They are made of stone and with several arches, the two bridges that connect the historic centers of these two locations in the Alto Minho region - Ponte da Barca and Ponte de Lima. Joining them is a 17 km long greenway that allows you to cycle in full harmony with the scenic surroundings along the Lima River banks.
Lima River Greenway, between Ponte da Barca and Ponte de Lima.
Like Minho River Greenway, cycling next to Lima River takes us to another dimension of scenic surroundings. Green tree species interspersed with outdoor agricultural production areas create cool and moist environments conducive to pedaling in slow travel mode.
There are 17 kilometers of trails flanking the south bank of this Iberian river. The pavements vary between asphalt, earth, thick pavement and even water. Yes, there is a small section with 20 meters that forces you to take off your sneakers and get your feet wet (of course there is an alternative, taking a little inside turn).
Flooded path, but still possible to cross on foot or even cycling.
The tour between these two villages begins and ends just below the first arch, on the south side, of each of these century-old bridges. In a very short time, we quickly left the urban grid of Ponte da Barca and went downstream.
Mostly taking advantage of the agricultural service roads, the entire ecovia (portuguese work for greenway) always follows along the banks of the river, with just a couple of points deviating slightly inland.
In between there are two small cafes where you can refresh your throat. Still, given the possibility of both being closed, it is advisable to carry enough water and food for this short ride.
Lima River Greenway exiting Ponte da Barca.
The route is all made with gentle slopes, except for a couple of situations, crossing small brooks.
Ponte da Barca's bridge
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Lima River Greenwaye
From Ponte da Barca to Ponte de Lima
" Although the greenway continues almost to Viana do Castelo, this is undoubtedly the most beautiful section"
There are several surprises along the way, of which a small stream stands out, with dams whose strength of water fed the mills of the recently recovered mill.
Although the greenway continues almost to Viana do Castelo, this is undoubtedly the most beautiful section and the paths in the best condition.
Arriving to Ponte de Lima
The whole route is so smooth and fresh, that even during pregnancy it can be covered. Provided that in moderation, low speed to avoid falls and there is no medical contraindication for this, of course.
6 and a half months pregnant on the Lima River Greenway.
This greenway section is already included in the National Cycling Tourism Network, being an integral part of Ecovia 5.
Ponte de Lima
Location of the Lima River Greenway in the National Cycle Touring Network
You can purchase the Road Book 2020 from the National Cycling Tourism Network, with this and other routes, here »
You can donate for the crowdfunding campaign here »
* Text and photos by Paulo Guerra dos Santos