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Places to Visit Details

Minho, Portugal

Portugal's only national park, the magnificent Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês is one of the country's greatest natural wonders. Occupying more than 700 square kilometers in Portugal's northeast Minho region, near the border with Spain, the rocky terrain encompasses dramatic mountain scenery; lush, yawning valleys; tumbling waterfalls; and deep, crystal-clear lakes. 

Traditional villages, hamlets cut from granite and even an old spa resort, Caldas do Gerês, add personality to this bleak but beautiful landscape. Wolves and wild boar still roam the park's more remote regions, while above, golden eagles spiral effortlessly on mighty thermals rising over dramatic peaks. 

The park is a magnet for outdoor enthusiasts. Waymarked trails offer plenty of hiking opportunities, from two-hour romps to day treks. Scattered rural guesthouses and a few designated camping sites provide basic accommodation, though there are hotels in larger towns. Spring is an ideal time to visit, with the countryside already bursting into full bloom. 

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