Majestically located half way up a mountain in the heart of the Peneda/Gerês National Park 85km from Porto, the Pousada de Geres-Canicada has breathtaking views over the River Cávado and the Caniçada dam. Sipping wine on the terrace looking at reflections of the sunset in the water, this is a perfect spot to relax in and you will not be surprised to know that UNESCO classify this park a World Biosphere Reserve.
The panorama here is a huge draw, and the Pousada de Geres-Canicada has been specifically designed to make the most of the immense views of the valleys, mountains, rivers and the dam from every perspective. From your bedroom or from a table on the terrace, you can take in the depth of the green and lush landscape that surrounds Geres’ Pousada, and it will be hard to resist the urge to don walking boots and set off to explore the peaks, sierras and valleys within view.
The building is a stone and timber hillside retreat with large stone fireplaces, wood-clad balconies, large windows, traditional chandeliers and comfortable seating in the lounge area. Most of the Pousada’s bedrooms have balconies facing the valley and their décor contrasts with the feel of the public areas, with their more modern style and comforts.
The restaurant is very traditional and rustic, and the menu features quality products of the region such as Padeira-style beef, Minho-style pork, roasted kid and of course various cod dishes which, enjoyed in this panoramic setting accompanied with the young ‘vinho verde’ and other local wines, make for a memorable occasion.
The swimming pool – which is open seasonally - is exceptionally tempting with a design that allows it to be in the sun all day.
The atmosphere in Geres’ Pousada is relaxed and friendly, and staff are very helpful with suggestions of interesting itineraries and places to visit in the surrounding countryside. You have many options as to the activities you can enjoy in the area, including birdwatching, horse-riding, canoeing, 4x4 safaris, mountain biking, mountaineering and hill-walking; there are also several waterfalls and rivers to take in if you prefer a slower pace.
The National Park of Peneda-Gerês is found between Alto Minho and Trás-os-Montes, with an area of 70,290ha, and is one of the most popular of Portugal’s national parks to visit – also Portugal’s second highest mountain range with peaks of 1300-1545m.
Particularly notable sights are the stepped landscapes, the Arado river, the panorama from the Pedra Bela viewpoint, the submerged village of Vilarinho das Furnas, the bridge and legend of Misarela and the Monastery of Santa Maria das Junias, but almost everywhere you turn here, you will have plenty to focus on.