Book a family adventure in Northern Portugal, our donkey trekking in the Peneda-Gerês National Park gives you the opportunity to explore the land of the Iberian wolves, deers and wild horses, many wildlife still live in the most remote areas of the Gerês National Park.
Aside from the wild animals, domestic species such as cattle with long horns, goats and autochthonous sheep also inhabit the park and happen to be easily found. The history of the National Park is imprinted in the local heritage such as Lindoso castle, granaries, seasonal settlements, living testimony of human occupation over the years.
With its granite landscape, oak forests, traditional villages, streams and valleys, the Peneda Gerês National Park offers great scenery for nature lovers.
Book this tour and discover some of the most wonderful trails and picturesque villages within the park.
Don’t worry about carrying your children or your belongings because our donkeys will carry them for you.
Day 1 – Arrival in Peneda – Gerês National Park.
Welcome in Porto (Portugal) or Vigo (Spain) airports and transfer to Soajo, Peneda Gerês National Park (1h20).
Soajo is a rural village which overlooks the Lima river and where the main attraction are the local lagoons and the old stone granaries where corn is stored.
Depending on your arrival time in Soajo, we will visit the village – there are a few restaurants, a bakery, a market, pharmacy and an ATM. If you arrive in the morning, you will have the possibility to spend the afternoon swimming and relaxing at the local lagoons.
Your home for the next two nights is a beautiful converted farm house in Soajo.
Day 2 - Paths of bread and Paths of faith, Soajo – 5 km
You will meet your donkey in the morning when we will show you how to treat and take care of him after which we will set off for a walk through the Path of Bread and Faith.
Faith because it is one of the main pilgrimage routes to the Monastery of Senhora da Peneda and Bread because it leads to the local watermills.
We will walk through stony paths with deep grooves used by ox-drawn carts transporting first corn from the village to the watermills and then flour on the way back. The way starts and ends at your place of stay and after our walk you can spend the rest of the day at a hidden natural pool where you can swim and relax.
Day 3 - From Soajo to Lindoso – 12 km
Leaving Soajo in the morning we will follow the footsteps of shepherds and cattle towards different villages inside the National Park. During this day, we will go through terraced fields, oak forests and deep valleys and walking through the villages of Cunhas and Paradela you can learn about the inhabitants’ lifestyle. Going along the Portuguese Spanish border we will arrive to Lindoso where at the end you will be able to cross Alto Lindoso Dam.
For many centuries the town played a key role in the defence of the Portuguese frontier. Its main attractions today are the old castle and the country’s largest collections of granaries (total of 54 granaries) standing around the communal threshing floor.
Day 4 – Serra Amarela, wild horses and Iberian wolf area - 8 km
Following the footsteps of shepherds and cattle towards the high pastures of Serra Amarela (Yellow Mountain), you will visit an area rich in wilderness. In Serra Amarela there are still living the last Iberian wolves in Portugal and the garrano wild horses, an endangered breed of horse from Northern Portugal.
During this walk you can admire beautiful views over Spain or see the wild horses as well as the wolf tracks.
Day 5 – From Lindoso to Parada - 4 km
In the morning, you can visit the inside of Lindoso Castle after which we will follow ancient footpaths walking through oak forests and enjoy stunning views over Lima Valley. Arriving in Parada you can explore the village and visit the local lagoons.
Day 6 – Parada watermills - 8 km
Following ancient paths created by the locals in order to reach the old mills we will visit some watermills in Parada. During this walking tour, we will meet the local community and learn about the local traditions associated with the mills as well as water management which is an essential resource for the local people.
Day 7 – Departure.
After breakfast, you have the transfer to Porto airport or to a nearby city.
Terrain: paths, some rocky and granite paved tracks. Highest point on route: 727m.
*Available on guided trekking, not included on self-guided.
**Available on self-guided, not included on guided tours
IMPORTANT NOTE: This walking holiday is available as a guided or self-guided walking holiday without a donkey! Please let us know if you would like to book this walking holiday 7 days/6nights or add more days to this program.
Traditional cottage in the heart of Parada village and near local lagoons (10 min. on foot). The house have 3 bedrooms (2 double rooms and one twin room), toilet and fully equipped kitchen. Includes bed linens and towels. Central heating. Products for breakfast will be provided.
At this village we have other accommodation is available if you are a big family.
Casa da Fonte da Tornada is located right in the heart of Lugar do Castelo in the charming village of Lindoso. This beautiful building from the nineteenth century was once considered as the best home of this place due to its great dimensions.
Ground floor: 2 Rooms (1 double and 1 twin) both with private bathroom.
First floor: 1 double bedroom with private bathroom. Living/dining room (sofa and tv), kitchen (stove, refrigerator, microwave, toaster, coffee machine, cookware and utensils)
Exterior: BBQ and private outer space.
Includes bed linens and towels. Central heating. Products for breakfast will be provided.
House passed to the actual owner who convert it in a touristic unity of Rural Tourism, as Country House. Nearby this house you find a great lagoon to swim and relax after hiking (10 min on foot).
Characteristics: rooms with private bathroom each (1 room with twin-bed or double bed. Living room and kitchen equipped for preparation of meals. Central heating, bath and bed linen included such as products for breakfast (self-made breakfast).