Add dates

Things to do in
Arouca

Our most recommended things to do in Arouca

From Porto: Aveiro, Paiva Walkways and Arouca 516 Footbridge

1. From Porto: Aveiro, Paiva Walkways and Arouca 516 Footbridge

We leave from Porto at 8AM towards Arouca town where we will stop shortly for bathrooms and for coffee. Get ready for adventure! After a short drive, we will arrive at the Walkways and go across one of the Longest Suspension Bridges of the World – The 516 Arouca! It spans 516m-long (1,692ft) across the valley and hangs 175m (576ft) above the Paiva river! - Notice: crossing the bridge is not mandatory. You have the option to skip it - Then, you will walk the Paiva Walkways downhill in a total length of 7km over a wooden boardwalk zig-zagging downhill along the left bank of the river. (you also have the option to walk only 3,5Km and be picked up half-way). You can decide that on the day of the tour. The walk will be followed by another highlight of our day: lunch! A delicious meal is deserved and it will take place at a beautiful typical restaurant! Roasted veal is the meat option offered, but fish or vegetarian options are available. After a power nap in the van, it’s time to enjoy Aveiro, also known as the “Portuguese Venice ”! Discover the city center with us on a short walk and enjoy free time to spoil yourself with “ovos-moles” – sweet eggs, a local delicacy, or a ice cream, or a beer, a souvenir or all of it! And once in Aveiro, a boat trip over the canals is a must do! You`ll board on a “moliceiro” – the traditional river boats – and discover the charming city through the canals!~ Finish the day back in Porto.

From Porto: Arouca 516 and Paiva Walkways Guided Day Trip

2. 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 know more about this town. It is included a traditional local sweets tasting. Please note that by booking with Detours you are directly contributing to a local development association. 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 along with the famous " vinho verde" (other non-meat options available). End your day with a comfortable ride back to your hotel in Porto.

From Porto: Paiva Walkways and Arouca 516 Footbridge

3. From Porto: Paiva Walkways and Arouca 516 Footbridge

We leave from Porto at 8AM towards Arouca town where we will stop shortly for bathrooms and for coffee. Get ready for adventure! After a short drive, we will arrive at the Walkways and go across one of the Longest Suspension Bridges of the World – The 516 Arouca! It spans 516m-long (1,692ft) across the valley and hangs 175m (576ft) above the Paiva river! Notice: crossing the bridge is not mandatory. You have the option to skip it. Then, you will walk the Paiva Walkways downhill in a total length of 7km over a wooden boardwalk zig-zagging downhill along the left bank of the river. Bring a swimsuit! At the halfway point of the trail, you find the Vau beach! You will have some free time to dive and swim or just put your feet on the clean waters of the Paiva river. PLEASE NOTICE: make sure you bring a second set of clothes as you cannot get in the van with wet clothes! (you also have the option to walk only 3,5Km and be picked up half-way. You can decide that on the day of the tour) The walk will be followed by another highlight of our day: lunch! A delicious meal is deserved and it will take place at a beautiful typical restaurant! Meat, fish or vegetarian options available. After lunch we’ll discover Arouca for a glance about local culture and history including convent sweets tasting related to Arouca Monastery. Finish your day back in Porto.

From Porto: 516 Arouca Bridge and Paiva Walkways Guided Tour

4. From Porto: 516 Arouca Bridge and Paiva Walkways Guided Tour

Join a guided trip to the 516 Arouca Suspension Bridge and Paiva Walkways from Porto. Discover one of the most impressive wild river gorges in the north of Portugal. Join a certified local guide in crossing the 516 Arouca Suspension Bridge 175 meters above River Paiva. Start your adventure from Porto with comfortable transportation to the Arouca UNESCO Global Geopark and a safety briefing. Set off on the Paiva Walkways, an 8.7 km wooden walkway built along the cliffs of the Paiva River Gorge. Begin the hike through old village paths. Then, prepare for the most exciting 516 meters of your life on the 516 Arouca Suspension Bridge, one of the longest suspension pedestrian bridges in the world. Be suspended by Tibetan-style steel cables in the sky, 175 meters above River Paiva and Aguieiras Waterfall. Feel as though you’re walking in the air, immersing yourself in an imposing landscape of wild and stunning nature. If you want a more laid-back experience, be transferred to the other side of the bridge by a 4x4. Moving on, along the Paiva Walkways, stop at scenic viewpoints to snap photos. See the famous zig-zag staircases, riparian forests, waterfalls, and cliffs of the gorge. Halfway through, take a break at Vau River Beach and restore your energy with some traditional snacks, juice, and fresh fruits. On hot days, take a dip in the river. From here to the end of the trail, get closer to the river. Feel the strength of the rapids through their roaring sounds. After the hike, be driven to the mountain area of Arouca. Finally, treat yourself to a traditional Arouquesa roasted veal in a typical restaurant (included in the option "With Lunch"). For dessert, taste some ancient conventual pastry, next to its origin, the Santa Maria de Arouca Monastery.

Alvarenga: Paiva Walkways and 516 Arouca Bridge Guided Tour

5. Alvarenga: Paiva Walkways and 516 Arouca Bridge Guided Tour

Pedestrian route through the 8 Km that make up the award-winning Paiva walkways, complemented by the adventurous cross of the largest pedestrian suspension bridge in the world, 516 Arouca. The 516 Arouca bridge is the largest pedestrian suspension bridge in the world and is located in Arouca, in the Aveiro district, Portugal. With 516 meters in length and an elevation of 175 meters, it connects the banks of the Paiva River. While crossing the bridge, you will have a breathtaking view over Garganta do Paiva and Cascata das Aguieiras, both sites of the UNESCO Arouca Geopark territory. 516 Arouca Bridge is located in Arouca, next to the famous Passadiços do Paiva. Along the way, you will be able to interpret the main points of geological interest, such as the Paiva Gorge, the Aguieiras waterfall, the beautiful river beach of Vau, the Gola do Salto or the Espiunca fault, without forgetting the aspects of biodiversity. In the latter case, hopefully, you might even see otters.

From Arouca: 516 Arouca Bridge & Paiva Walkway Tour

6. From Arouca: 516 Arouca Bridge & Paiva Walkway Tour

Discover the 516 Arouca Suspension Bridge and Paiva Walkways on a tour from Alvarenga. Explore one of the most beautiful wild river gorges in northern Portugal with a guide. Start your tour in Alvarenga, where you'll meet your guide and have a safety briefing and get some information about Arouca Geopark and the Paiva River Valley. Then, you'll start the hike through old village paths, towards the 516 Arouca Suspension Bridge. When you get to the bridge, your crossing will take place at an exclusive time, with only your tour mates and guide. Feel like you're walking on air as you immerse yourself in the imposing surrounding landscape. If you don't want to cross the bridge on foot, you can be transferred to the other side in a 4x4 free of charge. After getting across the bridge, walk along the Paiva Walkways. Your guide will show you some great spots for photos while highlighting the famous zig-zag staircases, riparian forests, idyllic waterfalls, and impressive cliffs of the Paiva River Gorge. Halfway through, you'll rest for a while at Vau River Beach. There, you can take in the landscape while you can restore your energy with some traditional snacks, juice and fresh fruits. On a hot day, you can take a refreshing dip in the river, so make sure you bring a swimsuit. After your stop, hike along the wooden walkway along the river back to your starting point.

From Porto: Full-Day Paiva Walkways Tour

7. 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. Please note that by booking with Detours you are directly contributing to a local development association. Enjoy a short rest stop in Arouca where you have the chance to know more about this town. It is included a traditional local sweets tasting. The hike along the river will be filled with geologic, natural and archeological interest located in the most beautiful locations.  Reach Areinho and enter the Paiva Walkways and start your journey by climbing a stairway of around 300 steps and 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 along with the famous " vinho verde" (other non-meat options available). End your day with a comfortable ride back to your hotel in Porto.

From Porto: Arouca Bridge Guided Day Trip

8. From Porto: Arouca Bridge Guided Day Trip

Experience the thrill of strolling over the 516-meter-long Arouca Bridge on this day trip that includes transportation to and from Porto. Explore a wooden footpath at the UNESCO-listed Arouca Geopark on a guided hike. Meet your guide in the morning and hop aboard a climate-controlled bus. Relax on the scenic drive to the Arouca Geopark. Take your time and soak up views of lush greenery and rocky landscapes during a hike on an 8-kilometer-long wooden footpath. Go over the Arouca Bridge at an elevation of 175 meters for breathtaking views of the Paiva Canyon and Aguieiras waterfall, both geo sites of the UNESCO Arouca Geopark territory. In this Rede Natura 2000 area, keep an eye out for the great short-toed eagle and the small strawberry butterfly. For Lunch, we recommend bringing your food for a very deserved picnic at the midway of this hike in an amazing place by a fluvial beach. At the end of this hike, we will have a stop in a restaurant just by the river where you can have lunch (not included) or can just have a fresh drink and relax a bit before returning to Porto.

From Porto: 516 Arouca Bridge & Paiva Walkways - Guided Tour

9. From Porto: 516 Arouca Bridge & Paiva Walkways - Guided Tour

The Guided Tour to the 516 Arouca Suspension Bridge and Paiva Walkways will make you discover the one of the most impressive and beautiful wild river gorges of the north of Portugal. As we are a certified local operator, the crossing of the 516 Arouca Suspension Bridge will take place at an exclusive time, with only your tour mates and guide. Along the Paiva Walkways hike, your local Tour Guide will call your attention for special curiosities and explain them. The Paiva Walkways The Paiva Walkways are an 8.7 km wooden walkway that were built along the cliffs of the Paiva River Gorge. It's located in the Arouca Unesco Global Geopark, which is in the north of Portugal, at 75 km southeast from Porto. This amazing attraction, due to its impressive beauty, has been awarded for 10 times at the World Travel Awards contest. The 516 Arouca Suspension Bridge It is one of the longest suspension pedestrian bridge in the world, with 516 meters long and 175 meters high. Suspended on steel cables in a Tibetan style, the 516 Arouca Suspension Bridge was a big Engineering challenge. This amazing structure connects both banks of the Paiva River Gorge, over the beautiful Aguieiras Waterfall. The Guided Tour The 516 Arouca Suspension Bridge & Paiva Walkways Guided Tour will start in Alvarenga, where you meet your Tour guide and have a safety briefing and a contextualization on Arouca Geopark and Paiva River valley. Then, we start the hike through old village paths, towards the 516 Arouca Suspension Bridge. The crossing of the bridge is a magic moment. You will have the feeling of walking in the air, as well as immersing yourself in an imposing landscape of wild and stunning nature! But if you're not on your bravest days, no worries! We will transfer you to the other side of the bridge by 4x4, free of charge! Moving on, along the Paiva Walkways, we will show you the best scenarios for your photos. Highlighting the famous zig-zag staircases, riparian forests, the idyllic waterfalls and the impressive cliffs of the Paiva River Gorge. Halfway through, we will rest for a while at Vau River Beach, contemplating the landscape, while you can restore your energy with some traditional snacks, juice and fresh fruits. On hot days, the river invites you to take a refreshing dip, so bring a swimsuit! From here to the end, wooden walkway goes closer to the river. Therefore, we can feel the strength of the rapids, along what is the best White Water Rafting course in Portugal. The Transfer from Porto You will driven by a professional driver, in a modern and comfortable van, from Porto city center to the mountain area of Arouca. This drive takes about 1 hour in total, being half of it in high ways. Typical Lunch - Arouca Great Gastronomy! After the hike, you'll delight yourself with the traditional "Arouquesa Roasted Veal", in a typical restaurant. For desert, you'll taste some of the ancient Conventual Pastry, next to it's origin, the Arouca's Santa Maria Monastery.

Cano-Rafting at Paiva River

10. Cano-Rafting at Paiva River

Go down a section of Paiva River, between Paradinha Village and Areínho River Beach, with an estimated duration of 3 hours. It provides an introductory experience to Rafting, passing through the rapids of the Paiva River. The descent is also preceded by a Jeep Tour to the traditional village, with stops at some of the most emblematic geosites of Paiva Valley, such as Paiva Gorge.

All activities

42 activities found
Sort by:

Frequently asked questions about Arouca

What top attractions are a must-see in Arouca?

The must-see attractions in Arouca are:

What are the best day trips and excursions from Arouca?

The best day trips and excursions from Arouca are:

Viseu

Other Sightseeing Options in Arouca

Want to discover all there is to do in Arouca? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Arouca

Overall rating

4.9 / 5

based on 119 reviews

What a great way to enjoy a day trip from Porto! We loved that it was a small and flexible group of other travelers. Luis was fantastic as our guide- he provided great information, safe and efficient transport and kept us all together. One of the parts we enjoyed most about the day was visiting his town and enjoying the most delicious lunch there. It was quite lovely to do something more local. The suspension bridge and the walkways was a unique way to enjoy this part of Portugal. Aveiro was charming and the time we had there was perfect. If you want to explore outside of Porto, we highly recommend this tour!

A great Hike with our tour guide Alvaro who took us to the bridge from the town of Alvarenga across then for a beautiful hike along Rio Paiva. Taught us so much about Portugal and the history of this area, we took this tour in February which was beautiful weather and the bridge was very quiet for us to enjoy. Our Driver Sergio was excellent! His English was good and made the 1h 30m drive to and from Porto an enjoyable experience. I highly recommend Just Come Tours.

We had an Amazing time, the views are simply spectacular. Walking all the way listening to the wonders around us was so peaceful and our guide João Silva was great, he explained all about the species and histories of the Geo Park and just made the experience more fun in general 😁

Beautiful place, safe and good guide. had good food afterwards. For me that you can do better is have bigger frame where you can pick up at, not all people stay's at a hotel or down town.

After an initial misunderstanding, an immediate solution 👍 . Excellent guidance, kudos to the guide.