The world’s smallest international bridge uniting Portugal and Spain

The world's smallest international bridge uniting Portugal and Spain.

The world's smallest international bridge uniting Portugal and Spain. Image: Arronches Town Hall.

Despite its grand name, the Marco International Bridge is actually the world’s smallest international bridge.

It stretches over the Abrilongo stream, which marks the border between Portugal and Spain, in the village of Marco, also called El Marco in Spanish.

This tiny bridge is only 6 metres long and 1.45 meters wide, meant for pedestrians and cyclists only.

Its small size allows for quick crossings, especially because there are no passport checks due to both countries being in the Schengen Area.

Whether it’s a footbridge or not, this border has never truly separated the two villages.

Even before the Schengen Agreement, locals from both sides crossed the river using a makeshift bridge made of planks.

Smuggling between Portugal and Spain was common practice: the Portuguese sold coffee and towels to the Spanish, who in turn sold knives and wine.

When border checks were removed, the makeshift bridge became official.

In the 1990s, handrails were added to make it safer.

Then, in the early 2000s, the local council in Arronches, Portugal, decided to build something more permanent.

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.