Ilha dos Amores - Castelo de Paiva

The Douro River in Castelo de Paiva

The Douro, which starts in Spain at more than 2000 meters of altitude, is the third largest river in the Iberian Peninsula and runs 850 km to its mouth in Portugal, between the cities of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia. It played a very important role in the local economy, having been one of its main means of communication.

Despite the fact that, in the past, the Douro was a dangerous river and very difficult to navigate, where only rabelo boats were able to circulate to transport the barrels of Port wine, after the construction of several dams it became more navigable, with greater flow, which allowed the proliferation of cruises and tourist trips.

Owner of a unique and breathtaking landscape, the High Douro wine region was considered by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, in the category of cultural landscape.

Located at the north end of Castelo de Paiva, the Douro River is part of the county’s history and bathes some of its greatest natural attractions.

The Douro river in Castelo de Paiva:
(ordered by the proximity to Cimo da Vinha)

Island of Loves and Castelo beach

Distance to Cimo da Vinha: 12 km

All year (Summer is more inviting to dives)

Ilha dos Amores - Castelo de Paiva
© photo by Litoral Magazine

Located at the mouth of Paiva river and shrouded in legends of tunnels and nobles, the Island of Loves is one of the nature ex libris of the region. A small desert island in the middle of Douro where the isolation made the native vegetation remain almost intact with imposing and old pines, oaks, olive trees, ash, alders, reeds and tamarisks. Visit it by kayak and boat or contemplate it from the Castelo beach and dock where you can also relax on the beach or on the terrace.

Gondarém and Midões schist villages

Distance to Cimo da Vinha: A 13 km | B 14 km

All year

aldeia de xisto de Midões - Castelo de Paiva
Midões © photo by Montanhas Mágicas

Two of the most beautiful and oldest villages on the Douro riverside, in Castelo de Paiva. A) Gondarém has a more rustic display, in the middle of the woods, where old schist houses and fields that accompany the forest, parade along the river bank. Right by its side, B) Midões has a breathtaking view with immense “hanged vineyard” and a bucolic dock in the Douro with several old houses and properties, that go up the village.

Boure Dock and Sardoura River

Distance to Cimo da Vinha: 14 km

All year

Parque do Gramão- Castelo de Paiva
Gramão Park © photo by Rota do Românico

Next to the Entre-os-Rios bridge in Sardoura, this recently revitalized pier has an almost infinite view of the Douro and Tâmega rivers. Right next to it you can also visit the gold-plated bronze Angel. A 12 meters high statue which was created in honor of the victims of the fall of the Hintze Ribeiro bridge. Also to the side, get to know the mouth of the Sardoura river, where the local board with the support of volunteers created an access to the small beach of Gramão Park. Finally, enjoy and cross to the other side of the Douro and visit the historic area of ​​Entre-os-Rios, already in Penafiel, and delight yourself with the famous local restaurants.

Choupal Beach and Arda River

Distance to Cimo da Vinha: 17 km

All year (Summer is more inviting to dives)

Praia do Choupal - Castelo de Paiva
© photo by Câmara Municipal de Castelo de Paiva

At the mouth of the Arda river, in the shade of imposing poplar trees, the vast beach invites you to sunbathe and take a dip in the Douro. A fresh and inviting leisure area, in harmony with nature, it is also known for having traditional restaurants serving delicacies all day long with a view of the Arda river and of the old 1893 locomotive bridge from the Pejão coal mines. Recently, with the construction of the trail Living the Douro, the location was equipped with a new bar / terrace just above the river. For a stunning photo of the Douro, explore the surroundings and make a shot from the top of the hill of S. Domingos or the church of Raiva.

foto de capa © RotaDoDouro.pt