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Beach route from Porto to Vila do Conde

kstaylor

Member
The Brierley book gives the impression that one would be walking mostly on sand on the optional beach route from Matosinhos to Vila do Conde. That could be a difficult slog for 22 k.

You can walk about 2/3 -- the first 2/3 -- of it without any sand walking. Much is boardwalk, some of it quite new, some put in recently to protect the delicate growth of narrow dunes. Fairly comfortable walking, just don't get your trekking pole caught between the boards. Some of the first 2/3 is on sidewalks or cobbled streets.

But at Vila Cha any beachfront walkway disappears. I tried to find one, wanting to avoid slogging through sand, but no luck. Eventually I got nearly stuck in a bunch of nested cul-de-sacs in an area of vacation homes with seemingly nobody around to ask directions of. After going quite a few km out of my way I ended up in Mindelo, a good bit away from the beach. Pretty tired after going around in circles, I found my way to a Metro stop and took the Metro the rest of the way into Vila do Conde (not very far).

Vila do Conde is a pleasant stop. I've got a nice room -- with private bath -- in "O Manco Da Areia" (listed in Brierley) for 25 E/night. Got here fairly late on a Friday but had no trouble getting a room.

If anyone is fortunate enough to be here on a Saturday afternoon there is very non-touristy Fado at Adega do Tijolo (take the steps marked as Rua do Tijolo toward the north end of Rua Nossa Senhora de Fatima). The Fado Vadio ("Vagabond Fado") is from about 4 to 7 Saturday afternoons. The "minimum" is just 3 Euros. I spent all of 5 Euros for soup, water and coffee, and listened to several hours of various fadistas -- and was the only foreign tourist in the tiny place.

Bom Caminho
Kit
kstaylor@centurytel.net
 
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Portia1

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances 2009, Portuguese 2012
Frances 2016, (Frances 2019)
thank you so much for this information! I am hoping to do this myself but was wondering what the walking condition was. Do you have any advice now that you are back on the last section and where it makes sense to detour?
 

ann o neill

New Member
:D hi k, we are planning to walk from Porto to Valenca, and i am wondering about the coastal route also, did you do it ? if so would appreciate information on type of route it is, sand, gravel or road, plus is there accommodation - we were hoping to use cheap pensione / hotels. Ann
 

kstaylor

Member
ann o neill said:
:D hi k, we are planning to walk from Porto to Valenca, and i am wondering about the coastal route also, did you do it ? if so would appreciate information on type of route it is, sand, gravel or road, plus is there accommodation - we were hoping to use cheap pensione / hotels. Ann

I only tried the beach route from Porto (Matosinhos) to Vila do Conde. From Vila do Conde I connected with the main route following the directions in Brierley. His directions are pretty good. There is one very dangerous -- but short -- section with high stone walls on both sides of a curving narrow road without any shoulder and with lots of overly fast traffic.

So far basic hotels have been running in the 20-30 Euro range ((for one). There have always been rooms at the first hotel I've gone to. I've relied on those listed in Brierley and/or Lonely Planet. In Rates I first went to the Casa de Mattos -- listed in Brierley -- but it appears to be seasonable. A person next door to it just said it was closed and didn't know when or if it might open. So I stayed at the Albergue, even though I was not equipped with sheet, towel, etc. It was certainly not crowded, only eight others staying there so I was able to appropriate two of the rough blankets that are provided.

In Barcelos today, I'm at Residential Arantes, right on the main praca, 20 Euros/night -- private half-bath with sink and shower, toilet down the hall. A fairly large room. I'll stay here for two full days.

Kit
kstaylor@centurytel.net
 

ann o neill

New Member
Hi Kit,
thanks for such a speedy reply, enjoy your stay in Barcelos, i have a feeling we will be doing the same route, coastal route seens vague and unknown, but if you hear of anyone that did it please let me know, keep me in touch with your progress, any language barriers? i speak some spanish but not portuguese,

Bon Camino
Ann
 
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kstaylor

Member
ann o neill said:
Hi Kit,
thanks for such a speedy reply, enjoy your stay in Barcelos, i have a feeling we will be doing the same route, coastal route seens vague and unknown, but if you hear of anyone that did it please let me know, keep me in touch with your progress, any language barriers? i speak some spanish but not portuguese,

Bon Camino
Ann

English is very widely spoken here. Perhaps if you got lost and had to ask a farmer for directions you could have some problems. But I also met a group of three pilgrims who speak only Spanish and they are doing fine.

It has taken some effort on my part to keep conversations in Portuguese as many people like to show they speak English. But they do put up with my somewhat rusty Brazilian Portuguese and I am very slowly getting used to the significant pronounciation differences.

Bom Caminho,
Kit
 

mmonomm

Member
hi,

2 weeks ago i intended to walk from Porto the beach route, but i was lost after getting the metro to avoid the industrial area of Porto-, and ended up in Viana do Castelo. on the beach. from there it was a beatiful walk in forests, on hills, and finally on the beach, before arriving in Caminha. so i can recommend also this part of the beach route!!!!!
 

DesertRose

New Member
Hi guys,

I'm starting the Camino Portugues this weekend and I was wondering: Can you do Vila do Conde or Povoa de Varzim to Barcelos in one day? Is the route well marked or do we have to go through Rates?

Just wondering if people do this. We have 8-9 days to do Porto to Santiago but I'm starting to get worried about the long days and thought maybe it would be reasonable to get the metro out of Porto and start from slightly up north to save a few kms.

Thanks everyone, lovely forum here.


Rose
 

kstaylor

Member
DesertRose said:
Hi guys,

I'm starting the Camino Portugues this weekend and I was wondering: Can you do Vila do Conde or Povoa de Varzim to Barcelos in one day? Is the route well marked or do we have to go through Rates?

Just wondering if people do this. We have 8-9 days to do Porto to Santiago but I'm starting to get worried about the long days and thought maybe it would be reasonable to get the metro out of Porto and start from slightly up north to save a few kms.

Thanks everyone, lovely forum here.


Rose

I took two days from Vila do Conde to Barcelos, but it could be done in one day. From V. do Conde to Arcos it is not well marked, but the directions in Brierley are good. Once in Arcos you are on the main route and yellow arrows are abundant. With the easy metro connection from Porto to V.do Conde that would be a good starting point.

Kit
 
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PereGringo

New Member
DesertRose said:
Hi guys,

I'm starting the Camino Portugues this weekend and I was wondering: Can you do Vila do Conde or Povoa de Varzim to Barcelos in one day? Is the route well marked or do we have to go through Rates?

Just wondering if people do this. We have 8-9 days to do Porto to Santiago but I'm starting to get worried about the long days and thought maybe it would be reasonable to get the metro out of Porto and start from slightly up north to save a few kms.

Thanks everyone, lovely forum here.


Rose
i started in Braga, interesting detour into the main route, and Braga is very beautiful..buen Camino
 

anfear

New Member
Past OR future Camino
June 2012, Leon to Santiago, 12 days and one of the most memorable experiences of my life so far!
Did this section in Sept 2017, excellent boardwalk all the way to Vila do Conde now! :)
 

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