Ponte de Paço de Mato


The Paço de Mato bridge or Fontinha bridge serves an ancient path that connected Paço de Mato village to Viadal village. It is a rude, irregular granite masonry apparatus with one round single arch. Its construction dates back to the XVII/XVIII century, and uses as foundations the cliffs that line the river; the horizontal tray has a stone pavement, as well as accesses descending the steep slopes to the bridge. Alongside this, there is the ruin of an oldgranite watermill with slate roof well integrated in the mountain landscape. The Caima, a tributary river of Vouga which rises in Freita mountain, runs here in granite and with the constant flow of water, softened the landscape and shaped the rocks. Here, numerous giant kettles were dug in the riverbed by swirling pebbles that, in winter, gain the strength to create such beautiful sculptures.

Natural Patrimony

At the bridge of Paço de Mato we are just a few kilometers from Frecha da Mizarela, where a single oleander still survives as a relic of the tertiary forests that once covered the region. Here, the river Caima runs impetuous in winter and mild in the summer, always accompanied in its course by the white-throated dipper and the great tit. By the river grows the primrose, the three bird toadflax and the columbine, showing the soil fertility. The frades (parasol), big delicious mushrooms grow handsomely along the way and iberian frogs jiggle around near the river where they were born. The majestic stag beetle, protected in Europe, lives here in the trunks of the old oaks, symbolizing harmony and maturity of these ecosystems.

Cultural Patrimony

The path that leads to Viadal village is rural and old and allows us, for a little over 1 km, to take a trip in time, when oxcarts and daily farmers attended these tracks in their constant toil. The access path that goes downhill from Paço de Mato retains large sections of cobblestone pavement, proof of its frequent use in the past. Next to the new bridge over the Caima, there is now a leisure park.


Macieira de Cambra, Felgueira

Technical information

  • Level of Dificulty Medium
  • Type of Route Wavy
  • Access Pedestrian