SWINGING IN PORTUGAL
Apologies if you thought this was going to be a post about exchanging of spouses for sex. The title may be slightly misleading. Although hubby can annoy me at times I’m not at the stage where I want to swap him or take him back for a refund, not just yet anyway (ha ha). You may have seen the new trend on Instagram of all the picturesque Swings located in idyllic locations which are such a magnet for tourists. Here in Portugal they are called “Baloiços” and us being adventurers and young at heart (basically childish), we love them. Baloiços are popping up everywhere and they are always set in such beautiful locations with tranquil sweeping panoramic views of the mountains and oceans. Often they are situated at a Miradouro (Viewpoint) so a perfect place to spend time out from day to day stresses and enjoy nature. Some are more famous and well known than others like the Swings in Lousã but I love to find the hidden gems and quirky Swings off the beaten track with very few tourists.
I’ve decided to start a post with a list and photos of all the Swings we have visited. Don’t expect Instagram model poses with flowing dresses and beautiful hats. We often stumble across the swings whilst paddle boarding or hiking. Most photos will likely be make-up free, messy windswept hair and surf shorts. Also how does anyone obtain a nice photo whilst swinging through the air? The expression on my face often portrays that I need to take a poop or that I am the other way and severely constipated (ha ha). Occasionally it’s a bit awkward when we visit a Swing and there are families there with small children. Swings are often portrayed for childhood fun and not for adults. So we rock up two nearly 50 year old adults with no children in toe and have to overcome the mild embarrassment of wanting a go. To be honest, I don’t actually care as no one knows me here so I can do what I want. You only live once and who knows how long we have left on this planet so go and enjoy yourself and make some lasting memories with the ones you love.
Who doesn’t love a swing? There is something so special and therapeutic about feeling weightlessness and gliding through the air with the sun and wind in my face. My mood instantly changes to pure joy and the experience takes me right back to my childhood as a small child swinging back and forth on an old rickety Swing in my grandmother’s overgrown back garden and jumping off high into the sky trying to reach a fluffy marshmallow cloud.
If you haven’t tried out a swing as an adult I highly recommend it. It’s so much FUN say us, the oldest Swingers in town!
I will regularly add locations and photos to this post
Baloiço do Bestança (Canhão de Pias, Cinfães)
GPS Coordinates: 41°04’40.2″N 8°04’16.6″W
My absolute favourite Swing so far has to be Baloiço do Bestança. The Swing is located in the river so you need to swim or wade across the water to reach it. It is located in a little oasis paradise with rock pools and waterfalls and it’s just pure heaven. We visited it on our way to a deserted Love Island.
Oasis of tranquillity
Not just a Swing! If you love nature, peace, calm and wild swimming then this is the place for you. We even saw some wild pigs on the descend down to the water.
Baloiço Trevim (Lousã)
GPS Coordinates: 40°04’38.3″N 8°11’30.4″W
One of the more famous Swings in Lousã. Spectacular views and very windy!
Baloiço da Portela (Vila Cova de Alva)
GPS Coordinates: 40°17’02.4″N 7°57’04.2″W
One of our local Swings just 5 minutes from our casa.
Zona de Lazer “Valeiro do Barco” (Sarzedo, Arganil)
GPS Coordinates: 40°14’22.6″N 8°04’00.8″W
Located at one of our local river beaches. A new addition for 2021 and much appreciated by all Swingers!
Miradouro do Santuário de São Cristovão (Mogadouro)
GPS Coordinates: 41°18’57.1″N 6°44’06.3″W
We found this place whilst on our 2 day road trip to the Douro International Natural Park, one word – WOW!
This place was so very beautiful, not only does it have 3 spectacular scenic Swings but a quaint chapel and epic Viewpoint!
Miradouro do Penedo Durão (Poiares near Freixo de Espada à Cinta)
GPS Coordinates: 41°02’49.0″N 6°49’07.1″W
Wow, what another fantastic harmonious viewpoint! Not just a Swing but a stunning Viewpoint with a large picnic area, monuments and even a seesaw! This viewpoint is a true paradise for bird watching lovers as there are so many birds of prey nestled on the cliff tops and soaring high up amongst the fluffy white clouds. What a phenomenal place! You can see 2 countries from this viewpoint both Portugal and Spain. It was really cool to see the Spanish Saucelle Dam and the Spanish river Huebra which meets the Douro. There are such wonderful views over the Douro canyon and the light catching the schist mountains is so enchanting. We had so much fun acting like children here on the Swing flying high with the Douro river at our feet. The seesaw was an added bonus, Teanna and I laughed so much we nearly wet our panties! Guess what? We had the whole place to ourselves, again. Such perfect privacy to enjoy such a haven of nature.
I LOVE Pateira (Located at Pateira de Fermentelos in Óis da Ribeira)
GPS Coordinates: 40°34’33.4″N 8°30’43.7″W
If you visit the amazing Pateira Lagoon then make sure you travel to the Óis da Ribeira side to visit the Swing and Pateira sign. There is also a cute Lagoon bar over the pretty wooden bridge.
The Lagoon bar also has a cute swing!
Baloiço Isto é Timor (Lagoa da Vela – Located in Bom Sucesso)
GPS Coordinates: 40°16’20.5″N 8°47’20.8″W
If you visit this lagoon then make sure you travel to the opposite “Timor” side to view the Swing. It is small but very pretty.
São Pedro do Sul
GPS Coordinates: 40°47’40.7″N 8°13’27.4″W
En route to a couple of epic waterfalls we stumbled across this swing so had to stop and have a go.
Cabeça Aldeia Natal – Christmas 2021
GPS Coordinates: 40°19’09.0″N 7°44’08.4″W
We had so much fun at Cabeça Christmas village.
Castro Daire – Baloiço do Cavaleiro (Knights Swing) & Coração da Pombeira (Heart)
GPS Coordinates: 40°55’42.4″N 7°56’07.9″W
OMG this place was awesome. We visited after a local hike and timed it just right as we got to see a sensational Portuguese sunset.
Baloiço da Sortelha
GPS: 40°19’47.0″N 7°12’54.5″W
Baloiço de Penalobo – (Penalobo, Sabugal)
GPS: 40°23’45.5″N 7°12’10.4″W
WOW! This place was AWESOME and as usual we had the whole place to ourselves.
Return Visit with my Gorgeous Daughter Teanna
Miradouro e Baloiço da Amizade (Peso, Tortosendo, Covilhã)
GPS: 40°13’35.6″N 7°33’28.2″W
Another stunning spot all to ourselves surrounded by wild Lavender, the aroma was beautiful!
Miradouro da Portela (Vila Cova de Alva, Arganil)
GPS: 40°17’03.0″N 7°57’04.1″W
Our local Swing in Vila Cova de Alva has had a revamp with new picnic area and a window frame because this beautiful view deserves to be framed!
Baloiço de Soure Alfarelos – (Alfarelos)
GPS: 40°08’47.8″N 8°40’05.1″W
We visited Castelo de Montemor-O-Velho and made a pit stop at this local scenic swing. Our first circular swing of Portugal and we had a lot of fun trying to swing back and forth. Hubby enjoyed twirling around like a princess (ha ha).
Moldes Baloiço (Moldes, Arouca)
This scenic swing and picnic park is part of the PR3 ARC hiking trail. We enjoyed our picnic lunch here. Magical breathtaking views.
Baloiço da serra da Arada (São Pedro do Sul)
GPS: 40.832375, -8.120305
This scenic swing was not on my original Itinerary but be drove right past it on our way to Arouca and as we are adventurists and LOVE to SWING, we just had to make a pit stop. This is the first swing that actually made me feel nauseous. I think it was due to hubby’s erratic driving around all the hairpin twists and turns and my breakfast then swinging so high, it all just was too much for my delicate tummy (ha ha). If you like to swing high into the clouds then this is the swing for you as you reach staggering heights. I did hope and pray that the rope didn’t break as I would have catipulted myself off the edge of the mountainside into the abyss (ha ha). Just look at this sky! It gives a whole new meaning to “Blue sky thinking” (ha ha).
Baloiço Memorial com Vida (Arouca)
GPS: 40.924539, -8.2457482
This is a new Swing inaugurated on 15th May 2022 in honour of those who have died victims of Covid-19, as well as all frontline workers battling the fight against the pandemic. What a beautiful tribute and wonderful place for prayer and reflection. A Heart = Symbol of Life. Located in a natural green space with breathtaking views.
Baloiço Maria Gomes (Anadia)
GPS: 40.43693333018624, -8.483379586477561
On the way to Águeda we made a pit stop in Anadia to visit 2 beautiful scenic swings: Baloiço Maria Gomes & Baloiço Pista XCO. I loved the wine barrel swing with cute windmill because I adore wine and hubby enjoyed the bike swing because he’s a cycle nerd, I mean enthusiast. There is an impressive mountain bike track if you fancy it. Fernão Pires is a white Portuguese wine grape grown throughout Portugal, especially in the Tejo and Bairrada, where it is also known as “Maria Gomes”. Hence the swing’s name and why it’s a wine barrel with gorgeous views over the vineyards. Gosh, I love learning new facts about Portugal at my ripe old age. We had both swings to ourselves hence the multiple photos (ha ha). We did a cheesy photo shoot together then a funny one but our selfie stick/tripod malfunctioned and we didn’t get any of the photos so you just have to enjoy these instead and a few up, close and personal selfies.It was a struggle climbing up to the windmill window and hubby had to give me a “bunk up” which nearly made me wet myself laughing. Getting down was even harder, I jumped, he caught me but somehow my arms got left behind, it was very nearly a disaster (ha ha).