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Walking - Gerês National Park, the Shepherd's Way
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Walking - Gerês National Park, the Shepherd's Way

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 8 day(s)
Group Size: 4 - 16 people
Destination(s): Portugal  
Specialty Categories: Hiking & Trekking   National Parks  
Season: January - December
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: Yes
Minimum Per Person Price: 1350 Euro (EUR)
Maximum Per Person Price: 1630 Euro (EUR)

Discover the only Portuguese National Park Peneda-Gerês. In this beautiful and remote region, you will follow ancient trails used for centuries by local shepherds. Magnificent oak trees and several water falls will greet you in Peneda-Gerês, a place where traditions are still present in every day’s life. You will visit one of the most typical villages, Pitões de Júnias, where you can find a 12th Century convent. In Fojo do Lobo, be surprised by an ancient wolf hunting technique. Hiking in Gerês is an unique experience!

Tour Details:
- Level: Sporty
- Average walking time: 5-6 h./ day
- Total climbing: 3837 m/ 12589 ft
- Max. climbing in one day: 800 m/ 2625 ft
- Accommodations: Value (2-3 star inns).

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Porto. Pick-up at Porto’s airport and transfer to Mourilhe (Montalegre). Montalegre is one of the most picturesque villages in the “Trás-os-Montes” area, known for its pretty castle and also for its “Night of the Witches”. Lodging: Nossa Senhora dos Remédios rural hotel.

Day 2: Alto Cávado villages.

Today´s walking route will take us to the Cávado river valley, where we will be surrounded by beautiful oak trees. The Cávado is one the most well preserved rivers in Portugal - in its banks you can find several rare animal species.

Our itinerary will takes through ancient trails used by local shepherds, connecting small villages.
- Distance: 20 km/ 12 mi
- Approximate time: 5 hours
- Accumulated climbing: 350 m/ 1148 ft
- Lodging - Nossa Senhora dos Remédios Rural hotel.

Day 3: Pitões waterfalls and villages and Stª Maria das Júnias monastery.
Pitões de Júnias is a typical village of the Peneda-Gerês park: lost in the middle of nowhere, hard to reach and known for its tough climate. But, because of that, also very unique and charming. Here we will visit the 12th century convent, the S. Rosendo church, the communal granite oven and the waterfall.

In Pitões you can still see artisans making wool socks and the traditional "croças", waterproof coats made out of leaves from a local plant. We will walk by Pitões stream, through gorgeous oak tree groves, with the ever present massive granite boulders as background.
- Distance: 16 km/ 9.9 mi
- Approximate time: 4h30
- Accumulated climbing: 387 m/ 1269 ft
- Lodging - Quinta do Negral

Day 4: Shepherds Trail - Portela Leonte.

Our walk starts in Portela de Leonte. From here we will climb until we reach the first of many fields where local shepherds take their animals. All around us will be huge granite formations, some of them with very particular shapes. Along the way, we will find several "mariolas", piles of stones used for guiding by the shepherds... and us. Today´s hike will show us the best of Peneda-Gerês Natural Park. After this very special day, you can advantage of the Gerês Spa, treating yourself with a relaxing massage!
- Distance: 15 km/ 9.3 mi
- Approximate time: 6 hours
- Accumulated climbing: 800 m/ 3040 ft
- Lodging - Quinta do Negral

Day 5: The Sanctuary Trail.

Today´s hike will take us through fields surrounding Santa Isabel do Monte, in Terras de Bouro area. The views of the Gerês valley and the Caniçada dam are magnificent. We will pass by a granite formation called the "castle", a point once used by local people to look out for Spanish invaders. We will also visit the Abadia Sanctuary, the oldest sanctuary in Portugal, built in 1148 to protect the abbeys against the Moorish invasions.
- Distance: 16 km/ 10 mi
- Approximate time: 4 hours
- Accumulated climbing: 500 m/ 1640 ft.
- Lodging - Peneda hotel.

Day 6: Peneda´s Trail.

Our hike starts in Senhora da Peneda sanctuary and will connect two villages: Peneda and Branda da Bouça dos Homens. The first part of the hike will take us through a very old trail, where people from both villages used to ride their ox carts. On the way back we will take the pilgrimage path to Senhora da Penedas sanctuary.
- Distance: 11 km/ 7 mi
- Approximate time: 4 hours
- Accumulated climbing: 750 m/ 2640 ft
- Lodging - Peneda hotel.

Day 7: Fojo do Lobo Trail.

Another day of hiking in the Peneda mountain range in close contact with the shepherd's way of living.

We will start walking from the tiny village of Rouças and climb all the way to the village of Branda de Gorbelas. At the top we will find another land once used by shepherds and their animals. Here you can see some interesting small huts that were built to protect shepherds and animals against the cold and the wolves. Our final destination, before walking back down to where we started, is Fojo do Lobo. The "Fojo" is a very interesting construction created by shepherds to hunt wolves. Of course it´s no longer in use since wolves are now a protected in Portugal.
- Distance: 8 km/ 5 mi (Option: 4 km/ 2,5 mi)
- Approximate time: 4 hours
- Accumulated climbing: 600 m/1968 ft
- Lodging - Peneda hotel.

Day 8: Porto. Early morning transfer to the airport in Porto.

Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Prices for guided tours Includes:
- All accommodations with breakfast, 6 dinners, 1 picnic, daily snacks
- 1 local guides, van support, all transfers
- Maps, documentation and GPS tracks
- Company's t-shirt and water bottle
- Insurance
- All taxes.
(minimum 5 persons)

Other options:
- Price Supported tours do not include meals, van support or guides. It includes only accommodations, documentation and maps, GPS tracks and daily luggage transfer. Minimum 4 persons.

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