Walk The World’s Longest Suspension Bridge In Portugal
The 516 Arouca Bridge is located near Porto in northern Portugal and is now open for daring pedestrians to enjoy.
Ponte 516 Arouca, or the 516 Arouca Bridge, is the longest, suspended pedestrian bridge in Portugal. The bridge is now open for those with no fear of heights and with a sense of adventure. Located in Arouca, northern Portugal, the 516-m-long (1,693-ft) bridge is suspended 175 m (574 ft) over the Rio Paiva River in the Arouca UNESCO Global Geopark, just outside Porto.
Please note: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, American travelers should check out the official tourism website before making plans to visit.
Take A stroll On The 516 Arouca Bridge
Those with adventurous souls should place the 516 Arouca Bridge firmly on their bucket list for their next trip to Portugal. Located outside Porto, the bridge connects the escarpment of the Aguieiras waterfall with the Paiva Gorge area, two of 41 geo sites in the geopark. The bridge has an open grid metal floor, allowing pedestrians to see the river below.
Not only is the 516 Arouca Bridge the longest pedestrian bridge in Portugal, but it is also the longest in the world. That title was previously held by the Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge in Switzerland. At 494 m (1,621 ft), that bridge is now the third-longest pedestrian bridge in the world.
The bridge was designed by Itecons and constructed by Conduril – Engenharia, SA. It is supported by two V-shaped concrete towers and its design combines elements of a Tibet-style footbridge. Both the floor and the side railings on the bridge are made of open metal grids to offer pedestrians the best possible views all around.
Construction began in 2017 but was delayed after the chosen location for the bridge had to be changed due to deployment difficulties, along with unforeseen geological problems. The bridge was finally completed last July, but the COVID-19 pandemic delayed opening to the public until now. After its inauguration on May 2, the bridge was opened to members of the public aged six and over from May 3.
Aimed At Lovers Of Extreme Experiences And Nature Lovers
The aim of the 516 Arouca Bridge is to attract lovers of engineering, those who enjoy extreme experiences, and nature lovers alike. When crossing the bridge, pedestrians will have views of the Aguieiras Waterfall, the Paiva walkways, Paiva Gorge and Alvarenga Bridge.
Besides crossing the bridge itself, a range of other experiences are available in the area. Visitors can enjoy walking or jeep tours, along with radical rafting and exciting water sports. A number of restaurants are available close by in Arouca itself, as well as a couple of comfortable hotels for those who want to stay over a little longer. Alternatively, Porto is an ideal starting point for day trips to the 516 Arouca Bridge. Visitors can travel to the site while enjoying a jeep tour, or catch a taxi from the city.
As for the price, tickets cost €12 ($14.46) per person for adults and €10 ($12.05) for students, children, and seniors. Read more information about the bridge and other facilities in the area on its official website.