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Advice needed for Camino Portugues please

2020 Camino Guides

Nicci Fourie

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015)
Camino del Norte & Primitivo (2016)
Hi Guys :)

I am planning a little (mini) Camino in Portugal for April, but will only have 2.5 weeks to walk (which is super sad for me because the last time I walked I was real blessed with 2.5 months. bliss!)

Because my time is so short, I would really appreciate it if I could have some advise on which portion of the route in Portugal would be most recommended?
I much prefer small villages to cities, and would like to be away from tar/busy roads as much as possible.

As I have walked before, and been in for the long haul, I do not feel that I need to arrive to Santiago this time. I really just miss the journey, and would like to walk the most stunning portion of the route (if there is such a thing).

Also, is there anyone here who has walked Portugal in April?
Are Albergues open?
Am I likely to find other pilgrims along the way?
What was the weather like?

Would really appreciate any feedback on the above.
x
Nicci
 

falcon269

no commercial interests
Camino(s) past & future
LePuy, Frances, Aragones, Ingles, Vezelay, Toulosana, Muxia, Fisterra, Portugues, Sanabres
The route has a lot of walking along roads; there is less on the coastal route. Albergues should be opening at the beginning of April. The weather will be the same as last year, but on different days (check any weather site's almanac for last year)!!! There will be other pilgrims, but not a lot until summer. Get the Brierley guide for information on the route, cities, villages, and scenery. It will be hard to skip just the cities; that is where you will find transportation to skip sections (which will have the villages).
 

Mike T

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Carcassonne-Santiago via Camino Frances 2011
Mary/Michael Way Avebury-Bury St Edmund 2012
Camino Portuguese Lisbon-Santiago 2013
Tochar Phadraig Ballintubber-Croagh Patrick 2013
Mary/Michael Way Glastonbury-Avebury 2015
St Kevin's Way 2017
All the information from falcon269 is on the button. Good idea to get the Brierley guide mentioned - it's full of info and maps. Lisbon-Porto has the most road walking (but some wonderful historic towns) so maybe best to leave it out. If time is limited and the Saint's tomb doesn't have to be a goal, you might start at Porto and just see how far you get - I'd recommend taking the coastal route out of Porto - it will give you a whole day walking by the sea (and sometimes actually on the beach or boardwalks above it). If you're worried about Albergues being closed - please check out if the Bombeiros (Firemen) still offer pilgrim beds for the night, they did in 2013 and it was excellent: you just turn up and say you want a bed (show your pilgrim passport, they'll stamp it), you sleep in the fire station with the duty crew (and hope there isn't a call out at 3am), separate dorms for men and women, it's free/no donativo (though I did buy drinks for a couple of the lads in a bar across the road), no food offered but there are places to eat and drink and the firemen know the best value in town. Even small towns have such a station. If they run out of beds (didn't happen to me) I believe they'll let you sleep on the floor - so no one will say "No room at the Inn", Overall, it's much quieter than the Frances, but you may have the experience of a chat with pilgrims walking in the opposite direction (they're going to Fatima). Enjoy!
 

Swift3

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CP, Porto to SdC, May/June 2016
Last spring (mid May to early June), my daughter and I took 22 days, from Porto to SdC, including flying from the US and back, a full day in Porto to sight see, a "zero" day of sightseeing in Valenca, 2 full days in ScC and a full day in Madrid for museum-going. We actually walked on only 14 days. No stage was particularly difficult, with maybe the exception of crossing "La Bruja" (actually, the hill after it).

So yes, I'd think you'd be perfect for a 2.5 week Porto to SdC trip. Plenty of extra time to poke around and linger when you find something interesting. And I think you will find plenty of spots you'll want to spend more time checking out. We were meeting 3 others who were not really experienced hikers, and only had about 10 days of time to walk. They joined up with us in Barcelos. So, we made the stages fairly easy distances for them, averaging around 12 miles a day, but some days less and only 1 day was 13.5 miles.

We used the newest Brierley as our bible. But the route was essentially what Albertinho had suggested (and many thanks for your guidance, sir!).

Here's our route, [with approximate mileage in brackets] (really only day 1 along the sea - glorious, and the fresh seafood was just amazing!):

Porto -> Vila do Conde [12.4]. (got stamped in in Porto Catedral Se', then shipped travel clothes and extra gear not taking on walk to Ivar in SdC (a great service!) for holding , next day took Metro to Mercado stop in Matosinhos, had a pastry and coffee and started walking by crossing the bridge and walked along the boardwalk until the Santa Clara albergue (muni albergue-great [they have washers and driers!]- one of the nicest on the route). We did stop for a late lunch at a sea-side resaurant - just amazing, fresh seafood! And dinner around the corner from the Santa Clara albergue was fun and the owners are very accomodating to perigrinos. A really great pilgrim meal.

VdC -> Sao Pedro de Rates [8.5]. Great following aqueduct. The albergue at Rates is one of the oldest on the CP. A beautiful day's walk.

Rates -> Barcelos [12.4]. We met the 3 others in our party having a late lunch. Had time to check into our hotel (reserved ahead) and shower, tour a bit, and make a wonderful pilgrim mass at the Igreja do Terco that evening (it was a Sunday).

{note: if you have any interest in detouring to Braga, you can take a bus early and be back that same night in Barcelos}

Barcelos ->Lugar do Corgo at Casa Fernada [11.2] Make reservations plenty ahead of time to be able to enjoy Fernada and Jacinto's wonderful hospitality. Donativo. You will be humbled and inspired and have a wonderful time.

Lugar do Corgo -> Ponte de Lima [9.0]. Great muni albergue across the bridge in PdL. Nice restaurants on the same square.

PdL -> Rubiaes [11.5] This is a tough day, not really because you cross the LaBruja, but because you climb over the Alto Portela Grande through the forest. The view, on a pretty day, is spectacular! The albergue in Rubiaes is very nice. It was nearly full the night were there. a nice coffee shop next door. The short walk to town has some good places that serve a hearty and tasty pilgrim meal.

Rubiaes -> Valenca [9.3] Nice muni albergue, but a bit off the beaten track. Something of a dilema here. The walled city of Valenca is worth a day to explore. We took a day off to do it. But when you cross the bridge into Spain, if you plan to have a short day and stay in Tui, you are now in Galicia and they have, or at least had, a rule that wouldn't permit you to stay in the muni albergue unless you have walked a certain distance that day, and the walk from Valenca wasn't long enough, so we ended up in a private. No big deal, but just know ahead. Tui is also worth the long stop and you can have a great meal.

Valenca -> Tui [???]. See above.

Tui -> O Porrino [9.3] Nice muni (Xunta) albergue. A bit confusing on waymarking, due to some hijinks by rival bar/restaurant owners vying for customers, so trying to change the route marker to run pilgrims past their places on different routes. follow your guide book closely. Lots of options for diner in town.

O Porrino -> Redondola [10.6] One of the coolest ablergues on the route. Just in the center of town. (Casa da Torre - Xunta run). The Iglesia de Santiago is not to be missed. Wander around.

Redondola -> Pontevedra [12.3] beautiful walk past the waterside through Arcade. the Xunta albergue is good, in fact marvleous, new, great sitting room with library. But a bit out of town. We took a taxi from the nearby rail station in for dinner and a stroll, and again back, to beat the curfew (barely!).

Pontevedra -> Caldas de Reis [13.4] Interesting place, but my group opted for a private there and a quiet dinner. the non-hikers were craving sheets and a real bed and a private shower.

CdR -> Padron [11.2] Muni (Xunta) albergue, pretty small, somewhat limited. But fine. but great view, and church next door, now monastery, is a show stopper. Dinner along the Paseo at any number of good restaurants.

Padron -> Faramello [8.7] Our group opted to stop short before ScC and spend the night so we could get up the next day and have a short walk into ScC and make it to the Pilgrim Office for our Compostellas in plenty of time for the Friday night mass and the botifumero. Very nice country. the albergue was nice, simple, with small restaurant that was fine for our evening meal. A nice place to stop and gather out thoughts about what we had done and were about to do.

Faramello -SdC [only 6.2 but seemed like forever-goalline fever running high]. Plenty of time to make it to the square and then a wait in line at the pilgrim office.

There are plenty of other ways to do it, but in 2.5 weeks, that route should give you plenty of time to get in some good walking, poke around here and there, and explore SdC a bit on the back end. Or you may prefer another way.

Whatever you decide, Bom Camino!
 
Last edited:

Grace CYS

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese Camino in April 2017 - completed
Hi Guys :)

I am planning a little (mini) Camino in Portugal for April, but will only have 2.5 weeks to walk (which is super sad for me because the last time I walked I was real blessed with 2.5 months. bliss!)

Because my time is so short, I would really appreciate it if I could have some advise on which portion of the route in Portugal would be most recommended?
I much prefer small villages to cities, and would like to be away from tar/busy roads as much as possible.

As I have walked before, and been in for the long haul, I do not feel that I need to arrive to Santiago this time. I really just miss the journey, and would like to walk the most stunning portion of the route (if there is such a thing).

Also, is there anyone here who has walked Portugal in April?
Are Albergues open?
Am I likely to find other pilgrims along the way?
What was the weather like?

Would really appreciate any feedback on the above.
x
Nicci

I will visit Fatima in April before commencing my walk from Porto to SdC. I think since Easter falls in mid April this year, walking the Camino during the Lenten period (6 wks before Easter) will probably make this April walk a popular choice among pilgrims to Portugal.


That May 2017 marks the Centenary celebration of the Fatima Marian apparitions could mean this Camino walk will be more popular this year perhaps.

I certainly hope I won't be the only one walking during my 2-week trip:)
 

miriamaok

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP to SdC Camino Frances (2016)
Coimbra to SdC Camino Portugues (2017)
Camino del Norte (2018)
I'm starting in Porto on Easter Sunday - the 16th of April and have about 2.5 weeks too so thanks @Swift3 for a good itinerary to get me started!
 

Almarie jv Rensburg

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues 2015
Hallo! Walked Porto to Santiago in 9 days in early may 2015. Weather was fantastic! Just enough pilgrims for me. Some albergues open but i mostly stayed in b&b's and a hotel or two. Plenty along the way....met a pilgrim that started in Lisbon that said Lisbon to Porto plenty of tarred road walking. From Porto walking surrounds is beautiful. Had a magical camino! Will however do it in 11 or 12 days next time.... Brierley guide book a must. Buen Camino!!!
 

laineylainey

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
Coastal route for me! Start at Porto. At the end I walked into Santiago and got the bus to the airport - perfect end to a lovely walk albeit it was Sept).
 

KariC

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho portugûes (2016)
For me the most spectacularly beautiful part of the Camino Portugues was the camino de rocas y piedras along the variante espiritual (between Armenteira and Villanova).
 

Liana

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CP Central July 25, 2015
CP Coastal July, 5, 2016
Burgos to Santiago, Sept 2018
CP Central 6/2020
For me the most spectacularly beautiful part of the Camino Portugues was the camino de rocas y piedras along the variante espiritual (between Armenteira and Villanova).
I would "second" that! It was Incredible!!!!
 

Daniel CHIA

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francese (May 2016); Camino Portuguese (March 2017)
Hi Guys :)

I am planning a little (mini) Camino in Portugal for April, but will only have 2.5 weeks to walk (which is super sad for me because the last time I walked I was real blessed with 2.5 months. bliss!)

Because my time is so short, I would really appreciate it if I could have some advise on which portion of the route in Portugal would be most recommended?
I much prefer small villages to cities, and would like to be away from tar/busy roads as much as possible.

As I have walked before, and been in for the long haul, I do not feel that I need to arrive to Santiago this time. I really just miss the journey, and would like to walk the most stunning portion of the route (if there is such a thing).

Also, is there anyone here who has walked Portugal in April?
Are Albergues open?
Am I likely to find other pilgrims along the way?
What was the weather like?

Would really appreciate any feedback on the above.
x
Nicci
Hi,

I'll be starting off from Porto from 30th March, taking the coastal route till Villa do Conde, then walking inland... I'll be prepared for rain...

Buen Camino!

daniel
 

EmoJohnson

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese coastal way (2017)
Camino Frances (May/June 2018)
Last spring (mid May to early June), my daughter and I took 22 days, from Porto to SdC, including flying from the US and back, a full day in Porto to sight see, a "zero" day of sightseeing in Valenca, 2 full days in ScC and a full day in Madrid for museum-going. We actually walked on only 14 days. No stage was particularly difficult, with maybe the exception of crossing "La Bruja" (actually, the hill after it).

So yes, I'd think you'd be perfect for a 2.5 week Porto to SdC trip. Plenty of extra time to poke around and linger when you find something interesting. And I think you will find plenty of spots you'll want to spend more time checking out. We were meeting 3 others who were not really experienced hikers, and only had about 10 days of time to walk. They joined up with us in Barcelos. So, we made the stages fairly easy distances for them, averaging around 12 miles a day, but some days less and only 1 day was 13.5 miles.

We used the newest Brierley as our bible. But the route was essentially what Albertinho had suggested (and many thanks for your guidance, sir!).

Here's our route, [with approximate mileage in brackets] (really only day 1 along the sea - glorious, and the fresh seafood was just amazing!):

Porto -> Vila do Conde [12.4]. (got stamped in in Porto Catedral Se', then shipped travel clothes and extra gear not taking on walk to Ivar in SdC (a great service!) for holding , next day took Metro to Mercado stop in Matosinhos, had a pastry and coffee and started walking by crossing the bridge and walked along the boardwalk until the Santa Clara albergue (muni albergue-great [they have washers and driers!]- one of the nicest on the route). We did stop for a late lunch at a sea-side resaurant - just amazing, fresh seafood! And dinner around the corner from the Santa Clara albergue was fun and the owners are very accomodating to perigrinos. A really great pilgrim meal.

VdC -> Sao Pedro de Rates [8.5]. Great following aqueduct. The albergue at Rates is one of the oldest on the CP. A beautiful day's walk.

Rates -> Barcelos [12.4]. We met the 3 others in our party having a late lunch. Had time to check into our hotel (reserved ahead) and shower, tour a bit, and make a wonderful pilgrim mass at the Igreja do Terco that evening (it was a Sunday).

{note: if you have any interest in detouring to Braga, you can take a bus early and be back that same night in Barcelos}

Barcelos ->Lugar do Corgo at Casa Fernada [11.2] Make reservations plenty ahead of time to be able to enjoy Fernada and Jacinto's wonderful hospitality. Donativo. You will be humbled and inspired and have a wonderful time.

Lugar do Corgo -> Ponte de Lima [9.0]. Great muni albergue across the bridge in PdL. Nice restaurants on the same square.

PdL -> Rubiaes [11.5] This is a tough day, not really because you cross the LaBruja, but because you climb over the Alto Portela Grande through the forest. The view, on a pretty day, is spectacular! The albergue in Rubiaes is very nice. It was nearly full the night were there. a nice coffee shop next door. The short walk to town has some good places that serve a hearty and tasty pilgrim meal.

Rubiaes -> Valenca [9.3] Nice muni albergue, but a bit off the beaten track. Something of a dilema here. The walled city of Valenca is worth a day to explore. We took a day off to do it. But when you cross the bridge into Spain, if you plan to have a short day and stay in Tui, you are now in Galicia and they have, or at least had, a rule that wouldn't permit you to stay in the muni albergue unless you have walked a certain distance that day, and the walk from Valenca wasn't long enough, so we ended up in a private. No big deal, but just know ahead. Tui is also worth the long stop and you can have a great meal.

Valenca -> Tui [???]. See above.

Tui -> O Porrino [9.3] Nice muni (Xunta) albergue. A bit confusing on waymarking, due to some hijinks by rival bar/restaurant owners vying for customers, so trying to change the route marker to run pilgrims past their places on different routes. follow your guide book closely. Lots of options for diner in town.

O Porrino -> Redondola [10.6] One of the coolest ablergues on the route. Just in the center of town. (Casa da Torre - Xunta run). The Iglesia de Santiago is not to be missed. Wander around.

Redondola -> Pontevedra [12.3] beautiful walk past the waterside through Arcade. the Xunta albergue is good, in fact marvleous, new, great sitting room with library. But a bit out of town. We took a taxi from the nearby rail station in for dinner and a stroll, and again back, to beat the curfew (barely!).

Pontevedra -> Caldas de Reis [13.4] Interesting place, but my group opted for a private there and a quiet dinner. the non-hikers were craving sheets and a real bed and a private shower.

CdR -> Padron [11.2] Muni (Xunta) albergue, pretty small, somewhat limited. But fine. but great view, and church next door, now monastery, is a show stopper. Dinner along the Paseo at any number of good restaurants.

Padron -> Faramello [8.7] Our group opted to stop short before ScC and spend the night so we could get up the next day and have a short walk into ScC and make it to the Pilgrim Office for our Compostellas in plenty of time for the Friday night mass and the botifumero. Very nice country. the albergue was nice, simple, with small restaurant that was fine for our evening meal. A nice place to stop and gather out thoughts about what we had done and were about to do.

Faramello -SdC [only 6.2 but seemed like forever-goalline fever running high]. Plenty of time to make it to the square and then a wait in line at the pilgrim office.

There are plenty of other ways to do it, but in 2.5 weeks, that route should give you plenty of time to get in some good walking, poke around here and there, and explore SdC a bit on the back end. Or you may prefer another way.

Whatever you decide, Bom Camino!
 

EmoJohnson

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese coastal way (2017)
Camino Frances (May/June 2018)
Enormously helpful! I'm going to walk that route alone and only have just shy 3 weeks so this info is incredibly helpful.
 

rgutena

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via Podiensis (2016); Camino Portugues (2017); Via Regia (2018)
For me the most spectacularly beautiful part of the Camino Portugues was the camino de rocas y piedras along the variante espiritual (between Armenteira and Villanova).
Mmm... couldn't find these places in the Brierley book.
 

EmoJohnson

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese coastal way (2017)
Camino Frances (May/June 2018)
Hallo! Walked Porto to Santiago in 9 days in early may 2015. Weather was fantastic! Just enough pilgrims for me. Some albergues open but i mostly stayed in b&b's and a hotel or two. Plenty along the way....met a pilgrim that started in Lisbon that said Lisbon to Porto plenty of tarred road walking. From Porto walking surrounds is beautiful. Had a magical camino! Will however do it in 11 or 12 days next time.... Brierley guide book a must. Buen Camino!!!
Thank you! Did you experience a lot of rain? I'm walking the coastal in May.
 

whiteduke

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to go in September from Porto
Hallo! Walked Porto to Santiago in 9 days in early may 2015. Weather was fantastic! Just enough pilgrims for me. Some albergues open but i mostly stayed in b&b's and a hotel or two. Plenty along the way....met a pilgrim that started in Lisbon that said Lisbon to Porto plenty of tarred road walking. From Porto walking surrounds is beautiful. Had a magical camino! Will however do it in 11 or 12 days next time.... Brierley guide book a must. Buen Camino!!!
Will be walking the Porto to Santiago end Aug beginning of Sept (12 days). What do you suggest? Senda litoral or inland route?
 

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