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 best agency MANAWA for canyoning and kayaking and both activities were excellent with great reviews.
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. Driving through the mainland you’ll find many cosy towns, which are worth visiting. North of Portugal is a fantastic region for food and very famous for green wine – Vino Verde – light, little sparkling. If you don’t feel like driving, it’s always possible to book a private transportation.
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 few,
- RAFTING – they say one of the best options for unforgattable adventure,
- KAYAKING – suitable for families as well,
- Hiking trails – local tourist office will tell you all about the hiking trails in this beautiful national park, get 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 these types of attractions, they have top-level equipment and well-experienced instructors to guide you safely in water adventures.
I got so many requests about the agency Manawa we used for this activity that I’m leaving details here:
The equipment was surprisingly high quality, they give you helmet, wetsuit with fantastic water trekking shoes, which guarantee good grip in the water thanks to their solid 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 of the adventure. Photos and videos are made by another instructor, so no need to carry your GoPro. The drone footage is theirs!! 🙂 Take a look at my youtube videos to get an idea how fun was this adventure! The whole activity takes about 4-5 hours. It is quite challenging, at the end we were tired and hungry as bears!
The guide told us canyon waters are crystal clear and drinkable. I’m not sure if I tasted it but it felt like it was really clear and 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 feel like nothing.
Kayaking in Peneda-Geres.
Kayaking in Peneda-Geres is a great adventure for singles and for families with kids. It’s safe to take your youngest on this trip. The river is not deep and you are under a very good guidance. There are a few currents which you have to overcome but it’s thrilling! If you have a basic experience in kayaking it will be such a great fun for you! The region is absolutely stunning, you’re going to spend a lovely day in the middle of piece of pure nature. Geres National Park is a very clean area and it’s very detectable. Drone photos showcase the stunning landscape of the park. The whole adventure lasts 3-4 hours for small groups and we paid 30 Euro per person. Check options with Manawa we used for this trip.