Passadiços Do Mondego – A New Getaway in the Interior of Portugal

Written By Araci Almeida

On November 6, 2022, the Mondego walkways opened. This is a pedestrian path located in the district of Guarda, made along almost 12 km, in flat wooden walkways or stairways, sometimes taking advantage of old existing routes. 

Although they are not the first of their kind, they already compete to be one of the most beautiful in the country since they are also located in the famous Serra da Estrela Geopark recognized by UNESCO.

The walk happens along the Mondego River and two of its affluents, the Barrocal stream, and the Caldeirão River. The walkway has reused an old bridge (Ribas Bridge) as well as built three more suspension bridges where, along the way, visitors will find stunning scenery, such as the Caldeirão Waterfall, where the water that falls into its abyss turns the rocks into shades of pink.

Mondego Walkways: Where to start?

The tour can begin either in Videmonte or at the Caldeirão Dam, where you will find the famous 50-meter-long pink waterfall. You can also start at the entrance of Vila Soeiro for those who don’t want to do the entire tour. Although it’s up to the visitor to choose where to start, the recommendation is to start at the Dam and go all the way to Videmonte.

Where to stop for a drink

Many hikers stop to take a break and catch their breath at Pintos Bar, where the owner, Pedro Pinto, is increasingly busy with visitors. A promising sign of prosperity for both the local economy and the diversity of leisure activities for the tourist.

What to expect from the visit

A picture of the wooden stairs at Passadicos de Mondego. Photo provided by Guarda City Hal

Visitors can see old mills, wool and electricity production factories during the route. After leaving an entire zigzagging wood trail, all these ruins of old factories come into view, a testament to the connection of that land, Vila Soeiro, to the textile industry.

From this point, the smoother ride allows for a panoramic view where the visitor can appreciate the mountain slopes filled with various colors, where trees such as alder, ash, and willow stand out while watching the watercourse of the Mondego River. 

At the end of the trail and upon arriving at the village of Videmonte, one can witness why this village is known for its famous bread since it is one of the localities in the district of Guarda with a more active community and private ovens.

Passadiços do Mondego: Points of Interest

Along the way, you can see natural landscapes, such as the caldeirão reservoir, located northeast of the national park of Serra da Estrela. It was built at the end of the 1980s and finished in 1993. This construction allowed the water supply to the city of Guarda as well as the production of electricity. 

The Mizarela bridge over the Mondego River is also another point. A granite structure with Roman origins was rebuilt in the 18th century, linking several villages and a pathway traveled for centuries.

Buying tickets and recommendations 

Buying tickets online in advance is recommended, as you may not be able to enter because of overbooking. The ticket costs one euro and is free for children under twelve. 

Take your ticket with you and keep it until the end of your visit. Do not take animals with you, as they will not be able to enter the wooden walkways (perhaps the only drawback of the visit).

The Mondego River walkways promise to leave you in awe and give you memories of a natural sanctuary you will treasure for life. Book your visit now and go discover this enchanted part of Portugal.

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