The visit to Gerês National Park is almost mandatory for Oporto travellers.

The doubt is always which the best way to do it? On your own or with a local guide?

First of all, remember that Sergio and I (company owners) are passionate travellers of natural places all around the world. Every traveller will always be tempted to explore places by themselves; always looking for their own time management and freedom to choose where they want to go. One of the main reasons that made us start this company was the certainty that going to Gerês with a local guide would always be the best option for any traveller. Do you know why? Have a look:

1. Make the most of your time on your trip to Porto

When we are travelling, time seems always not enough for all we aim to do. So, if you decide to visit it on your own, you will lose time with:

  • All the journey logistics and planning (car rental or bus trip, etc.);
  • Finding the spots of the waterfalls and lagoons;
  • Finding a place to eat;
  • Finding information on the places you want to visit;
  • And many other losses of time.

2. Only a clear mind with no concern will be capable to absorb completely all the natural surroundings of Gerêsc

Nowadays, relaxing can be a great challenge!
We are so used to be constantly worried about something, that it will be in fact strange to “turn-off” the button. However, the nature in Gerês is so expressive and dense that you are not able to absorb everything completely when you are worried with, either the safety of your car, or where you are going next.
The challenge of “turning-off” the button may be bigger than crossing the Gerês on your own.

3. Silence is part of our tour

We are looking for nature as we are tired of listening to people around us.
We want to be on our own without interference, stimulus or distractions.
Therefore we want to go alone into nature or at least with someone very close to us.
Well, we, as company owners, as well as our guides feel the same.
Therefore, our 10 hour trip will always have enough moments to be on our own, being this also the reason why our tours don’t have more than 8 participants.

4. Safety Counts

Poorly signposted trails, paths forbidden for cars, slippy stones, not many places with mobile phone access. There are so many risks you run when you decide to travel to Gerês on your own…. too many people (even locals) get lost, get hurt … is the risk really worth it?

5. Our local nature guides are special

We had some special criteria when selecting our guides to work with us. We were not looking for someone with a degree in tourism, nor a mountain monitor specialist….what we were looking for was someone genuinely interesting, that would be able to speak about a simple flower on the sidetrail, but also about the current political situation in Portugal, someone who could explain why we eat Francesinhas, we breathe football and we listen to Fado…..
The best thing in travelling are the people we meet during the journey… and we can guarantee you that our guides are worth to know!

However, being nice is not enough to be a guide for a full day in Gerês. Therefore we offer continuous internal training for our guide staff and every year we recycle knowledge and training on the following:

  • Flora and fauna of Gerês;
  • First aid;
  • Evacuation procedures;
  • Dangers and safety procedures in mountain terrains;
  • Special cares to reduce the effects of human presence on nature, etc.
After reading these five reasons for visiting Gerês with a local guide, we can give you 50 other reasons, you may still want to do it on your own.

Independently from what you decide, don’t let Gerês out of your trip plans when coming to Oporto. If you choose our services, we guarantee you that we will treat you, nature travellers, with the same respect and attention as we like to be treated when travelling. Just come… you definitely won’t regret it!

We are waiting for you!

See you soon.

Author: Carla Couto

(Oporto Adventure Tours owner)
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