Exploring Pure Nature of Montesinho Natural Park
Montesinho Natural Park, established in 1979, spans an impressive area of 74,230 hectares. This unique park is located in the Vinhais and Bragança municipalities of northeastern Portugal. The vast expanse of land in the park is home to approximately 9,000 inhabitants residing in 92 picturesque villages. With altitudes ranging from a minimum of 438 meters to a maximum of 1,486 meters at Montesinho, the park offers diverse terrain and breathtaking views.
The climate in this matural park experiences notable temperature variations, ranging from a chilly -12°C to a scorching +40°C. The park boasts an incredible biodiversity, with a remarkable 240 vertebrate species, including a diverse array of 150 bird species. Nature enthusiasts and birdwatchers alike will be captivated by the rich wildlife found within this remarkable natural haven.
One important animal in the park is the Iberian wolf, which has a significant population there. In 2019, a Cantabrian brown bear was spotted in the park. The park also has different kinds of fish, including the Northern straight-mouth nase and the brown trout.
The landscape of the park is mostly made up of shale, a type of rock. However, there are also areas with limestone and granite. The park has a variety of trees, such as cherry, elm, hazelnut, apple, and oak. One special plant that can only be found naturally in this park in Portugal is the Euonymus europaeus.
Map of Montesinho Natural Park
Getting to Montesinho Natural Park
The nearest airport is Porto which is 4 hours and 30 minutes by bus or train. You can also book taxi which would take 2 hours and 30 minutes via the historical city of Braganca.
Book bus tickets from Porto to Braganca by Rodonorte.
it typically takes around 4 hours to reach Braganca.
Then take C-3006 bus route upto Soutelo da Gamoeda.
Start at Porto’s main train station, known as Porto-Campanhã. This station is well-connected and serves as a major transportation hub in the city.
From Porto-Campanhã, board a train heading to Bragança. Trains to Bragança are operated by the national railway company of Portugal, CP – Comboios de Portugal.
The journey from Porto to Bragança is a long-distance trip, and it typically takes around 4 to 5 hours to reach your destination. Then take C-3006 bus route upto Soutelo da Gamoeda.
Hiking in Montesinho Natural Park
Montesinho – Porto Furado:
This is a 9.2-kilometer loop trail near França, Bragança. It is usually seen as a moderately challenging path and takes around 2 hours and 45 minutes to finish on average. Many people enjoy hiking on this trail, but you can also find moments of peace and quiet during less busy times of the day.
PR5 VNH – Percurso da Tapada d’Á Ponte:
PR3 BGC The Roman Road, Oak Woods and Meadows:
Where to Stay
Delicious Foods at Cepo Verde Turismo de Natureza
The restaurant at Cepo Verde is a comfortable and cozy place. It has a room that can hold up to 35 people and is furnished with a traditional wooden bench and a wood stove for when it’s really cold. The restaurant is situated in a mountain setting with a lovely view and lots of plants like oak and chestnut trees. It’s the perfect spot for families or a small group of friends.
Lugar da Vinha do Santo
You can contact the restaurant for reservation here.
When to Visit Montesinho Natural Park
Montesinho National Park is located high up at an elevation of 670 meters (2,200 feet). The weather there is similar to the northern part of Spain, like in Valladolid, but with more rainfall. In winter, from December to February, it gets quite cold. The nights can be below freezing, and sometimes there is fog when the weather is clear. Occasionally, there can be very cold periods as well. The coldest nights of the year usually reach around -5/-6 °C (21/23 °F), but sometimes it can go even lower. It snows quite often in Bragança, making it one of the snowiest cities in Portugal along with Guarda.
In summer, from June to August, it is warm to hot during the day, but the nights are cool. There is usually plenty of sunshine, but there can be some rain or thunderstorms, especially in June. Even in July and August, it can get chilly at night sometimes. From mid-June to early September, there may be short periods of very hot weather. On the hottest days of the year, the temperature typically reaches around 36/37 °C (97/99 °F). The highest recorded temperature is 39.5 °C (103 °F), which occurred in August 2003 and August 2018.