Peneda-Gerês

The northeastern corner of the Minho is quite unlike most of this densely populated, heavily cultivated region. Here several forested serras (mountain ranges) rise up, cut through with deep valleys. A significant part of this area is protected, forming Portugal's only national park, the Parque Nacional de Peneda-Gerês. But there are striking landscapes even outside the park's borders, such as the valley of the River Cavado,

which harbors Portugal's first five-star rural resort, and the River Homem, with its Vilarinho das Furnas reservoir. In 1972, the dam here—a precursor to the more actively contested projects of the present day—submerged a village whose traditional way of life is recalled in a small Museu Etnográfico (253/351888 museudevilarinhodafurna@gmail.com Closed Mon.) in São João do Campo (Campo do Gerês), in the southern section of the national park. The nearby town of Caldas de Gerês has a popular spa and a cluster of lodging options.

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