Camino Portugues: Towards Santiago From Portugal

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Camino Portugues: Towards Santiago From Portugal
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Santiago de Compostela is one of the most famous destinations for pilgrims in the world. Every year, hundreds of thousands of people visit the cathedral in this city, having often completed a journey of many kilometres on foot along a Camino. The Camino Portugués is one of the routes leading to Santiago and starts in, you might have guessed it, Portugal. The Camino Portugués starts in Lisbon and has a total length of 621 kilometres. Along the way, you walk along ancient Roman paths, pass pleasant towns and can enjoy culinary delights. In this blog post, we focus mainly on the last 100 kilometres of the route, the distance required for a certificate (compostela). Getting curious? Bookatrekking.com will tell you all about the Camino Portugués!

The Camino Portugués is one of the routes to Santiago de Compostela and the second most popular after the Camino Francés. The overall route takes you from Lisbon to Santiago, passing historical cities like Porto and Ponte de Lima on the way and allowing you to enjoy sweeping views. After crossing the Portuguese-Spanish border, you'll unfortunately have to do without 'pastel de nata', but you won't have to worry about an empty stomach on the Camino Portugués. Vamos là!

Camino Portugués, Camino de Santagio, St James’ Route, Pilgrim’s Route?

There are several Caminos (roads) which, in this case, do not lead to Rome but to Santiago de Compostela. Names you may come across besides Camino Portugués are Camino, Camino de Santiago, St James' Way or Pilgrims' Way. All names refer to the long-distance walk to Santiago de Compostela; starting points of the route are located in many places in Europe. The Camino Portugués is part of the overall route and is itself made up of several variants, which we will explain in more detail later.

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Camino Portugués: Start and End Point

The full route of the central Camino Portugués is 621 kilometres long and runs from Lisbon in Portugal, to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. The route consists of 25 stages, plus a number of additional ones connecting the central, coastal or spiritual route if applicable. In this blog, we further explain the stages from Tui, a distance of 119 kilometres. More than the required distance of 100 kilometres to get to your compostela. Further in this blog, we explain more about compostela.

Camino Portugués: Start and End Point

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Camino Central, Camino Da Costa or Variante Espiritual?

The Camino Portugués has several variations, which you can follow all or part of depending on your starting point.

Camino Central

The Camino Central is the complete route from Lisbon to Santiago and is 621 kilometres long. Along the way, you regularly walk along old Roman roads, which were already walked by medieval pilgrims. The route includes Porto and Tui, popular starting places to walk part of the Camino Portugués. Many pilgrims start in Tui, because starting here means you cover more than the required 100 kilometres for a compostela.

Camino da Costa

This version of the Camino Portugués starts in Porto and is the 'younger' route, with a length of about 250 kilometres. As the name suggests, this route largely takes you along the Portuguese and Spanish coast. Arriving at the Spanish border, you can cross the Minho river by boat and continue walking towards Vigo. Another option is to follow the river and resume the Camino Central route in Valença. Both Vigo and Valença are popular starting places for part of the Camino Portugués, as starting in either of these places means you cover more than the required 100 kilometres for a compostela.

Variante Espiritual

The spiritual route is a beautiful part of the route on the last section of the Camino Portugués. The Variante Espiritual starts in Pontevedra, where the route splits from the Camino Central. The three stages take you along the coast and through nature; you can also cover part of the route by boat. In Padrón, the Variante Espiritual rejoins the Camino Central.

Camino Central, Camino Da Costa or Variante Espiritual?

What Will I Encounter During the Camino Portugués?

The Camino Portugués is a route with many points of interest, such as walking along ancient Roman roads and passing medieval bridges. The Camino Portugués has been around for centuries; in the 12th century, the parents of the first Portuguese king traveled the route. In the centuries that followed, the journey was completed by a doctor and a priest, among others; their detailed travel logs are recognizable to this day. Besides Roman and medieval remains, you'll also encounter World Heritage Sites during the Camino Portugués, including the Templar Castle in Tomar and the university buildings of Coimbra. In addition, the inner cities of Porto and Santiago are World Heritage Sites.

Throughout the Camino Portugués, you will also encounter (Roman) mosaics, Moorish influences on culture and cuisine and, of course, the elongated paths, where you can let your mind wander while enjoying the scenery.

What Will I Encounter During the Camino Portugués?

Is the Camino Portugués Something for Me?

The Camino Portugués is not technically difficult and is easy to walk. You do not have to be an athlete to have an enjoyable trek, but it is important that you prepare yourself well for the fact that you will be walking a good number of hours every day. In the weeks before the trek, try to walk a few hours a day and try to wear the same shoes as during the trek so that you don't get blisters or hurt your feet. Another good idea is to walk with a backpack on your shoulders so that your back can get used to the weight.

What Are a Credencial and Compostela and How Do They Work?

While walking the Camino Portugués, it is useful to have a so-called Pilgrim's Passport (credencial). This document gives you access to many accommodation addresses for pilgrims, you also need a credencial to claim your certificate (compostela), for which you must have travelled at least 100 kilometres.

The Pilgrim Passport gives the traveller pilgrim status. It contains the walker's personal details, space for stamps and useful information about the route, including maps. You can get the pilgrim passport from one of the many Pilgrim Societies, hotels, churches or in one of the Brotherhoods of the Apostle James.

The passport is full of empty boxes, into which various stamps must be placed to prove that you have travelled through the various places on the route. These stamps can be obtained at hostels, pilgrim associations, parishes and also at the post office in each town. To prove that you have covered the required 100 kilometres for a certificate, you need to collect at least two stamps per day in the passport.

In Santiago, on presentation of your Pilgrim Passport, you can collect your certificate. Your name will be translated into Latin for this purpose, making it a special souvenir.

What Are a Credencial and Compostela and How Do They Work?

Camino Portugués: Route and Stages

During this hike, you will go from Tui to Santiago in 6 days. You will spend the night in a hotel or in a cosy guesthouse with breakfast included. During the last 100 kilometres of the Camino Portugués you will meet many other pilgrims while enjoying the entire walk to the max. Keep reading to see the full itinerary of the route along the Portuguese coast to Santiago.
Day
1

Arrival in Tui

You arrive in Tui the day before you start the Camino Portugués, this contributes to a relaxed start of the trip.

Colón Tuy

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Colón Tuy
Day
2

Tui - O Porriño

Duration: 04:00 h
Distance: 17.2 km
Ascent: 140 m
Descent: 150 m
The trail starts along the Louro, where you cross a beautiful old bridge after a few kilometres. The route takes you further on forest paths and along streams, with a fork after about eight kilometres of walking. The alternative route is a bit longer, but much nicer and takes you through beautiful forests. The stage ends in charming O Porriño.

Alojamientos Central (O Porriño)

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Alojamientos Central (O Porriño)
Day
3

O Porriño - Redondela

Duration: 03:30 h
Distance: 15.8 km
Ascent: 240 m
Descent: 270 m
Today you will walk partly on the Via Romana XIX, of which you will see remnants such as a kilometre stone along the way. You will also pass the 100 kilometres to Santiago marker today, a special moment. Furthermore, you can enjoy views over the hills and meadows in the area. The route ends today in Redondela, a charming town with no doubt a nice terrace to end the day.

Alfonso XII

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Alfonso XII
Day
4

Redondela - Pontevedra

Duration: 04:30 h
Distance: 20.6 km
Ascent: 340 m
Descent: 330 m
Today you pass pilgrim monuments, furthermore, you can enjoy views over the bay of San Simón, also walking through chestnut forests and through small towns. You will also walk past several beautiful chapels and churches, which you can visit if you wish. Today's stage ends in Pontevedra, an old town with a beautiful city centre, which is worth exploring.

Hotel Virgen del Camino Pontevedra (Pontevedra)

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Hotel Virgen del Camino Pontevedra (Pontevedra)
Day
5

Pontevedra - Caldas de Reis

Duration: 04:30 h
Distance: 21.2 km
Ascent: 210 m
Descent: 200 m
After leaving beautiful Pontevedra over the Ponte de Burgo, you walk along beautiful paths, roads and vineyards. Along the way, you'll pass the markers indicating that it's only 60 kilometres to Santiago. Again today you will encounter Roman remains in the architecture. Today's destination is Caldas de Reis, a spa town that was also known to the Romans.

Hotel Roquino (Caldas de Reis)

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Hotel Roquino (Caldas de Reis)
Day
6

Caldas de Reis - Padrón

Duration: 04:00 h
Distance: 18.2 km
Ascent: 190 m
Descent: 210 m
Today the route starts with wide views over vineyards and hills. The trail continues through forests, and after more than five kilometres you pass the beautiful church of Santa Mariña. You then walk through green forests and past fields, eventually ending up in Padrón. Padrón is named after the 'pedron', a Roman stone located under the altar in the cathedral in Santiago.

Hotel Scala (Padrón)

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Hotel Scala (Padrón)
Day
7

Padrón - Santiago de Compostela

Duration: 05:30 h
Distance: 26 km
Ascent: 450 m
Descent: 190 m
The last stage has arrived, Santiago is almost in sight! Today you walk the first kilometres past some churches, then the route enters the forest and you hike up on stony paths. After passing the ten-kilometre mark to Santiago, the cathedral in the distance soon comes into view. The route has several forks, all of which eventually end up in Santiago. You walk through the historic city centre to the square with the famous cathedral, your Camino Portugués has come to an end!

PR Campanas de San Juan (Santiago de Compostela)

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PR Campanas de San Juan (Santiago de Compostela)
Day
8

Departure from Santiago

Your Camino has come to an end, today you will leave Santiago to travel home or to another destination.
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Where Do I Stay During the Camino Portugués?

In the towns you pass along the Camino Portugués, there are plenty of places to stay. There is something for every budget and desire, from dormitory rooms to four-star hotels. We gladly explain the most common places to stay below.

Albergues

These 'hostels' cater to pilgrims and offer simple accommodation, at a low price. You usually spend the night in dormitories, smaller or private albergues sometimes offer private rooms. Bathrooms almost always have to be shared with other guests, nor is self-catering in an albergue always possible.

Hotels

Along the Camino Portugués you will also find hotels, hostels and guesthouses. Here you will mostly (not in all hostels and guesthouses) have a private room with private bathroom. Some accommodation also has its own restaurant to grab a bite to eat in the evening.

Pensão, residencial and quinta

With these types of accommodation, you stay in private rooms of, for instance, a large house or flat. The bathroom often has to be shared with other guests A quinta is a country house, similar to a bed & breakfast.

Pousada and parador

If you want to stay chic during your Camino Portugués, you can stay in these accommodations. These are restored castles, monasteries and palaces where you can stay very comfortably.

Where Do I Stay During the Camino Portugués?

Food and Drink During the Camino Portugués

You will not be lacking anything culinary during the Camino Portugués, you can enjoy delicious Portuguese and Spanish specialities along the way. Pastel de nata, caldo verde, fish dishes, seafood, tapas, empanadas...The possibilities are endless!

Depending on where you stay, breakfast is (limited) included. No need to start the day on an empty stomach. All towns have bars and cafés where you can have breakfast, often with sweets like pastel de nata or churros. On the way there is plenty of choice to eat something, which is why many pilgrims choose not to bring much to eat during the day, a 'menu do dia' is easily found if you get hungry.

In the evening, after your walking day, you can eat in one of the many restaurants, a daily snack or menu with local specialities can always be found. Depending on your accommodation address, there may be a communal kitchen available where you can prepare your own dinner.

Food and Drink During the Camino Portugués

Camino Portugués: Arriving and Departing

The Camino Portugués has several places to start, all of which can be reached by plane, bus or train. Lisbon, Porto and Tui are the most well-known places to start, Bookatrekking.com starts its package in Tui.

Plane

Lisbon

Lisbon airport serves many international destinations, from the airport the city centre can be reached easily by metro, bus or taxi. The Camino Portugués starts at the cathedral in the city centre.

Porto

Porto's airport is located near the city, after arrival you can easily travel on to the city centre by metro, bus or taxi. At the cathedral in the city centre, you can start the Camino.

Tui

Vigo-Peinador airport is located near Tui, from the airport you travel on to Tui by taxi and train or by bus.

Train

Lisbon

If you travel to Lisbon by train from Porto or abroad, you will arrive at Santa Apolónia or Parque das Nações station. By metro, you can continue on to the city centre to start your Camino.

Porto

In Porto, arrive by train at Campanhã station, where both domestic and international trains stop. By metro, you will travel on to the city centre of Porto, to start your Camino Portugués.

Tui

Tui train station is close to the city centre and can be reached with a change in Vigo or Valença. The city centre and the start of the Camino are easily accessible.

Bus

Both Lisbon, Porto and Tui can be easily reached by bus. Several international parties offer bus tickets to the three places. The national Spanish company also runs back and forth between Lisbon, Porto and Tui.

Departure from Santiago

From Santiago, you can go in different directions. By plane, train or bus, you can travel home or another destination. The airport is easily accessible from Santiago city centre and flies to many European destinations.

Camino Portugués: Arriving and Departing

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Packing List for the Camino de Santiago

No matter where you go hiking or for how long, bringing the right equipment is of utmost importance. For your hike, the first thing you need is a good backpack. The size of it will depend on the number of days you will be trekking, the season and the clothes you take with you. If you have luggage transport, the comfort level of your daypack is most important. We have compiled a packing list with a few essential items of clothing you should bring and some extras you might find useful:
  • Essentials

  • Extras

Do I Have to Carry My Own Luggage on the Camino Portugués?

You can carry your own luggage during the day, but you don't have to. There are several companies that will take your luggage to your next overnight address every day at a small cost. Your bag should weigh a maximum of 15 or 20 kilos and you drop it off at the lobby each morning. While you are enjoying your hiking day, your luggage will be transported to the next location and will be ready when you arrive in the afternoon. Convenient, right?

Safety tips for the Camino de Santiago

Although this is far from being a trek in the Himalayas, unexpected things can always happen and you might also find obstacles on the hiking trails along the way. The Camino de Santiago is safe, the trails are quite straight forward and there is not an extreme difference in altitude. However, for your safety, every hike deserves a level of respect; respect for the terrain, the trails, wildlife and vegetation, local rules and regulations, and above all, your physical capabilities and safety. Therefore, for an unforgettable and safe hiking memory, please keep the following safety recommendations in mind:

  • Know your limits

    Always prepare each stage carefully to use your energy wisely, respect your physical and mental limitations, and avoid taking unnecessary risks. When ascending or descending, if applicable, always use the aids provided, such as handrails and ropes. Is this trek suitable for you? Well, familiarize yourself with the grading system and figure out if this trek matches your capabilities. If you still need professional advice you can always contact Bookatrekking.com experts.

  • Stay on marked trails

    The most important thing is to never leave the marked paths. For easy navigation we work with our trusted partner Komoot, whose interactive maps, also available offline, provide you with the necessary digital means to get from A to B in the Camino de Santiago. As a backup, make sure to bring a hiking guide or a paper map with you.

  • Fully equipped

    Make sure you have the necessary gear for the conditions you'll be facing, including appropriate clothing, footwear, and any necessary equipment for the terrain you'll be hiking on. Always wear clothing adapted to the weather of Camino de Santiago and protect yourself from cold and wetness or heat and sun. Besides, make sure you carry enough food and water for the duration of your trek. On the way, you might (or might not) be able to buy snacks.

  • Stay reachable

    If you are hiking solo or in small groups it is advisable to inform people back home about your plans, what route you are taking and when you plan to return. Even small incidents can lead to unpleasant emergencies so make sure you are available at all times. Bring a charged phone containing at least the phone numbers of immediate family members, your accommodations en route and the emergency phone numbers operating in the Camino de Santiago.

  • Respect for nature

    Do not litter, prevent noise, stay on the marked trails, do not disturb wildlife or grazing animals, and respect protected areas.

How Do I Find My Way on the Camino Portugués?

The Camino Portugués is well marked, with yellow arrows and shell symbols to guide pilgrims during the stages.

How Do I Find My Way on the Camino Portugués?

Where Can I Book the Camino de Santiago?

At Bookatrekking.com you can book the self-guided Camino de Santiago and many other treks. We take care of all the details for you, including arranging accommodations, organizing luggage transportation and providing you with relevant information well in advance of your trek. Find our offers here. Our easy-to-use platform allows you to browse and compare different trekking options and find the perfect fit for your interests, abilities, and budget.

If you have any questions about a specific trek or need help choosing the right one for you, our team of trekking experts is here to assist you. Simply reach out to us and we will be happy to provide you with personalized recommendations and advice to help you plan the trekking adventure of a lifetime.

Is the Camino de Santiago not your cup of tea and are you looking for other epic adventures? Check out one of our following blog posts:

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