It takes about 10 minutes to cross if you’re taking in the panoramic views of the waterfall, the gorge, and the fast-moving river seen through the open grid beneath your feet.
Four if you’re saying your prayers and making a dash for it.
The world’s longest pedestrian suspension bridge opens in Portugal this fall and, if you’re not in one of the countries currently able to travel there yet, that just gives you more time to build up your nerve.
Arouca 516—because it’s 516 meters long and is in the town of Arouca, an hour south of Porto—will connect Aguieiras Waterfall and Paiva Gorge and is the latest adventure offering in the Arouca Geopark, known for its extreme sports.
It’s a Tibetan-style hanging bridge, held up by steel cables and two huge V-shaped towers, and is 1,692 in feet, if that makes it feel any more manageable (no, me either).
The River Paiva flows 576 feet below the pathway’s three-foot-wide open metal grid.
The railings are rigid netting, while the deck is constructed of 127 four-meter long modules.
Designed by Portuguese studio Itecons, it took three years to build, with construction completed in July 2020.
It’s in the eastern part of the Geopark, close to Paiva Walkways, Areinho and Vau river beaches, and the villages of Alvarenga, Canelas, and Espiunca.
“This bridge aims at targeting the interest of different types of people: engineering lovers, nature connoisseurs, people who are fond of extreme experiences,” said the local council, Arouca Municipality, in a statement.
Arouca 516 has stolen the longest pedestrian suspension bridge title from the Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge in Switzerland, which spans 1,621 feet and opened in 2017. That bridge boasts views of the Matterhorn, Weisshorn, and Bernese Alps.
The longest pedestrian suspension bridge in the United States is the SkyBridge in Gatlinburg, Tennessee, which stretches 680 feet across a valley in the Great Smoky Mountains.
It opened in May 2019, but was shut down briefly in June this year after a reckless visitor tried a baseball-style slide across the glass panels, cracking the floor.
If height impresses you more than length, the world’s tallest glass-bottomed suspension bridge is Zhangjiajie Glass Bridge in China, which allows visitors to bungee jump off its 853-foot-high platform.
An opening date hasn’t been announced yet, nor ticket prices. Seems the local council is still keeping us … in suspense.