Know before you go!
The Paiva Walkways are a beautiful wooden-board path zig-zagging down rocky hillsides along the left bank of Paiva river at Arouca Geopark, a UNESCO Geological site.
The most recent attraction is… The second Longest Pedestrian Suspension Bridge in the World!
Called The Arouca 516, the brand new Paiva Walkways Footbridge spans 516m-long (1,692ft) across the valley. The walking deck is 1,20m (3ft) wide and hangs 175m (576ft) above the Paiva River!
Please notice: Crossing the bridge is absolutely optional. You can stick to the normal Paiva Walkways trail and skip the bridge.
25 Things – Facts – Tips – you must know before visiting the Paiva Walkways!
1 – The Paiva Walkways are a World Travel Awards Winner: got the “Oscar” for The Most Innovative European Project, in 2016; Europe’s Leading Tourism Development Project, in 2017; Europe’s Leading Adventure Tourist Attraction”, in 2018; World’s Leading Adventure Tourist Attraction, in 2019;
2 – The length of the path is 8,7km – 5.4miles, always on the left bank of the Paiva River, which is one of the most cleanest rivers in Europe;
3 – The walk is medium easy, depending on your own physical level, and it takes between 2h30 and 3 hours to walk one way (average);
4 – Children are allowed and must be always be accompanied by adults;
5 – It is forbidden the entry of animals, prams/strollers, bicycles, motorcycles or any kind of motor vehicles (not wheelchair friendly);
6 – During your walk, avoid making noises, do not collect any plants, rock samples and leave no trash behind you. Smoking is also not permitted;
7 – For your own safety, there are SOS phones along the trail;
8 – Even if there’s coffee shops at the beginning/end and at the half-way of the path, they are not always open, so you better bring water and snack supplies with you;
9 – We strongly advise you to bring comfortable shoes and clothing, a sunhat, sunscreen and sunglasses (there is very little shade along the way);
10 – Don’t be scared: you might find animals along the way such goats, sheep’s or cows. They are totally inoffensive and you will enjoy to meet them (about wolves, well, it is very unlikely to spot them during day light!);
11 – You can start your walk either at Espiunca or Areinho. Although, by experience, I would advise to start at Areinho. By doing so, you will walk always downstream, which makes your walk way more pleasant (although, in case of round walking trip, then I would recommend to start at Espiunca);
12 – There are parking areas at both ends of the walkways: Espiunca and Areinho:
- Areinho: 40°57’9.68″N | 8°10’33.05″W
- Espiunca: 40°59’34.67″N | 8°12’41.19″W
13 – There are taxi services at both ends of the track that can take you back to the car park where you parked your vehicle (expect to pay between 15€ and 18€).
14 – If you do the Paiva Walkways on your own, plan to stay for the day: keep in mind that there are several river beaches along the way (Vau beach is the most well-known). Bring your picnic and swimming suit! And don’t forget to buy your tickets online beforehand!
15 – Tickets: keep in mind that tickets are NOT available anymore at the entrance. You need to purchase them online. To do so, this is the official website: www.passadicosdopaiva.pt
16 – The second Longest Suspension Footbridge of the World: there’s are separated tickets: one for the Walkways, another for the Footbridge. You can buy both or just one, depending on what you wanna do. Notice again: crossing the Arouca 516 Footbridge is merely an option. All Footbridge details here.
17 – Limited tickets! There is a limited number of people per day – 2500. You might wanna plan it well and buy your ticket in advance. Talk with us if you can’t get a ticket.
18 – During summer time, avoid starting your walk between 11am and 3pm due to high heat; start your walk either before or after that period;
19 – During high season – mainly June, July and August – if you have the chance, avoid weekends or bank holidays. The walkways are very popular and can get incredibly busy;
20 – Always consult the official website on the day before your walk schedule. Sometimes, the Paiva Walkways are forced to close down due to severe weather causing floods on the Paiva river or the threatening of wild fires in summer;
21 – If visiting by motorhome/campervan, it is possible to stay overnight for free on the car park at Espiunca or Areinho. There are no services, but there are public toilets and cold showers;
22 – There’s no easy connection to the Walkways either from Porto or Aveiro. There’s no direct buses or trains. The best way to save time and money its to join one of our tours or rent a car. If you are driving, be prepared for narrow, winding roads! (1h driving distance from Porto or Aveiro).
23 – For those who have car motion sickness problems: to arrive to the Paiva Walkways, you need to go over the mountain. The road gets curvy. We strongly advise you to have a tablet or a pill to help with that issue. Just in case!
24 – The walkways are only open between sunrise and sunset. The schedule is:
- May to September: from 8am to 8pm (last entrance accepted latest by 5pm)
- November to March: from 9am to 5pm (last entrance accepted latest by 2pm)
- April and October: from 9am to 6pm (last entrance accepted latest by 3pm)
Please, you better check the timetable also at www.passadicosdopaiva.pt because schedules can be changed without previous warning.
25 – Open All Year Round but the 25th of December.
Join our All-inclusive tours! Aveiro and the Paiva Walkways Tour!