Summer is just around the corner and we are unable to travel abroad. However, in Portugal there are many charming destinations.
It’s time to go Minho, more specifically to the Peneda Gerês National Park. To help with your trip, I wrote this list of the best hotels in Gerês. If you want something a bit more funky and relax, explore my list of the best bungalows in Gerês.
How to decide where to stay in Gerês:
The Peneda Gerês National Park is huge and, unless you intend to stay there for two months, you have to choose a part of the park to spend your vacations. Therefore, I made a map showing the best hotels in Gerês of this article according to their location:
- Blue: the Cávado River is quite extensive but there is a spot when it makes a fork in the shape of a trident, which starts more or less in Pereiró and ends in Paradela (already outside the Peneda Gerês National Park). It is called Albufeira da Caniçada, the most popular area of Gerês, with lots of restaurants, cafes and tourist services.
- Brown: The Soajo area is simply magnificent. It has waterfalls and viewpoints in the same, but attracts visitors mainly because of its famous granaries (in fact they exist in several villages in Gerês, not only in Soajo).
- Turquoise Blue: even further north than Soajo is Castro Laboreiro, a cute little town that is famous for the breed of dogs of the same name. I like to use Castro Laboreiro as a base to explore some historical places (the Varziela bridge, for example) or to explore nature (the lagoons are great for swimming).
- Orange: The area around Albufeira of the Paradela Dam (there are lots of Paradelas in Portugal, don’t get confused) is more remote, because it is located in the most northeast part of the Peneda Gerês National Park. It does not have much tourist infrastructure, so it is ideal for those looking for a few days of seclusion and in contact with nature.
- Yellow: finally, in northeastern Gerês is hidden what, for me, is truly the pearl of Gerês: Pitões das Júnias, the village surrounded by the most stunning landscape in the region. It is really, really beautiful and ideal for those who enjoy serious hiking.
Best hotels in Gerês near Caniçada:
Tourist area par excellence, close to popular sites such as Arado’s waterfall and the viewpoint of Pedra Bela. It also has good river beaches such as the Alqueirão river beach and the Barca river beach, where you can bathe and practice water sports. It has good tourist infrastructure and access to restaurants, cafes and supermarkets. It is 1h15 by car from Porto.
Pousada Gerês – Caniçada is, in my opinion, one of the most stunning hotels in Gerês. The bedrooms are modestly decorated but honestly who cares, as the common areas are amazing – spacious, decorated with comfortable leather chairs and with an entire glass wall overlooking the valley. It also has a swimming pool and a wide terrace for the summer days.
Breakfast is really good but don’t bother to have lunch / dinner at its restaurants, as rumour says its overall quality has been decreasing over the years.
The Hotel Carvalho Araújo is one of the most popular hotels in Gerês, and no wonder. It has a privileged location, between three viewpoints of Gerês (the viewpoint of Boneca, the viewpoint of Pedra Bela and the viewpoint of Junceda) and close to several hiking trails. The famous Arado Waterfall is a 25 minutes drive away.
In the vicinity of the hotel you can do picnics, and Hotel Carvalho Araújo provides cutlery and dishes to its guests. If you are lazy, you can always choose to stay in the living room, as it has a fireplace and a fabulous view.
The rooms are simple but airy and very clean. Breakfast does not have much variety but they serve quality products – homemade cakes, warm croissants and jams.
I remember staying at the Hotel São Bento da Porta Aberta when I was a child, and it remains one of the hotels in Gerês that I like the most. It has a very beautiful view of the sanctuary of São Bento da Porta Aberta and the Cávado river.
On the other hand, it is close to several river beaches, namely Barca beach and Ribeira Gerês beach. So I would say it is one of the best hotels in Gerês for those looking for a relaxed and not too adventurous weekend.
The rooms are tastefully decorated, and some of them have a small terrace and others have a spa bath, which is ideal for a romantic weekend.
Adelaide Hotel is very close to Hotel Carvalho Araújo, benefiting from the same privileged location to explore Gerês National Park.
Despite being a two-star hotel, Adelaide Hotel has the facilities of a superior hotel, such as a varied breakfast and a swimming pool for guests to enjoy. The hotel’s restaurant is very reasonable and affordable as well.
Casa de São Bernardo do Claraval has some very nice rooms but, above all, it has access to a picnic area with a great view of the Cávado river and the Serra do Gerês.
It is also located near the river beaches of Barca and Ribeira Gerês, making it ideal for families with children.
Hotel Lagoa Azul do Gerês has a beautiful view of Caniçada lake, where you can take a kayak trip or even bathe in one of its river beaches.
This is one of the hotels in Gerês that offers apartments with a kitchenette equipped with a fridge, microwave and a coffee machine, which are ideal for families with children.
The rooms are very simple, but, on the other hand, breakfast is served in an airy room with a pleasant view.
This is another hotel located in the center of the village of Gerês, with access to restaurants, cafes and supermarkets, as well as various leisure activities.
The decor of Hotel Apartamentos Gerês Ribeiro is simple and there are some complaints of poor sound insulation between the rooms, so spend your day by the swimming pool, on the sports field or simply exploring the region (that’s why you’re going to Gerês anyway, right? 🙂
Beleza Serra Guide Hotel is one of the best located hotels in Gerês, right in front of Caniçada Lake, with direct access to its river beaches. A few meters away is a store called Chana, where you can rent kayaks and sign up for paint ball. You can also take a dip in the river.
The rooms are sober (I would say even austere), with stunning views of the Cávado river and the Serra do Gerês. It is also one of the few hotels in Gerês with its own restaurant.
Moderna do Gerês Hotel is a simple and unpretentious hotel in Gerês, with very cozy common areas and a delicious continental breakfast.
The location couldn’t be better, in the center of the village and close to popular attractions such as the viewpoint of Fraga Negra, the viewpoint of Boneca and a 10-minute drive from Laja Waterfall.
Águas do Gerês – Hotel, Termas & Spa are one of the most complete hotels in Gerês, where guests have access to outdoor and indoor swimming pools, a living room with a snooker table and a wellness center where you can enjoy a relaxing massage or a bath. whirlpool.
The rooms are beautiful, decorated in light shades of blue and white.
In terms of location you will be very well served, as this hotel in Gerês is a 15-minute drive from the viewpoint of Pedra Bela and a 20-minute drive from the famous Arado waterfall.
Quinta do Rio Gerês is outside Gerês National Park but it is such an idyllic place that I had to include it on this list of the best hotels in Gerês. It is a large property, with a lake, an indoors swimming pool with a phenomenal view and access to a private river beach.
Moreover, it is one of the few properties in Gerês that can actually accommodate a group of 6 adults, which is perfect for a friends’ gathering.
Please keep in mind that the internet connection at Quinta do Rio Gerês is not very good, so you shouldn’t snap about it.
Gerês Guest House is one of the few hotels in Gerês with triple rooms, ideal for families with children. The rooms are large and colorful, and some of them have private terraces with beautiful views. The terrace, available to all guests, is spectacular, with huge sofas sheltered by umbrellas.
Breakfast is also very nice, and you will need it before venturing to the Tahiti waterfall, a half hour drive, or the Leonte waterfall, 15 minutes away.
Horizonte do Gerês is very close to Gerês Guest House. The decor is simple but it has very pleasant common areas, and you can use the swimming pool of this hotel in Gerês.
Best hotels in Gerês in Soajo:
This area of the Peneda Gerês National Park is famous for the granaries of Soajo (and those of Lindoso, by the way), but it isalso nearby the viewpoints of Coto Velho and Meandros do Lima and the waterfalls of Soajo and Poço Bento. It is a beautiful area, less touristic than the Caniçada Dam. It is 1h30 drive from Porto.
Casa da Gandarela is a spectacular place for families because it has three bedrooms, a dishwasher and permission to bring your pets.
Furthermore, it is located in Soajo, in my favorite area of Gerês. Thus, you can use Casa da Gandarela as a starting point to visit the granaries of Soajo, the Lima River, as well as several viewpoints and waterfalls.
Casas do Cavaleiro Eira is not exactly one of the hotels in Gerês, but rather a fabulous rural tourism house in the village of Soajo. With a very traditional decoration, as soon as we entered the courtyard we felt welcomed by the Minho culture and the friendliness of Dª Luísa, who will welcome you with a homemade cake and, if you’re lucky, a basket of fresh fruit.
Best hotels in Gerês, in Castro Laboreiro:
I was not going to include Castrum Villae in this list of the best hotels in Gerês because the rooms are a bit rundown and I found the breakfast weak, for a 3 star hotel.
However, the Hotel Castrum Villae is still a beautiful hotel with a fantastic location – the view from the balcony of the rooms is simply spectacular 🙂
Another option in Castro Laboreiro is the Miracastro hotel, a hotel built in an area worthy of a fairy tale. The hotel itself is quite simple, but this is compensated by the phenomenal views and the regional food restaurant on the ground floor.
Best hotels in Gerês near Paradela:
This area of the Peneda Gerês National Park is pratically untouched by tourists, making it ideal for those looking for a few days of communion with nature, and for those who enjoy hiking.
Right in front of the reservoir of Paradela’s Dam, a lesser known area of Gerês national Park, is the Oficina do Joe Guesthouse. It is managed by a friendly couple who prepares breakfast with all the care (in fact, they even make their own jams), and that will share with you lots of tips to explore the region.
There is something magical about this place, although the photos do not capture it properly, that makes it, in my opinion, one of the best hotels in Gerês.
Very close to the Oficina do Joe Guesthouse is Hotel Vista Bela do Gerês. I really like this hotel because it has something very familiar that makes us immediately at ease; perhaps it is the relaxed common areas, or the surroundings, where the hotel seems lost in the middle of so much grove.
This hotel in Gerês has the advantage of having a swimming pool that will delight you on the hottest days.
Best hotels in Gerês, in Pitões das Júnias:
I stayed at Casa do Preto as a hostel during a hiking trip to Gerês and it was such a wonderful surprise!
Although modest in decoration, the rooms at Casa do Preto are extremely comfortable and spacious. It also has a huge restaurant / lounge, where I strongly advise you to make a reservation because it is one of the best restaurants in Gerês. There you can also buy regional products, like homemade sausages, tisanes and honey. But above all, I was won over by the immense friendliness and generosity of Dona Albertina, proving once again that Portuguese people are one of the most hospitable people in the world.