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Camino Portugues - Last 100 km

Camino Portugues - Last 100 km

This last section of the Portuguese Camino begins on the banks of the River Miño at the charming border town of Tui. This ancient way follows tracks and paths through woodland, farmland, villages, towns and historic cities.

Overview

Camino Heritage

From the 9th-century and the re-discovery of the tomb of the Apostle St James the Greater, Portuguese pilgrims began to follow the old Roman roads to Santiago de Compostela. This Caminho is one of Europe's oldest routes and a directly descended from the Via XIX, built in the 1st century AD under Emperor Augustus.

What we know today as the Camino Portuguese has seen the comings and goings of soldiers, travellers and pilgrims from towns and cities all over Portugal, Spain and beyond.

This international route played a fundamental role in the interchange of cultures. The Portuguese Way has a wealth of old stone bridges, manor houses, country chapels, and historic cities dotting the route all the way to the tomb of Saint James.

The Friendly Camino

The Camino Portugues has sometimes been referred to as The Friendly Camino. One of the hallmarks of the pilgrimage to Santiago is the warm reception given to the pilgrim, but on the Camino Portugues that hospitality is proverbial.

Since the Middle Ages, the Portuguese monarchy and nobility created one of the most comprehensive networks of hospitals to help all pilgrims on their way to Santiago. In the ferry over the River Miño, pilgrims were allowed to "cross without payment" after a privilege granted by Queen Theresa of Portugal in 1123.

The welcoming tradition of the Camino Portugues is still alive today thanks to the inhabitants of the towns scattered along the Way. The Portuguese people feel a special devotion to Saint James and are known for their assistance to those travelling to Santiago on this ancient pilgrimage route.

Delicious Gastronomy and Wines

With an abundance of small inns along the way, pilgrims walking the Camino de Portugués have enjoyed the local food and wine for over a thousand years.

Every village and town in the Camino has a variety of bars and restaurants, so there will be plenty of opportunities for you to enjoy the delicious gastronomy and the variety of world-famous Portuguese and Spanish wines.

Itinerary

This 7-night itinerary starts in the town of Tui, located on the natural border with Portugal - the River Miño. Completion of this 155 km / 71-mile route makes you eligible for the Compostela pilgrim's certificate in Santiago.

Day 1 - Arrive Tui

Day 2 - Tui to Porriño, 16.2 km

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.

You walk to this industrial little town, but we recommend you stay overnight just outside the town in more comfortable surroundings - with a pickup and drop off service provided.

Day 3 - Porriño to Redondela, 15 km

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. Here you can stay in a smart apartment in town or a delightful country manor house with complimentary pickup and drop off provided.

Day 4 - Redondela to Pontevedra, 19 km

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 foundation forms the shape of a scallop shell.

Day 5 - Pontevedra to Caldas de Reis, 21.6 km

A pleasant walk through woodland and farmland finishing at the little spa town of Caldas de Reis, known for its curative thermal waters. Here 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 6 - Caldas de Reis to Padrón, 18.2 km

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 7 - Padrón to 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.

As the final day's walk is fairluy long, you may not reach Santiago in time for the noon Pilgrims' Mass. If this is important to you, you should book a second night in Santiago to ensure you can attend. You are advised to arrive at the Cathedral 1 hour before the noon service, to ensure you get a good place inside the Cathedral.

Highlights

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

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 sandy Atlantic beach, searching for your own scallop shell makes for a super 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.

Accommodation

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.

Baggage Transfers

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.

Fly into Vigo or Santiago and transfer by bus or taxi to Tui.

Porto Airport is also a possibility and then a train to Valenca, just across the river from Tui - and finally a taxi ride.

Customer Reviews

Listed below are some reviews from other customers who have already undertaken this tour with Walk the Camino.

  • Review by Lesley, Scotland
    We enjoyed walking the route, but if possible bypass Porrino. It was also difficult for an evening meal. Overall, the quality of the accommodation fell below our expectations. We were expecting standards as previously enjoyed when we walked Via de la Plata. We enjoyed the holiday, met some nice people, good food, great experience. In hindsight, we might have taken a rest day in Tui. Looked an interesting place to take a break.

    COMMENT:- OUR VIA DE LA PLATA TOUR FEATURES SOME VERY SPECIAL COUNTRY PAZO HOTELS, WELL ABOVE THE GENERAL STANDARD FOUND ON OTHER CAMINO ROUTES. PORRINO IS A POST INDUSTRIAL TOWN WHICH IS ADDRESSING SOME OF THE ISSUES WITH LACK OF SERVICES FOR PILGRIMS. THE ALTERNATIVE IS 2 NIGHTS IN TUI AND TRANSFERS TO AND FROM THE CAMINO - UNDERSTANDABLY NOT EVERYONE’S PREFERENCE.
  • Review by William, Canada
    Did I enjoy my holiday? Absolutely - best ever and the organisation was very well done. The food was mostly great, a couple of places where there was only coffee and croissant for breakfast could be upped a bit ( juice, bread, something additional for calories, restaurants etc were fine and local cuisine was mostly very good - no complaints. Baggage Transfers were well done, timely, no hassles
    I’d most definitely recommend Walk the Camino - very helpful in planning the itinerary and most pleasant to deal with, made the whole experience better.
  • Review by Maria Lourdes
    I enjoyed it very much. From 1-10 with 10 being the most organised, I would rate it a 10. All the hotels and accommodations were clean and comfortable. All of them was special and provided the much-needed resting place after each long walk. The pilgrims’ meal is really spartan. I missed my Filipino cuisine. I just wish there were more food options. ????
    Baggage transfers ran smoothly and arrive on time
    The Information Pack provided all the information I needed. I think the tours were very compassionate to the pilgrims. Keep up the good work!!! It was a wonderful and satisfying experience.
  • Review by Yasmin & friends, USA
    I did enjoy my holiday very much. It put my mind at ease knowing that breakfast, dinner, and lodging were things I didn’t have to worry about along the Camino. I especially found our accommodations in Teo to be beautiful and in Santiago to be convenient and historical. Having lodging along the Camino and/or in the centre of town was great.

    Overall, I would say that the holiday was fairly well organized. Our distance walked was right for our health/fitness level and all our accommodations were clean. The food was fresh and plentiful. Some things were not quite according to plan or as scheduled, but I have come to believe that is just part of the culture of the region and accept it. Perhaps it is good however to give a pilgrim/tourist a heads-up regarding how to be a bit more relaxed about this type of thing as it took me a while to adjust. I am grateful for the experience and realize it was a lot of work to Walk the Camino to do, and am thankful that you did all of that work instead of me.

    The best absolutely was the Parada de Francos in Teo. First, it was directly located along the Camino. Next, we got excited when we saw the high TripAdvisor ratings. We were then able to really relax as the accommodations and food exceeded all expectations. Other lodging was pretty clean and usually conveniently located. The Hospederia San Martin Pinario put us right by the Cathedral in Santiago plus being able to be in a converted monastery/seminary was really cool. The Apartamentos Alvear Suites in Redondela were very nice as well - not hard to find, very clean, and felt like a home. Lowest on the list might be in O Porrino. Might have been because it was hardest to find and after the first day of walking, it was a bit of a let down as there were fewer toiletries, a broken drawer, etc. However, it was a place to rest our weary bodies so I am still grateful but if not for a kind townsperson who walked more than a kilometre with us to get us to Parque Porrino, we might still be trying to find the place.

    Food was delicious and plentiful wherever we went. The food was the best at the Parada de Francos, with the dinner food at the restaurant in Pontevedra probably a close second. I grew to appreciate the freshness and also had more seafood in that week than I usually do in a year. The Caldo Gallego became a comfort dish for me. Maybe my least favourite food was at Parque Porrino and that was still delicious. The only odd thing was the whole preset menu at the restaurant attached to the Hotel Colon in Tuy. It took us a while before leaving the States but we had made our selections; however since we arrived there on a Monday with the restaurant closed there were few options to choose and we were not informed until we arrived. While it is probably true that we might not have received the information en route, the hotel should have tried. Can’t complain too much though - the food tasted very good.

    The information pack was very informative. I think some of the hotel directions need some work. One of our group had GPS and this came in handy. However, I know part of the adventure is meeting helpful people on the way and this is not possible without getting lost now and then.

    Anytime we had any issues we were quickly able to contact you so I am thankful to Walk the Camino for the prompt responsiveness, as well as the opportunity to provide feedback. Thanks to all for creating a wonderful itinerary for us. We were fortunate enough to attend two Pilgrim’s masses in Spanish at which the Botafumeiro was used. Both were the 7:30pm masses.


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WalkTheCamino.com is the Camino de Santiago website for Walk the Camino, a specialist organiser of tailor-made walks and tours on the Camino de Santiago and other parts of Spain.

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