Today I stumbled on this great video on Youtube about the Nature Conservation Park located in both Northern Portugal and the Spanish region of Galicia.
On the Portuguese side one of the doors to the Park is actually in “Lamas de Mouro” – Melgaço if you drive around 20 minutes up mountain from the town.
As you can see it in the video it is a beatiful place with ancient ruins from “Stone Age” dolmens to Roman bridges.
Check a list and GPS coordinates HERE (new tab).
The mountais are covered with giant round shaped rocks some of them famous for their curious shape. There is also a lot of small rivers, waterfals from many sizes and small lakes.
Wild animals include wild flurry horses (video 0:46) and deers. There are wolves too but don’t expect to see them as they are scarce nowadays and the ones that are left are intelligent enough to avoid humans.
Now that I moved to Hungary I’ve had the chance to explore quite a few European Conservation Parks and usual mountain/forest destinations in Austria, Hungary, Croacia and Slovenia, so I can make you comparison with this places.
The first difference is that “Gerês” is not such a popular place. For some strange reason it seems that the European tourists usually don’t travel West by car. Last year I was in Slovenia and I had never seen so many German, French and Italian cars parked together. So if you want to explore on your own and prefer under-the-radar places this is a plus.
The second difference are Ticks. As crazy as it may sound, yes, ticks – those blood sucking parasites are a plague for forest-travelers in most of Central Europe. Everyone who lives here always packs a tick-removal tool for their travels, take B-vitamin or use some repelent spray. This was something completly new for someone used to hike in Portugal.
The third and last difference is in fact a disadvantage for the non-popularity of this place. While there are tourist oportunities for radical sports, hiking, rent-a-bike, rent-a-boat and others, you should search online and take notes of what you want to do and where before traveling.
Enjoy the video!