Vinho Verde: the finest gem of North of Portugal

 

Today, Oporto Adventure Tours will give you an insights of our famous traditional grape wine, Vinho Verde.

 

It all started in the Northwest of Portugal, in the province of Minho, with the farmers working different plots of a very layered land. The soil was planted by many small growers that used to place their vines high off the ground, training them to be hung in fences as trees. This was mainly due to the arrival of maize in the 16th century, that needed the most of the ground to be maximized in order to feed people. So a tipical feature of northern Portuguese agriculture is to have their plantations below the vines.

 

 This region totally breaks the fame of Portuguese fortified wines. Vinho Verde is the absolute antipode of Porto as it is young, slightly fizzy and citrusy.

 

This wine has many hidden secrets.

 

First of all it is not a type of grape, but a cross of native grapes such as Alvarinho, Loureiro, Trajadura, Avesso and Arinto.

 

Secondly, the sparkling trait is due to malolactic fermentation, that is normally considered a wine default in other types of wine but in this very specific case, takes Vinho Verde to a whole different level! Malic acid gives a taste of green apples and in its turn lactic acid gives it a milky and buttery palate softness. This combo brings to our mouths a rounder and fuller feeling.

 

As a result of this fermentation, this wine's effervescence (fizz) can be observed and taste right here in our tours in Gerês, when we stopped for lunch during your day tour . When you taste it, you will have the impression that the landscape is reflected inside your mouth.

 

 "the sparkling trait tooks vinho verde to another level"

  

Vinho Verde is mainly produced for domestic comsumption. It is not that we want to keep it just to ourselves, but the best ones you will ever taste are homemade and without a label.

 

Written by Vanessa Santos

Best day tour for family who comes to Porto.

 

We are happy and proud to reach more than 500 positive reviews on Tripadvisor, and obviously, we cannot thank enough to our lovely travellers for their trust, love and recommendation to others. It is such a milestone to Oporto Adventure Tours for bringing all our travellers,  to get to know Geres National Park more so we all can show the love and endorsements towards the beauty of nature.

 

However, lots of our customers has been wondering whether the adventure trip is fit for their whole family. Commonly, through these questions.

 

"Is the tour suitable & safe for young childs?"

"Can the children take part in all the activities too?"

 

You will find your answer, sincerely, through this two detailed reviews that our lovely travellers has given to Oporto Adventure Tours.

 

"I was writing to convey what a wonderful experience my family and I had on our excursion on Thursday with RuiRight from the start, Rui established an instant rapport with all of us, especially the children. By the end of our adventure, my son Jac was ready to abandon our vacation and go to work with Rui as a guide! Rui was truly a delight and a wonderful fit for our family.

In addition to the hiking, swimming, climbing & jumping (the entire experience was great) we really enjoyed baking the bread with Alice. This was a pleasant surprise to us and what a treat. I will certainly give your company a favorable review as we had an adventure we will not forget. We are grateful to have come across your information online and to have had the pleasure to work with all of you and enjoy the beauty of your country.

I also truly appreciate how helpful you were throughout the entire process, even with questions that were clearly outside the scope of what you do (like questions about lodging and train transport) you were extremely helpful. We congratulate you, Rui and your company for providing such a wonderful service."

Reviewed by John & Maria Sansone

 Children are masters of enjoying the moments

 

"My family and I went along on a tour this week. My sons are 10 & 12, my 12 year old is a wheelchair user but we don't want to limit his life experiences so we got in touch with Oporto Adventure Tours. 

We went to the view point I was over the moon to be on the top of a mountain with our Dan; we have climbed a few back home without him and I have always had a moment of sadness at the top that he couldn't be there with us to see the awesome views, I'm so pleased he got to climb his first mountain!! (in a jeep)

On to the lagoon, and I'm so pleased we got to go there, most tour operators, I'm sure, would decide that it was far too inaccessible, but my husband just carried Dan down on his shoulders and we had a good hour or so there. My younger son Thomas was in his element climbing over the rocks.The boys went frog hunting whilst myself & Dan chilled out in the sunshine. We could have been the only people in the world it was so peaceful & beautiful. Dan even managed a dip in the water, though accidentally!!

Rui (Rabbit!), our wonderful guide, I can't say how brilliant he was, what a credit to the company he is. He was great with my boys and every question we asked about where we were he could answer. 

After a sleepy ride home our Thomas declared that this was the best day of his life and Dan later agreed. What a fantastic time we have had."  


Reviewed by Katie R

 

Playful time with our lovely young travelers

 

So if you still have any doubt, just give us an email. We will be certain that you can entrust our guides to take good care of your whole family, especially the kids.

Come with us, we will you have an unforgettable vacation with your loved ones.

 

Written by Antonio Hoang

 

Gerês National Park - Food for the soul and body

 My secret affairs with Gerês

I always had a huge desire to travel and discover this wonderful world. I can clearly remember when I was 12 years old and I went on an excursion with my geography teacher and classmates to the High Tatras mountains in Slovakia. I remember my teacher was saying 'Kids, this is your first trip to the mountains and this is the moment when you are going to fall in love with the mountains or not.'. And I did - I fell in love for the rest of my life.

 

I try to travel as much as I can. When I have a new destination on my list, the first thing I do I check if there are any national parks around where I could go for hiking or just to spend some time in nature. This time, I went to Portugal. I was so happy when I found out that there is one national park only ninety minutes away from Porto called Gerês National Park and I felt the spark in my heart again!

 

I was so tired of long hours of working in the office and I believe that traveling is not only checking things from the to see list it is also to relax and recover your mind. Taking a one day tour to Gerês was one of my best decisions which fulfilled all my needs that time.

 

 Love for the rivers, mountains and the unique cuisine.

My tour started as I was kayaking in the river which flows through Gerês National Park. It is so relaxing as you don't have to rush anywhere, just enjoy the peace around you, empty beaches and cool water. Honestly, the only thing you can hear is the church bell ringing and its' echo floating over the water.

 

 

"just enjoy the peace around you, empty beaches and cool water"

 

After kayaking, we went for a hike and check some hidden lagoons. It's an enormous delight to dive in crystal clear waters where you can see every single stone and then just relax on a huge hot stone in the middle of a lagoon. It’s vital to mention that during the day we had an amazing lunch which surpassed my expectations. The table was full of traditional portuguese foods which included starters, soup, different snacks, desserts and even local and super fresh Vinho Verde! I knew that we were going to have lunch but I didn't expect that all the dishes would be traditional which let me know the culture of Portugal even better.

 

 

"Traditional dishes with the super fresh Vinho Verde grape-wine"

 

After the lunch, our guide took us to a very old village in Gerês National park. I couldn't believe that it still exists a place where people trade things and allocate different duties among all villagers with any currency. It was a huge pleasure to visit an old house where an elderly woman taught me and other visitors how to make authentic bread. Actually, it's quite hard to describe this experience as you have to be there and feel all the atmosphere. It was so cozy and reminded me my home where a kitchen becomes a center of the whole universe. We could hear popping wood in a fireplace, knead the bread by our hands and finally, taste it with a splash of flavorful honey.

 

A glimpse of the local old town and the authentic bread kneading.

 

You can put your trust in Gerês, as I did.

I believe that you can find everything you need in the national park like Gerês as it’s like a cultural and food injection without going to museums or restaurants. You just go with the flow, breath in fresh air which sometimes makes your head even a little bit dizzy, discover environment by touching rocks, plants, flowers or trees which you have never seen before. I am sure that after the day you will feel dead tired but at the same time recovered and filled with positive energy.

 

 

 

-Traveller Ruta

 

 

 

Escadas, vedações, multas e lixo no Gerês - O Trilho fácil do desenrasque

Escadas , vedações, multas e lixo no Gerês

 O Trilho  fácil do desenrasque

As últimas notícias sobre o Gerês, de lixo espalhado por todo lado, pessoas que se perdem e tem que ser resgatadas, de quedas que resultam em feridos graves e até já numa morte, não nos surpreende.. Já há muito tempo que vínhamos a alertar para a iminência de isto acontecer. 

 

Como está a ser resolvido o problema?

http://www.jn.pt/local/noticias/braga/terras-de-bouro/interior/queda-em-cascata-no-geres-causou-ferido-grave-5320601.html

 

Resumindo, a  câmara coloca uma vedação, as associações locais colocam uma escada, algumas empresas de animação turística como a nossa pagam para se recolher lixo e andamos todos a tentar resolver o problema com remendos e desenrasques de última hora.

 

É necessário uma plano de turismo sustentável para o Gerês .

 

É necessário que autarquias, ICNF, empresas de animação turística e associações locais, etc., se reúnam e discutam soluções para terminar com um cenário que nos envergonha a todos .

 

Não é só o Parque Nacional que se tem que organizar para receber visitantes , os visitantes tem que estar preparados para visitar o parque. Como não se dão sacos de civismo ás entradas das pontes em caniçada, essa educação para a preservação e conservação da natureza tem que ser feita mais eficazmente nas escolas e em casa ..iniciativas como plantações de árvores, caminhadas interpretativas da flora e fauna são cruciais para gerações futuras , não se destrói o que se ama.. temos que ensinar os nossos filhos a  amar a natureza.

A atual dependência  economia local com o desempenho do turismo está à vista de todos.. será possível o parque continuar a receber visitantes sem ser destruído?.

 

Sim é !!! O Turismo sustentável não é uma Utopia .. é trilho longo difícil e exigente  mas que vale apena ser percorrido.

 

Nós acreditamos que o Parque Nacional consiga ser dos parques mais bonitos da Europa mesmo no mês de Agosto

 

O Gerês merece mais do que escadas e vedações feitas à pressão! O dia no geres nao deve ficar registado na memoria com imagem do lixo das multas ou trânsito caótico!

 

A visita ao Gerês tem que ser uma experiência especial porque o parque é especial!

 

Resta nos aguardar pela capacidade de quem tem poder resolutivo enfrente o problema e tenha capacidade de arranjar soluções a medio longo prazo para o parque .

Deixamos uma ultima palavra de solidariedade para com os bombeiros e população local da serra amarela do Geres, a vossa dor é a nossa.

 

Carla Couto e Sérgio Miranda 

Oporto Adventure Tours

How not to be afraid of Geres wild snakes!

Yesterday we were driving to Gerês, as usual. While we were approaching the waterfall in the early morning, we talked about the snakes that inhabit the Park.

“Is there any snake in the Park?”
“Are they dangerous?”
“Are they poisonous?”

 

We are used to this type of questions, as most of the people are afraid of snakes. One of the travellers were really afraid of snakes in that day. She often panics about them, without knowing exactly why. But that fear is about to change.

 I started to explain to our dear travellers that there is no need for fears. Most of the myths with snakes are unfounded. Most of them come from the fairy tales we hear from our grandparents in our childhood.

“Snakes are friendly, they will flee away as soon as they notice us, and here is rare to spot one” – said the guide.

 

After 15 minutes of hiking, which unbelief when we arrive at the waterfall and saw a Viperine Water Snake (Natrix maura), snaking around the plants.  Without hesitation, I took my opportunity and slowly let the snake crawl its way on my hands. The fundamental symbol of love between travellers and wildlife appeared when I show the snake not to be fear of my presence.

 

Snakes have its fear toward us as much as we human do towards them. It is not that different.

 

Suddenly, our fearful traveller was staring at the animal, open-mouthed, asking more questions about the animal. She was not able to touch the snake; however, in that day she could approach the animal in the hand of the guide without screaming or fearing it. Isn't that something special?!

 

We believe we can change people’s fears, we can touch travellers’ hearts through the love for wildlife!

 

Want to know more about Gerês National Park and its animals?

Want to feel a unique experience in the middle of a small paradise in Portugal? Join us on this journey!

 

Writen by Frederico Santarem