Passadiços Ria de Aveiro
With a length of more than seven kilometers, the Aveiro Footbridges are already a must for lovers of the ria and nature.
Inaugurated last summer, these walkways connect the city of Aveiro to the village of Vilarinho, in Cacia. The route starts at the Canal de São Roque, very close to the city center, goes through the pier on the Esgueira river, Mataduços, Cabeço and ends in Vilarinho, on the Vouga river, near the fallen bridge. Its route, almost flat, consists of wooden walkways alternated with some dirt and gravel parts.
The walkway is built along the shore of the Ria de Aveiro and crosses areas of water, marshes and forest, always presenting a superb view of the Ria with its fauna and flora. Inserted in a special protection zone, this walkway is a good place for bird watching (early in the morning), since the Ria de Aveiro provides shelter to several species and, during the winter months, to more than 20,000 migratory birds. On its way we can also see some boats - some of them shipwrecked -, panels with information about the Ria and rest areas with wooden benches where, on each of them, are engraved some regional expressions related to the Ria and respective explanations.
Note that this Passage has the peculiarity of "being different" every time of day, depending on the tide and the height of the sun. Linha de Terra recommends high tide (try to find out), as there is more water near the walkway, and early in the morning to watch the birds, or near the end of the afternoon to watch the sunset and its "magical" colors.
Although the "starting point" of these Walkways is in Aveiro, in Canal de São Roque, there are other alternatives: in Vilarinho and do the walk in the opposite direction, or else, in the pier of the Esgueira stream (where it is easy to park the car), where you can choose to go towards Aveiro (2.5 kilometers) or towards Estarreja (five kilometers). It is worth mentioning that in the marking of the path there is always a reference to Estarreja, because it is the intention to make the connection of this Walkway with the BioRia of Salreu, in Estarreja. So, soon, we will have a route with about 23 kilometers between Aveiro and Salreu.
The Land Line made the Passages in both directions (about 15 kilometers). For reasons of "logistics" and proximity, I chose to start the route in Vilarinho going to the São Roque Canal and back. The path, with no unevenness, is done well, although on very hot days, it may be more "difficult" because there are few shaded areas.
The walkways of Aveiro are very interesting, appealing and even didactic, between Vilarinho and the pier of the Esgueira river (about 5 kilometers), being this section the most frequented. Between the Esgueira stream and the São Roque canal the route is not very interesting; first by road (about 500 meters) and then on a dirt road (about two kilometers) that runs side by side with a very busy highway and a railway viaduct that almost completely covers the view of the ria. As the Passadiço is also cyclable (you have to pay some attention to bicycles along the way!), perhaps this section is particularly dedicated to these two-wheeled vehicles...
A linear path of about 7,500 meters between the channel of São Roque (Aveiro) and Vilarinho (Cacia). This walkway can be done all year round, however, on the hottest days there are few shady areas.
Point of departure / arrival: São Roque Canal (Aveiro); Esgueira pier; Vilarinho (Cacia), near the fallen bridge - Rua das Cercas.
Duration: about 2h00 each way (if you choose the complete route)
Difficulty level: Low (1 on a 0-5 scale)
Recommendations: Even though it is a flat route, always pay attention to your physical condition. Whenever possible, don't go alone. Pay attention to the time so you don't have to walk in the dark, after dark there is no lighting. Don't leave trash, and if you see any, try to take it with you whenever possible. Don't make noise. Respect nature, relax and enjoy, you will see that there is no better physical activity.