Arado Waterfall: Best Viewpoint & Extreme Sports in Gerês

Cascata do Arado.
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Arado Waterfall, or Cascata do Arado in Portuguese, is one of the most beautiful and accessible waterfalls in Peneda-Gerês National Park.

Located about 3 km from the village of Ermida, in the municipality of Terras de Bouro, there is a dirt road that allows cars to park very close to the tourist attraction.

In other words, you don’t need to hike for hours to see this waterfall.

There is also a viewpoint that is the perfect spot to safely admire the waterfall.

For adrenaline junkies, this waterfall offers thrilling moments against a stunning backdrop. So, are you joining us on this journey through the North of Portugal?

How to see the Arado Waterfall?

Ver a Cascata do Arado a partir do miradouro.
Viewing the Arado Waterfall from the viewpoint.
Ponte sobre o Rio Arado.
Bridge over the Arado River.
Fonte da cascata.
Waterfall fountain.

The Arado Waterfall is a cascade, in fact, a succession of waterfalls.

The force of the Arado River’s waters has shaped the rocks over time, resulting in incredibly shaped formations.

Visiting the waterfall is safe, but swimming in this area is not recommended, as the rocks are slippery and difficult to access.

However, if you enjoy extreme sports, keep reading because you’ll have good news next!

How is the access to the Arado Waterfall?

Acesso para a Cascata do Arado.
Access to the Arado Waterfall.

Access to the waterfall is via the road from Ermida. It starts as a regular asphalt road until it ends, transitioning into a dirt track.

Don’t worry if you’re driving a regular car (passenger car); we managed the dirt road without any issues.

The path descends until you reach the Arado Bridge. Here, you should park your car and continue on foot beside the bridge.

There are some steps to climb, but along the way, take the opportunity to enjoy the scenery.

After a few minutes, you’ll arrive at the viewpoint, which offers the best vantage point to safely view the waterfall.

On your way back, take some time to explore the area around the bridge, but be mindful of the water levels to avoid accidents.

For your convenience, we’ve included a map of the region with all the directions at the end of this article, so no need to worry.

Extreme sports at Arado Waterfall

Cascata do Arado.
Arado waterfall.
Desportos radicais no Gerês.
Extreme sports in Gerês.
Desportos radicais na Ponte do Arado.
Extreme sports at Arado Waterfall.

Are you a fan of extreme sports? Then you’ll be glad to know that this area of Gerês is a hub for thrilling activities that might pique your interest.

We’re talking about canyoning, which combines rappelling techniques and cliff jumping into the water, using safety equipment.

In fact, if you look closely at the main photo of this article, you’ll notice that when we visited the region, there was a group having fun at the waterfall.

We spent some time watching them progress along the river, and we must confess, we became curious to try it out ourselves.

Other waterfalls in Gerês

Cascata de Pincães.
Pincães Waterfall.

In Gerês, there are waterfalls for every taste, from easy-to-reach ones like this, to waterfalls that require a few kilometers of hiking to get to.

On the other hand, the experience each visitor has also depends on the time of year, as during the peak of summer, it’s normal to have less water, and consequently, the waterfalls may become smaller or even disappear.

Therefore, in the Peneda-Gerês National Park, we recommend including four more waterfalls in your itinerary, which are, besides Arado, the Poço Azul Waterfall, the Pincães Waterfall, the Rajada Waterfall, and the Portela do Homem Waterfall.

Poço Azul Waterfall

The Poço Azul Waterfall is a place of difficult access; however, due to its beauty, many people undertake the 8 km trail (round trip) to visit it.

Yes, you need to hike for a few hours to get there, and depending on the time of day, it can be crowded, so consider carefully if the effort is worth it.

Pincães Waterfall

The Pincães Waterfall has the great advantage of having good access (just a few minutes on foot) and is very beautiful.

We made the trip with our children and had no problems, so here’s our suggestion.

Rajada Waterfall

The Rajada Waterfall is a waterfall on the Arado River near the village of Ermida.

To get there, you need to travel a 4 km dirt road (2 km each way).

It’s less frequented by visitors, but that doesn’t mean it’s less interesting.

Portela do Homem Waterfall

The Portela do Homem Waterfall is easily accessible and located just 12 km from the village of Gerês.

Your car can be parked near National Road 308-1 as the walk is short.

Furthermore, the path is well signposted, which is another positive point.

Precautions to Take When Visiting Arado Waterfall

Ponte sobre o Rio Arado.
Bridge over the Arado River.

Remember that the Arado Waterfall is located within the protected area of the Peneda-Gerês National Park.

For this reason, you should be careful with campfires and respect the wildlife and flora.

Furthermore, footwear should be suitable for the irregular terrain with loose rocks.

Littering is another recurring issue in the park, so make sure not to leave any trash behind and dispose of it properly.

Finally, bring snacks and water with you and enjoy a picnic in a magnificent setting.

The Blue Pool Trail (Trilho do Poço Azul)

If you enjoy hiking in Gerês, you’ve probably heard of the Blue Pool Trail, or Lagoa Azul or Poço Azul.

It’s a trail of about 9 km that starts at the Arado Waterfall and ends at the Blue Pool.

Both the waterfall and the pool are very beautiful places, however, the beauty of the trail lies in the fact that it must be done on foot. This means that tourists who prefer to travel by car alone cannot visit the Blue Pool.

For this reason, and because the Peneda-Gerês National Park has so many interesting places to see, few are the adventurers who decide to explore the forest.

As a result, the paradisiacal Blue Pool is often empty!

Accommodation near Arado Waterfall

Vila do Gerês.
Gerês village.
Adelaide Hotel, vila do Gerês.
Adelaide Hotel, in Gerês village.

If you’re considering staying overnight in the Arado Waterfall region, there are some accommodation options available.

The Camping Rio Caldo Gerês is located just a few kilometers from the waterfall in the village of Gerês, as well as the Hotel São Bento da Porta Aberta.

Map and how to get to Arado Waterfall

The Arado Waterfall is located in the municipality of Terras de Bouro, approximately 104 km from Porto, 413 km from Lisbon, and only 10 km from the village of Gerês.

To assist you in planning your itinerary, we’ve provided a map with all the directions to ensure a safe journey.

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