Peneda-Gerês National Park (PNPG) occupies an area of 70,000 ha and extends from the Mourela Plateaux to that of Castro Laboreiro including the mountains of Peneda, Soajo, Amarela and Gerês. This is a mountainous region, essentially granitic with places in high altitude areas where can be seen the effects of the latest glaciation. Deep and embedded valleys support a dense hydrographic network.
Remarkable botanical diversity - woods, forests, riparian vegetation and peatlands besides and also the moist woods - with special relevance to the varied rare and endemic species. The PNPG is home to some of the most important oak forests in Portugal. Interesting semi-natural habitats.
Diversity of animal species (235 censused species of vertebrates) with differentiated status: endemic (gold-striped salamander), endangered (Iberian wolf), limited distribution species (Whinchat)...
In the agricultural inlay the prairies and lime meadows stand out.
Rich historical and cultural heritage (megalithic necropolis, traces of romanization, castles, granaries, ovens, mills, dams, terraces, etc.) to which must be added the curious implantation of mountain villages and the presence of well-preserved traditional architecture sets.
Instituto da Conservação da Natureza e das Florestas, I.P. (ICNF, I.P.)
Arcos de Valdevez
Ponte da Barca
Terras de Bouro
Identification and Access
To enter the PNPG you can come from via:
- Lamas de Mouro, coming from Melgaço, through EN 202;
- Mezio coming from Arcos de Valdevez, through EN 202;
- Entre ambos-Rios, coming from Ponte da Barca, through EN 203;
- Covide, coming from Terras de Bouro, through EN 307;
- Rio Caldo, coming from Braga or Amares through the ER205-5 or coming from Braga or Vieira do Minho through the EN 304;
- Fafião, coming from Salamonde, through the EN 103;
- Paradela, coming from Venda Nova, through the EN 308-4;
- Sezelhe, coming from Montalegre, through the EN 308.
Other entrances: Ameijoeira, Lindoso, Portela do Homem or through Tourém (coming from Spain).
What we do
- Monitoring chamois population of the Peneda-Gerês National Park and Baixa Limia – Serra do Xurés Natural Park, through the collection of data to measure population parameters and distribution of the species (in collaboration with the University of Aveiro);
- Monitoring of the Iberian wolf population through the analysis of data related to the damage caused on domestic animals;
- Conservation and promotion of indigenous populations of Scots pine by studying and collecting seeds for germination and subsequent planting thus strengthening the existing clusters (in collaboration with the University of Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro);
- Conservation and protection of the indigenous forest of yew (Taxus baccata L.) through the protection of the clusters against fires, the promotion of natural regeneration and seed collection for germination and subsequent planting;
- Protection and promotion of the indigenous forest through bush cleaning actions;
- Wildlife recovery: collection and treatment of injured, sick or debilitated animals at the Wildlife Recovery Centre of Gerês, for future return to nature;
- Prospection of the nematode: actions aimed at controlling and eradicating the pine wood nematode (Bursaphelenchus xylophilus) and its vector, the insect Monochamus galloprovincialis.
The Peneda, Gerês, the Amarela mountain or the Soajo, Castro Laboreiro at one end, Tourém on the other and, in the middle, the famous Caldas do Gerês, breathe in the strong air of the mountain and before the abrupt rocks, woods that have stories to tell and villages that owe nothing to a postcard. Revise all your definitions of what a landscape should be. For more detailed information contact the Vidoeiro Environmental Education Centre or the information posts at the gates of the PNPG.
To observe the fauna leave early in the morning or a bit before dusk. Bring binoculars and a camera, if you have them. Always pay attention to the weather forecast and avoid performing activities in days of rain, thunder or fog. Avoid going to the mountain by yourself, but, if you do, inform an acquaintance or a local entity of your departure and return. Use simple and comfortable clothes. Make outerwear, food, water, sunscreen and/or a raincoat available. You can also take a cellphone and a flashlight (don't start a fire or dispose of cigarette butts incorrectly). Take special precautions when you walk through wet and rocky areas to avoid falling and do not act in a way that might endanger yourself or others. Take note that, in some places, mines are present, therefore you should not leave the existing paths and trails.
In case of an accident contact the emergency service 112. Be as clear and accurate as you can when providing information about where you are and what has happened. If it is not possible to make the phone call, take possible victims to safety and protected from the cold or the sun and seek aid. In the event of a viper bite (which will only happen if the specimen is molested directly) you should keep calm (a viper bite is rarely fatal) and avoid any unnecessary movements. If you were bitten on a limb, as it often happens, you should immobilize the limb and clean the area. You should contact the Anti-Venom Information Centre (808 250 143) and head to the nearest hospital as soon as possible.
Supports in place
The Park has directional and informative signage throughout all of its area.
Interpretation centers, picnic parks, viewpoints, signposted footpaths or map orientation or GPS.
Activities and field trips only by previous booking.
Statutes of Conservation
PTCON0001 Peneda/ Gerês
PTZPE0002 Serra do Gerês (Gerês Mountain)
Transboundary Biosphere Reserve ‘Gerês – Xurés’
Important Bird Area (IBA Gerês mountains)
PAN Parks European Network
Mata Nacional do Gerês - National Forest
Biogenetic Reserve Matas de Albergaria e Palheiros (PT93003 Palheiros/Albergaria)
Visit Ribeira Lima, following the Lima River, since its entry in Portugal near Lindoso, in the municipality of Ponte da Barca, to its mouth in Viana do Castelo. Be sure to visit Ponte da Barca and Ponte de Lima, towns that developed from small medieval cores, next to Lima, and keeping preserved their historic centers. In Viana, go to the Sanctuary of Santa Luzia and enjoy a unique panorama: the city of Viana do Castelo; the sea; and the valley of Lima.
Descrição em inglês
What you can do
1. Enjoy the bogs in bloom. Discover this habitat whose conservation is a priority.
2. The Large-flowered Daffodil (Narcissus pseudonarcissus subsp. nobilis) is blossoming. Enjoy this species in lameiros of Sezelhe (Montalegre).
3. Be thrilled by flowering bushes, breaking the harshness of the mountain slopes.
4. During Holy Week, in Montalegre castle, see the “Queima do Judas” (Burning of Judas)
1. Spend a night in a rural tourism accommodation and experience stargazing.
2. Bring a bird guide and binoculars and discover the avifauna of the National Park.
1. Do not miss the show of autumnal colors of Albergaria Forest.
2. Visit the castles in Melgaço, Castro Laboreiro, Lindoso and Montalegre.
1. Discover bridges and waterfalls in the National Park, from Castro Laboreiro to Pitões das Júnias, passing through Gerês.
2. In the villages or in the hills, there are many reasons to take pictures. Come photograph the winter on the mountain.
Best Season: All year long