It took three years for Portugal to build its longest pedestrian suspension bridge located near Arouca in northern Portugal. It was thrown open on April 29, 2021. Suspended 576 feet (175.5 meters) above the fast-flowing River Paiva, the bridge stretches 1,693 feet (516 meters) in length, providing a scenic view of the river, the rock-strewn mountains, an extensive gorge, and a waterfall.
This bridge, called Arouca 516, eclipses the Charles Kuonen suspension bridge in the Swiss Alps, which is 1,621 feet (494 meters) in length. Arouca 516 stretches across UNESCO-recognized Arouca Geopark over a five-mile stretch of gorge famed for its wooden walkways.
For all its beauty, this bridge is certainly not for the fainthearted, though it takes only 10 minutes to walk its entire length. This is because the bridge wobbles with every step! Hugo Xavier, who was the first to walk across, shared this with Reuters, “I was a little afraid, but it was so worth it. It was extraordinary, a unique experience, an adrenaline rush.” Little wonder only people over the age of six are allowed on it.
Held up by steel cables suspended from two massive towers on each side, it has a walkway made of the see-through metal grid that provides visitors an unhindered view of the lush scenery all around. This bridge is certain to become a must-visit for adventure and thrill-seekers. Locals are hopeful that it will bring in tourists in droves after the pandemic phase is over.
516 Arouca Bridge
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