Trailing The Calcedonia in Geres, Portugal

Trailing The Calcedonia in Geres, Portugal

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

Do you enjoy trekking across vast natural landscapes? Are you a fan of mountain climbing and cannot resist climbing huge rocks, when the need arises? If so, this article will show you one of the most interesting destinations at the Geres National Park, in Portugal.

Meet the Calcedonia Rock… and Mind the Gap

If you’ve ever been to Portugal, you may recognize this iconic rock in the the heard of the Geres mountain range from the label in one of the country’s most popular brands of mineral water. The Calcedonia is widely regarded by many as one of the most interesting places in the region, as far as trailing goes.

Back in the old days, this high area was favored by the natives as a strategic gathering place. When the nearby villages were threatened by invaders, the locals would flock together in this natural fortification, looking for protection. Currently, the area surrounding the huge rock is mostly roamed about by cattle as well as trailing fans.

While people often refer to the gigantic rock with that specific name, Calcedonia is also the name of the area toppled by said rock; it encompasses the surrounding villages of Campo do Geres, Termas do Geres, Ponte de Saltos, as well as Bemposta.

Brace yourself for a bit of rock climbing

entrance to the gap in the rock

There are various trails leading up to the Calcedonia; the closest begins in the nearby road (which goes from Campo do Geres to Termas do Geres), while others go all the way to the surrounding villages, such as the Covide trail. The pictures that illustrate this post were shot during an excursion that began in the shortest trail, which begins roughly at the following coordinates: N 41º 43.424 W 008º 11.340

Regardless of the route you choose, there are some precautions you should keep in mind while trekking through this area. To begin with, the basics; you need to wear comfortable clothing, and trekking boots are preferrable. You should drink plently of fluids and carry around a bottle water, since the sun at Geres is unforgiving during the heigths of summer. For the same reason, you should wear a good hat and avoid trailing during the peak hours solar exposure.

calcedonia rock, side view

Additionally… you should be prepared for doing a bit of rock climbing, if you plan on getting to the top of the Calzedonia rock. The trail leading to the rock is just over a mile in length, but as you get up closer to the top the road gets messy, and you won’t be able to get through unless you’re willing to do a bit of jumping around.

inside the calcedonia rock's gap

If you have problems with heights of very tight spaces, maybe this is not the best trailing route for you! The main attraction on the way up to the Calcedonia rock involves going through a colossal gap in the actual rock, interspersed with huge boulders that you will either have to leap over or squeeze yourself through. Most people find this part of the trail quite exciting, but if you’re not in good physical shape you will have a hard time going all the way to the top.

atop the calcedonia rock

The previous pictures do not make justice to the enormous size of the gap, but they may enough to give you an idea of it. No matter how many pictures you look at though… you will still feel vastly overwhelmed, if you ever visit this place personally. Not recommended for the faint of heart!

This guest post to you was brought to you by the UK holiday places website. We keep travelling around the world looking for adventure… and so should you!