At first glance, you will hardly notice that there is a steel cable connecting Sanlucar de Guadiana, in Andalucia, Spain, to Alcoutim, in Algarve, Portugal. Over 720 meters in length, the world’s only zip line to cross an international border takes tourist across the Guadiana River at speeds between 70 and 80 kilometers per hour. The departure platform is located at the side of the Sanlúcar de Guadiana castle, almost 100 meters above the river. The landing point is a mere 15 meters high, in Alcoutim, creating an average angle of descent of around 12.47 %, which can be completed in less than a minute. When visitors arrive in Alcoutim, they are an hour ahead because of the time difference between the tow countries. The trip, once completed, the visitors are packed into a ferry and transported back into Spain across the river. Participants can get a certificate, buy photographs or even rent a helmet cam to film the trip.
The zip line is a privately funded passion project of Englishman David Jarman. “Two villages in two countries, separated by a river 150 metres wide – a zipline just seemed obvious to me,” he said.
On a busy day the zip line takes about 24-30 people per hour, at the price of 15 euros per person. Jarman forsees the slide functioning 200 days a year: closing in the second half of November and the second half of February. It will bring employment to 5 to 7 people on both sides of the border.