Favorite thing: Caldas do Geres is a small village by a dam. It is close to the Inn so I visited this place often and each time I visited I couldn't help feeling amazed by the beauty of the place - a small village lost in the bottom of the green slopes of the mountain, by a beautiful lake/dam. There is a bridge that crosses the water and each way you look the view is stunning.
Favorite thing: In some of these places you might also notice that there are vans that stop on the road and horn and some women approach. Those vans bring goods and work as a kind of supermarket. Most common cases are selling fresh fish and fresh bread and pastries. And when everyone has done the shopping, the van drives to some other place. These vans sometimes come on certain scheduled days, so that everyone knows what they might expect to happen.
Favorite thing: And while enjoying these beautiful lost villages take some time to observe the lovely small stone houses, the amazing landscapes and some curious customs such as allowing animals to wander around loose: cows, chicken, ducks, geese, goats and so on. Men and women work mainly on agriculture and it is curious to note that they almost seem as auto-sufficient: they eat what they produce.
Favorite thing: After discovering the National Park, it is worth going along the roads and discover the small villages and places lost and hidden on the mountain. On those tiny villages you will get in touch with real "deep" rural population and their customs and daily living. North Portugal has many tiny villages that nowadays are getting older and older because youth goes to city to work and study and live on a different way than those by parents and grandparents.
Favorite thing: The path i took - Roman Trail - lead us to a beautiful dam. This dam is called Vilarinho das Furnas and somewhere along the way there is an appropriate place to park the car and enjoy the beautiful views. On this place there is a small stone bridge with water stream running underneath. On one side there's the damn and the opposite side there is the mountain slope with very small cascades. It is a very beautiful and quiet place, although here you will no longer be alone, as it is common to find some locals and tourists visiting.
Favorite thing: In the park you might leave the narrow main road and go into some trails. In one of these trails you will be able to go through the Roman path. Trail is not that good so you must drive very very slowly and it is not comfortable at all. But the beautiful places you visit along the way are worth the effort.
Favorite thing: Park is so quiet and peaceful that you can walk for hours without coming across someone else, mainly if visiting it during off-peak. So it might be a good option to walk with someone else, just in case. Park is not dangerous at all but it is common sense to walk with someone else. I spent several hours here last time i visited and only came across some scouts and a couple of tourists, as i visited during the weekend. If you are lucky enough to have to park to yourself enjoy the silence, that is only interrupted by birds and by water streams sounds.
Favorite thing: This area is so green that it is almost impossible to describe it. Since there are several water streams and cascades, vegetation is thick and sun rays don't always reach the ground, there are areas with a lot of humidity, making this greenish thing cover everything, including the trees' branches, as can be seen on photo. Stones on the ground and some remains of walls also turn green giving this place a kind of mystical ambiance, mainly if visited on a foggy day, as was my case last October.
Favorite thing: While driving or walking through the Park's narrow and quiet roads and treks you will come across several cascades, some bigger and some smaller, nevertheless all beautiful. And there are also some fountains, which usually have a warning about water being suitable or not for consumption.
Favorite thing: This beautiful National Park spreads over a wide area of about 700 square km. It is a protected area, which means that there are some activities that are restricted. The Park is a delimited area in terms of map, but actually there is no entrance to it. While driving through the roads around Geres you will see road signs indicating that you are in the Park and that area is restricted. Although Park seems to be all around you, there is a kind of "core" where treks can be done.
Favorite thing: The village, the surrounding mountains and parks have fabulous colours during autumn, my favourite time to visit Geres. This area is very green with so many trees and vegetation but you will notice that some trees get reddish by this time of year. The reddish spots spread amongst the dark green trees along with the mountains, the water streams and cascades by the roads all make a beautiful scenario and a wonderful background for photos.
Favorite thing: Geres village is renowned not only due to proximity to Parque Nacional da Peneda-Geres (Peneda-Geres National Park) and overall beauty of that area, but because its waters have thermal properties and are recommend in treatments for diseases such as those related to stomach. If you are planning to visit Geres in the summer you probably should book ahead, mainly if doing any thermal treatment. Thermal treatments are available from 1st May to 31st October.
Favorite thing: Geres' Park is just near the main street - you can't miss it. The Park is very green, with some tables and benches, and there's a water stream that runs along it. There are small "cascades" running into water stream, which makes a beautiful scenario for enjoying this lush green park in the middle of the village. I have never visited Geres during summer months, but I have been there for several times during autumn and I assure you that this Park can be quiet fresh as there are plenty of trees and water and sun rays don't reach you, so be prepared with a warm coat.
Favorite thing: At the end of main street you will find a small park with a fountain on middle, some benches to rest and some arcades on right side. On those arcades you will find Tourism Office, where you might get some useful info about treks in Natural Park. Info about treks is also available at some maps that are posted near the main street in a kind of wooden shelter. Tourism Office is not always opened, as it closes on Sundays.
Favorite thing: The village is "built" around main street, where are located 2 hotels, several shops, the church, the bank and some street sellers. Apart from this main street, you will see houses, most of them with rooms to rent. This apparently quiet and calm village lost in valley bustles during summer months when too many people spend their vacations here, not only because this area is so beautiful, but also because of thermal treatments.