"Mountains of the North" Geraz do Minho by Bwana_Brown

Geraz do Minho Travel Guide: 13 reviews and 14 photos

On a Sunday morning, the 7th day since we had left Lisbon in our rented car, we had to decide where we would make our one stab at going further north in Portugal before we had to turn south for good. Since we still had one more night booked in our hotel in Lamego, we debated the long drive to Braganca in the northeast or a shorter one northwest into the Geraz do Minho region. Taking a look at the twisting roads on the map, we decided to opt for the shorter route - so off we went at 9 AM. For a map of where we travelled in the Minho, please check my General tip.

The super-highway from Lamego to Peso da Regua was a breeze but from there to Vila Real was slow going on the most convoluted road we had yet experienced. Then it was high speed again to the west on E82 before we turned north toward Guimares on the N101. Once again, progress was noticeably slowed by the traffic as we passed through every town in this built up area of Portugal. I had somehow imagined a remote and sparsely populated northern area - but it isn't so along the western edges of the Minho! We finally stopped to look at our map for a course correction, deciding that we would forget the big cities and head back east into the more mountainous areas around Fafe. It was 3 hours since our departure before we breathed a sigh of relief as the green countryside opened up before us. And what countryside it was - very picturesque and the sun was shining!

In the end, we had a great day exploring up into the mountains of the Serra da Cabreira, almost reaching the famous Peneda Geres National Park before time forced us to turn back. Not wanting to repeat our torturous route up, we took a shortcut on a back road through a Nature Park in the Serra de Alvao, emerging very close to Vila Real at the end of the day.

This was our last full day in the north because, the next day, we made a brief tour of the Douro River (my 'Pinhao' page) before heading south and west to the Atlantic coast at 'Praia de Mira'.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:A Chance to Get Away From it All
  • Cons:Congested on the West Coast
  • In a nutshell:An Area with Lots to Offer!
  • Last visit to Geraz do Minho: May 2004
  • Intro Updated Sep 11, 2004
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Reviews (13)

Comments (25)

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Jul 11, 2013 at 2:21 PM

    Glenn, fantstic little page about this North Portuguese gem. I only once made it for a couple of days to Guimaraes in this region.

    • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
      Jul 12, 2013 at 6:59 AM

      I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed my tips on the Geraz do Minho part of Portugal. Thank you for your comments and I must have a look to see what you have been up to lately! Regards, Glenn

  • TheWanderingCamel's Profile Photo
    Apr 20, 2011 at 5:42 PM

    Sounds like just the sort od daywe like to have at times when travelling. A bottle of vinho verde would have gonme down well with that picnic.

  • Jenniflower's Profile Photo
    Mar 23, 2009 at 5:37 PM

    What a pretty part of Portugal! One of my sil's is Madeiran, and I would love to visit sometime. Such interesting haystacks too... JTF is a fountain of knowledge hey? ;)

  • evaanna's Profile Photo
    Jul 26, 2008 at 9:49 AM

    Excellent photos of this picturesque area of Portugal. Your trip reminds me of our travels in Norway, just as blood-curdling at times but well worth it all the same.

  • SLLiew's Profile Photo
    Dec 3, 2007 at 11:53 PM

    Stunning landscape view. Enjoyed reading your driving around in this part of Portugal. Cheers, SL:)

  • traveldave's Profile Photo
    Nov 27, 2007 at 6:20 AM

    A very beautiful part of Portugal, which I passed through. Given how green it is, you must have been there just after the rains.

  • mircaskirca's Profile Photo
    Nov 18, 2007 at 3:34 AM

    Minho looks like a very charming regions of Portugal. What a beautiful scenery! I managed to visit Braga but at the end I run out of time (as always!) to fully explore the area. One more reason to go back! :)

  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo
    Aug 15, 2007 at 1:11 PM

    Glenn I must be like your wife :) I too think I have a brake on the passenger side of our car!! Great page I would enjoy this region!!

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Apr 30, 2007 at 11:15 PM

    What a lovely region of Portugal! Looks like a great place to drive around in, with many nice picnic spots.

  • whitecliff62's Profile Photo
    Apr 13, 2006 at 11:41 AM

    Beautiful sceenery and views, everything looks so tranquil

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