Camino Portugués Coastal Route: Highlights
Discover the wild Atlantic coast and sandy beaches of Northern Portugal and Galicia
Walk through charming seaside towns and fishing villages, dining on delicious fresh seafood
Enjoy more pleasant summer walking temperatures, when it can get very hot inland
Viana do Castelo; one of Portugal’s most beautiful and best-preserved historic towns
Experience the sense of acheivment in receiving your Compostela in Santiago
The Portuguese Coastal Way is a quieter and incredibly scenic variation of the main Camino Portugués central route, following the wild Atlantic coastline of northern Portugal and Galicia. It is a great option during the summers months as the Atlantic breezes help to maintain pleasant walking temperatures at a time when it can get very hot inland. Starting from Porto, the Caminho da Costa takes you through charming seaside towns and fishing villages, over sandy beaches and dunes before rejoining the inland route at Redondela for the final 80 km to Santiago.
|15 DAY TOUR||From €999 per person sharing*
*A single supplement charge will apply for solo walkers
||In charming guesthouses in a double room with private bathroom and breakfast. A half board supplement is available on the Spanish section, although the guesthouses are generally located in towns/villages with a choice of nearby restaurants.|
|AVAILABILITY||This trip is available to start on any day from the middle of March to the end of October.|
Make sure to arrive in plenty of time to explore the UNESCO World Heritage City of Porto. Take a stroll along the picturesque riverfront and enjoy a glass or two of the famous port wine!
The first walking day is relatively easy; taking the coastal route out of Porto, you will first follow the Douro River to its mouth at A Foz do Douro. Continuing along the coast, you will pass the Forte de São Francisco Xavier, also known as Castelo do Queijo, before reaching the wide sandy beach of Matosinhos. From hear on, you leave the urban surroundings and walk on beachside boardwalks while enjoying the sea breeze and wonderful views over the Atlantic Ocean.
Overnight: Aldeia Nova
Continuing your walk along the coast, you will pass through towns such as Labruge and Vila do Conde, as well as the Iron Age ruins of Castro de Sampaio, before arriving at Póvoa do Varzim. This beautiful city is home to the 3,000-year-old Cividade de Terrosso Fort, as well as an ancient aquaduct and a charming old town.
Overnight: Póvoa de Varzim
Today’s walk takes you through the Coastal Natural Park, Parque Natural do Litoral Norte, an area of wetlands and pine forests which is home to mallards, grey herons and cormorants. You will then cross the iron bridge over the Cavadoy river into the town of Esposende.
A longer walking day today, continuing through the Coastal Natural Park and passing vast sandy beaches and dunes along your way to the beautiful historic town of Viana do Castelo.
Make sure to take the funicular to the Basílica de Santa Luzía for stunning views over the town and surrounding area.
Overnight: Viana do Castelo
A more leisurely day, passing through numerous seaside villages and walking along wooden footbridges over the beaches and dunes on your way to the coastal town Vila Praia de Ancora.
Overnight: Vila Praia de Ancora
Today you leave Portugal for Spain. First follow the coast north to the town of Caminha, at the mouth of the Miño River. Here you will catch the regular ferry service across the river to Galicia to continue your walk to the charming fishing village of A Guarda.
Overnight: A Guarda
The longest stage of your walk but a very pleasant one, with stunning ocean views all the way. You will follow coastal paths, forest tracks and tarmac roads to reach the small beachfront village of Oia, dominated by its 12th century monastery. This makes a good place to take a break, before continuing along the coast to the Lighthouse of Cabo Silleiro, then cutting across the mountains and finally descending into the medieval centre of Baiona. This historic town was the first place in Europe to hear news of Columbus’ discovery of America. Today it is a busy seaside town a picturesque marina, atmospheric old town and excellent seafood restaurants.
Walking alongside the Ria de Vigo, you will enjoy wonderful views of the Bay and the Cies Islands, home to some of Galicia’s most beautiful beaches (it is possible to visit the islands by boat from Baiona during the summer months). You will pass the historic fountain of O Pombal, before crossing the Roman bridge at Ramallosa and continuing into the marshland area of Foz del Rio Minor.
Leaving the city of Vigo, you follow a pleasant river path with wonderful views over the Vigo estuary. Continue to Redondela, where the Portuguese Coastal Way ends. From here on you will follow the route of the original Portuguese Camino.
A relatively flat stage today, continuing along the estuary before entering some pine forest, then crossing the Verdugo river via Ponte Sampaio; a famous bridge where Napoleon’s army once suffered a heavy defeat. Continue by climbing the ancient stone paths to the 13th century Church of Santa Maria with its wonderful views over the Bay of Vigo before arriving in Pontevedra. This small riverside city has an impressive heritage; it was once Galicia’s biggest and most important port and it was here that Columbus’ flagship, the Santa María, was built.
Gentle paths take you through chestnut groves, pine and eucalyptus woods and along river valleys today. You will pass through lots of typical Galician villages, such as the hamlet of Tivo with its lovely fountain. As you reach Lombo da Maceira, look out for a statue of Saint James with his walking stick, showing pilgrims the way. The Romanesque Church of Santa María welcomes you at the entrance to Caldas de Reis, a spa town where you can rest your weary feet in the hot springs on arrival.
Overnight: Caldas de Reis
Today you will leave Pontevedra province to enter the province of A Coruña – Santiago is getting very close!
This is an easy and very pleasant day of walking through pine forests in two river valleys. Padrón is believed to be place where St. James first preached in Spain, as well as being the arrival point where his body was brought to following his martyrdom in Jerusalem, before it was carried onwards by the disciples to Santiago.
Tasting the world-famous Pimientos de Padrón (Padrón peppers) is a must!
The final stage of your journey. As you approach Santiago you will pass through the same villages as the disciples did when carried St. James’ mortal remains to lay them to rest for eternity. There is inevitably some road walking as you approach the city, but you will also walk through some pleasant sections of forest before spotting the spires of the magnificent cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. You can feel the centuries of history as you walk the cobbled streets of its UNESCO-listed old town and enjoy the sense of achievement in completing your journey!
Overnight: Santiago de Compostela
Your arrangement ends after breakfast this morning, unless you have booked additional nights.
Getting to Porto
|Porto International Airport (OPO) is 12 km from the city.|
|The easiest way to get to Porto airport from the city is taking the metro (line E), departing every 5-9 minutes. See: www.metrodoporto.pt.|
Getting from Santiago de Compostela
|Santiago de Compostela Airport (11 km): There is shuttle bus from Santiago city centre to the airport, departing every 30min. Bus stops are: city centre (Plaza de Galicia), train station (Estación de Ferrocarril) and bus station (Estación de Autobuses). See: www.empresafreire.com.|
|Porto Airport (210 km): There is a direct bus connection between Santiago (Estación de Autobuses) and Porto airport once or twice a day. For details, see www.alsa.es.|