Things to do in Arouca, Portugal

Our most recommended things to do in Arouca, Portugal

From Porto: Arouca 516 and Paiva Walkways Guided Day Trip

1. From Porto: Arouca 516 and Paiva Walkways Guided Day Trip

Discover the beauty of the Paiva river and gorge on as you hike along the Paiva Walkways and experience the thrill of crossing the 516 Arouca suspension bridge on this guided tour with hotel pickup and drop-off in Porto. Indulge in some local fare with the included lunch at a restaurant.  Starting from Porto, you be picked up in an air-conditioned van and relax on the drive through the Portuguese countryside. Enjoy a short rest stop in Arouca where you have the chance to purchase a snack in this town that is known for its sweets.  Reach Areinho and enter the Paiva Walkways and start your journey by climbing a stairway of around 300 steps and reach the incredible 516 Arouca bridge which is at an elevation of about 175 meters above the Paiva River. Learn about local culture from your guide along the way. Admire views of the Aguieira Waterfall and Paiva River as you cross this stunning bridge. Continue your journey following the path of Paiva Walkways as it follows the flow of the river. Walk at your own pace, take in the lush vegetation, and try to spot wildlife like birds.  Relax at Vau beach mid-way through the hike and carry on all the way to Espiunca, where our hiking ends. From Espiunca travel to a restaurant in Alvarenga where you can try “Arouquesa” DPO beef (other non-meat options available).End your day with a comfortable ride back to your hotel in Porto.

From Porto: Full-Day Paiva Walkways Tour

2. From Porto: Full-Day Paiva Walkways Tour

Begin your day with a convenient pick-up from your hotel followed by a 1.5-hour drive to the start of this great trail. Your personal guide will give you great insights about life in Portugal and ways and traditions of making the way to the Paiva Walkway go by in a flash. The hike along the river will be filled with geologic, natural and archeological interest located in the most beautiful locations.  After this 3-hour hike, a great lunch will be required and there is nowhere better to have a great lunch than in this region. Taste the best meat in Portugal at Alvarenga, famous for its 'posta arouquesa,' a delightful piece of grilled beef that will make you regain all your stamina. End your day with a tasting of a typical local liquor called Pinguça. Experience the best nature and gastronomy Portugal has to offer.

Porto: Paiva Walkways Private Tour with Lunch and Drink

3. Porto: Paiva Walkways Private Tour with Lunch and Drink

Discover the Paiva Walkways and more on a private van trip from Porto or the Douro Valley region. See one of the cleanest rivers in Europe, walk up the impressive Paiva Walkways, and tuck into a delicious local lunch or Portuguese flavors. En route, learn all about the area from your local guide. After being picked up from your accommodation in Porto or the Douro Valley region, embark on a full-day private guided tour. In this tour you will have the opportunity to explore one of the most clean rivers of Europe! How? You will visit the Paiva Walkways that is one of the nature wonders of the north of Portugal. In here you will have a 3 hour walking trail where you can marvel with the amazing landscapes. At the end you will be presented with a delicious lunch, a tipical and once again, delicious portuguese cuisine.

Arouca: Paiva Walkways

4. Arouca: Paiva Walkways

Explore the Paiva Walkways, 8km of steep wooden walkways along the left bank of the Paiva River in Arouca municipality, located in the North of Portugal.  Embark on a journey to discover the biology, geology, and archeology in a natural sanctuary. Expect to see some quartz crystals and Europe's endangered species. The average duration of this walk is 2 hours and 30 minutes, and the difficulty level is rated as hard. The walkway provides access to three river beaches where you can refresh yourself, and cafes are located on both ends of the walkway, in Espiunca and Areinho. There are many shaded areas along the route and be assured you do not need to traverse the suspension bridge along the route.

Other Sightseeing Options in Arouca, Portugal

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What people are saying about Arouca, Portugal

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 119 reviews

The walkways was a novel way to tour the geopark. Though quite long at 8 kms, we were not so exhausted as the wooden structures were nicely built. There were some uphill climbing but they were manageable. The bridge was awesome! It was a bit frightening at first but once you get the hang of it (pun intended) it’s like walking an ordinary footbridge with a spectacular view all around. The walk back was a lot easier. Our guide at the bridge did a wonderful job assuring us about the safety of crossing. I would definitely recommend this to those who are seeking a different way of exploring nature. Our guide Joao Pacheco of Detours was nice and kind enough to help my elderly aunt on the walkways. And the lunch was sumptuous and really filling too!

The day trip was great! The transfer to Arouca as well as the hike itself worked without any problems and could also be arranged flexibly. In other words, if you want to skip the bridge or don't want to hike any further after the halfway point. The food in the restaurant was also very tasty and there would also have been a vegetarian alternative. Luis, the guide for our day, accompanied us wonderfully and gave us a lot of historical and geographical information! I can only recommend this day trip!

Good transportation and excellent meals. Crossing the bridge was a spectacular experience and the hiking was along a well maintained and beautiful path. Our guide knowledge, competent, and very friendly. We had a wonderful day.

Everything was great from the beginning. Andre drove us safely to our destination and was very pleasant.

It is an excellent trip. An adventure of one in a life time. I recommend it to all ages.