Portugal is one of my favourite countries of all and I have traveled almost everywhere within its borders. Peneda-Geres National Park is without a doubt one of the most beautiful parks in Portugal or maybe even in Europe. It is definitely the place you should be going when traveling to Portugal. Peneda-Geres offers plenty of adventures in the scenery of crystal waterfalls and incredibly green landscapes. Canyoning is a must for this region. If you prefer less adventurous trips, choose a unique experience descending the Lima River in a kayak. There are plenty of local agencies that will fill your day with adrenaline. Me and my adventurous friend, Kamila, tried two different agencies for canyoning and kayaking and both were excellent!
How to get to Peneda-Geres National Park from Porto?
Most people are traveling from Porto and the Peneda-Geres National Park is accessible by car only. There is no direct bus from Porto and I highly advise renting a car. Quick, comfortable, beautiful road scenery. Not only because it gives you freedom, but this is nowadays a very convenient and cheap way of traveling, definitely in Portugal. Most of the small towns located on the mainland are worth visiting. You can stop wherever you want and discover much more places when driving a car. It’s a fantastic region for food and very famous for green wine – Vino Verde – a little sparkling. If you don’t feel like driving, it’s always possible to book private transport.
What to do in Peneda-Geres National Park?
There are plenty of attractions to do there, best I can recommend from my experience:
- Canyoning & ziplining in crystal green waterfalls – choose from plenty of agencies online or ask a local tourist office. Drop me a note, I can recommend a few
- Hiking trails – local tourist office will tell you all about the park hiking trails, maps, etc.
- Biking – there is an amazing 160 km long biking path along the river
- Visit Afife at the seaside – a fantastic place for beaches and cheap food. As the region is not that popular you are getting much better value for money
Canyoning in Peneda-Geres National Park
This was a great adventure! Local agencies are very well prepared to lead all these types of attractions, they have great equipment and well-experienced instructors to guide you safely in all water adventures. The equipment was surprisingly high quality, they give you a full wetsuit with fantastic water trekking shoes, that guarantee good grip in the water thanks to their soles. The instructor will also consider your level of fitness, some teams start in the middle of the trail if they are not physically prepared for a full length. Photos and videos are made by another instructor, so no need to carry your GoPro. They make excellent footage!! 🙂 Take a look at my youtube videos to get an idea how fun was this adventure! The whole adventure takes 4-5 hours. It is quite challenging, we were pretty tired and hungry as bears!
The guide said the water in the canyon is so crystal clear, that is drinkable. I’m not sure if I tasted it but it felt like it was really clear, it was definitely freezing. You can swim in the pools, jump from the cliffs, the whole adventure is really great fun. If the weather is good, it’s really enjoyable and 3-4 hours feels like nothing.
Kayaking in Peneda-Geres
That’s a great adventure even for families with kids. It’s safe to take your youngest on this trip. The river is not deep and you are under very good guidance. There are a few currents which you have to overcome but it’s great fun! If you have a basic experience in kayaking it will be great fun for you! The region is absolutely stunning, you’re going to spend a lovely day in the middle of pure piece of nature. The region is very clean and it’s very detectable. Drone photos show best the stunning landscape of the park. The whole adventure lasts 3-4 hours for small groups and we paid 30 Euro per person.