Where the suspended bridge marks the lithological contact
Vau is a geosite that is approximately half way the Paiva Walkways, where the granite body of Alvarenga (Garganta do Paiva) ends at south, in the vicinities of the famous “suspended bridge”, where once there was a boat that crossed the river from Canelas to Alvarenga. In this recreation and leisure area we can find a corneal rock, a rock that is formed by the contact metamorphism caused by the granite intrusion at about 300 million years ago. From Vau onwards, the Paiva river becomes wider, and the strength of the waters is lower. This is due to the fact that the metasediments are in general more eroded than the designed granite of Alvarenga. Vau has also the Fontão stream, which crosses a fracturing valley that extends, at least, from the Estreitinha village to Vau and falls into a waterfall.
In the area of this geosite, there is still a well preserved riparian gallery essentially constituted by alders, ashes and willows that are the habitat for several species, like the beautiful common kingfisher or the apatura ilia butterfly. The slope is covered by several aromatic plants, like the myrtle or the vulnerable Anarrhinum longipedicellatum (Lusitanian endemism).
Vau is also a paradise for those who enjoy leisure time. It is also a starting point (Vau-Espiunca path) and arrival point (Garganta path) for the athletes of the adventure sports practiced in the Paiva river.