The Daily Telegraph - Saturday - Travel



Rural rambles Peneda-Geres National Park

Portugal’s only national park is a land of waterfall-studded forests full of towering pines and oaks, river valleys and mammoth peaks; the park takes its name from the two highest – Peneda and Geres. Located near the northern border with Spain, PenedaGere­s is an obvious magnet for walkers, its terrain covered with wild trails that lead to 12th-century granite villages. Wolves and shepherds roam this unspoilt landscape, which is best enjoyed on a national park tour.

National Park Tours (00 351 964872 656; nationalpa­ runs guided hikes costing from £73

Hot and steamy Azores

Sulphur tinges the air in the Furnas Valley, on the island of Sao Miguel – the product of geothermal activity created by the now-dormant Furnas volcano. There are bubbling mud pots, steaming fumaroles and mineral-rich springs. Spend a day hiking and kayaking your way around Furnas Lake, then have a soak in one of the 35C-40C pools at Terra Nostra Park. Afterwards, there’s no better way to end the day than by sampling the local dish, cozido, a hearty meat-and-vegetable stew that’s slow-cooked undergroun­d using geothermal heat.

Double rooms at the Terra Nostra Garden Hotel (00 351 296 549090; bensaudeho­ start at £188 per night

Walk in the woods Madeira

Wander Madeira’s magical laurisilva (laurel forests), protected for their rare flora and fauna, including the Madeiran long-toed pigeon and ancient species of heather. Explore this 20-million-yearold habitat on the Caldeirao do Inferno trail in Queimadas Forest Park – the route follows one of the island’s famous levadas, a network of vein-like stone waterways built to funnel water south. Pass through tunnels carved into cliffsides and stop to savour the cooling mist of crashing waterfalls.

Double rooms at the Cliff Bay, in Funchal (00 351 291 707700; portobay. com/en), start at £185 per night

 ?? ?? Terra Nostra Park, on the island of Sao Miguel, in the Azores
Terra Nostra Park, on the island of Sao Miguel, in the Azores

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