The Portuguese Camino

***NEW TOUR***

There are as many different Caminos to Santiago as there are nationalities enjoying the walks. The French Way, the English Way, the Silver Route, and the Portuguese Central Route are just some of the more well known routes.

The origin of the Portuguese Camino dates back to the 14th century when Queen Elizabeth of Portugal walked twice to Santiago de Compostela and the tomb of Saint James the Apostle. The Portuguese Coastal Way is a recent Jacobean route and was only declared an Official Route in April 2016.

The route is perfect for the European summer months as a constant sea breeze lowers the often super hot weather conditions that affect other Caminos at this time.  It is a much easier walk than the French Camino, as a great deal of the walk is on the flat and there are no steep mountain climbs.  Our walk takes us from the wooden board walks by the ocean and along sandy beaches to rural roads and forest paths.  We also walk through small towns and villages reflecting the local rural life of the area and on to the cobbled streets of the historic centres of the larger cities such as Vigo and Pontevedra.  We start and finish in two UNESCO World Heritage cities, Porto and Santiago.

Portugal has some of the best wine in Europe but it is important that we keep this secret to ourselves. On the Spain side, Galicia is famous for its white wines in particular those made from the Albariño grape.

The full walk from Porto to Santiago de Compostela is 280 kms.  Global Drift has put together a journey that includes the more interesting and beautiful sections that are representative of the many different regions to add up to a total of 115 kms walking.

Are you ready?  Vamos!

  • There are options on most walks to finish early if your feet are sore, the skies open up or you are just hankering for a glass.  Similarly, if you like, there are times when you can extend your day's walk.  We will keep you informed about these options as we prepare for each day.  And if you want a full day off from walking, also no problem whatsoever
  • Due to the logistics and nature of this tour we require a minimum of 8 travellers to run the departure

12 Day Itinerary
Departure:2nd September 2024(Monday to Friday)
Day 1 - Porto - Arrival day
We have an arrival meeting then an optional dinner at one of our favourites, Abadia do Porto, a traditional Portuguese restaurant, very old and serving excellent fare
Day 2 - Porto
We settle in for an interesting day in Porto. Start the day with coffee at the Majestic café the oldest café in town and close by. We head down to San Bento Train Station, with its atrium lined with tiles then continue down the hill to the old Ribeira district of Porto. Crossing over the bridge we can enjoy an optional Port wine tour and tasting possibly at the legendary Sandemans. This is an excellent spot for leaving the afternoon free for a river cruise or more exploration on foot. Meet back on the other side of the river for a gorgeous outdoor dinner on the riverside
Day 3 - Porto to Esposende
1st walk 15 kms. Modivas - Facho - Vila Chã – Vila do Conde – Póvoa de Varzim. We catch a metro to Modivas Central, walk to Facho on the seaside then along the coast to Póvoa do Varzim. The walk today moves along coastal wooden planks then passes though small villages and towns. In Vila do Conde we can enjoy the historic centre, the San Juan fortress, and its beautiful aqueduct. There are plenty of places to stop for coffee or lunch along the way. We ride the bus to Esposende where we enjoy the evening and spend the night in this lovely port town with sand dunes, beach, and a historic old town with plenty of restaurants and bars
Day 4 - Esposende to Viana do Costelo
2nd walk 18 kms. Belinho – Ponte – Castelo do Neiva - Chafé – Viana do Castelo. After breakfast we take a short journey by vehicle to Belinho. Today’s walk takes us along forest paths and through endless towns and villages with multitudes of restaurants and pastries where we can stop for lunch, or coffee. There is a small waterfall at the river crossing just before Castelo do Neiva which is a quaint town with a restaurant and a shop. The last section of the walk takes us is through Viana. This is a beautiful city perched on the banks of where the Lima River meets the Atlantic Ocean. The compact historic centre has many cafes, ornate religious buildings and narrow shopping streets. There is also a funicular to the Santuário de Santa Luzia for a panoramic view. Viana is rich in palaces, churches and monasteries, monumental fountains and water features that constitute a wealth of heritage. We have a treat tonight staying at the celebrated Casa Melo Alvim
Day 5 - Viana do Costelo to Caminha
3rd walk 17 kms. Carreço – Vila Praia de Âncora – Moledo – Caminha. We transfer to Carreço which is our last stage in Portugal and one of the flattest. We are presented with views of the coast, as well as military fortifications and windmills from bygone eras. We pass through the popular resort of Ancora, then move on to Moledo. Continuing on through forests to the river Minho we find this waterway to be the border between Portugal and Spain. We then walk along the estuary until we reach the delightful small town of Caminha. Today’s walk is a pleasant stroll with slight ups and downs through small hills, forests and towns along the coast
Day 6 - Caminha to A Guarda
4th walk 14 kms. Caminha to San Xian. After crossing the river into Spain we enter the village of Goian with its fortress built to defend Spain from an attack by the armies of Napoleon. From here we walk along the river estuary which is a bio reserve and bird sanctuary to Tabagon. We then head to the Molinos de Folon which is 36 stone water mills built in the 18th century on the cascades of the river Folon. We then take in the spectacular views from the lookout at Miradoira de Santa Trega. On one side we look down to the estuary of the Miño River as it flows into the Atlantic ocean with a backdrop of the mountains and coastline of Portugal. On the other side, Spain’s beautiful coast stretches into the north. We plan to enjoy a wine tasting and lunch at the nearby Terras Gouda winery. Moving on to A Guarda we have a pleasant afternoon walk to San Xian before transferring back to A Guarda for the night
Day 7 - A Guarda to Vigo
5th walk 16 kms. Oia – Viladesuso – Mougas – Baiona. We move on to Oia with its sea front monastery to commence todays walk. On the journey to Baiona today most of the time we follow the coastline through small towns. Then on the second half, the trail moves uphill through the beautiful forests from where we enjoy splendid views of the coast and a lighthouse. The picturesque coastal town of Baiona sits on the estuary of Vigo. Between the small beaches, seafront and the narrow streets of the old town we can easily consider which of its many cafes and restaurants to frequent. Baiona has great historical significance for Spain as this was where the first news of "The New World" of America was delivered by Martín Alonso Pinzón in 1493. Later we take a vehicle from Baiona to Vigo for our two night stay
Day 8 - Vigo
Rest day. Today we can relax and enjoy the town of Vigo or perhaps an optional boat trip to the Cies Islands. These islands are the Vigo estuary’s greatest treasure, an amazing national marine-terrestrial park and one of the country’s most beautiful places. The archipelago is made up of three islands, Monte Agudo, O Faro and San Martiño. The first two are connected by a long strip of sand. Rodas Beach is renowned as one of the best beaches in the world. The Cíes are part of the Atlantic Islands National Park, a beach paradise with crystalline waters, in a natural environment that makes it a unique wildlife observatory. Options include hiking or a getaway in search of quiet and unspoilt beaches. Whatever you choose today you will enjoy a day to recuperate and take in one of Spain’s finest locations
Day 9 - Vigo to Pontevedra
6th walk 13 kms. Redondela – Cesantes – Arcade – Figueirido. We move on to Redondela where we begin our begin our day with an easy, uphill walk along forest paths and through small villages. Along the way we will see the famous stone crosses (Cruceiros), which for centuries have guided and protected pilgrims on their way to Santiago. Several of these small masterpieces are dated back to the 15th Century. Along our route we will pass through Arcade which is a village famous for its oysters. We then cross the beautiful bridge of Pontesampaio of medieval origin with its ten arches. At Figueirido we take a drink and transfer to Pontevedra. The historical quarter of Pontevedra is the second most popular of the Galicia region, right after Santiago de Compostela. The Church of La Peregrina stands out in the centre of city as it is the only circular church in all of Spain. Here, the Pilgrim Virgin, welcomes all walking the Portuguese Camino
Day 10 - Pontevedra to Santiago de Compostela
7th walk 21 kms. Caldas de Reis – Padron. A long final walking day begins by transferring through typical Galician villages to start our final journey in Caldas de Reis. This village is known for its spas and water sources with medicinal properties. We walk up and down hills through forests and villages until reaching the Romanesque church of San Xulián near Pontecesures. Here we will enter the province of A Coruña after crossing the Ulla river and continue our way to the town of Padrón, known for its famous green peppers. Padrón was the destination of Saint James the Apostle around year 34 A.D. and was the starting point of the Jacobean tradition of the Camino de Santiago. After the death of Saint James the Apostle in Israel, his remains were transported by boat to Padrón then moved to the place where nowadays it resides in the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. From Padron we transfer to O Milladoiro where we commence our final stage walking into Santiago to finish our journey
Day 11 - Santiago de Compostela
After breakfast in one of the oldest cafés in Santiago we enjoy a short walking tour of the historic centre to learn more about this ancient city. The walk ends at the large local market full of the meats, cheeses, seafood and fresh produce from Galicia. The afternoon is free for shopping or more exploration before we meet up to celebrate our wonderful journey and enjoy a farewell dinner together
Day 12 - Santiago de Compostela - Departure Day

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