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Destinations Nature Portugal



I had never visited it before, though my whole life had heard the wonders of Gerês. So we decided to get on the road and travel to the north of the country for a weekend getaway.

I still thought we were going at the wrong time, that summer should be more appropriate … I couldn’t be more mistaken! Never before had I enjoyed the autumn so much as I had during this visit to Gerês.

In this post you will be able to read about:

– The Peneda-Gerês National Park
– See some of the places to visit
– Knowing where to stay and what to eat
– And, still, see a video about the visit to Gerês 🙂



The mountains of Peneda and Gerês are located northwest of Portugal, between the regions of Alto Minho and Trás-os-Montes, and constitute a unique area classified as National Park. The only one in the country.
Here the vegetation is lush, distributed in hilly terrain, cut by numerous waterways and waterfalls.
During my visit I didn’t have the opportunity to observe animals, maybe because the weather was uncertain and the animals more sheltered. But the place is known for its bucks, Iberian wolves and wild horses.


Caniçada Dam Bayou


Gerês Town


Arado Cascade


S. Bento da Porta Aberta


Tahiti Waterfall


Pedra Bela Viewpoint


Albergaria Woods


Portela do Homem


Balneario de Lobios (Spain)


Espigueiros de Soajo



There are numerous lodgings in the Gerês area. Also because this is much sought after in the summer months. However, two hotels are classic stays in the region:

Aguas do Gerês Hotel

This 3-star superior hotel occupies a completely refurbished, renaissance building that strives for comfort and elegance. The hotel unit works together with the thermal area and spa, making it the ideal place to re-energize. Find out more about it and book it HERE.

São Bento da Porta Aberta Hotel

This was the hotel that I chose for my two day stay at Gerês. Located right in front of the São Bento da Porta Aberta Sanctuary, don’t be fooled by the old architecture of the exterior. This 4-star hotel is completely refurbished and offers modern and comfortable rooms. No wonder they won the certificate of excellence 2016 by TripAdvisor and are quoted with 9.1 on Booking. Find out more about it and book it HERE.

If you wish to book one of these hotels follow the links shown above. You will be helping the blog, at no additional cost to you. 😉

Local gastronomy

Northern Portugal is one of the best places to eat in the country. If you are a vegetarian you can find some offer, but I confess that those who like meat will have more luck with the menus presented.
One of the typical dishes is Papas de Serrabulho, made with meats, sausages and corn flour. Note that this dish is produced using the blood of the pig. In the hottest months of the year you may well not find it, since it’s a typical winter dish.
Other gastronomic delights are the Roasted Goatling or the hunting pieces, such as the Deer Chop or the Wild Boar Entrecote.
In our stay we discovered the Lurdes Capela restaurant. Quality in the dishes served, a good wine list and impeccable service. Super recommended!

Trip to Gerês

What did you think of Gerês? Were you curious to visit it? Share your opinion in the comments box below.

Marlene On The Move

Marlene Marques

Marlene is the creator of Marlene On The Move. A journalist by profession, she created the blog to share her adventures around the world. It is not unusual for her to set off to discover new countries and cultures with a surfboard as luggage.




  • Faith Coates

    Well the article made me curious enough to go out and see exactly what Espigueiros de Soajo are and apparently they are granaries?? Not sure as the pages I found were all in Portugese…lol…but lovely pictures.

    • Marlene Marques

      Hi Faith, you are so right: they’re old granaries. Your Portuguese is not that bad 😉 what makes these one special is that it’s one of the most largest group in the country and the oldest one goes back to 1782! 🙂

  • Katharina

    Right. That’s it. I am going to have to book a one week or two week trip to Portugal. What amazing locations! Espigueiros de Soajoespecially looks really interesting.

    • Marlene Marques

      You have to, Katharina. Portugal is full of this little treasures 😉

  • Anna

    What a lovely place, I’ve never heard of it before! Looks like a great destination in autumn . I also enjoyed the video, it helped me picture being there.

    • Marlene Marques

      Thank you so much, Anna. I was also surprised how beautiful this place looks in the autumn.

  • Carla Abanes

    Geres really sounds an exciting destination to experience autumn. Being born and raised in the tropics, everything about autumn and its colors excites me. What more if I could experience it in Portugal!

    • Marlene Marques

      Hi, Carla. Can relate with your fascination with autumn. Mine is with the paradise characteristics of the tropics. Maybe we can exchange places for a few months? 😉 But, you’re right. It’s places like this that make me enjoy more and more the autumn season.

  • Stefan

    I’ve been to Portugal before but only to Lisbon and the Algarve. Your photos have given me serious wanderlust for Geres. How far is it from Lisbon?

    • Marlene Marques

      Hi, Stefan. From Lisbon to Gerês is about 400 km. You can do it easily by car, since most of the ride is by highway. But, if you’re flying to Portugal you can go straight to Porto and then drive for about 100 km.

  • Indrani

    I spent around a week touring Portugal but missed this. 🙁
    This place seems to be a package in itself. Great pics. If I get another opportunity to visit I will definitely include this.

    • Marlene Marques

      Hi Indrani. Glad to know that you had a lovely time in Portugal. You just have to come back and check out this place. You’ll be amazed!

  • anna

    I’ve heard stunning things about Portugal! Everytime I see a post like this I just want to go. This is near Porto right?

    • Marlene Marques

      Hi, Anna. It’s about 100 km from Porto. If you can fit both Porto and Gerês in a visit to Portugal you’ll have the perfect plan! 😉

  • Nathan

    Portugal is one of my favorite countries in the world although I’ve never been to this area. Your photos are gorgeous.

    • Marlene Marques

      Thank you so much, Nathan! If you have the chance, you just have to fit Gerês in one of your next stops in Portugal. You’ll love it! 😉

  • Megan Jerrard

    Wow, we’re big on wildlife travel, and honestly hadn’t considered Portugal becuse Europe’s not really a hot spot for wildlife tourism. But Peneda-Gerês National Park looks STUNNING and bucks, Iberian wolves and wild horses are definitely a big draw card!! … even if it might take some effort to go searching for a sighting 🙂 Thanks for putting Geres on our radar 🙂

  • Wandering Carol

    Okay, you had me at thermal spas – I love hot springs. I’d never heard of Geres, but now I think that spending autumn there would be the perfect place to start a new season.

  • Maddy

    Arado cascade looks so beautiful. In fact every single photograph posted looks phenomenal. Thank you for introducing me to a new bucket list destination!

    • Marlene Marques

      Thank you so much for your comment, Maddy. The photos were good because this region is beautiful 🙂 Glad you like it.

  • Nikki

    Looks like a magical destination and I love the colours of Autumn wherever I am in the world! Great video too – can I ask what you use to create and edit them? I’m trying to delve into the world of video myself and could do with some inspiration!

    • Marlene Marques

      Hi, Nikki. Thank you so much for your comment. Normally I film with my Canon or with the GoPro4 (this particular movie was made with the GoPro – I have to work on it, because I think it turned out a bit shaky). To edit, I use the iMovie, since I have a mac and the program is really easy to use. As for the music, check out the Youtube Audio Library. Their you can find some license free clips. Hope I could help. Feel free to ask any other question 😉

  • Vyjay

    Geres looks so enchanting. What a beautiful place, it looks so serene and beautiful.Autumn has added a magical hue to the place.

    • Marlene Marques

      Absolutely, Vyjay! I’ve never visited it in the Autumn time and I was totally amazed with all the beautiful colors 🙂

  • Christopher

    Oh wow Portugal is so beautiful. Those pictures of the waterfalls are stunning. Clearly Sintra, Lagos & Lisbon are not enough. I need to come back.

  • Joe

    Looks like a greaty place to visit. Portugal is a European country I haven’t got round to visiting yet, and on the basis of this I should address this soon…

  • I have been to Portugal only once on a very short trip and feel I missed so much. This area looks beautiful and I have added it to my (very long) bucket list!

  • Luca

    I’ve never heard before of Gerês but I have to admit that I don’t know Portugal particularly well, except for the main cities. Espigueiros de Soajo really intrigue me, I thought they were tombs or something religious, instead google told me they’re old granaries!!!

    • Marlene Marques

      Hi, Luca. Like you, everybody thinks that the Espigueiros are tombs. But, you’re right, they are granaries were the local people stored cereal. The curious about this ones is that they are really old, being the oldest one from 1782.

  • Ami

    The pictures look so amazing. Especially Espigueiros de Soajo. It looks like there is a story behind it. Don’t know much about Geres but will be reading up after seeing these pics.

  • joanna

    I have never thought of Portugal to a country with mountains to be honest.Seeing this, my desire of visiting Portugal has gone higher up. Geres looks like a proper paradise for hikers.

    • Marlene Marques

      You so right, Joanna. It’s a perfect place for hiking. Glad I’ve showed you a different aspect of the country.

  • Jure

    I’ve been planning on visiting this national park for the last few years, as I have very good friends living across the border in Spain who also organize hiking there. Looks lovely and I really need to get on with it and visit the place finally!

    • Marlene Marques

      Hi, Jure. If you have the opportunity to visit Gerês with someone that knows the place you’ll have even more fun. Hope you enjoy the trip!

  • Samarpita Sharma

    Gooorgeous pics!! Never been to this part of the world and it looks so inviting! Now going to surf through your other posts

    • Marlene Marques

      Thanks, Samarpita. Hope you enjoy the rest of the blog and come back soon. 😉

  • Lee Rosales

    Such a beautiful place
    Ive never been to any country in Europe and this is now on my list
    Cant wait on 2018

  • Venkat Ganesh

    I loved the white/blue tinge of Arado Cascade. A great video as well.

    I’ve always loved autumn. More than spring or summer actually. There is something about the time just before winter when things start slowing down. And nothing better than a trip in autumn to bring some much-needed excitement

  • Wanderlust Vegans

    Well I think that settles it! We have been searching for a destination in either Spain or Portugal for months. Geres has stolen my heart. Peneda-Geres National Park looks stunning! Also those waterfalls are gorgeous. I think Autumn was a wonderful time to visit! I’m hoping winter will be just as amazing!

    • Marlene Marques

      Hello! I’m so glad I could inspire you for a visit. If you’re visiting Gerês on winter time, bring harm clothes, since the temperatures are low that time of the year. But if you’re lucky, maybe you even get to see some snow. 🙂

  • Swayam Tiwari

    So, there is a Tahiti in Portugal as well! And I thought it was only in Hawaii! I think this is the first Portugal blog that I am reading. We too have a little bit of Portugal in India- Goa. Have you been to Goa?

    • Marlene Marques

      Hi Swayam! I’m so sad that I haven’t visit India and Goa, yet. But is definitely a place I want to go! Portugal left several records of its passage through various countries of Asia. It’s always nice to visit those spots, since they are always so full of history.

  • Travelpeppy

    Such a beautiful town. Loved all your pictures specially the one of Waterfall. It is going on our list

  • Parnashree Devi

    Autumn in Geres looks absolutely promising and inviting. your pictures are simply awesome. I would definitely like visit this place once I travel to Portugal. Thanks for sharing it.

  • Sia

    I have to admit I have never heard of this national park but it looks absolutely gorgeous! Both of the waterfalls are stunning as well as almost every landscape photo you took. I didn’t know much about the food in Portugal either and I the part with the pig blood scared me a bit. But I am sure some vegetarian options could be found and I am always really interested to explore the local cuisine.

    • Marlene Marques

      Absolutely, Sia. In Portugal you can find always some restaurants offering vegetarian alternatives. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the post. Thank you so much for your comment.

  • Beautiful photos. I haven’t heard about the park until now, so thank you for enlightening me about sights in Portugal. It is a country still on my list of countries to visit. 🙂

  • Adam, Bite of Iceland

    Breathtaking landscapes 🙂 I would love to visit this area one day 🙂 Thank you for an inspiration!

  • Jessica

    Thinking of coming to this region in summer. Can you advise any good bnb in area? 3

    • Marlene Marques

      Hi, Jessica. Unfortunately, I can’t recommend any BNB. When I went I stayed in a hotel called Hotel São Bento da Porta Aberta. You can check it out using the search box on my homepage. It’s a really nice hotel with a lovely view and I don’t think is that expensive. But check it out and let me know what you think. 🙂

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