Villages & Trails of the Peneda Gerês Mountains

Northern Portugal Portugal: (IT-PTPGVT)
URL: https://www.hiddentrails.com/tour/portugal_peneda_geres_villages_trails.aspx

Introduction
Northern Portugal Portugal
Peneda Gerês National Park is located in northern Portugal, at the border with the region of Galicia in Spain. It is considered one of the wildest places in Portugal and features some stunning landscapes. Due to its unique characteristics and its considerable nature conservation efforts, this park has been declared a Biosphere reserve by UNESCO.

In this mountain territory, we travel from the old Oak forests in the valleys, full of creeks and old Roman bridges, to the high pics where the mountain landscapes are populated with herds of wild horses grazing peacefully in the natural pastures. From the valleys to the summits, we ride on ancient paths used for centuries by smugglers and shepherds, when they moved the cattle between the winter and the summer pastures.

This tour caters to good riders ready to spend long hours in the saddle. If you are looking to explore this area with shorter riding days, we suggest you have a look at the Peneda Gerês National Park Ride.

Accomodation


Accommodations

This is a stationary ride so all nights are spent at the same location.

Description
You will sleep in a traditional mountain house, located in the historic village of Castro Laboreiro in the Peneda-Gerês National Park, and surrounded by pure nature. The house was built in the early 20th century and recently restored. The owners maintained the original features of the house (stonewalls, wooden doors...), but they equipped it with all modern comforts (central heating, fireplace, free WIFI & TV with cable channels) to enable visitors a pleasant stay.
There are 6 bedrooms (all with private bathrooms) featuring homemade toiletries made with local goat milk and lavender.



In the garden, surrounded by a beautiful Oak forest, you will find the ideal place for your morning breakfast or to read a good book.

Room Occupancy
If we are unable to find another rider to share the room with you, the single supplement fee does apply.


Meals
The package includes all meals. 
We serve gourmet Portuguese traditional recipes accompanied by an excellent selection of Portuguese wine.

Breakfasts feature our locally produced honey and homemade jams and marmalades as well as many other delicious foods.

Dietary Restrictions
We can cater to most dietary restrictions with advance notice.

This trip includes and can accommodate special dietary requests.

Riding

Your hosts are both journalists with a passion for the environment and nature conservation. In 1999, they decided to broaden their horizons and began a long-term project to study a family of Iberian Wolves and produce a documentary on the species for Portuguese television. They provide a warm and welcoming atmosphere and look forward to sharing their passion for this magnificent region with their guests.

Itinerary


Sample Itinerary - subject to changes

Note: Please note, the following itinerary description might change due to the weather or other conditions.

Day 1 (Sunday): Arrival 
Transfers from the airport to the village of Castro Laboreiro, where our guesthouse is located. Welcome dinner.
Meals included: Dinner
Overnight at Guesthouse


Day 2 (Monday): Discover Peneda Gerês National Park
This morning, we match horses and riders and go for our first ride in the beautiful pathways of the Peneda Mountain. We stop for lunch in a typical local restaurant.
In the afternoon, visit of the reception center of the National Park for better knowledge about the region and the biodiversity of this natural area.
In the evening, we will go for a sunset ride to track and follow a wild Garrano horses herd.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Guesthouse


Day 3 (Tuesday): Laboreiro Valley Ride
We start our ride from the top of the mountain where the horses are stabled and we ride in the direction of the valley where the spring of the Laboreiro River can be found. We will pass by Rodeiro village, a typical mountain village of the region, on our way to the valley. After reaching the beautiful valley of Laboreiro, we will explore the South side of the mountain and make our way downhill, passing several abandoned hamlets on the way. We will then cross the Laboreiro river, already a large mountain creek at this point, using a old and beautiful bridge from the 18th century.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Guesthouse


Day 4 (Wednesday): Historic Ride & Wine Tasting
Morning ride in the winter valley, surrounded by the Oak forest. This ride will lead us from hamlet to hamlet, riding on old Roman paths allowing us to discover a truly fantastic region with unique historical characteristics and the way of life of its inhabitants. Our lunch break is taken in a local restaurant.
In the afternoon, we visit the historical Melgaço village with its castle and old churches. On the way back to the stables, we stop in Alvarinho presentation center to try out their wonderful fresh local white wine.
A typical Portuguese wine, the Alvarinho cast is both one of the most important varieties of the Tart Wine Region and one of the most internationally prized.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Guesthouse


Day 5 (Thursday): Ride to Castro Laboreiro
Today, we leave the winter valley behind and make our way back to Castro Laboreiro village, passing by Barreiro lake. It will be a ride full of fantastic views over the mountains and the oak forest. After lunch, our climb continues. We have chances of spotting birds of prey.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Guesthouse

Day 6 (Friday): Ride to the border
Our goal for the day is the border with Spain. We should spot some herds of wild Garrano horses as well as some megalithic monuments which constitute the largest megalithic necropolis of the Iberian Peninsula. We will stop for our lunch break in the mountain. We should have some opportunities for long canters.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Guesthouse


Day 7 (Saturday): Valley of the Wolves Ride
Our trail for the day leads us towards the fabulous Valley of the Wolves. During our ride, we will discover one of the most beautiful valleys of the mountain. Full of biodiversity, this area is rich in rare sightings of wild animals. In this valley, we can also spot some herds of wild Garrano horses.
We will stop for our lunch break in the mountain.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Overnight at Guesthouse


Day 8 (Sunday): Departure
Transfer to the airport.
Meals included: Breakfast


Rates and Dates for Villages & Trails of the Peneda Gerês Mountains

Rates include:

Accommodation, All meals, 6 riding days & Airport transfers

Packages and Options



  • SeasonYearDescriptionEUR ~US$
    A
    20218 day trip, AP€1570$1870
    • Single supplement€175$210
The US Dollar Rate is Based on Exchange Rate of 1.19

* prices are per person based on double/twin occupancy

Transfer and Other Charges:



 Description
2021 Transfers from/to Porto airport included

Season Tour Dates  Min / MaxReserve
A 2021 08/21 - 08/28 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP 1 /6 Expired
A 2021 08/28 - 09/04 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP 1 /6 Expired
A 2021 09/04 - 09/11 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP 1 /6 Expired
A 2021 09/11 - 09/18 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP 1 /6 Expired
A 2021 09/18 - 09/25 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP 1 /6 Expired
A 2021 09/25 - 10/02 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP 1 /6 Expired
A 2021 10/02 - 10/09 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP 1 /6 Expired
A 2021 10/09 - 10/16 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP 1 /6 Expired
A 2021 10/16 - 10/23 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP 1 /6 Expired
A 2021 10/23 - 10/30 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP 1 /6 Expired
A 2021 10/30 - 11/06 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP 1 /6 Reserve
A 2021 11/06 - 11/13 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP 1 /6 Reserve
A 2021 11/13 - 11/20 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP 1 /6 Reserve
A 2021 11/20 - 11/27 8d / 7n 8 day trip, AP 1 /6 Reserve

Dates Note: * custom tour dates possible by request - please inquire for availability and rate

Rates do not include:

Gratuities

Other Info
Meeting: Castro Laboreiro
Airport: Porto
Transfer: Porto Airport

Climate:
                                                      Arcos de Valdevez area


Month

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Average High Temperature (°F)

58 

60

63 

65 

69

76

79

79 

76

69

63 

59 

Average Low Temperature (°F)

42 

43 

46 

48 

52 

57

60 

59

57

52 

47 

44 

Average High Temperature (°C)

14 

15 

17

18

21 

24

26

26

25

21 

17

15 

Average Low Temperature (°C)

5

6 

8

9

11

14

15 

15

14

11

8

7

Average Precipitation (days of rain)

14

12

10

12

11

6

4

3

7

11

12

14

Source: NOAA

Seasons
Due to the oceanic influence, the annual average temperature in the region is around 13ºC. The highest temperatures occur between July and September, while the lowest correspond to the period between December and February. However, risk of frost remains high during almost all year long in the mountains (during early morning / late night).
The further inland you go, the more the climate tends to become 'continental' (hot in summer and cold in winter), with a decrease in rainfall. On another hand, as you gain altitude, there is an increase in precipitation risk and a decrease in temperatures.

What To Bring:
We suggest that you bring:
- Comfortable clothes for riding
- Good boots and/or shoes to walk and ride (the best are the trail ride boots). If you buy them new for this holiday make sure that you use them the most you can before you came.
- Helmet (not mandatory but recommended). Some available to lend but we recommend you use your own.
- Light raining clothes. Our tours only run between April and November to avoid the bad weather but we are in the mountains, so changes can occur quickly.
- Water bottles. If possible, bring 2 smaller bottles instead of one big bottle.  Your saddle bags will be more balance in the saddle.
- Some warm clothes for the evenings
- Swimming suit. We have a beautiful natural pool in the river at 2 minutes walk from the house.
- Sun cream
- Hat

To avoid any possibility of spreading some horse disease, please don´t bring any riding clothes that haven't been washed before your stay with us.
We also ask that you do not bring spurs or whip. If, for some reason, your guide decides that you need to use a whip he will give you one.
 
This list is only a guideline for you

 

Travel documents and Voucher
Flight tickets
Passport
Visa (check with your consulate)

 

RIDING GEAR
Cotton shirts with long sleeves (protection against the sun!)
Riding pants or Jodhpurs (used if possible!)
Riding boots + Minichaps
Riding helmet (recommended for all trips)
Riding gloves
Hat (with chin strap) for sun protection
Rain coat

 

PERSONAL CLOTHING
Jacket or sweater for cool evenings
Comfortable T-Shirts/Shirts
Jeans
Shorts
Underwear and socks
Jogging suit / Pyjama
Light summer jacket
Comfortable shoes/sneakers
Swimsuit and towel
 
ADDITIONAL THINGS TO BRING
Personal Toiletries
Insect protection
Personal medications
Sore cream (for an emergency)
Sewing kit
Handkerchiefs
Adapter for electric appliances
Camera and enough extra films
Small bag to buckle on (for small items needed during the ride)
Spur straps (to tie sweater or parka onto the saddle)
Sun glasses with strap
Sun tan lotion and lip balm
Flash light