The origins of the Gerês Spa are remote. It is known that the Romans in their occupation of the Iberian Peninsula had a great route between Braga and Astorga crossing the Serra de Gerês called the Geira, some sections of which remain in the region and are well marked by milestones. Indeed, the interest of this ancient Roman road is well translated by the current and fair claim to make it a World Heritage Site.
The Romans knew of the health benifits of the mineral waters of Gerês. These waters are warm and were used mainly for health reasons – mainly liver diseases. It is believed that the name Gerês may have had its origin in the latin word jurens which means warm and hot water.
But it was thanks to king D. João V that the spa started taking shape when the first thermal infrastructures were built. These consisted of little more than granite tanks in small stone shelters with curtains serving as doors. The King also had chapels and other buildings built. This gave way to the still famous thermal baths of Termas do Gerês.
The fact that the Termas do Gerês are situated in the middle of a National Park, surrounded by mountains and forests makes this a special place. The surrounding natural beauty of the western green colour of the mountain and the eastern more arid but equally beautiful side Tourém and Pitões de Júnias. The great peaks of Pé de Cabril, Borrageiras and Nevosa, next to the old mines – Minas dos Carris – are a great attraction for mountaneers.
The beautiful lagoons by the embankments – Barragem da Caniçada and Barragem de Vilarinho das Furnas (situated nears a fantastic ethnographic museum). This makes it also a great place to practice water sports and go on sightseeing tour.
All this makes Gerês a great place to visit!