Camino Portugués (Traditional Route)

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  • Start Porto
  • End Santiago de Compostela
  • DateMarch to October
  • Duration 13 nights
  • Distance148 miles/ 237 km
  • GradeModerate

The Camino Portugués, a close second to the famed French Way, is carving its own path as a beloved Camino de Santiago route. This enchanting journey weaves north from the vibrant heart of Portugal, offering history, tradition, and matchless landscapes.

Overview of the Camino Portugués

There are many pilgrim Ways of St James, all beating a path to Santiago de Compostela. The Camino Portugues has recently experienced an upsurge in popularity and accounts for some 15% of the pilgrims who walk to the final resting place of the Apostle St James.

Tracing the Apostle James’s Legacy

The Apostle James, known as ‘The Greater,’ is believed to have preached Christianity in Galicia and Northern Portugal before his martyrdom in 40 A.D.

His remains were interred in Libredon, and later rediscovered, prompting the establishment of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela. The Camino Portugues evolved from ancient Roman roads and is now a route filled with art and history, guiding pilgrims through rich cultural landscapes on the way to Saint James’s tomb.

Experience the Renowned Portuguese Hospitality

Dubbed “The Friendly Camino,” the Camino Portugues is celebrated for its unparalleled hospitality. Historic support from the Portuguese monarchy, including toll-free river crossings granted in 1123, set a precedent for the warm welcome that modern pilgrims still enjoy today.

The enduring camaraderie among locals provides a supportive atmosphere for those journeying along this cherished path.

Relish the Flavors of the Camino

The Camino Portugues is a foodie’s dream, offering a tour of the famed Portuguese and Spanish culinary traditions. With a constellation of eateries and wine festivals, the route promises a diverse array of gastronomic experiences.

Dive into a millennium-old tradition of food and wine that enriches this spiritual journey.

Visit our Itinerary, Accommodation, and Activities tabs or contact us directly for a custom-crafted Camino experience that caters to your personal tastes and interests.

Still undecided on which route to take? Explore our full selection of Camino Walking Tours! If you have any questions, please get in touch.

Price Includes

  • B&B accommodation
  • Baggage transfers

Price Excludes

  • Driver Service Fee
  • Guide Service Fee
  • Room Service Fees

Single Supplement

£260

Highlights

Millions of people of all ages and walks of life have been walking the Camino Portugues for over 1000 years

The main highlights of our independent walk of the Camino Portugues are:

 

  • Walking one of Europe’s oldest cultural routes
  • Delicious Portuguese and Galician gastronomy and wines
  • Santiago de Compostela, a UNESCO World Heritage Site

As an addition to the tour, we would recommend you the following optional extras:

 

Porto
Whizz round the sights in a chauffeur driven tuk tuk and stop off to sample the famous port wines of this lovely city.

 

Santiago de Compostela, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
Galicia’s capital city and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985, Santiago de Compostela is the destination of the Way of St James pilgrimage, one of the major themes of medieval history in Europe.

From Scandinavia to the Mediterranean, millions have walked to Santiago along many Caminos. Around the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, a masterpiece of Romanesque art, the city boasts a magnificent old town worthy of one of Christianity’s greatest holy cities.

 

Guided Tour of Santiago de Compostela
As an optional extra, we can arrange a guided tour of the city’s extraordinary ensemble of distinguished monuments grouped around the tomb of St James the Greater, the destination of all the roads of Christianity’s greatest pilgrimage.

 

Day Excursion to Finisterre
As an add on to the tour, we can take you to Cape Finisterre in the Atlantic Coast, the final destination for many pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago. We also organise four day walks on the Camino de Finisterre. A walk on the beach, searching for your own scallop shell makes for a superb ending to the whole experience.

Food & Drink

For any traveller on the Camino, nourishment and refreshment is an important part of the daily routine. There are many places to enjoy good local dishes to suit a variety of tastes and budgets. We also aim to cater for those with particular dietary needs.

Some of the walks may have few places to stop for food and drink, so check your information pack before you set out and take plenty of water and a picnic.

The local bars and cafes offer light snacks, seasonal plates of freshly prepared food, tapas and refreshments. As you pass through the regions you will encounter local specialities – often of the variety that best sustains a weary, hungry traveller.

All our itineraries are booked for Bed and Breakfast. Half board with dinner is possible too, but these set dinners can become repetitive, featuring similar dishes each night. We encourage you to eat out and try a wider range of local specialities.

Breakfast
Where available we always order a full breakfast spread for our clients. But breakfast does vary between establishments – from just a light pastry and hot drink to a full buffet spread. Whether you have a light or substantial offering, you can top up mid-morning at a cafe on the route. The Spanish habit is to have breakfast between 10 and 11 when cafes and bars fill with locals having their desayuno.

Lunch
Lunches on the Camino are often taken as picnics, and most places have local shops selling items of fresh local produce to purchased each morning before you set out on the trail. Certain lodgings will offer pre-ordered packed lunches. Or check your guide and plan to stop off in a cafe-bar or restaurant on the Way.

Dinner
Lunches on the Camino are often taken as picnics, and most places have local shops selling items of fresh local produce to purchased each morning before you set out on the trail. Certain lodgings will offer pre-ordered packed lunches. Or check your guide and plan to stop off in a cafe-bar or restaurant on the Way.

Pilgrim Menus
Many of our lodgings offer 3 course set menus with water, bread and often a glass of wine for just a few euros. These are advertised locally as “Pilgrim Menus” and available pretty much everywhere along the route. You’ll notice that there are staple common dishes as well as regional recipes according to the season.

Hydration
Hydration is essential — carry between 1.5 and 3l of drinking water, depending on the season, temperatures and distance you plan to cover. Keep a sugary and salty snack handy in your pocket or daypack – this will give you that little extra burst of energy to keep you going.

Merienda
Mid morning/afternoon snacks known as “merienda” are the perfect way to sustain yourself on the Way. Especially if you are not used to the later meal times which are the norm across Spain. It is customary for Spanish people to have a mid-morning stop for breakfast and late afternoon for a bite to keep them going until the traditional late dinner.

Gastronomy
The larger towns and cities of the Camino have a variety of lively plazas with bars and restaurants, so there will be plenty of opportunities for you to enjoy a wider range of local gastronomy and a variety of local and world-famous wines.

You can choose to upgrade your accommodation standard, (available in a few selected places along the route), where you can enjoy a la carte menu and fine dining in the hotel restaurant.

Picnic Shopping
Many people enjoy shopping for lunch items and snacks in the local food shops each day. You’ll find many little stores offering local produce, fruits and vegetables, cheeses and cured meats, fresh local baked goods – ideal for making your daily picnic for the daily walk. On certain days, Markets also make an appearance in most villages and towns. Some of our lodgings will provide a picnic lunch by request.

Local Wines
Both Spain & Portugal have a great wine making culture. All of the regions you cross produce their own wines (red and white), cervezas (light beer), and licores (strong spirits). For those looking for non-alcoholic drinks have plenty of choices as well.

Itinerary

Our most popular 12-day itinerary starts at O Porto, Portugal’s most charming city. We are also regularly requested to organise the popular Galician section of the route that covers the final stages of the Camino Portugues from Tui (approx. 115 kms / 71 miles), which then makes you eligible for the Compostela pilgrim’s certificate. We can tailor a longer or shorter tour designed specifically to suit your time frame and walking ability.

 

Day 1 - Porto - Vila do Conde, 22 or 27kms

The picturesque centre overlooks the river Douro and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Of course it is also renowned for its Port wine, and you won’t regret taking some time to visit a nearby Port house.

We loved the coastal route over the inland start from Porto. The Atlantic air is bracing in all weathers, and you have the chance to feel the sandy beaches under your bare feet to really make this feel like a fresh start! Choose to walk from the centre of the town along the attractive historic espanade, or catch a metro to shorten the walk from the outskits of the city.

Day 2 - Vila do Conde - Pereira, 23.3kms

Turning away from the coast the route soon rejoins the main Camino Portugues at Arcos by the small medieval bridge. A mix of quiet country lanes, lead you from village to village through a mix of shaded woodland and cultivated small holdings.

Day 3 - Pereira - Balugaes, 24kms

The Portuguese Way of St James – Traditional Barcelos cockerel. Today’s route takes you through the pretty town of Barcelos, famed throughout Portugal for its weekly Thursday market. The brightly coloured Barcelos cockerel often portrayed in ceramic form represents a famous Camino miracle tale! The Pilgrim’s route follows a valley landscape patterned by cultivated plots, much of whose produce goes to the local market. Small stream crossings with deliciously cool tree lined arcades, help keep the walker cool.

Day 4 - Balugaes - Ponte de Lima, 17.8kms

Quiet country lanes and dusty tracks climb through a shaded native woodland to a pass which also serves as a watershed between the Cavado and Lima river valleys. The latter gives its name to the stunning town of Ponte de Lima, with its impressive Roman bridge. Your gradual quiet descent into the pretty Lima valley gives you ample time to take in the fertile grounds that produce some of the tastiest fruit as well the famed grapes for making Vinho Verde.

Day 5 - Ponte de Lima - Sao Bento da Porta Aberta, 22.6kms

A day of mixed offerings; on the one hand this is probably the day with most off road walking and plenty of shade, however that joy is tempered by the fact that you have to climb nearly 500m through the pass of Portela Grande.

Day 6 - Sao Bento - Tui, 14.3 kms

Another delightful day of quiet lanes and earthen tracks that wind gently downhill into the River Minho valley. The historic border town of Valença is well a worth a visit before crossing the mighty Miño (in Spanish) into the pretty Spanish hilltop town of Tui. Don’t forget to adjust your watches by an hour!

Day 7 - Tui - Porriño, 16.2kms

The popular starting point of the Portuguese Way in Galicia, the Camino from Tui and follows woodland paths before entering the mining region of O Porriño, where colossal granite quarries are to be seen in the distance.

Day 8 - Porriño - Redondela, 14.9kms

Walking on paths which are more than two millennia old, today’s Camino follows parts of the old Roman road. A day of gentle climbs and descents ends at the small town of Redondela, famous for one of Galicia’s most colourful Corpus Christi festivals.

Day 9 - Redondela - Pontevedra, 18.2kms

Today’s highlights include the medieval bridge of Ponte Sampaio, where Napoleon’s army was ultimately defeated in Galicia, and the city of Pontevedra, home to the famous Pilgrim Virgin’s church, whose floor forms the shape of a scallop shell!

Day 10 - Pontevedra - Caldas de Reis, 23.1kms

A pleasant walk through woodland and farmland finishing at the popular spa town of Caldas de Reis, where you will find the only church in Galicia consecrated to Saint Thomas of Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury and Chancellor of England in the 12th century.

Day 11 - Caldas de Reis - Padrón, 18.1 kms

Today’s walk is considered by many as one of the most beautiful on the whole route. After walking the green Bermaña and Valga valleys we reach the town of Padrón, where according to tradition the Apostle St James first landed on Galician soil. The parish church has the legendary Pedrón, the stone where St James’ boat was moored.

Day 12 - Padrón - Santiago, 24.9kms

The final stage of the Camino Portugues, walking through woodland before climbing to reach your destination: Santiago de Compostela, a UNESCO World Heritage city.

Map

Accommodation

Accommodations
Baggage Transfers

Hand-picked comfortable, small establishments with high levels of personal service.
We believe that our high level of personal service and customer care offers the best in the local food, culture and history.

Hand-picked and well known to us, we usually choose comfortable, small, family-run establishments on the Camino.

Your accommodation will include a variety of guest houses, apartments and 1 -3-star hotels & hostals. All rooms have en-suite facilities.

If your budget allows, we can suggest some accommodation upgrades, as we often work with the top-end establishments on the Camino. Some of these require a short transfer off the Camino to a rural setting. We think you’ll find them very charming and comfortable.

We quote all our journeys with bag transfers as standard. We heartily recommend that you book your main piece of luggage to be transferred between accommodations. It helps your enjoyment of the Way and keeps unnecessary stress off your back and joints.

We work with dedicated professional companies who do this essential work day in, day out. The system works very well, with bags picked up between 8 and 8:30 am and delivered to the next hotel between 2 and 4 pm.

This daily service is organised so that all you have to worry about is carrying a day sack with your essential items.

If you do wish to carry your own bag that is fine with us.

And you can always call us and request to add on the service if you change your mind.

Reviews

Camino Portuguese
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