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Portuguese Camino by the Coast

The Way of Saint James Portuguese by the Coast Starting from Porto Walking

The Way of Saint James by the Portuguese Coast (El Camino de Santiago Portuguese por la Costa) has for centuries been known as an important religious and spiritual pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, for pilgrims visiting the thumb of Saint James in the Cathedral of Santiago. After having been partially forgotten for a number of years, and perhaps overshadowed by the French Camino de Santiago, this pilgrimage has experienced an almost explosive interest in the last couple of years.

There may be various reasons to this, but the most important explication is probably the truly unique nature experience it is, to be walking or cycling along the Atlantic Ocean. The Way of Saint James Portuguese by the Coast is therefore not only a religious journey, but also a spiritual journey through some of the most magnificent nature sceneries in Europe. This pilgrimage offers so many unique, historical and nature sceneries that you will definitely experience the significance of being a pilgrim. It is not exaggerated to claim, that no pilgrim arrives at Santiago de Compostela without being touched both physically and mentally by the magnificent experiences awaiting you on this journey.

From the Cathedral Sé in Porto, your pilgrimage begins through Porto's old quarter with its idyllic streets, thereafter you be will following the Duero River to its estuary at the Atlantic Ocean. After this beautiful farewell to Porto, you will be walking along the Atlantic coast and with the exception of a few detours where the route takes you a little inland, you will be walking along the Atlantic Ocean all the way to City of Vigo. Getting to the bottom of the Bay of Vigo, you will probably be having a melancholic moment, before saying farewell to the Ocean, but you will also be looking forward and with new expectations, ready to continue your pilgrimage through the beautiful Galician countryside. On your journey through Spain's most North-western region you will experience an authentic Galicia, where you will pass through beautiful villages, try the famous Galician cuisine with its vast array of seafood, taste the exquisite Albariño wines, and of course, meet the local population and the hospitality shown here.

We have composed this pilgrimage in different stages, where you have the opportunity to either hike, cycle or combine hiking and cycling.

Camino Portugués
  • Price
    From 980 Euro/pers.
  • Km
    273
  • Days
    16 days / 15 nights
  • Difficulty
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    ? NOTE: nowhere, in any Camino, will steep cliffs be found next to path!

    1: Very easy. Flat and without significant gradients. Good and normally wide paths.

    2: Easy. Slightly hilly. Good and normally wide paths.

    3: Medium. Hilly, possibly with longer distances between service facilities/cities. Good, sometimes narrow paths.

    4: Medium/Hard. Longer, steeper climbs, perhaps with few servicefacilities/cities. Good, sometimes narrow paths.

    5: Hard. Long gradient(s), possibly few facilities. Very hilly. Good, sometimes narrow paths.
Description

Here the terrain is similar to the one in the previous section. The only difference is that the climbs are little steeper and longer than the first. Once you have passed Pontevedra, the hills decrease again and the stages from here on are easier. This segment is a very beautiful stretch of your journey during which you will have a fantastic view of the fjords.

In the section "Stages" you will find more detailed information of each stage, as well as maps of the profiles of each stage with photos.

Possibility of dividing the Stages: Yes.

The services are good along the entire stretch. You will pass through a number of largely populated areas, so that you can buy everything you need.

The written guide for Spain is More, that you will receive a couple of weeks prior to departure on your trip, contains practical information about the pilgrim's office, restaurants, maps of towns and cities along the way, information on the location of hotels, telephone numbers, what to do in case of an emergency and many other things that will make your pilgrimage the experience of a lifetime.

More information on Redondela - Santiago

More information on Porto - Redondela

Detailed itinerary
Detailed itinerary (view all days )
Day 1.- Arrival in Porto (Oporto)

Arrival in Porto and check-in at hotel. The hotel is a 3-4-star hotel with a central location in the old city of Porto.

You will be free to dispose of the rest of the day on your own in this beautiful city. The historical core of the city is full of charm and was proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. Interesting monuments, history, the beautiful location and not to mention the port, are some of the reasons why you should visit this city. An interesting visit that permits you in one day to walk the equivalent of one stage of the Pilgrimage Route.

Day 2.- Porto – Perafita20 Km

This is your first day, not only on your pilgrimage but also on what might prove to be a whole new chapter in your life. This first stage is one of the longer ones, even though there are not many inclines on this stage, you should not begin your pilgrimage too late. We suggest you get your first pilgrim stamp in the Cathedral Sé, before heading off along the Duero River and later to be following the impressive coastline of the Atlantic Ocean.

Distance: 20 Km

Day 3.- Perafita - Povoa de Varzim20 Km

From the beach at Labruge, your hiking trail continues along the magnificent beach areas, where the waves from the Atlantic Ocean will be a major part of the almost meditative experience it is to walk along the Ocean. We suggest you take a break and maybe have lunch in the historic port city of Vila do Conde, before continuing to Povoa de Varzim.

Distance: 20 Km

Day 4.- Povoa de Varzim - Esposende/Marinhas24 Km

Another day with magnificent coastlines is awaiting you. Along with cosy cafés and views that you will never forget, today´s pilgrimage takes you to Esponsende. This is also one of your longer stages, so get started in the morning, so you have time for lunch and maybe a dip in the refreshing Atlantic Ocean during this amazing hike to Esposende.

Distance: 24 Km

Day 5.- Esposende/Marinhas - Viana do Castelo21 Km

Heading on from Esposende, your hike now enters the countryside where you will walk through beautifully maintained villages and experience the authentic Portugal. On this stage you will also meet the first inclines, so maybe you end the day with legs a little sorer. When you arrive at Viana do Castelo you should explore and enjoy the old town, which is beautifully renovated with the usual Portuguese feel for the details and respect for their history.

Distance: 21 Km

Day 6.- Viana do Castelo – Caminha26 Km

From Viana do Castelo you will be following the coastline, which you probably will experience has changed as you are approaching Spain. The many beach areas have now changed to a rockier coast line, where the waves have formed the rocks into amazing sculptures. This part of your pilgrimage do not have many inclines, but is however, relatively long. Before arriving at Caminha, take a break at one of the beaches. Find yourself a comfortable spot on the beach or on one of the rocks, take a look over the ocean, listen to the waves that never stops, and then take a deep breath and recall the last days incredible pilgrimage. In other words, take time to say goodbye to Portugal, before your next chapter on your pilgrimage takes you across the border to Spain.

Distance: 26 Km

Day 7.- Caminha – Oia22 Km

This part of your pilgrimage is somehow special as you will take the ferry between Portugal and Spain. Even though crossing the River Minho no takes more than 20 minutes, there is still something special about crossing the border between Portugal and Spain in this way. Once in Spain you will definitely notice the change along the coastline, as the Galician shoreline seem to have a beautiful roughness to it. On your way to Mougas you will, among other things, pass the Mosterio de Santa Maria de Oia, founded in the mid 12th century and it is one of the few monasteries in Europe, with a location right next to the Ocean. This stage offers a varied terrain and takes you between the main road and the Atlantic Ocean.

Distance: 22 Km

Day 8.- Oia – Ramallosa18 Km

From Mougas, your journey continues to the picturesque costal town Baiona. One of the main attractions in Baiona is the impressive fortress, Castillo de Montereal, whose foundation dates back to the 12th century. Baiona has great historical significance for Spain, as this was where the first news of "The New World" in America was brought to by Martín Alonso Pinzón in 1493. The nightlife in Baiona has an extensive variation of restaurants, cafes and bars, so if your pilgrimage not has been too hard on you so far, we suggest you to spend a pleasant evening before your next stage towards Vigo.

Distance: 18 Km

Day 9.- Ramallosa – Vigo22 Km

This stage offers you the opportunity to choose between two different routes. You can either take the traditional Camino that leads you into the countryside, through beautiful forest areas, historic monuments and with great views to the Atlantic Ocean. Another option is the "new" Camino which follows the coast and runs along some of the beautiful beaches, that the local Spaniards like to visit during the summer. This route has fewer inclines, but also some slightly longer parts where you walk along the main road. The distance is roughly the same for both routes.

Distance: 22 Km

Day 10.- Vigo - Redondela16 Km

Today you will be following paths along the authentic Galician countryside. At first the Camino follows a beautiful route along "La Ruta de Aqua" with stunning views to the Bay of Vigo. Once you have left Vigo, there are not many cafes along the way, so bring drinks and something to eat as well, there are plenty of opportunities to find a beautiful place with views along the way. When you arrive at Redondela, you might want to get a stamp (sello) at the official pilgrim’s hostel in the old town before continuing to your accommodation.

Distance: 16 Km

Day 11.- Redondela - Pontevedra18 Km

Today you will get a few climbs on your way to Pontevedra, but you will also be walking in the very heart of Galicia! Along the way you will get to see the famous stone crosses (Cruceiros), which for centuries has guided and protected pilgrims on their way to Santiago. Several of these small masterpieces can be dated back to the 15th century. When you reach Pontevedra, you could visit the various churches, monasteries and monuments of the city, go shopping in the city's old quarter (Casco Viejo), or enjoy the vibrant nightlife and the many excellent restaurants - and of course, taste a glass of the local Albariño white vine.

Distance: 18 Km

Day 12.- Pontevedra - Caldas de Reys22 Km

After leaving Pontevedra's old town centre, the route quickly takes you to one of the most beautiful sections of this part of the Camino. Among other things, you will pass the areas of Barro with the absolutely wonderful waterfalls, and later Briallos, the latter leading you through the scenic vineyards of Galicia. In Caldas de Reis you will have the opportunity to enjoy one of the many thermal baths which Galicia is famed for.

Distance: 22 Km

Day 13.- Caldas de Reis - Padrón19 Km

Today you arrive at Padrón, the next most important pilgrim's city after Santiago de Compostela. According to ancient legend the Apostle Saint James is said to have preached in the Iberian Peninsula. The tradition has, that after being beheaded in the year 44 AD, the body of Saint James arrived by boat to the Galician coast navigated by two of his disciples from the city of Jaffa in Palestine. From here, his corpse was led to Padrón, because the Apostle James is said to have preached at Monte de Santiaguiño. In Padrón, a long and very beautiful stairway leads along the Mosterio Convento do Carmen to this sacred place, that definitely is worth a visit. The route to Padrón is as beautiful as the former pilgrimage route, and in general, there is a special atmosphere over the small town of Padrón, with its mere 3,000 inhabitants.

Distance: 19 Km

Day 14.- Padrón - Santiago de Compostela25 Km

This is the last of your 13 pilgrim’s stages towards Santiago de Compostela. Whether it is your first pilgrimage, or you have done it several times, you will undoubtedly notice this very special contrast of excitement and at the same time an unexplained calm in the body, the closer you come to Santiago. The route from Padrón to Santiago starts with some walking on the road, but soon you get back to the small and charming paths and dirt roads, which you know so well from the previous days. About seven kilometres from Santiago, you can see the Cathedral's two iconic spires for the first time, and from here there is only one way to reach your goal in Santiago. When you enter the Plaza de Obradoiro in front of the Cathedral, which may already be filled with happy, tired and redeemed pilgrims, you will most likely see some you have met on your way to Santiago. Perhaps you have got new friends along the way, and maybe, you will find that these friendships will get stronger and evolve over time – Buen Camino!

Distance: 25 Km

Day 15.- Santiago de Compostela and Finisterre

True pilgrims continues further and finish their journeys in Finisterre. The tour goes by bus with an English-speaking guide from Santiago to Finisterre in the morning and returns mid-efternoon to Santiago. Just off the stunning, rugged coastline and the fabled “Costa de la Muerte” (Death Coast), a reef filled with shipwrecks and tales of legends captures a raw, natural beauty. On the coast’s westernmost point is Finisterre – meaning the world’s end. Romans named this coast because it was literally the end of the known world. For many pilgrims this is the symbolic endpoint of the pilgrimage. 

The evening is spent in Santiago de Compostela.

Day 16.- Departure

Departure from Santiago.

 
What is included in this trip?

From 980 Euro/pers. Per person in shared doubleroom

Single room supplement:210 Euro

It includes
  1. 15 nights in a double room - always with private bath/toilet.
  2. 15 x breakfast.
  3. The price includes 1 Spain-is-More-Travel Guidebook per booked room.
  4. Pilgrim Passport / Credencial.
  5. Guided Tour to Finisterre.
  6. 24/7 emergency telephone number.
  7. Taxes.
Not included
  1. Some short local bus or taxi journeys, e.g. from airport to bus or train station in the same city.
  2. City tax in Porto. 2€/person/night. 
Optional
  1. Personalise your Camino: Extended stays, divide stages, transportation to startingpoint from anywhere in the world and back. Please ask us, we will be happy to assist you.
  2. Baggage Transport on the pilgrim route can be purchased. If you buy a luggage service your bag / suitcase will be transported from hotel to hotel on the scheduled days of hiking. Price 120 €/unit of max 20 kg.
  3. Extension of stay in Porto, Santiago or elsewhere.
  4. The price include 1 Spain-is-More-Travel Guidebook per every 4 travellers. More copies can be purchased when booking (20€/copy).
  5. Cancellation insurence: 6% of total price (can be added when ordering).

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