1 – Where to start the course:
The walkways start at Gaia, but not at the mouth of the Douro River: its beginning is at Afurada beach. Since I wanted to take the route to Espinho and return to Gaia by train, I opted to leave the car parked next to Gaia Devesas station and took a taxi to Afurada beach, where I started the route.
2 – Conditions of walkways and what to take:
The footbridges are in good conditions and have few differences, so that can be covered even by those who move in a wheelchair. The physical effort is minimal, which makes the tour very enjoyable. Near Espinho, some sections of the way are not wood, but they are in great condition, allowing you to walk without any difficulty.
To make the walkways, you can choose to take a backpack with food and drinks, or stop at the many cafes and restaurants you will find along the way.
3 – Points to note:
The footbridges allow you to walk on the dunes without damaging the ecosystem and enjoy the typical plants of this ecosystem, such as the sugar cane, the thistle, the dune urchin and many others.
One of the most beautiful places to visit on this walk is the Senhor da Pedra Chapel, located in Miramar. This chapel stands on the cliffs and was built in 1686, having been refurbished over time, because during autumn / winter it is struck by sea waves, which makes repairs inevitable. The walkways pass very close to the chapel, just walk a short stretch of sand.
The Senhor da Pedra beach is among the 10 most beautiful beaches in Europe, with an extensive beach and blue flag.
4 – The return to Gaia:
If you wish, you can have dinner and overnight in Espinho, in one of the many accommodation that exists there, for the most varied prices. I opted to stay at the Youth Hostel, which was not the best choice. Although it has good conditions and prices, it is quite far from the Espinho’s center and the train station, which forced me to ride a taxi from one place to another. It is preferable to choose an accommodation in the city center, to avoid wasting time and money. The train trip between Espinho and Vila Nova de Gaia is very convenient, cheap and beautiful, as it is almost always by the sea. It’s the perfect end to a great tour!