Location on the map of Northern Portugal (Portugal)

Porto Bridge Climb: Ponte Da Arrabida above the Douro River

The Douro most famous bridge before the Atlantic is the Ponte da Arrábida and what really put it on the map is the bridge-climbing activity. This gives you the opportunity to be attached to a safety line before inching your way up to the arch below the road crossing.

Once you get to the top, the Douro and the older part of Porto will be at your feet.

Dom Luis I bridge. Porto, Portugal

Photo: Dom Luis I bridge. Porto, Portugal. De Diego Delso. Adapted under license (CC BY-SA 3.0)

DOURO RIVER IN PORTUGAL

One of Europe’s most iconic rivers – the Douro – flows across Northern Portugal, coming from the wild rugged mountains on the Spanish border and gets to the medieval city of Porto. This river is the heart and soul of this region as it is important for the ancient wine growing culture.

The Douro River weaves its way through one of Europe’s most amazing landscapes that count with charming villages and some historic landmarks. Known as Portugal’s ‘River of Gold’, the Douro flows along one of the world’s oldest wine regions that produces both the legendary Port wine and at the same time some of Portugal’s best vintages.

Dom Luis I bridge. Porto, Portugal

Photo: Dom Luis I bridge. Porto, Portugal.

PORTO PORTUGAL: THE CITY OF BRIDGES

Porto is the second largest city of Portugal and at the same time is famous for its history, for its cultural richness, and for its bridges as well.

The Portuguese people are very proud of the bridges of Porto, and there is no wonder about that. One bridge after another, Porto acquired true landmarks that mark this city´s history.

Porto counts with six different bridges that you can run down or you can maybe choose to run across half of them when you are here. Either way, only the Arrábida bridge can offer you the experience of walking up a bridge in Porto by its elegant reinforced concrete arch. In fact, this is the only bridge from Europe where you can climb by foot legally.

Maria Pia Railway Bridge. Porto, Portugal

Photo: Maria Pia Railway Bridge. Porto, Portugal.

Bridge climb in Porto, Portugal

Porto is famous for being “the city of six bridges”, so Portugal’s second extensive city is dotted with arches across the Douro River. But what most visitors that get here don’t know is that you can climb to the top of the Porto’s westerly bridge: the Arrábida Bridge.

The bridges in Porto count with their very own distinctive styles. Let´s see some characteristics of each one:

  • the emblematic Luis I bridge has a spectacular arch,

  • the Arrábida bridge used to be the longest reinforced bridge in the world,

  • the Infante D. Henrique bridge is one of the most stylish bridges of its type,

  • the Maria Pia bridge is Gustavo Eiffel’s first triumph

  • the São João bridge has a span of 250m which is a new world record among bridges in “portico”

  • the Freixo “double” bridge is today the busiest one in Porto

Porto beats its eternal rival Lisbon for its bridges

 

Arch bridge in Porto Portugal

When the Arrábida Bridge was finished in 1963, it was the longest concrete arch bridge in the world. Nowadays it no longer holds that record, but its 885-foot arch is still one of the world’s largest, and at the same time is the only structure of its kind in Europe open to the public.

Only a few bridges from Australia and New Zealand offer a similar experience.

Here in Porto travelers are in a harness that is connected to a cable. That cable runs all the length of the bridge’s arch. So, the visitors that want to try this experience of climbing the bridge will be led by a guide up the stairs along the arch and will have a handrail they can hold on to all along the way.

Ponte da Arrábida. Porto, Portugal

Photo: Ponte da Arrábida. Porto, Portugal. António Amen. Adapted under license (CC BY-SA 3.0)

ABOUT PONTE DA ARRABIDA

Along with a guide and all the safety equipment, even if you are afraid of heights, you will be able to climb one of the most iconic bridges in Porto. Besides, when getting at the top of the bridge, which is 65 meters above the Douro River, you will enjoy the unique views. After that, you can descent the 262 steps that reveal you the size and the elegance of this magnificent monument.

Porto Bridge Climb provides its visitors a unique view of this iconic bridge and a one-of-a-kind experience in Europe. So, wearing a harness, you walk up the arch of the Arrabida bridge to its peak and up there you will find a few cultural and historic facts, and of course a little taste of the city of Porto.

Walk up to the arch of a national Portuguese monument

 

The Arrabida bridge is one of the most powerful – if not the most powerful – symbol of Porto and probably the one that best symbolize this city in Portugal and worldwide. This construction was classified as a Portuguese National Monument in 2013 and it is a World Heritage in the most noble sense of the word.

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If you like alternative experiences and you want to do something that you will remember for a lifetime, try this activity that is unique in Europe!

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