Linha do Vouga


In Paradela is one of the Vouga railway stations, now closed but one of the main historical references of the region. The railway of the Vouga Valley, better known as Vouga railway and the nicknamed railway of the Valley of Turns, in allusion to its winding route, was a railway line linking the main Northern line to the line of Dão, over a distance of 140 km. It began to be planned in 1877 in order to drain the abundant agricultural production from the Vouga valley to Oporto, and was finally inaugurated on February 5, 1914, establishing the long-awaited rail link between the cities of Espinho and Viseu. The first compositions that served in the Vouga railway were steam locomotives with wagons and wooden carriages. Later, the line was served by railcars, a situation that remained until its deactivation in 1990 (between Sernada do Vouga and Viseu). It remains in memory as one of the most beautiful railway lines in Portugal, up from the coast to the mountains on a tour of curves, tunnels and bridges, cutting valleys and hills of lush green on its rise.

Natural Patrimony

This section of the Vouga railway, now converted into an Eco trail crosses between the place of Foz and Paradela, Site of Community Importance (SCI) of the Vouga river and therefore a place of excellence for observing the river’s biodiversity. Well next to the bridge of Poço de Santiago, especial mention to migratory fish such as allis shad, twait shad, sea lamprey and eel; on the slopes along the Vouga are frequent the bay laurel and the strawberry tree, also appearing the laurestine and the cork oak, forming a procession of thermophilic trees with persistent leaves accompanying the Vouga valley. In these forests, we can easily observe squirrels and woodpeckers. Under the larger stones can sometimes find curious common midwife toad and in the Vouga valley’s skies, the common buzzard is a constant presence. Along the river, the marsh fritillary butterfly is very abundant.

Historical Patrimony

The Eco trail of the Vouga Valley is a bike path that follows the old route of the Vouga line; starting in place of Foz, the Eco trail has more than 10 km, following always parallel to the river Vouga and EN16 road. Passes the building of the old station of Paradela (now recovered and transformed into an eco-caffee and serving the track users), and continues until the county boundary with Oliveira de Frades, in Fontelas village. This bike path crosses on his way, 5 tunnels and the majestic bridge of Poço de Santiago.


Technical information

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