Camino Portuguese

The Portuguese Way

While the Camino Frances may be the more famous and more travelled Camino route, the Camino Portuguese offers something entirely different. When we think of Portugal, we usually think of the sun-baked southern region of the Algarve, but northern Portugal is an area that sparkles with its own unique charm.

The two stages that we offer on the Camino Portuguese link the wonderful city of Porto with Santiago de Compostela, passing through traditional villages and towns unlike anywhere else on the Iberian Peninsula. Much of this region was in fact once a single country, the Kingdom of Galicia founded in 409 BC, and there are still enormous similarities between the Spanish and Portuguese sides.

Walking the Camino Portuguese is a quieter experience as the numbers are significantly less than the Camino Frances, but this spectacular region, filled with eucalyptus forests, vineyards, splendid food and history that goes back thousands of years, shouldn’t be overlooked for a Camino experience.

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Camino Portugues Stage 1

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Porto to Tui (121 Km)
6 Nights from €490 per person
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Camino Portugues Stage 2

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Tui to Santiago (102 Km)
7 Nights from €497 per person

Camino Portuguese Highlights

  • Before you begin your walk, explore the many delights of Porto, a colourful, historic city that is quickly becoming a tourism favourite.
  • See the famous Quintas (villas) outside Ponte de Lima.
  • Walk through the vibrant landscapes of Northern Portugal with its many ancient villages along the way.
  • Gaze across the border into Spain from Valença do Minho and visit its enormous old citadel.
  • Cross the bridge over the River Miño into Spain and visit Tui’s famous old cathedral.
  • Enjoy the Galician towns of Redondela and Pontevedra and the well preserved old town areas.
  • Sample the world-famous Padron peppers in the small town that bears the same name.
  • Experiencing the magic of entering the famed city of Santiago de Compostela and standing in front of the cathedral, like so many have done before you over the last 1,000 years.

Stage 1 - Porto to Tui - (6 nights & 121km)

Stage one connects Porto with a series of small villages and towns before ending in Tui, the border town perched on the River Miño and directly across from Valença do Minho in Portugal, with its dramatic citadel overlooking the river.

If you can, Porto is well worth spending some extra time in. Long underappreciated in comparison with its more illustrious sibling to the south, Lisbon, Porto has emerged in recent years as one of the finest destinations around Europe.

From the city, the Camino travels north, making stops in Arcos and Barcelos before arriving in Ponte da Lima, the oldest chartered town in Portugal with its iconic bridge dating from the 13th Century. The following night is spent in Rubiaes after a day’s walk through forests and vineyards that will forever change how you think of Portugal. The final day of stage one leads you through Valença do Minho and its imposing old fortress sat above the River Miño directly across from the Spanish town of Tui, our final stop of the first stage.

You can find more detailed information on Stage One here

Camino Portuguese Way – Stage One – U Walk

 

Stage 2 - Tui to Santiago - (7 nights & 102km)

Stage two heads north from Tui through the charming Galician landscape, making stops in Redondela and Pontevedra, two towns that perfectly encapsulate the fiercely independent-minded Galicans and are both fine places to dine on the local cuisine, including the famous pulpo, boiled octopus sprinkled with paprika.

From there we continue on, stopping first in Caldas de Reis then Padrón, where a sampling of their world-famous peppers between May and October is an absolute must. The final stage of the Camino Portuguese links Padrón with Santiago de Compostela, a route that sees you approach the famous city from the south before winding through its old streets and arriving in the Praza do Obradoiro, the grand square in the city where pilgrims congregate in front of the Cathedral gates.

You can find more detailed information on Stage Two here

Camino Portuguese Way – Stage Two – U Walk

6/7 nights accommodation (depending on which stage you choose) in private hotels/pensions

Daily baggage transfers are included so you don’t need to worry about lugging that bag along with you each day. Simply leave it with your hotel in the morning and it’ll be waiting for you when you’ve finished your days walking.

We provide all of our customers with walking notes that give a detailed description of each day’s route.

A pilgrim passport will be ready and waiting for you when you arrive, so all you need to do is get it stamped along the way.

We also provide full emergency support in the event of a problem and can help to organise transportation should you not be able to continue the walk.

Porto

For far too long Porto remained in the shadow of regal Lisbon, but not anymore. The once unfashionable rebel to the north has emerged as one of the hottest destinations in Europe. With reasonable prices, more history than you can ever hope to see in a single weekend, dazzling architecture and an astonishing array of excellent food (we recommend the absolutely decadent Francesinha sandwich) Porto has arrived in spectacular fashion.

Tui/Valença do Minho

The two small towns that lie opposite each other across the River Miño may be separated by an international border, but their similarities run deep. What was once a single country, the Kingdom of Galicia, is now split into Spain and Portugal but as the Camino passes across the Rodo-Ferroviária de Valença Bridge, it would be difficult to tell the difference if it wasn’t for a sign announcing your arrival into Spain.

On the Portuguese side, Valença do Minho is home to the sprawling old citadel and has a charming old town area complete with cobblestoned streets and whitewashed buildings. Across the river in Spain, Tui comes with more of the same, along with a beautiful cathedral, where construction work began in 1120 AD, and which grandly overlooks the town.

Pontevedra

Provincial capital Pontevedra is a small gem of a city that manages to pack everything into a relatively small area. Situated on the Ria de Pontevedra, one of the four estuarine inlets that compose the Rías Baixas, the city feels more like a rural town than anything else. With its beautiful and compact old town, it’s the perfect place to relax at the end of a day’s walk and enjoy the unique Galician charm.

Padrón

Most come to this small town in Galicia for one reason, the world-famous Pimientos de Padrón, fried green peppers grown locally. So famous are they in fact, the town holds a pepper festival in its honour each August. The added spice to these peppers (pun intended) is that most aren’t particularly hot, with the odd exception thrown in, which usually provides plenty of entertainment in a group setting.

Santiago de Compostela

Approaching Santiago de Compostela on foot is an experience that will live long in the memory. As the cathedral spires come into view you can’t help but be caught up in the excitement as Camino paths converge from all directions and lead you through the city to the Praza do Obradoiro, the square in front of the cathedral.

Once your walk is complete, you can turn your attention to the city itself which offers a staggering selection of restaurants and bars serving mounds of delicious food to the many celebrating pilgrims, along with an array of smaller churches and of course the famed cathedral itself.

Porto is the most convenient way to arrive as it’s the starting point for stage one and just 121 km from the start of stage two, with regular public transportation between the two points. Another option, if you’re walking stage two, would be to fly into Vigo, which is just 35 km from Tui where you begin the second stage.

As for departing, Porto, Vigo or Santiago de Compostela are all suitable options, depending on which of the two stages you are walking. Transfers to and from the airport and typically not included, but again, we will work with you to find the quickest and most convenient way to get to your starting point and away once you’ve completed the walk.

We have chosen popular family-run hotels/pensions along the route. Accommodation is simple and follows the character of the area