These walking and cycling routes are intended to bring people closer to the rivers and vice versa, telling their stories, working to protect them and recognising their importance to Guimarães. These routes also aim to enhance the existing fauna and flora, raising public awareness of the natural wealth that the riparian gallery contains, enabling people to admire, appreciate and protect the natural heritage of cultural and landscape interest.

29km (Ave Ecovia) - 22 km (Selho Ecovia) - 10km (Vizela Ecovia) - 61 km (total) - 27 Parishes and Parish Associations

Ave Ecovia

The proposal for the Ave Ecovia arose not only to bring man and nature closer together, but also to protect, conserve and recover it. In the proposal, landscape heritage has been highlighted, such as tree groups of native species, rocky areas and wetlands in which it is possible to find significant concentrations of biodiversity values on a regional scale. Also along the route, several paths of heritage value and paths associated with the preservation of assets with heritage value (such as the Caminho Real) are an integral part of the Ecovia.

The intervention near the water line aims to minimise the impact on the existing vegetation and the natural shaping of the terrain, taking advantage of the tree species observed and the presence of water, which is undoubtedly one of the most important elements of the site. The proposal aims to protect and restore the riparian gallery, but also to respond to the needs of those who frequent the trail.

Selho Ecovia

Between rural and urban areas, runs one of the tributaries of the Ave, the river Selho. The urban landscape downstream of this affluent is gradually diluted in the green of the extensive agricultural areas and native forests towards its source. This shy river which surrounds valleys and plains shelters in its banks a landscape wealth impossible to equal. What had slumbered during the winter awakens to a busy spring, where one can glimpse one of the most beautiful landscape units of the city of Guimarães.

Through these and other factors emerges Ecovia do Selho, a route along the banks of the river Selho, which is presented as a complementary project to Ecovia do Ave. This route will enable not only the connection of these two great routes, which embrace the entire municipality of Guimarães, but also the admiration, appreciation and protection of the natural heritage of cultural and landscape interest. Estimating the existing fauna and flora, making the population aware of the natural wealth that the riparian gallery contains.

Vizela’s Ecovia

It is on the right bank of the river Vizela, in the parishes of Lordelo, Moreira de Cónegos and the Union of Parishes of Serzedo and Calvos, that appears the Vizela’s Ecovia. The industrial landscape has a great presence next to this water line. The construction of factories next to the river Vizela, occurred mainly from the 70’s and 80’s of the XX century, bringing also with it the agglomeration of housing constructions next to these structures, mainly for the emerging working class. From this period onwards, the rapid growth of constructions and the poor infrastructure of the territory had consequences on the environmental quality, resulting mainly in the pollution of the river, the degradation of the landscape and habitats.

After mapping studies, documentation and field surveys, a proposal resulted that intends to define a guiding strategy for the transformation of the riverside landscape of the Vizela River, becoming an opportunity to intervene in the relations of the populations with this ecosystem. The aim is to create a sustainable path in its management, supported by environmental valorisation and the protection of ecosystems, while at the same time promoting nature walks and other activities that can be carried out in this context.

Enhancing the natural, cultural and historical heritage

The Ecovia is born

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