Hiking to Miradouro da Pedra Bela - Gerês.
If you Google the Peneda-Gerês National Park, one of the first images you will see is the view from the Miradouros da Pedra Bela and now having visited these viewpoints myself I understand why they are one of the most popular (if not the most popular) viewpoints in the park.
From our apartment in Gerês I set off early with a GPX route on my Garmin watch and a pack filled with snacks and water. I also brought my Leki hiking poles and I was glad I did when I was hiking up the long uphill at the start of the route! This was the first hike that I did in Gerês and I loved it. Almost all of the route was on marked trails with just a few very short road sections.
I followed the PR3 Trilho dos Currais (Corral’s Trail) for a lot of my hike and I also hiked along part of the 190km GR50 trail. When we visited Entre Ambos os Rios I also had the opportunity to hike a small section of the GR50… not sure I will ever cover the full 190kms though!
For the first kilometre you can follow a trail or the road to the true trail head - this is marked and easy to follow.
Spotted the sign for Pedra Bela:
And shortly after the single track trail begins:
Nice and cool in the forest and with visible trail markers:
Getting a glimpse of the view:
And after a while you pop out onto a wide forest “road” (one forest vehicle passed me), climbing all the time:
Up up up - over 500 metres in just over 3 kilometres:
And then finally the trail starts to level out a little and narrows once again and then the view starts to reveal more of itself:
Then you arrive here in this relatively flat grassy area which if you walk across will bring you to Lomba do Vidoeiro (928m); it is easy to spot:
Lomba do Vidoeiro:
The perfect picnic spot:
Lots of stone cairns:
Below shows the view from Lomba do Vidoeiro looking back towards the trail I hiked up, with the red arrow point to where the trail is:
In the next photo the red arrow on the right is pointing to the trail and the red arrow on the left is pointing to a trail sign (close up of this below) where I headed next, once I was finished looking around Lomba do Vidoeiro:
So I followed the trail from the sign above, leaving the open grass area behind me and enjoying the lovely narrow trail:
Just so pretty:
I love hiking a new (to me) trail:
And then I arrived at Curral e abrigo da Carvalha das Eguas (930m) and met lots of cute cows (approx 1km from Lomba do Vidoeiro:):
Check out those impressive horns!
Leaving the cows behind and the forested area that they loved but continuing on the marked trail you will find yourself rewarded with beautiful views and surrounded by massive granite rocks:
Heading down at this point on the trail, you can see the trail ahead in the photo below:
Looking back up from the trail to where the above photo was taken. Five kilometres from the start of the hike to this point:
Found the sign I was looking for:
And more cows eating the roadside grass. I was following the road for the last couple of hundred metres to the lookout:
I came to the Miradouro Novo da Pedra Bela (829m) and there was no one else there!
Yup - totally worth it!
Looking down at the town of Gerês where I started my hike that morning:
You can see a section of the road to the viewpoint in the photo below:
About one minute away is the second lookout Miradouro Velho (834m) and again the view is spectacular:
One last photo and it was time to get back on the trail!
The trail was a little hard to find from the lookouts, the brown trail signpost seemed to blend into its surroundings but once I found it (using my GPX) it was very easy to follow the trail all the way back to Gerês.
The trail from the lookouts first brings you through a forested area and you descend quickly. Continuing on the trail, every now and then the trail leaves the forest and you find yourself crossing the aforementioned road only to rejoin the trail once again at the other side.
The lovely shaded forest trail on the last section leading into Gerês:
And finally I spotted the house in the distance that marked the final couple of hundred metres back to our apartment!
All Good Hikes Must Come To An End!
This is a wonderful hiking route, well marked, with a lovely mix of terrain and great views. I enjoyed it so much that I hiked some of it again a few days later. It was hot the day I did this hike (Summer time) and I was glad of all the snacks and water I brought with me. I was surprised that there were so few people on the trail, I met six people total! There were some people at the lookouts (about seven or eight) all of which had come via car. The quietness of the trail definitely enhanced the experience. It was a great start to my week of hikes around Gerês.