"I was a little afraid, but it was so worth it," said one of the first people to walk across the bridge

April 30, 2021 04:38 PM
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pedestrian suspension bridge
Credit: Octavio Passos/Getty

This new destination isn't for the faint of heart. 

On Monday, the world's largest pedestrian suspension bridge is set to open in Portugal, offering adventure-seeking visitors unique views of a surrounding waterfall, gorge and river.  

The 516 Arouca bridge gets its name from its length — it's about 1,693 feet long, or 516 meters — and is located 576 feet above the Paiva River.  

According to CNN, it takes about 10 minutes to walk the entire length of the bridge, which is held up by steel cables and also features a see-through metal grid walkway, allowing guests to really take in all of their surroundings. 

Ahead of the official inauguration ceremony on Sunday, local Arouca residents got a chance to cross the bridge on Thursday. 

"I was a little afraid, but it was so worth it," said Hugo Xavier, one of the first to walk across the bridge, according to Reuters. "It was extraordinary, a unique experience, an adrenaline rush."

The bridge will be open to everybody over the age of 6, with all visitors being accompanied by guides.  

pedestrian suspension bridge
Credit: Octavio Passos/Getty
pedestrian suspension bridge
Credit: CARLOS COSTA/AFP via Getty

Local officials and residents hope the new bridge will bring an influx of visitors to the area as soon as travel is widely permitted again.  

"It is a breath of fresh air for our land because it will attract more investment, more people," a tour guide told Reuters.  

On Saturday, the majority of Portugal will be moving into the final stage of COVID-19 lockdown, according to Portugal News.

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pedestrian suspension bridge
Credit: CARLOS COSTA/AFP via Getty
pedestrian suspension bridge
Credit: CARLOS COSTA/AFP via Getty

The previous record-holder for the world's longest pedestrian suspension bridge is Switzerland's Charles Kuonen Suspension Bridge, according to CNN. Opening in 2017, the 1,621-foot-long bridge offers breathtaking views of the Alps.

Meanwhile, the United States' longest pedestrian suspension bridge is located in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. It comes in at just 680 feet.