Aveiro walkways also called Ria de Aveiro walkways or sometimes Esmoriz walkways, are one of the most pleasant ways to visit the beautiful Ria de Aveiro.
The walkways in Aveiro are part of a larger project, the “Via Ecológica Ciclável”(cyclable ecological way), which has 2 routes totaling 48 km:
- Between Estarreja – Albergaria-a-Velha – Aveiro, with 23 km (where the walkways are located)
- Between Vagos and Mira with 25 km (we had also talked about part of this route when we did the PR5 -Mira ;
In total, the path that is usually called Aveiro’s walkways is just over 7km, and connect Aveiro (Cais de São Roque) to Rio Novo do Príncipe in Vilarinho, Cacia. However, we have to divide this route into two completely different parts. The first, with 2 km between Aveiro and Cais da Esgueira is mainly urban, and in our opinion, it should not even be part of the “Aveiro walkways,” as there are no walkways there. Besides that, it is not particularly beautiful and much less interesting.
The second part is where the real walkways are, starting at Esgueira Pier and ending at the fallen Bridge in Vilarinho, and this is the route we will talk about here. It is about 5km (10km round trip) where you can enjoy the estuary, the old and new boats, the surrounding forests, birds, among other things.
Aveiro walkways – General info
- Name: “Passadiços de Aveiro“, Aveiro Walkways;
- Start – Esgueira Pier;
- End – Fallen bridge in Vilarinho, next to the Vouga River;
- Distance – 5km (10km round trip) if you want to start in Aveiro it will be 7km (14 round trip);
- Time required – 3 hours round trip, unhurried;
- Difficulty – None;
- Max/min altitude: Flat, and always at sea level;
- Altitude gain – none;
- Type – Linear, possible to start at Esgueira or Vilarinho;
- Signs (1-5) – 5, well signposted and very easy to follow;
- Highlights – Ria de Aveiro;
- Cyclable – Yes, it is perfect for cycling;
- Price – Free;
Our experience on the Aveiro Walkways
The Aveiro walkways route that we recommend and what we usually do is the one that goes from Esgueira Pier (Cais de Esgueira) to the fallen bridge on the Vouga River or vice versa. So, that’s what we are going to describe. As we have mentioned, it is possible to start in Aveiro, next to São Roque Wharf, but it is another 2km next to roads, under motorways, and in which little or nothing is added. On foot it is especially unpleasant, on a bicycle I would say it is a little better.
Both at Esgueira Pier and on the fallen bridge, there are plenty of parking spaces. Starting at Esgueira Pier, the trail starts right on footbridges, with the Ria always on the left. Right next to the pier, there is a birdwatching post, but as usual, it is quite dirty and unfortunately, it is used for… other activities.
Normally in this section of our trails and walkways articles, we give a brief description of the route, but the truth is that in this case, it is not necessary as it is straightforward. You simply have to follow the walkways, and in the very few situations in which you will have to choose the direction, it is well designated, and it is always quite obvious as you will always have to walk along the ria. In the direction Esgueira-fallen bridge, you will have the Ria de Aveiro on your left, in the opposite direction you will have on your right.
When you reach the fallen bridge, it is also quite clear that you arrived there because you will have the Vouga River in front of you, and there is no way to cross it. You will see a small pier and the ruins of a bridge. If you still want to continue walking, the path continues marked along the Vouga River towards Cacia, but now without any walkways. As we said above, these walkways in the Aveiro estuary are a small section of a larger route that goes all the way to Estarreja.
During this route, you will walk between walkways and forest paths, where you can observe the beauty of the Ria de Aveiro (Aveiro Estuary) and its entire ecosystem, and the biodiversity that inhabits it. Some of the animals you can try to identify are long legs, herons, flamingos, terns, and even the bald eagle. In addition to the estuary itself, you can also enjoy the beauty of the woods, marshes, and pine forests.
Although quite beautiful and undoubtedly a unique place in Portugal, the landscape is always very similar, which for some people can become monotonous. On the other hand, the rise and drop of the waters of the Ria de Aveiro make the experience quite different depending on the tides. It never happened to us, but we have read reports that sometimes the waters flood the walkways.
Aveiro footbridges by bicycle
As it is completely flat, cycling, and with very homogenous landscapes, we think this is an ideal route for cycling, especially if you want to do more than the 5km (10 round trip) that we recommend. For those who like to ride a bike but don’t like to climb (I feel you), this is, in fact, the perfect route!
Just don’t forget that the trail is shared with pedestrians, so you need to be careful crossing pedestrians and especially larger groups. An accident is completely unnecessary for everyone.
Best time to do the trail
If it doesn’t rain at any time of the year is good to explore the Aveiro walkways. However, on hot summer days, there are long stretches without shade which will make the experience much less pleasant. So, if you do it on a scorching day, do it at the end of the day. The end of the day will also allow you to enjoy stunning sunsets.
Who can hike the Aveiro walkways?
The route is completely flat, and it is perfectly possible to be done with children of any age, with the elderly, and even with wheelchairs and children’s chairs. You just need to pay some attention as the walkways are shared with bicycles.
This is a hike for the whole family, and in our opinion, this is one of its greatest qualities. Doing the 10km can be hard for some people, but the fact that it is a linear route means that you can go back whenever you want.
What to take?
Given the absence of any technical difficulty, any inclination, and even being easy to control physical effort, you do not need to take anything in particular to do the walkways of Aveiro. Nevertheless, we always take:
- Water, especially important if it’s a hot day;
- Light snacks;
- Comfortable shoes and clothes;
- Sunglasses, hat and sunscreen in the summer;
- Camera and mobile phone, as there are many opportunities to take beautiful pictures.
- Small backpack to carry all of this;
As always, please don’t trash. Bring everything you take with you.
How to get to the trail?
You can start the walk along the Aveiro walkways in the 3 places mentioned above, Cais de S. Roque in Aveiro, Cais de Esgueira, and fallen bridge in Vilarinho, Cacia. Note that Cais de S. Roque is less than 1 km from the train station, so if you want to use public transportation, this is the ideal place to start.
We advise you to start the trail at Esgueira Pier, as it has easy parking, and it is straightforward to get there. If you mark it on Google maps, it will take you there straight from the highway.
Where to stay when doing the Ria de Aveiro Walkways
The ideal accommodation solution near the walkways is staying in Aveiro, as there is a wide variety of options. It allows you to enjoy both the other tourist attractions in the city as well as its beautiful restaurants, bars, and pastry shops. We are not aware of any accommodation along or near the walkways.
See below the map with the best places to stay in Aveiro:
If you like hiking check some of our other suggestions:
- Esmoriz walkways, Ovar;
- Rota das dunas trail, Mira;
- Sistelo walkways, Arcos de Valdevez;
- Drave, the magic village trail, Arouca;
- Port WPinine Trail, Lamego;
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