The Paiva Walkways hug the banks of the Paiva River in Arouca, Portugal, offering world-class views of some of the country's stunning natural scenery. The 8-km (about 5-mile) stretch of infrastructure provides a unique opportunity for visitors to experience the breathtaking landscapes, waterfalls, and flora and fauna of the area, without extensive interference of the surrounding environment. In a recent photographic essay by Nelson Garrido, shots of the dramatic views can be seen from an aerial perspective that captures the trail as it winds through the beautiful Portuguese hills.
The walkway was conceived and built by the Arouca Municipality in collaboration with the engineering firm Trimtrica. The narrow wooden bridges and staircases climb up along the peaks of the area's topography, offering panoramic views of the vegetation and gushing river from rest stops situated along the way. The land acts as a natural sanctuary, with waterfalls, quartz crystal deposits, and endangered species scattered throughout the area. The winding Paiva Walkways are a “journey through biology, geology and archeology that will remain in the heart, soul, and in mind of any nature lover.”