Tâmega Ecopista: cycling between Amarante and Arco de Baúlhe

Ecopista do Tâmega.
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The Tâmega Ecopista (Ecopista do Tâmega) is a cycle path between Amarante and Arco de Baúlhe, located in the North of Portugal.

The route spans 39 km and offers diverse landscapes, including forests and agricultural fields, while also providing the company of the Tâmega River.

Overall, it combines sections of paved cycle paths and dirt roads, passing through stations adorned with typical Portuguese tiles, small train stations, bridges, and even a 150-meter tunnel.

So, are you ready to join us on this biking or walking journey?

Tâmega Ecopista

Ponte de Matamá, em Celorico de Basto.
Matamá bridge, in Celorico de Basto.

The Tâmega Ecopista stretches for 39 km and can be explored either by bike or on foot.

If you choose to cycle, you can complete the entire route in a single day, but if you prefer walking, it’s better to split the trail over two days (there are accommodation tips ahead).

You can start the ecopista from any convenient point, but it’s a good idea to begin at one of the ends since it’s a linear route.

This means you’ll need to plan to travel the route back and forth.

Direction Amarante – Arco de Baúlhe

Pormenor do azulejo na estação de comboios.
Detail of the tile at the train station.

So, if you choose to start the Tâmega Eco-Trail in Amarante, the first point of interest on your list is the Gatão Tunnel, which is 150 meters long.

Next is the Gatão Train Station where you can admire the greenish tiles of the old building from the outside.

Then, you will pass by the Santa Natália Bridge and the Chapa Train Station, which is quite deteriorated.

In fact, some stations and stops are abandoned, so you should be careful if you decide to visit.

After Chapa, you will enter a section with dirt roads, but don’t let that discourage you, as the challenge is also part of the experience.

You will then come across the Carvalhas Bridge, the Codeçoso Station, and the Barreirinho Bridge before leaving the dirt road behind.

On a more comfortable surface, you will pass by the Lourido Stop, and until you reach the Celorico de Basto Station, you will have to pedal (or walk) quite a bit.

Arrival in Celorico de Basto

Castelo de Arnoia.
Arnoia castle.

This point on the ecopista is excellent for making some detours if you wish.

Our suggestion is to go explore the Arnoia Castle and the Villa de Basto, which was the first seat of the municipality.

Back on the ecopista, you will come across the Britelo train station and two more bridges, the Caniço Bridge and the Matamá Bridge, the latter offering a view of Monte Farinha, with Mondim de Basto at its feet.

Although the facade of the station reads Mondim de Basto, the old railway station is actually located in Veade, which belongs to Celorico de Basto.

Visit to Mondim de Basto

Santuário de Nossa Senhora da Graça.
Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora da Graça.

If you haven’t yet explored this Transmontanan village, here’s an excellent opportunity to do so.

The historic center is beautiful and features a pleasant green area, especially on hot summer days.

You may have also heard about the Fisgas de Ermelo (18 km away) and the Alvão Natural Park, but our suggestion is to dedicate a full day to cycling the Route of the Viewpoints in Mondim.

You’ll thank us for this tip, believe us!

Arrival to Arco de Baúlhe

Restaurant "O Paço", in Arco de Baúlhe.
Restaurant “O Paço”, in Arco de Baúlhe.
Ecopista do Tâmega.
Tâmega Trail.

After leaving the Mondim de Basto/Veade station, you’ll pass by the Padrelo Apeadeiro, the Canedo Station, and the Vila Nune Apeadeiro before arriving at Arco de Baúlhe.

In fact, arriving at the Arco de Baúlhe Station holds a surprise, as the station has been restored and looks very beautiful.

So, if you prefer to do the Tâmega Ecopista in the opposite direction to what we suggested, this will be your starting point for your adventure.

What to see along the Tâmega Ecopista

Vista da Ecopista de Amarante, com o Monte Farinha.
View of the Amarante Ecopista, with Monte Farinha.

We’ve already talked about the forest landscapes, agricultural fields, Gatão tunnel, bridges, stations, and stops that you can admire along the ecopista.

However, we think it’s important to highlight other points of interest.

Therefore, we suggest visiting the Interpretive Center at Celorico de Basto Station and the Railway Museum in Arco de Baúlhe.

Additionally, you will certainly enjoy visiting the city of Amarante and Celorico de Basto, Mondim de Basto (with a small detour), Cabeceiras de Basto, and Arcos de Baúlhe.

Another interesting suggestion is to take the Route of the Romanesque, as in the municipality of Celorico de Basto, you can visit the Church of Santa Maria de Veade, the Church of Salvador de Ribas, the Church of Salvador de Fervença, in addition to the aforementioned Arnoia Castle.

The Linha do Tâmega

Ecopista do Tâmega.
Tâmega Ecopista, former Tâmega Railway Line (before the renovations).
Estação de comboios de Mondim de Basto (depois das obras de requalificação).
Train Station (after the refurbishment works).

The Tâmega Line was a railway line that connected Livração (Marco de Canaveses) to Arco de Baúlhe (Cabeceiras de Basto).

It was known as the Tâmega Valley Railway, but also as the Tâmega Valley Line.

After being closed for several years, it was transformed into a cycle path. So nowadays, instead of traveling the route by train, we can do it by bike or on foot.

In short, it’s an excellent way to explore the region.

Where to Stay Along the Tâmega Ecopista

Tamega Ecopista with kids.
Tamega Ecopista with kids.

In terms of accommodation, you have several options for all types of travelers along the Tâmega Ecopista. You can choose boutique hotels, rural tourism accommodations, and small local lodgings.

My suggestion is to stay at the Agua Hotels Mondim de Basto (4 stars) or at the Flag Hotel Celorico Palace, as both hotels are located roughly halfway along the route. Additionally, they are modern hotels, and you will appreciate the comfort after cycling on the ecopista.

However, if you prefer to stay in Amarante, Cabeceiras, or Arco de Baúlhe, I suggest checking prices and availability below.

Hotels in Amarante | Hotels in Cabeceiras de Basto | Hotels in Arco de Baúlhe

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