Ilha dos Amores


The Island of Love, also known as Castle Island is a small island located in the Douro river, near the mouth of the river Paiva formed essentially by the granite massif of Montemuro. Once this site was linked to the right bank of the river Paiva, until the construction of Crestuma-Lever dam on the Douro river, in 1985, that brought up the river level. Until then, this little isle was accessible by land, having even a major festivity at this location since the eighteenth century: the São Miguel fair. On the island can also be seen traces of ancient chapel structures, dating from the fifteenth century. This island in the middle of the Douro has an excellent landscape position, being the Catapeixe viewpoint a privileged site to observe this landscape.

Natural Patrimony

The Island of Love is part of a unique landscape, among the longest river in the Iberian Peninsula, the Douro, and one of the cleanest and wildest: the river Paiva. This beautiful landscape hides a great biological diversity. With markedly atlantic influence, here we can observe many species of portuguese native flora, as the beautiful pedunculate oak, abundant in the most humid areas of Portugal, and the cork oak, enigmatic tree that dominates the slopes of the Douro. By the water, black alder, ash, lote tree or royal fern beautify the river side galleries. We can also find the beautiful three bird toadflax, endemic plant of the Iberian Peninsula of great beauty, with its cone-shaped flowers. This form of the flower is part of a plant strategy. Being the place where it stores nectar, it’s a lure to attract different pollinators such as butterflies or bees. In terms of fauna, along these hills, we can also observe several species of invertebrates such as the emperor dragonfly, as well as vertebrates that quietly roam the landscape, like the fire salamander or the iberian emerald lizard.


Castelo de Paiva

Technical information

  • Level of Dificulty Low
  • Type of Route Linear
  • Access Car/Pedestrian