Walking in Northern Portugal

£10.00

Landscapes of NORTHERN PORTUGAL:
walks and car tours

by Paul and Denise Burton

The concept of the book is excellent and it helped us to enjoy the region. Don’t go to the north of Portugal without it! (PWK, Amazon)

An excellent compact guide full of the authors’ detailed knowledge of the region. I liked the layout with the combination of photos, description and map for each walk. I found the grading of the walks and the estimated walking times to be realistic. I completed 5 of the walks. (James, Amazon)

Sunflower’s guide helped to make the most of three days in the area and two days car trip to Peneda-Geres… every penny spent on the book was more than worth it. (Indrek, Amazon)

Click below to read walker’s reviews and use the ‘Look Inside’ feature on Amazon.co.uk (RRP £12.99)

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Description

North PortugalThis book helps you explore northwestern Portugal by car or on foot. Here, in the province of Minho (arguably the most beautiful part of the country), the lush greenness of the coastal lowlands, the Costa Verde, contrasts sharply with the mountainous interior — one of Europe’s last wilderness areas. While emphasising excursions in the country’s only national park, the Peneda-Gerês, the book also describes more gregarious pursuits — visiting local markets, sampling at the Port wine lodges, and cruising on the Douro.

Area covered: from the northern coast south as far as Porto and east to the Peneda-Gerês National Park.

The best months for walking in Portugal (Minho/Peneda-Gerês) are from late April to mid-June and from mid-September till the end of October.

Where to stay

If you want to stay by the sea, Viana do Castelo is ideal. From here you can do all the walks in the book, provided that you have a car and are prepared to drive significant distances each day. There are also excellent places inland along the river Lima, which are situated closer to the main walking area — Ponte de Lima, Ponte da Barca and Arcos de Valdevez.

Edition/contents etc

4 car tours, 68 long and short walks, 20 picnic suggestions
136 pages + touring map; plans of Braga, Viana do Castelo, Ponte de Lima, Ponte da Barca and Arcos de Valdevez; large-scale (1:50,000) topo maps
3rd ed, 2015; ISBN 978-185691-465-9; UK retail price £12.99 / USA retail price $18.00

Table of contents:

Preface 5
Authors’ note 7
Acknowledgements 8
Recommended books 8
Getting there and getting about 9
Picnic suggestions 11
A country code for walkers and motorists 14

TOURING
Car tour 1: THE VINHO VERDE CIRCUIT 24
Car tour 2: HISTORICAL PURSUITS 29
Car tour 3: PENEDA-GERÊS NATIONAL PARK AND SIERRA DE XURÉS NATURAL PARK 35
Wine tour: PORTO AND THE RIVER DOURO 46
Plan of Porto (Ribeira) 48
Useful contacts 49

WALKING
Guides, waymarks, maps 51
What to take 51
Where to stay 52
Weather 53
Things that bite or sting 53
Portuguese for walkers 54
Organisation of the walks 56

THE WALKS
1 Serra de Arga (Montaria · Alto das Cocanhas · Pedrulhos · Montaria) 58
2 Serra de Arga (Arga de Baixo · Porta do Lobo · Arga de Cima · Arga de Baixo) 64
3 São Miguel · Sobredo · Germil · Froufe · São Miguel 74
4 Ermida · Bilhares · Ermida 80
5 Brufe · Cutelo · Carvalhinha · Cutelo · Cortinhas · Brufe 86
6 Brufe · Casarotas · Chã do Salgueiral · Marco de Anta · Cortinhas · Brufe 92
7 Branda de Travanca · Currais Velhos · Lage Negra · Bicos · Branda de Travanca 96
8 Bouças Donas · Branda de Bostejões · Vitoreira · Bostelinhos · Bouças Donas 101
9 Soajo · Branda da Bordença · Adrão · Bogalheira · Rio Adrão · Soajo 107
10 Soajo · Trapela · Murça · Soajo 114
11 Vilar – Avelar circuit 118
12 Circuit of Penameda from Nossa Senhora da Peneda 123

Bus timetables 126
Town plans 128
Ponte de Lima ·Ponte da Barca · Arcos de Valdevez · Viana do Castelo · Braga
Index 134
Fold-out map inside back cover

Guidebook index

Adrão 13, 17, 37, 42, 107-109, 110, 111
see also Rio Adrão
Alto da Moela 110
Alto da Portela 60, 65, 66
Alto das Cortelhas 107-108, 114, 116
Alto das Cocanhas 58, 60, 61
Amares 33
Arcos de Valdevez 9, 13, 18, 23, 24, 27, 28, 35, 36-37, 49, 53, 96, 118, 126-127
Town plan 129
Arga de Baixo 60, 64, 65, 67-68, 71
Arga de Cima 64, 65, 67
Assureira 110, 112
Astorga 41, 45
Avelar 26, 27-28, 41, 118, 119, 120-122
Azias 45
Barcelos 23, 29, 30, 31
Barco 33
Bicos 14, 36, 96-97, 98, 99, 104-105
Bilhares 80-81, 82, 82, 84-85
Bogalheira 107, 110, 112, 117
Bom Jesus 7, 13, 29, 31-32
Bostelinhos 36, 98, 101, 103, 104-105, 106
Bouças Donas 98, 100, 101-103, 104-105, 106
Braga 15, 18, 29-31, 41, 45, 46
Town plan 132-133
Branda da Bordença 13, 16-17, 37, 107, 109, 110, 111
Branda de Berzavo 56, 98, 99-100, 103, 104-105
Branda de Bostejões 98, 100-101, 103, 104-105
Branda de Cobernos 40, 96, 97, 98, 104-105
Branda de Murça 109, 110
Branda de Travanca 96, 97, 98, 99-100
Bravães 24, 25, 26
Briteiros 32, 33
Brufe 4-5, 35, 44, 45, 73, 86, 87, 89, 91, 92, 93, 94, 95
Cabreiro 28, 118
Caldas do Gerês 39, 87
Carvalhinha 86, 87, 89-91, 94
Casa Abrigo 13, 37, 107, 109, 110
Casarotas 92, 93, 94, 95
Castro Laboreiro 35, 39-41, 43
Cerquido 64
Chaves 9
Chã do Salgueiral 92, 94
Citânia de Briteiros 29, 30, 32
Conchas Reservoir 43
Cortinhas 86, 87, 88, 90, 91, 92, 94, 95
Costa Verde 5, 8
Currais Velhos 96-97, 98, 104-105
Cutelo 4-5, 45, 71, 86, 87, 88, 89, 91, 94
Darque 12, 29, 30, 34, 126- 127
Deão 126-127
Entre-Ambos-os-Rios see São Miguel
Entrimo 35, 43
Ermelo 41, 107
Ermida 36, 40, 44, 74, 76-77, 80-81, 82, 84, 85, 86
Estação Vitivinícola (near Ponte da Barca) 27
Fiães 42, 107
Froufe 74, 76-77, 79
Gandra 126-127
Gavieira 37
Gândara 65, 68
Geraz do Lima 126-127
Germil 35-36, 41, 43-44, 74, 75, 76-77, 77, 78, 86, 89-90
Germil de Baixo 76-77, 78
Guimarães 30, 33
Lage Negra 96-97, 98, 99, 104-105
Lamas de Mouro 42, 123
Lanheses 11, 24, 58
Lindoso 35, 41, 43, 44, 45, 74, 86
Loureira 34
Louriça 93-94
Lourido 76-77, 79
Lobios 35, 45
Marco de Anta 92, 94
Mata Porcas 93, 94
Melgaço 22, 24, 28, 42, 107
Merindos 13, 42
Mézio 11, 28, 36, 40, 94, 96, 98, 101, 104-105, 107
Minho 5-7, 9, 15, 19-23, 24, 27-28, 31, 49, 65-66, 68, 69-73
Monsul 33
Montaria 11, 58-59, 60, 61, 63
Murça 110, 114, 116, 117
Nossa Senhora da Paz 13, 37, 107, 110
Nossa Senhora da Peneda 35, 42, 44, 123, 124, 125
Paço de Giela 36
Pedrada 50, 97, 99, 104-105
Pedrulhos 58, 60, 63
Penameda 35, 42, 123, 124
Peneda (village) 36, 42, 44, 123, 124
Peneda-Gerês National Park 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 18, 35-37, 42-45, 38-41, 50, 56, 117
Pico Regalados 23
Pinhão 22, 48, 49
Pitões das Júnias 41
Pocinho 48-49
Ponte Calheiros 43
Ponte da Barca 13, 15, 18, 23, 25, 26, 27, 29, 30, 32-33, 34-35, 45, 49, 53, 72, 78, 84, 94, 116, 126-127
Town plan 128-129
Ponte de Lima 12, 15, 18, 23, 24, 25, 30, 26-27, 49, 53, 58, 64, 66-67, 126-127
Town plan 128
Porta do Lobo 45, 64, 65, 66, 67, 93
Portas 123, 124
Portela 27,
Portela do Homem 35, 41, 43-45
Porto 5, 9, 15-16, 18, 24, 30, 46, 47, 48, 49, 55, 83
Plan of Ribeira 48-49
Póvoa de Lanhoso 33
Refoios 126-127
Rendufe 33-34
Rendufe Mosteiro 34
Rivers, Valleys
Ribeiro de Berzavo 98, 104-105
Ribeiro de Vilela 104-105, 106
Rio Adrão 107, 108, 110, 113, 114, 115, 116, 116
Rio Âncora 59, 60, 63
Rio Douro 22, 46, 47, 48-49, 49
Rio de Froufe 76-77, 82
Rio de Germil 76-77
Rio Grande 98, 100
Rio Homem 35, 44, 89, 94, 135
Rio Lima 6-7, 10, 11, 12-13, 15, 24, 28, 34-35, 42, 44, 52, 58, 76-77, 110
Rio Minho 27, 28
Rio Peneda 42, 125
Rio Ramiscal 117, 119
Rio Tieras 123
Rio Vez 24, 28, 36-37

Rouças 42
Santa Luzia (Viana do Castelo) 11, 130-131
Santa Madalena (Ponte de Lima) 12, 25
Santo António 44, 129
São João d’Arga 60, 61, 62
São Miguel 34, 44, 72, 74-75, 76-77, 79-80, 86
Serra Amarela 36, 39, 40, 50
Serra da Peneda 39, 50, 99, 104
Serra de Arga 24, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66-67
Serra do Gerês 39, 87
Serra do Soajo 39
Sierra de Xurés Natural Park 35, 43
Sistelo 24, 28, 118
Soajo 23, 36-39, 42, 44-45, 94, 107, 108-109, 110, 112, 113-115, 116-117, 118, cover
Sobredo 72, 74, 75, 76-77
Souteiro 65, 67
Taipas 33
Tavora 126-127
Tibo 42
Tourém 40
Touvedo Reservoir 44, 74, 86, 113
Trapela 38, 55, 110, 114, 115, 116, 117
Trás-Âncora 60, 63
Valença 9, 15, 16
Viana do Castelo 7, 9, 11-13, 15-16, 18, 23, 24, 25, 27-30, 34-35, 46, 49, 52, 58, 64, 71, 90, 126-127
Town plan 130-131
Vila Nova de Gaia 46, 48-49
Vila Real 9
Vila Verde 23, 34
Vilar 28, 58, 118, 119, 120, 122
Vilarinho Reservoir 41, 45, 93
Vilela (near Póvoa de Lanhoso) 33
Vilela (near Vilar) 36, 98, 104-105
Vitoreira 101, 102-103, 104-105, 106
Vitorino das Donas 12, 24, 126-127
Viveiro Florestal 10-11, 58, 60

Current update

NORTHERN PORTUGAL, 3rd edition (2015) Updated 20/6/2016

Updates for walks and drives in northern Portugal given below supplement the information provided in the guidebook. It is vital that this Update is read in conjunction with the text of the book, but note that the Update applies only to the edition stated and not to any earlier editions. (If you have an older edition of this book you can “upgrade” to the latest edition at half price.)

Information has been forwarded to us by users of the book, and Sunflower Books offers the data in good faith but cannot be held responsible for any misleading or inaccurate content in the Update. Unless indicated otherwise, what appears here has not been verified by the author or publisher, so please allow due caution when new or amended routes are suggested. Each piece of information is dated; bear in mind that some of the older observations may have since been overtaken by events or further changes. If, during your holiday, you are using the current edition of the guide and are able to provide any additional updating to add to this page, we will be pleased to hear from you. Please send information, preferably by e-mail, to info@sunflowerbooks.co.uk.

Walk 1: 1h3min to 1h11min: “Take care two minutes later … three standing stones …” I did not find this and also there is a contraction between the text and the map. The map is correct. So: Just before crossing the dry stream – which is also crossed by the small stone bridge mentioned in the sentence before – turn right (north) on a dirt track heading up the valley.  There is a new low wooden post with red-yellow waymark here (status May 2015). Some 400 m further on the dirt road starts to ascent and you will see remains of granite pavement. This pavement has recently been damaged by traffic for construction of a water tank, which you pass a few minutes later on your right. There is even a tap which supplied good water in May, but I propose you should not rely on that it will do so in summer… 1h27min: The diverting track is difficult to spot from the perspective looking upwards in the valley. When the final ascent to the pass starts look backwards and you will see the track clearly rising on the flank of the hill to the west. (User, 5/15)

Walk 3: 42min: I did not see any football pitch here. When you get to the top of the small rise a grassy trail starts slowly descending into the main valley. After a few minutes traces of granite pavement appear. The embankments of the channel are overgrown with fern waist-high, so you need a bit more effort to walk there than the picture on page 75 might suggest.  Very good walk. (User, 5/15) • One year later than the comments from User 5/15, the water channel is now so over grown as to be all but impassable.  As you progress along the channel the ferns increasing become entangled with gorse and briers. The water channel is so overgrown it is not visible in some parts. The picture on page 75 is totally misleading and should be removed. An alternative route needs to be suggested as this part of the walk is unfortunately no longer viable. (User, 8/16) [Note from Sunflower: we wonder whether the watercourse will no longer be used – that would be the only reason for it to become overgrown. Otherwise the keeper in charge of it would need to use it on a regular basis.]

Walk 9: Part of the walk between 4h18min-point and Cunhas (4h47min) has become very badly overgrown. To avoid this follow this description: At the drystone wall (4h18min) follow down alongside the wall, ignoring the first path off left and come, 50m ahead, to where the track divides by a small cairn. Bear right here, passing through the wall. The track zigzags down until you come to a large boulder with a cairn on top. Here the track divides, to the left on the level and to the right downhill. Take the sharp right turn downhill. You quickly begin to see red/yellow waymarks. Follow these down to the road where you turn left to reach the cemetery in Cunhas (4h53min). Turn right on the concrete path leading downhill by the cemetery, now back on the route described in the book. (Author, 2/16)

Walk 10: 35min: It was not possible to cross the river on stones in mid-May, because there was too much water (or the stones were too low). The trail from the river up to the 41min-point is only for people with robust clothing because of thorny vegetation. (User, 5/15) + Some users had trouble at the start of the walk and didn’t find the footpath off left. Please substitute the following text, starting with the penultimate line in the left-hand column on page 114: “… over stony ground. At 4min the track divides. Ignore the lower, gated, branch to a private dwelling. Fork right on the main track, perhaps stepping over any chain that may be present to prevent vehicle access. The track runs through woodland and crosses a stream on a bridge (11min). A short steep ascent follows and you pass a wood-cladded farm building on the right. Just 20m above this, where the track swings sharply to the right, take the footpath off left (indicated by a cairn; 18min). If you miss this turning, the track itself ends abruptly at the gates to another house.” (Author, 6/16)

Walk 11: 23min: The proposed path diverting to the right is not visible on the ground, the area was damaged in a fire recently. Alternatively it is possible to continue on the slowly descending trail into a wooded area. Some minutes later at a junction of trails take the one uphill into the village. (User, 5/15)