The Peneda-Gerês National Park (or Parque Nacional da Peneda-Gerês, or simply Gerês) is the only national park in Portugal (although many natural parks, protected landscapes, and reserves exist across the nation). It’s located in northern Portugal, falling within the jurisdictions of the Viana do Castelo, Braga, and Vila Real districts.
The park was opened in the spring of 1971 in an effort to protect Portuguese land, flora and fauna. Gerês’ geography is largely inspired by several ridges of mountains, the Peneda, Soajo, Amarela, and Gerês. These form a barrier between the sea shore plains to its west and the plateaus to the east; these mountains continue into Spain, where they are known as Xurés. While the park encourages tourism, visitor traffic is limited in order to protect the park’s resources – in fact, there are only six small camping sites.
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