Portugal: The best for last (GR50 Ermida)

At our last day in Portugal, we aimed for a special hike. Up to the Lourica (1359 m). The hike can be started near Ermida. It is already a pictures drive up to this mountain town. Shortly before the town of Ermida there are two parking slots, in order to start the hike on the GR50. Or just take a photo of the amazing landscape. As our hike of today was a combination of the GR35 up to Lourica and back down on the GR50 to Ermida, we drove further. Before the town of Ermida we took a street right and tried to follow it as long as possible.

Let me say this. Don’t do what we did. We followed a local car down the road that got smaller and smaller. And for our taste more been created for a 4×4 wheel drive. But as we learned already by picking up our rental at the airport, driving in Portugal is a bit different. Cars usually have scratches and dents everywhere. You always get a feeling people drove on streets that they should not have. Same on this street. In the middle we met a herd of sheep with watch dogs. After 4 kilometers we turned around the car and parked it at the side. In order to hike the last 1 kilometer to the starting point of our hike for today.

The first 7 kilometers of the hike on the GR35 been brutal. We needed 4 hours (!) It was all uphill for 1000 meters in a mainly difficult terrain. Only following stone markers. Often the trail was overgrown or we lost it. 500 meters before the peak we even lost it completely and stand in the middle of bushes. Which gave a fascinating (bloody) peeling to my legs and make me always think, I hope there are no snakes here or at least none that want to come after me. After seeing this huge snake during our Douro Valley hike, made me really aware of potential snakes in the area. Even on this hike we saw 2 small vipers. Just be aware, Portugal’s trail can be really wild and kept to nature.

The view from the peak been amazing. It provides a 360 degree view over the area. Just wind, nature, silence and no other people. I am always fascinated that nature places like that still excites. May one thing to add, in the Geres National Park there are no gondolas up to the mountains. Everything needs to be hiked. I guess one reason why nearly nobody can be seen on the trails. At least that has been our experience in September and October.

The last 13 kilometers of the trail been downwards on wide easily trails. After joining the GR50 again we hike the part back to Ermida. Which again was really beautiful. From what we saw of the GR50, I can only say that the builder of this long distance trail did a really great job. The trail is offering a variety of different landscapes, different degrees of difficulty and stunning nature. We hope to come back one day and enjoy the whole GR50 trail.

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