The longest pedestrian suspension bridge in Portugal
516 meters of adrenaline! This is the length of the new suspension footbridge in Portugal. Where is Bridge 516 Aroka located, how much does a ticket cost and where to buy it - read here!
In May 2021, one of the longest pedestrian suspension bridges in the world opened in Portugal! One of, not the longest, as the longest is in Nepal.
The bridge is called “Ponte 516 Arouca”. “Ponte” is a bridge, 516 is its length, Arouca is the municipality to which the bridge belongs. The town of Arouca is located in the north of the country, in the mountains between the cities of Porto and Aveiro, it takes about 1.5 hours to drive from another one. Keep in mind that the last section of the road is mountain serpentines, be careful and make sure that everything is in order in the car before driving.
Steel Bridge 516 Arouca connects the banks of the mountain canyon, along the bottom of which the Paiva River flows. You walk on a steel grid at about 175 m above the ground, the bridge sways a little.. And either you will feel the flight, or you will call all the famous saints and mom to boot! So, soberly assess your strengths! 1.8 million euros were invested in the construction of the bridge.
The author of the project is ITECONS, Institute for Research and Technological Development for Construction, Energy, Environment and Sustainable Development (Coimbra).
It is important to know that the Bridge 516 is part of the entire walking route “Passadiços do Paiva” on wooden decks along the western bank of the Paiva River, 8.7 km long. Both the bridge and the walking trail are part of the Aroca Geopark, which includes 41 geolocations, including the intriguing “birth stones”.
The walking route was opened in June 2015, partially burned down in the fires of September of the same 2015, was restored, partially burned down again in the fires of 2016, was restored by 2017, received an award for innovation in tourism from the World Travel Awards.
And if you bought a ticket to the bridge for 12 euros, then you should walk along the entire route! I don’t scare you, but I warn you that in some places these floors turn into long, steep stairs, so comfortable clothes, shoes, hats, sun cream, and enough water are a must. Walk at your own pace, rest often, drink water and the climb will not be hard! In summer, I advise you to take a towel and a swimsuit, as there is a river beach somewhere halfway along the route to relax tired muscles and refresh your fighting spirit. And in addition, take a snack and arrange a picnic stop at the bathing place! You will have to carry a backpack, but the pleasure is worth it!
You can start walking along the decks from one of two points: at the Espiunca entrance (there is a ticket check right away) or at the Areinho river beach (you still need to walk to the ticket check, having overcome a whole network of steep stairs like mountain goats). But by personal experience, I advise you to enter from the Areinho entrance, since you will have to be patient only at the very beginning, climbing up 400 meters, while there is still a lot of strength, patience and faith in yourself.
You can return to your car either by making another 8.7 km of crossing in the opposite direction, or by taking a taxi on the spot (taxis are not a problem, 10-13 euros), or by ordering a jeep transfer (with a breeze, sitting on benches in an open back, 25 euros).
My advice to those who are not afraid to walk across the bridge: start from the bridge, because in this case you will not have to climb steeply up the steps of the route, because immediately after leaving the bridge you will find yourself on the route! Finish at Espiunca.
A ticket for 12 euros (for people 18-65 years old) to Bridge 516 includes a walk along the walking route (if on the same day), but you can only pay for a walk on the routr for 2 euros.
Tickets are purchased exclusively online!
If you only want to walk along the wooden decks of Passadiços do Paiva, for tickets go here TICKETS for the walking route, the site has an English interface.
If you want to walk across the Ponte 516 Arouca bridge (with or without walking along the route), for tickets go here BRIDGE TICKETS, the website is currently only in Portuguese.
If you want a transfer to the beginning of the route, guide with you during the route, transfer to the hotel, organizing a picnic on the river bank, or visiting a restaurant with regional cuisine after the route, write, we will organize it for you!
Publication date: 07 May, 2021