FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

Contents

General Information

Q - What is the extent of the Paiva Walkways?

A - The Paiva Walkways have a total length of 8700 meters.

Q - Is it a linear or a circular route?

A - The route is linear. There are some steep slopes. Along the extension beyond the bridges there are also three sections of unpaved track. There are several flights of steps.

Q - What is the level of difficulty of the walk?

A - The route is considered to be of a high level of difficulty, though this level of difficulty depends on if you walk it in both directions or just one.

Q - How long does the walk take?

A - The linear Paiva Walkway is 8.7km (5.5 miles) in length. At a gentle pace the route takes approximately two and a half hours walking downstream. For the return route (upstream and, therefore up hill), you will have to allow twice as long, depending on your fitness levels.

Q - From where is it advisable to start the route?

A - The route can be started from two points: Espiunca or Areinho. For those who have lower fitness levels or prefer a less challenging walk, it is advisable to start the route in Areinho walking downstream towards Espiunca. For those who wish to go through the walkways in both directions (round trip, about 17kms), it is advisable to start in Espiunca.

Q -Who is responsible for the Paiva Walkways?

A - The Municipality of Arouca is responsible for the management and maintenance of the Paiva Walkways.

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OPENING TIMES

Q - Are the Walkways ever closed to the public?

A -The Paiva Walkways are open to the public throughout the year. They are only closed in cases of force majeure and in conditions where the safety of users might be of concern.

Q - Is there a daily limit of visitor entries to the Walkways?

A - Yes. There is a daily limit of entries to the walkways.

Q - Is it possible to visit the Walkways any day of the week?

A - Yes. It is possible to visit the Walkways any day, apart from in exceptional circumstances, such as closure for safety reasons (related to adverse weather conditions or maintenance work). However, should it be necessary to close the infrastructure, a notice will be posted on the official website of the Walkways and the Municipality of Arouca. Users should be aware of this and, if possible, check / confirm their reservations as close as possible to the date of their visit.

What are the opening hours to the public?

R - Please check the opening hours here!

Q - Is there is a time limit to go through the Walkways?

A - No, there is no time limit to go through the Walkways, providing the opening and closing hours are observed.

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ACCESSIBILITY

Q - Can anyone go through the Walkways?

A - Yes. Anyone can go through the walkways, provided they comply with the rules of use and conduct which are displayed at both ends of the Walkways (Espiunca and Areinho).

Q - Can people with mobility difficulties or who use a wheelchair go through the walkways?

A - No. We are sorry, but the Paiva Walkways are not adapted for access to people with reduced mobility.

Q - Is the route advisable for the elderly?

A - - It depends on the fitness of the person. The route difficulty level is considered high.

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COSTS / PRICES

Q - Do you have to make reservations to go through the Walkways?

A - Yes. You must make reservations to go through the Paiva Walkways. You should do so in the Reservation Centre available at https://reservas.passadicosdopaiva.pt

Q - From what age do you have to pay to go through the Walkways?

A – Tickets must be purchased for anyone of 12 years old and above.

Q - What is the cost of the entry ticket?

A – The entry ticket costs 1 euro per person.

Q - Are children under 12 years allowed entry?

A - Yes. The entry of children is permitted, provided they are accompanied by their parents or other responsible adult, who will assume full responsibility for them.

Q - Are there discounts for groups?

A - No. There are no group discounts.

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RESERVATIONS

Q - What do I need to do to visit the Walkways?

A -To visit the Walkways you should proceed to the relevant booking page through the platform available at https://reservas.passadicosdopaiva.pt

Q - How do I make the ticket reservation?

A - The ticket booking process for Paiva Walkways should be made through: https://reservas.passadicosdopaiva.pt While making your reservation, you will be asked to provide some basic information, such as name and address, the day of you visit and the access point from which you want to start the route. After making your payment, your reservation will be confirmed and you will be sent a ticket by email. You will need to show this ticket at the entrance to the Walkways. You can do this by bringing a printed copy or by displaying it on your phone or other mobile device.

Q - Can I visit the Walkways without making a reservation?

A –No. Visits to the Walkways always require a reservation. However, if you have not had a chance to make a reservation online in advance, you can buy tickets from the Loja Interativa de Turismo de Arouca, located at: Rua Abel Botelho, No. 4. (Phone: 256 940 258 / E-mail: lojaturismo@geoparquearouca.com) or from the Praia Fluvial do Areinho (Areinho Riverside Beach). You can only buy tickets to be used on the day at these locations if the daily limit of entries to the Walkways has not already been exceeded. Tickets bought by this method will incur an extra fee.

Q – How do I make a reservation for a group visit?

A - Reservations for group visits should be made through the Reservation Centre (= Central de Reservas) available at https://reservas.passadicosdopaiva.pt

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PAYMENT

Q - How do I pay for the reservation?

A - You can pay by credit card (Visa and Mastercard) and through an ATM.

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TICKETS

Q - What documentation do I have to present at the entrance of Walkways, to confirm my reservation?

A - You need to present the ticket as issued at the time that you made your reservation. You can do this by bringing a printed copy or by displaying it on your phone or other mobile device. You should keep the ticket until the end of the visit.

Q - What happens if I lose the ticket?

A – Presentation of a ticket is essential for admittance. It can be presented on paper or displayed on your phone or other mobile device.

Q - I intend to visit as part of a group. Do we need one ticket per person?

A – No. You only need one group ticket.

Q - What happens if I make a reservation and do not show up on the day of the visit?

A - If you make a reservation and do not appear on the day of the visit, the reservation is cancelled. There are no refunds.

Q – Is it possible to cancel the booking?

A - No. After the ticket has been issued the reservation cannot be cancelled.

Q - Is it possible to make changes to the reservation?

A - No. After the ticket has been issued you cannot make changes to the reservation.

Q - Is it possible to start the route at another access point than the one stated on the reservation and on the ticket?

A - Yes. You can start the route from Areinho or Espiunca, regardless of the location selected at time of booking.

Q - If the weather is bad, can I change the booking?

A - No. After the ticket has been issued you cannot make changes to the reservation.

Q – Are there any conditions that may force the closure of the Walkways?

A - Yes. There are conditions that may force the closure of the Walkways. They may be due to natural causes (fires, adverse weather conditions, etc.) or for maintenance / repair reasons. In cases of the closure of the Walkways, visitors who have tickets will receive a message to reschedule the visit. If in doubt, it is also recommended that you consult the official website of the Walkways and the Municipality of Arouca's website, on the day you wish to visit, to confirm that the Walkways are open.

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How to find us

Q - - How do I get to the Paiva Walkways?

A - To get to the Paiva Walkways you should follow these directions:
Coming from the North (via A1): Exit Santa Maria da Feira > São João da Madeira > Vale de Cambra > Arouca > Areinho.
Estimated travel time: 60 minutes.

Coming from the North (via A32): Exit Carregosa/Pindelo > Vale de Cambra>Arouca > Areinho
Estimated travel time: 50 minutes

Coming from the south (via A1): Exit Estarreja>Oliveira de Azeméis>Vale de Cambra > Arouca > Areinho
Estimated travel time: 60 minutes

Coming from the interior (via A25): Exit Porto A1 > Oliveira de Azeméis > Vale de Cambra > Arouca > Areinho
Estimated travel time: 65 minutes

Coming from Cinfães/Castelo de Paiva/Castro Daire: Estrada Nacional 225 > Alvarenga > Areinho
Estimated travel time: 10 minutes

The Paiva Walkways (Passadiços do Paiva) are located on the banks of the River Paiva, in the Municipality of Arouca, District of Aveiro.

Coordinates:
Espiunca: 40°59'34.67"N 8°12'41.19"W
Areinho: 40°57'9.68"N 8°10'33.05"W

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PARKING

Q - Existem zonas de estacionamento de viaturas? A sua utilização é gratuita?

A - Sim, existem zonas de estacionamento de viaturas junto às entradas de Espiunca e Areinho. A sua utilização é gratuita.

Q - Are there parking areas for cars?

A - Yes. There are parking areas next to the entries in Espiunca and Areinho.

Q - Is the use of parking areas free?

A - Yes. There is no charge for parking in these areas.

Q – Is there parking for buses?

A - Yes.

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TRANSFERS

Q - Are there transfers from one access point to another (Areinho / Espiunca or Espiunca / Areinho)?

A - Yes. There are taxis at the ends of the Walkways (Areinho and Espiunca).

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SERVICES

Q - Are WCs available along the route?

A - Yes. There are WCs available at the ends of the Walkways - Areinho and Espiunca and at the Recreation and Leisure Area at Vau, midway through the route.

Q – Are there waste bins along the Walkways?

A - Yes. There are bins at the ends and midway through the route. Any waste should be deposited in these bins and not on the floor. Make sure you have a way to pack and carry your waste until you come to a bin.

Q – Are there authorised picnic sites?

A - Yes. There are picnic sites for small groups at Espiunca, in the Recreation and Leisure Area at Vau, and Areinho Riverside Beach. However, please do not leave litter, make noise, erect tents or disturb other visitors.

Q - Is there any place where you can get water during the journey?

A – Yes, at the ends and the middle of the route.

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Safety and Recommendations

Q - What restrictions are there to entry to the Walkways?

A – At the entrance you must show your ticket to the assistant. We ask you to familiarise yourself with the rules of use and conduct.

Q – Are there exits midway through the Walkways?

A - Yes. There are exit points halfway through, at the Recreation and Leisure Area at Vau.

Q - Are there any hazards along the Walkways?

A - Yes. This is a route which demands careful attention and compliance with the safety standards and rules of use and conduct displayed on signage available at the ends of the Walkways and on the official website.

Q – Can I smoke along the Walkways?

A - No.

Q – Is it allowed to take pets onto the Walkways?

A – No, the entry of animals is forbidden.

Q – Is there mobile network coverage along the Walkways?

A - Yes. There is network coverage during the whole course of the walkways.

Q - In case of emergency what should I do?

A - In case of emergency, and for your safety along the route, there are SOS telephones that you can use and/or find one of the assistants to ask for advice. It would be useful to bring with you the phone number of the local fire department (256 944 122). Alternatively you can call the Portuguese emergency service number, which is 112.

Q - What behavior is expected of the visitor?

A - Visitors are expected to have a diligent attitude of respect for the surrounding natural landscape, and for the (often legally protected) fauna and flora whose habitat it is… And to enjoy it harmoniously alongside other visitors!

Q - What kind of clothes should be worn to walk the route?

A – We recommend the use of sports clothing, comfortable shoes and a hat, especially in the hottest months.

Q - What is the recommended access point to go through the Paiva Walkways: Areinho/Espiunca or Espiunca/Areinho?

A - If you want to walk the whole route round trip (17kms), we suggest you start and finish in Espiunca (the point of lowest altitude). If you only want to do the linear path (ie, just one direction), you have two alternatives: start in Espiunca and finish in Areinho (mainly uphill); or start in Areinho and finish in Espiunca (mainly downhill). For those who have no difficulties walking uphill and climbing stairs, it is advisable to start the route in Espiunca. For those who might have difficulties, it is advisable to start the route in Areinho, since it is easier.

Q - What is the best time of year to walk the routes?

A -The Paiva Walkways can be enjoyed throughout the year. Taking into account the wealth of local biodiversity, the seasonal changes, as well as changes in the river flow, any time of the year has its own distinct features and moods, allowing at least four very rich and discernibly different experiences.

Q - Can I run on the Walkways?

A – No. Please do not run on the walkways. The infrastructure was made in order to permit the enjoyment of the surrounding landscape, in a quiet, leisurely and relaxed environment.

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TOURISM

Q - Is it possible to take part in guided visits to the Walkways?

A - Yes. It is certainly possible to find a variety of guided tours. For this, we suggest that you contact specialised companies with a wide knowledge of different aspects and activities which can be adapted to your needs and provided at the Walkways. For more information please go to https://reservas.passadicosdopaiva.pt and click on the icon "guided tours". Alternatively visit Arouca Geopark Association (=Associação Geoparque Arouca) through their website www.aroucageopark.pt. Click on the "Explore" menu and follow the link "What to do".

Q - What can we expect to encounter along the Paiva Walkways?

A - From the Paiva Walkways you can contemplate a harmonious and unique natural landscape. From the 8km Walkways you can enjoy nature at its purest. The biodiversity of the area makes it home to several rare or endangered European species. You will take a trip into the past, with over a thousand years of recorded history and where you will find five geosites. The Paiva Walkways give access to two Recreational and Leisure zones and a bathing area, allowing you to cool off at the beginning, middle and end of the route. It allows access to a suspension bridge (the crossing of which is not obligatory! ).The 8 km walk provides a journey surrounded by landscapes of a singular beauty in the middle of an authentic natural sanctuary. A journey through the biology and geology of the region.

Q - Can I get a map of the Paiva Walkways?

A - You can obtain a map in digital format of the Paiva Walkways by downloading it from the website of Paiva Walkways or through Loja Interativa de Turismo de Arouca (Address: Rua Abel Botelho, nº 4, Arouca. Phone: 256 940 258).

Q - Where can I get more information about the Paiva Walkways?

A - You can find more information on the official website of the Paiva Walkways or through Loja Interativa de Turismo de Arouca (located at Rua Abel Botelho Street, nº 4. Phone: 256 940 258 / E-mail: lojaturismo@geoparquearouca.com). The management and maintenance of the Paiva Walkways are provided by the Municipality of Arouca.

Q – Is there accommodation and restaurants near the Paiva Walkways?

A - Yes. There are several offers of accommodation and restaurants near the Paiva Walkways. For details and contact information you should download the official brochure of the Walkways available at www.passadicosdopaiva.pt.

Q - Can I organize events on the Walkways?

A – No. Any projects involving the organisation of collective activities or similar kinds of events must be granted prior approval from Municipality of Arouca.

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