The Arouca Geopark in northern Portugal is about as breathtaking a landscape as you can imagine. You’d struggle not to feel at least a tinge of vertigo in these hilly, rocky, densely forested parts.
But a new attraction that straddles the Paiva River valley will offer an even more bracing perspective on those ridiculously epic (and Unesco-protected) surroundings. The 516-metre-long Arouca bridge, which opened this week, is now the world’s longest pedestrian bridge – and gridded floors and railings mean you can take in the views from all sides.
The bridge comprises a steel main structure, supported by two V-shaped concrete towers. It rises 175 metres above the valley, a popular site for outdoor activities like whitewater rafting and kayaking. A ticket to the bridge (€12 for adults, €10 for children and over-65s) also gets you access to the Passadiços do Paiva: a eight-kilometre-long network of wooden pathways that wind through the valley.
The bridge will remain open throughout the year, except on Christmas Day (though in windy weather it may close too). Depending on how long you want to linger, it should take around ten minutes to cross.
As the attraction’s official website says: ‘This isn’t for the faint of heart.’
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