Barca de Alva – In the border
This small and in-distinctive village is located where the Águeda river meets Douro. It signals the place where Douro river starts to be only Portuguese.
It is the most remote point of the cruises starting in Porto or coming from Spain.
The railway is a remarkable work of engineering, in its connection with Spanish Fregeneda. It is also a clear image of the progressively abandoned interior of the country.
Everything here, stepping out of the river, is unbeaten path. Some active people are starting to use the abandoned railroad to a walk, in a wild and precious landscape.
Starting in Spanish Fregeneda (483 m high, against the 150 m high of Barca d’Alva) 17 km of extension, with a succession of 6 tunnels and bridges, provide a difficult ride, but with breathless sights.
Some ruined points must be carefully crossed, increasing the adventure feeling.
Not so promoted as the landscape a few kilometers down the river, the Douro river from Barca d’Alva to (at least) Freixo de Espada à Cinta still shows its beauty, alternating cultivated margins with wild landscape, where a wild fauna may be seen.