flat areas in between. This is where we will find the second waterfall on this trail, Laja waterfall. It is a very beautiful waterfall, with a wooden bridge beside it. Again, this cascade in the summer has very little volume, and can even dry out during periods of great drought. It is still, a bigger fall than Leonte’s as it takes longer to dry.
After the waterfall, you’ll continue to descend until reaching the Gerês river. This area is beautiful, with a dense oak forest. In the last 200 meters of the trail, you need to climb back to the starting point. It is quite steep, but as it is only 200 meters, it’s doable.
Best time to do the trail
This is an excellent example of a trail that can be hiked all year round. Given the location, the altitude, and the long periods of shade it is a good trail to do in the summer.
On the other hand, we strongly advise against doing it in the rain. The stone floor can become very slippery, and some steep slopes make it quite dangerous. So, pay special attention in winter when the humidity can last for several days.
Is the trail family-friendly?
The relatively short distance of this walking trail invites families to do it. However, when planning it, note that differences in altitude are relevant, especially for the elderly and people with mobility difficulties. With time, I think it is possible for almost everyone to do it but it still has tough stages.
We see no problem with taking children, that, as long as they are not infants. The last time we hiked there was a family with a 3/4-year-old child doing it, and they looked comfortable. It will of course be slower, but what’s the hurry?
What to take?
This is a very short trail, but it still takes some time to do, mainly due to the hard initial climb, and the mandatory stops at the viewpoints and waterfalls. We still advise you to take:
- Lots of water (about a 1l per person should be enough if it’s not too hot)
- Snacks – note that there aren’t places to eat along the trail.
- Comfortable hiking or running shoes;
- Comfortable clothes;
- Rain jacket if it’s winter;
- Sunglasses, hat, and sunscreen if it’s sunny;
- Camera and smartphone, there are plenty of photo opportunities here;
- A daypack to take everything with you;
As always, please do not make any trash. Bring back everything you take with you.
How to go to the trail?
This is a very easy trail to reach because the start / end is right next to the N308-1 road. This N308-1 is the main road that goes from the village of Gerês to the Portela do Homem. The start of the trail is right next to the preguiça house so it is very easy to find. The biggest problem may be parking, as there is no park and there is very limited available space.
Where to stay?
Preguiça trail is right in the center of Gerês, so any accommodation here is well located. However, the best area to be very close to the trail is clearly the village of Gerês. Despite not being one of our favorite villages in Gerês, it is a very touristic place with lots of accommodation and dining options. Check directly on the map below.
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