Roadtrip to the North of Portugal
February 27th marked our 11th anniversary, and to celebrate, we decided to take a break from work and make a 4-day getaway in the north of Portugal, more precisely iin the Gerês region.
Gerês has massive areas of forest that are perfect for hiking along the several trails. Although it’s an area known for its waterfalls and rivers which are great to enjoy in the summertime, in the winter the Gerês landscape is absolutely breathtaking, with its mountains covered with several shades of green and bathed by layers of dense fog.
We decided to stay at Pousada da Caniçada-Gerês, a 4-star hotel with a very cozy atmosphere, located by the river Cávado.
The conditions of the room were quite normal and even a bit below what we expected given the architecture and decor of the hostel’s common areas.
We tried the inn’s restaurant, as we had heard great things about the food. Although we noticed a great quality of the products used, we didn’t think that the confection and the final product were worthy of such fame, especially when a dinner for two people can easily reach 100€, like ours did.
Breakfast also left something to be desired, it was just like what you would find in any other hotel. Most of the products were clearly taken from the package and thrown on the buffet, and of not so great quality. It’s a shame not to bet on regional fresh products.
It should also be noted that the internet coverage in the hotel is quite poor. In the room it is almost impossible to get a signal, which can be an impediment for those who need to work on the road.
On the third day, we ate breakfast, packed our bags and headed for Pedras Salgadas, a park known mainly for its thermal springs.
The complex offers several modular houses, or eco-houses, which are distributed throughout the park and which adapt to the surroundings and are therefore each slightly different from the other.
They feature a rather minimalist construction, with clean white walls, indirect lights and huge windows, on the outside are lined with wood and slate.
Since we saw photos of this place a few years ago it was on our list of places to visit, and the truth is that it exceeded our expectations. The houses are extremely beautiful and well designed, the cleanliness and attention to detail was impeccable.
There is also a Thermal Spa, where you can try different types of treatments or enjoy the indoor heated swimming pool with a view. The conditions and cleanliness of the place are excellent and the staff are very friendly and attentive.
We decided to try, after a well spent afternoon at the Spa, the restaurant Sala de Chá. As a main course we chose the Veal Tenderloin. The meat we ate was of great quality and very well cooked. The average price is a little higher than a local restaurant, but nothing too exorbitant.
Regarding breakfast, we were surrendered to the quality and freshness. The bread was still warm and crispy and even basic things like yogurts, butter and jams were of the highest quality.
On the last day, before we went home to our kittens, we still had time to spend a few hours in the pool and had a thermal whirlpool treatment.
When we got home, with that weird feeling of tiredness at the end of a vacation, we spent the rest of the day watching a movie snug on the couch with Atum, Ellie and Salmão curled up with us.