Moinhos do Poço Verde are a unique accommodation option in the North of Portugal, right in the heart of the stunning Peneda-Gerês National Park. Two historical mills were transformed from old chocolate factories, into two renovated private apartments with everything you need for a restful and memorable stay in the middle of nature in Castro Laboreiro.
Castro Laboreiro is a small historical village in the North of Portugal, with a population of less than a thousand. It’s known for the many archaeological sites in the region that show evidence of very early human occupation. The main landmark is the Castro Laboreiro Castle, the ruins of a 9th-century Romanesque castle that now offers alluring views of the nature of the Peneda-Gerês National Park. Castro Laboreiro is located about two hours away from the city of Porto and its international airport. To the North, it’s less than ten kilometers away from the Spanish border.
Tourism in Portugal has developed rapidly over the past decade, but the Northern region, namely the Peneda-Gerês National Park, remains a haven for those who love nature and search for a more authentic experience with the locals.
Our stay was offered by Moinhos do Poço Verde, but all opinions remain our own, as always. Also, this post contains affiliate links, which means we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you if you purchase from them. This helps us support this blog and our adventures.
Accommodation at Moinhos do Poço Verde
As we mentioned above, the two mills that now form Moinhos do Poço Verde used to be part of a local chocolate factory in the early 20th century. They were renovated to offer a comfortable stay with all the amenities needed, but all historical details were kept. This is part of the reason why Moinhos do Poço Verde are such a special place to stay.
Each mill is now a small private apartment, with a living and dining area, a kitchen, bathroom, and double bedroom. The sofa bed in the common area means that each apartment can accommodate up to four people, and the fireplace is sure to keep you warm in the Winter months. Once you park your car and go down the stairs to the mills themselves, it feels like you enter your own little forest, and the outside terraces and barbecues are perfect to fully enjoy it. Despite feeling so secluded, the center of the village of Castro Laboreiro is just a few minutes away by car from the Moinhos do Poço Verde.
There are many different reasons that may bring you to this region of Northern Portugal, and the location of Moinhos do Poço Verde is perfect to travel to the nearby areas of interest: the historical village of Castro de Laboreiro, the nearby city of Melgaço, and of course, the magical Peneda-Gerês, the only National Nature Park in Portugal. However, a stay at Moinhos do Poço Verde is honestly reason enough to visit this region. If you bring food with you, you can spend some magical days just staying at the mills, enjoying your own little private forest and riverbed. At night, if you’re lucky and presented with clear skies, stargazing is a dreamy and almost mandatory experience.
If you’re looking for a more adventurous time, Moinhos do Poço Verde are also a great place to stay for nature lovers looking to hike to nearby trails. The whole region, and especially the nearby town of Melgaço, is also known as a hub for lovers of outdoor recreational activities, such as rafting and canyoning.
Our Stay at Moinhos do Poço Verde
We stayed at one of the mills of Moinhos do Poço Verde for two nights in late June. The weather was warm, nature was thriving, and we quickly fell in love. We were in Castro Laboreiro for the first time for a work event, and as it was our first time in the village, we were planning to see the most we could in the little time we had. However, after arriving at Moinhos do Poço Verde and sitting outside for lunch appreciating all the nature around us, it was honestly hard to leave.
Inside, all the small decoration touches confirmed we were in a very special place, and made us feel incredibly welcomed. Who would say we would ever feel so at home at a mill? We prepared simple meals and enjoyed them outside listening to the riverbed with no noise from TVs or computers. The accommodation does have Wi-Fi included, which is incredibly useful for us as digital nomads, who always have work online waiting for us.
At night, the weather got chilly, and we wandered off to Ponte da Veiga (only a few minutes away by car) – the perfect place to photograph the milky way and try to locate star constellations in the sky. As two young adults born and raised in chaotic cities with not much access to wildlife, we were equal parts afraid and excited by the tales of wild boars and Iberian wolves wandering through the open areas of the forest around us.
In the end, even though our stay at Castro Laboreiro was short, we were able to enjoy our stay, and still visit the most famous landmarks nearby. If you’re planning a trip in Portugal or Spain, Moinhos do Poço Verde are the perfect place to stop and recharge batteries, while also enjoying the region: the marvelous views, the delicious food, and the cultural landmarks that date back to thousands of years ago. The village is famous for its Roman bridges, and if the sun is warm, you can even consider swimming in the refreshing waters of the Laboreiro river.
If you’re dedicated to staying at Moinhos do Poço Verde, and mostly looking for a unique place to relax and enjoy its fantastic landscape, you can get to the area using public transportation (a combination of buses and taxis).
However, the best way to travel through this region, and especially to tour the Peneda-Gerês National Park, is by car. Public transportation is sparse and still doesn’t reach many of the most famous landmarks. Thankfully, the roads are good, and mostly empty. The experience of driving through this scenery is a memorable adventure on its own. While staying at Moinhos do Poço Verde, you don’t have to worry about parking.
We stayed at Moinhos do Poço Verde in the Summer, a time when it’s easier to appreciate the landscape around us. However, we also want to return in the Winter to see the extraordinary brick building covered in white snow. There’s really no best time to stay at Moinhos do Poço Verde, it all depends on what you’re looking for and your own preferences.
As mentioned, even though the mills were renovated to offer a comfortable place to stay, inside the main features remain, such as the typical narrow circular staircase. For this reason, a stay at Moinhos do Poço Verde is unfortunately not appropriate for people with reduced mobility or small children.
You can read about some of our other adventures and stays in Portugal to help you plan your trip.
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