The Central Route from Porto

Camino Portugués

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The sprawl from the center of Porto runs all the way to Gião, where a revision to the camino takes you mercifully off of the road and to Vairão where a more tranquil walk resumes. That is a stretch of 25km, more than enough walking given the terrain. It is not uncommon for pilgrims to bypass much of this sprawl by taking the metro to the suburb of Araújo.

The easiest starting point for leaving the city is the Cathedral. With your back to its main door (facing west) pass the tower, keeping it on your right and follow the ramp downhill. Jog left then right around the building that is at the bottom of the ramp and then look to your left for a set of stairs that take you down to the plaza in front of the Church of São Lourenço (until the 1750’s a Jesuit Church, and thereafter it was purchased by the Order of Saint Augustine, who brought with them from Lisbon the nickname ‘brothers of the site of cricket’, at which time the church became known simply as Grilos).

With your back to this São Lourenço, take the left most street (Rua de Santa Ana) to the intersection with Rua da Bainharia and turn left. Mere meters later, turn right. You will cross the Rua Mouzinho de Silveira, keep on straight here and turn right at the next street, the Rua das Flores (recognizable for a small square and the church at the far end). Beyond that church (the Igreja da Misericórdia) turn left against road traffic on the first street, the Rua do Ferraz. It is uphill and straight to Rua da Vitória, turn right when you get there. You will now be walking with traffic. At the next junction, turn left against traffic onto the Rua dos Caldeireiros.

At the top turn right into the square. There is a park opposite you, and you will walk through a small section on the right side. If you doubt the direction, remember that you are going to pass over the tram lines. You can follow those tram lines as they pass the statue of Ramalho Ortigão and around the University building on your right. They lead to the square and fountain of Leitao. Keep in the same direction, straight through this square (there will be two conjoined churches on your left).

Straight ahead is the Plaza de Carlos Alberto, a triangle shaped square. Exit to the left onto Rua de Cedofeita. You have now arrived at a pedestrianized shopping zone of Cedofeita.

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