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Discover Portugal: Passadicos de Paiva

If you’re anywhere near the North/Center of Portugal, a fun day outing fit for all ages is to go walk the Passadicos de Paiva. Located in Arouca, 85km away from Porto (a bit under a 90min drive), this boardwalk has won the World Traveler Award every year since 2016.

An 8km boardwalk snakes through a gorgeous valley in the Arouca Geopark, running parallel to a river and with access to three river beaches. The walk is linear, so you can start either in Espiunca or in Areinho. On average, it takes 2h30 to walk it, not counting any river swim stops.





The walk is gorgeous, taking you through nature and with a variety of flowers that bring color to the experience. Being so close to the river, but slightly higher up for an even better view is unbeatable.

There is a parking and café at each starting point, as well as taxis to take you back to your car when you get to the other side. Tickets are 1 euro for anyone 16 or older when bought online, 2 euros on-site.




The advantage of the boardwalk approach is that aside from some ups and downs, the terrain is predictable and quite accessible – even though on the website, it says the difficulty level is hard (there’s no explanation of what scale it uses). That refers to specific sections of the boardwalk that cover a steep incline in the form of steps, and is why the website recommends taking the route from Areinho to Espiunca for the less physically demanding version of the experience.

Having been there, it struck me as a wonderful place for a family outing, with kids and maybe even grandparents! You don’t have to walk the full 8km of course, you can also go part way and turn back.

Happy walking!


In the area…

If you’re in the area, you might be interested in a place to stay – see options from Pure Portugal Holidays below:

Quiet Douro Mountains

Cedofeita House

Porto Garden


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