Parque Nacional De Geres

The Parque Nacional De Geres is more popularly known as the Peneda Geres National Park. It is the only national park in the country of Portugal. It lies is the Norte region, towards the North East of Portugal and covers an area of approximately seventy thousand hectares. The park came into existence on May 8, 1971 to conserve the natural heritage of the place and the biodiversity that it provides.The National park falls in the transition zone between the Euro-Siberian and Mediterranean regions. It is due to this that this place houses flora and fauna that are not found elsewhere around the country. Human settlement in these areas date back to around 5000 BC and a number of Megalithic, Roman and Celtic and Roman monuments can be observed in the park.  The life of yesterday still lives on in folk tales around the region, but there are still pockets which exist in the park which have remain untouched by modern human civilization.

The park is bordered by a granite semicircle, made up by two mountain plains- Castro Laboreiro (towards the North side) and Mourela (towards the East side). The Geres is the highest mount of the lot peaking at around one and a half thousand meters. There are a number of river that make their way through the landscape of the region; The Castro Laboreiro and Peneda are the largest of the many rivers.

The mountain dwellers have primarily been shepherds from time immemorial. In the Parque Nacional De Geres there are mainly two kinds of dwelling. The winter homes called the “inverneiras” , which are at lower altitudes , are used during the colder months while in summer the “brandas” are used which are located higher up the slopes. The prime vegetation of the region is oak with the black oak being the most common tree throughout the region.

The varied climate of the region often yield unexpected flora like the cork oak and the British oak. Higher up in the mountains, some regions are flooded throughout the year and it is in these regions that the Orvalhinha thrives. Animals like mountain goats, otters, ferrets, foxes and bears are found in the national park. The endangered Royal eagle can also be spotted around the Peneda Generes. All in all, the park provides a biodiverse region like no other and no traveler worth his salt can afford missing out on a place like this.