Passadiços de Fiães in Parque das Ribeiras in Santa Maria da Feira are one of the most unexpected walkways in the country. In fact, when we heard about their existence we were completely surprised because it is not an area that emanates nature at all. Yet, they exist and are quite cool!
Also known as Footbridges of the Uíma River, Fiães walkways are a pleasant surprise and above all an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and the typical nature of northern Portugal, combining several wetland systems, terrestrial and human occupation forming an extensive floodplain.
However, we have to be objective, these walkways are interesting for those who live in or near the region. In our opinion, they do not justify a trip to just go there. However, if you are in the north/center area, this is another pleasant place to visit!
Fiães Walkways information
- Name: Passadiços Rio Uíma / Passadiços de Fiães
- Start – Parque das Ribeiras
- End – Parque das Ribeiras
- Distance – 2 km each way (4 in total)
- Time required – 1 hour
- Difficulty – very easy
- Max/min altitude: N/A
- Altitude gain: 0
- Type – linear
- Signalization (1-5) – 5
- Highlights: Rio Uíma
Experience in the Fiães walkways
The main entrance, and the one we advise you to use, is right next to the national road, but it is not at one end of the walkways. So, we initially have to choose if we begin on the right, or if we cross the street and go on the left.
We advise you to go to the right because on the other side of the street the walkways are much smaller and the landscape is less interesting. In fact, we wonder why this part was built at all, as it does not seem to add much to the experience.
As we proceed along the suggested path, we quickly enter an extensive forest of alders and willows. The route mainly follows the Uíma River and is a very typical landscape in northern Portugal.
The route almost always follows the walkways for about 1.5 km and is very pleasant for a family walk or a little jog. Along this path, you will find some intersections that will take you to other secondary entries.
At the end of the 1.5 km, you will reach another main road that marks the end of the walkways, then you will have to go back and repeat the path. It is quite simple, there isn’t much to get wrong.
In addition to being a great (but short) pedestrian path, the construction of the walkways allowed the region to preserve biodiversity, and to create conditions to observe these typical riverside natural habitats.
Throughout the route, there are plenty of information panels on the fauna and flora present, which helps to understand the importance of habitat conservation. There is also a picnic area, great for picnics, exercise equipment, and a playground for children.
So you have everything you need for having a nice afternoon.
Best time to hike Fiães Walkways
Walking on the Walkways of Fiães is a pleasure at any time of the year. There is no reason to avoid the route either in winter or in summer. Obviously, if it is rainy the experience will be quite … wet, but given that there are no slopes or hazards, it is perfectly possible. Just be careful not to slip with moisture.
On the other hand, in the summer, even though it is hot and intense, the shade of the trees creates some protection.
Is the trail family-friendly?
This is a journey for the whole family, from the youngest to the elderly. It is a great route to take children and even babies and the elderly. It is a completely flat path, with shadows and so it is always a little cooler. Even with strollers and wheelchairs, it is perfectly possible to go for a stroll there.
Note that this is clearly not a course for adventurers, it is very simple, flat, without any risk or adrenaline, but that is also its great advantage too.
What to take?
This is a trail where you don’t need to take anything, in particular, to be able to do it. It’s very short, and it takes less than an hour.
However, be sure not to trash and bring everything you take with you.
How to go to the trail?
Despite being known as the Fiães Walkways, these are located between the villages of Fiães and Lobão, in the municipality of Santa Maria da Feira. They are about 30 km south of Porto, and consequently almost 300 km north of Lisbon.
Accessing the walkways is relatively simple. Just go to Nacional road 1 (N1 or IC2), and then turn onto the N326 in the direction of Arouca and Fiães. After about 3 km the Parque das Ribeiras do Uíma will be on your right. This national road crosses the walkways so it is very easy to find your destination. There is a car park there.
Note that Fiães walkways are indicated multiple times on google maps. If you do not know the location, it is easier to go to this main entrance that we mentioned, as it is next to the N326, has parking, and is the easiest to access.
Where to stay?
As mentioned above, we do not think it justifies making a trip only to go to the walkways, but these can be an excellent complement to a getaway in the region.
If you are planning on sleeping nearby, we advise you to stay in Santa Maria da Feira. See the map below for available lodging options.
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