The Passadiços do Paiva allow you to enjoy a series of natural charms. If you still don’t know, set foot along the way.
You Paiva walkways stay in arouca and have been one of the great attractions of the region for some time now. Nailed in the hard rock, they meander along the banks of the river, in an overwhelming journey that leaves no one indifferent.
In addition to physical exercise (demanding in some areas), they allow you to get to know a beautiful natural area up close and even cross the largest suspended pedestrian bridge in the world.
So, if you like trails and haven’t visited the Passadiços do Paiva yet, know that there are 8 kilometers of direct contact with nature, through a landscape that until recently was almost wild and very difficult to access, not to say impossible in some sections.
Admittedly, the journey is long and considered of high difficulty, but each one of its meters is worth it.
Passadiços do Paiva: 8 kilometers at your disposal
The walkways are on the left bank of the Paiva river, more precisely in the municipality of Arouca, district of Aveiro.
For 8 kilometres, you will follow a path that constitutes a true “natural sanctuary”, where Nature remains untouched and in its purest state.
There are whitewater descents, quartz crystals and endangered species on the European continent. You’ll also pass by beaches such as the river beaches of Areinho, Vau and Espiunca.
If you like nature, and particularly biology, geology and archaeology, then this is a journey you cannot miss.
Inserted in the territory of the Arouca Geopark, Geological Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, the value of these walkways has been recognized, even internationally, which is why they have received for 4 consecutive years (from 2016 to 2019) distinction of the World Travel Awards.
Longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the world
Gradually, the Passadiços do Paiva are still finding new ways to attract the public to this stunning landscape. Now, one of the great attractions is the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the world.
Located next to the Aguieiras Waterfall geosite and close to the escarpment known as Garganta do Paiva, the bridge is 516 meters long, with a railing deck and a usable width of 1.20 metres.
- Departure: Areinho / Espiunca
- Distance to Travel: 8700m (linear)
- Average duration: 2h30
- Difficulty level: high
- Levels: accentuated
- Route Type: short route
- Scope: sports, cultural, environmental and landscape
- Recommended season: all year round
- Passage through the Geosites of: Garganta do Paiva (G36); Cascade das Aguieiras (G35); Praia Fluvial do Vau (G30); Jump Collar (G31); Pioneer Fault (G32).
Tickets, prices and times
The Passadiços do Paiva website offers a series of online services, including the purchase of tickets. If you buy online, prices are lower and more advantageous.
Depending on the season, the cost of tickets can range from €1 to €2 (low season) or from €2 to €4 (high season), always being the cheapest price for the purchase on the website. Children under 10 years old do not pay.
As for opening hours, they also vary according to the time of year. In general, the walkways open between 8:00 am and 9:00 am. Its closure can be between 5 pm (October to March) and 8 pm (May and September).
The walkways may close due to natural causes (fires, adverse weather conditions, etc.) or for maintenance reasons.
- Coming from the North (via A1): Exit Santa Maria da Feira > São João da Madeira > Vale de Cambra > Arouca > Areinho. Estimated travel time: 60 minutes
- Coming from the North (via A32): Exit Carregosa/Pindelo > Vale de Cambra > Arouca > Areinho. Estimated travel time: 50 minutes
- Coming from the South (via A1): Exit Estarreja>Oliveira de Azeméis>Vale de Cambra > Arouca > Areinho. Estimated travel time: 60 minutes
- coming from the interior (via A25): Exit Porto A1 > Oliveira de Azeméis > Vale de Cambra > Arouca > Areinho. Estimated travel time: 65 minutes
- Coming from Cinfães/Castelo de Paiva/Castro Daire: National Road 225 > Alvarenga > Areinho. Estimated travel time: 10 minutes
Paiva walkways: recommendations
- Walking in a group;
- Walk the walkway during the day;
- Wear appropriate clothing and footwear;
- Do not damage the fauna or flora;
- Do not be accompanied by music devices, prams, animals;
- No smoking, bonfires, camping or extreme sports;
- Respect official indications;
- In the case of a return trip, you must start the route at Espiunca;
- Always carry water and a bag to bring in your rubbish;
- On sunny days, apply sunscreen;
- If you wish, you can make an interpreted visit, accompanied by a guide;
- At the ends of the walkways (Espiunca and Areinho), there are cafeterias and car parks;
- The Passadiços do Paiva route is not adapted for people in wheelchairs.
Paiva walkways: what to eat
Of course, a long walk works up an appetite. And as we are in the land of Arouquese meat, there is nothing like trying a beautiful veal or a succulent steak at Casa dos Bifes Silva, in Alvarenga, a few kilometers from the walkways.
Surrounded by green fields and landscapes worthy of a visit, this house provides you with moments of great pleasure, starting with the veal roasted in a wood oven, passing through the succulent steak “Alvarenga style”, there are dishes for all tastes.
If you are more adept at eating outdoors, you can always take your lunch and have a picnic by the river, taking the opportunity for a refreshing swim. But pay attention to all the indications and, above all, don’t leave any rubbish behind. Have fun on the Paiva Walkways.
What can you see in Arouca
This is also an excellent opportunity to get to know Arouca and some of its main tourist attractions. You can jump to disabled Mines of Regoufe (which during the tungsten fever were a major industrial hub), take a long walk through the fantastic Serra da Freita and even see the unique phenomenon of birthing stones.
Another point of interest will certainly be the Monastery of Santa Maria de Arouca. the monastery of Arouca. Exclusively female since 1154, it gained prominence at a national level, especially from the 13th century onwards, after the entry of D. Mafalda, daughter of King D. Sancho I, whose tomb remains there.
It is also there that the Museum of Arouca is located, one of the best regional collections of religious art in the country, with very good paintings, sculptures, furniture and silverware from the 16th to 18th centuries.
It also keeps a collection of music books, rare and of high historical interest, consisting of manuscript codices and liturgical and musical prints, dating from the beginning of the 13th century to the 19th century.