World’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge opens in Portugal


If you’re afraid of heights, a visit to this bridge will likely remain off your bucket list.

Now officially the world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge, 516 metre long bridge is now open but it’s not for the faint-hearted.

The bridge, which is known as 516 Arouca, drapes 175 metres above River Paiva in northern Portugal. The bridge itself is hidden between mountains inside the UNESCO-recognised Arouca Geopark.

The bridge is located over an hour from Porto, and connects Aguieiras Waterfall and Paiva Gorge.

The bridge is built using steel cables and a metal-grid base, which lets you feel like you are walking on nothing along with a view of the River Paiva below.

Similar tourist attractions can be found in China, although this is one of the few in Europe open to the public.

Supported by two V-shaped concrete towers at either end, the bridge is built in a Tibet-style with no towers and a sagging deck, instead of a flatter deck style.

Only the brave should attempt it, taking between five and 10 minutes to walk from end to end, but with stunning panoramic views along the way.

The bridge opened only to local residents on Thursday, but from Monday, May 3 everyone can book a visit.

Reuters spoke with Hugo Xavier, one of the first to cross the bridge, who said the experience was “so worth it”.

“I was a little afraid, but it was worth it because it is extraordinary,” the 42-year-old said on the other side.

“It is indeed an incredible adrenaline rush.”

The bridge, which cost about 2.3 million euros ($A3.6 million) and took around two years to build, will help revive the region’s tourism sector following the COVID-19 pandemic.



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