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Biking from Porto - Eurovelo or Camino path?

dogtails

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino del Santiago
Hi! I‘m biking with my husband and two teens from Porto and I’m curious if you would recommend the Eurovelo coastal route or the Camino route? or other route suggestions? When we get into Spain we plan to go via Vigo.
 
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Gerard Griffin

Active Member
I'd recommend the Coastal Camino. It's safer than the Eurovelo route because there's less road and more trail, it's flat, and it's beautiful to cycle on the boardwalk beside the sea.

Spain has generous margins for road cyclists. Portugal doesn't. Spanish drivers respect the 1.5 meter bike clearance rule. Less so the more anarchic Portuguese, including truck-drivers. With kids the Eurovelo route is, in my opinion, best avoided.

Ignore the bleatings of walkers who want this lovely trail all to themselves ... 🚵‍♀️
 

stevewarne

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portugal Coastal Camino (2022)
Hi! I‘m biking with my husband and two teens from Porto and I’m curious if you would recommend the Eurovelo coastal route or the Camino route? or other route suggestions? When we get into Spain we plan to go via Vigo.
My girlfriend and I finished 6 days of cycling from Porto to Santiago in June. Before the trip, I spent months researching which route to take and looking at various GPS tracks. We wanted to stay close to the ocean, and avoid hills and traffic.

We looked at Eurovelo 1, Section 17 & 18, which will take you from Porto to Caminha (it ends in Portugal), but found it had issues. It takes you on boardwalks that don’t allow bikes, puts you on some busy highways (e.g., the N-13), has you going the wrong way down one-way streets. But most importantly, the Eurovelo route hasn’t been updated for all the new bike paths along the ocean that Portugal has invested in. So, in Portugal, we ended up creating a track that used a combination of Eurovelo 1 (with fixes) and the unofficial Senda Litoral route.

In some cases, I contacted local tourist offices to find the best routes in Portugal. For instance, in an area below Viana do Castelo, they gave me a route suggestion that avoided a sandy beach area that they said was not passable by bike. I also got a suggestion to take a ferry across the river Limia to avoid a terrible bridge (for bikers, that is). Our route worked well for us except on the second day, we got into some sandy beach areas near Marinhas that were a struggle to get our bikes through.

I found the route planning for Spain much easier. Going to Baiona was a matter of following the bike route along the N-550 highway by the ocean which was pretty well marked. From Baiona to Vigo, there are route variations, but for cyclists, the easiest is to stay along the ocean from the start, and then go through the beautiful parks along the Rio Lagares in Vigo. With the right route, you only have about 1.5 miles of street riding through Vigo.

From Vigo to Redondela, and then on to Pontevedra, Caldas de Reis, Padron and Santiago, you just follow the markers, or follow the walkers, as there is really only one route. We looked at some route variations that avoid short sections of rough dirt paths, but really, it's just easier to follow the marked walker route.

If you are savy in working with GPS, I can provide our actual GPX tracks from our trip that I used on a Garmin Edge 530 unit. It's 6 files, but I'm not sure what the rules are for attaching the files here.
 

dogtails

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino del Santiago
My girlfriend and I finished 6 days of cycling from Porto to Santiago in June. Before the trip, I spent months researching which route to take and looking at various GPS tracks. We wanted to stay close to the ocean, and avoid hills and traffic.

We looked at Eurovelo 1, Section 17 & 18, which will take you from Porto to Caminha (it ends in Portugal), but found it had issues. It takes you on boardwalks that don’t allow bikes, puts you on some busy highways (e.g., the N-13), has you going the wrong way down one-way streets. But most importantly, the Eurovelo route hasn’t been updated for all the new bike paths along the ocean that Portugal has invested in. So, in Portugal, we ended up creating a track that used a combination of Eurovelo 1 (with fixes) and the unofficial Senda Litoral route.

In some cases, I contacted local tourist offices to find the best routes in Portugal. For instance, in an area below Viana do Castelo, they gave me a route suggestion that avoided a sandy beach area that they said was not passable by bike. I also got a suggestion to take a ferry across the river Limia to avoid a terrible bridge (for bikers, that is). Our route worked well for us except on the second day, we got into some sandy beach areas near Marinhas that were a struggle to get our bikes through.

I found the route planning for Spain much easier. Going to Baiona was a matter of following the bike route along the N-550 highway by the ocean which was pretty well marked. From Baiona to Vigo, there are route variations, but for cyclists, the easiest is to stay along the ocean from the start, and then go through the beautiful parks along the Rio Lagares in Vigo. With the right route, you only have about 1.5 miles of street riding through Vigo.

From Vigo to Redondela, and then on to Pontevedra, Caldas de Reis, Padron and Santiago, you just follow the markers, or follow the walkers, as there is really only one route. We looked at some route variations that avoid short sections of rough dirt paths, but really, it's just easier to follow the marked walker route.

If you are savy in working with GPS, I can provide our actual GPX tracks from our trip that I used on a Garmin Edge 530 unit. It's 6 files, but I'm not sure what the rules are for attaching the files here.
Thank you! We’ve mixed and matched the EV1 with the Camino in Portugal and also found stretches of the EV not viable at all. We had a few hike a bikes to get thru the sand and rock and also ended up on N13 for a short bit. You were wise to avoid the bridge across Limia! That was a bit scary pulling a small trailer and also w two teens. The views along the coast have been stunning!

We’ll hit the hills after Vigo in two days. Are they as hard as the GPX show? thanks for your helpful suggestions!
 
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dogtails

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino del Santiago
I'd recommend the Coastal Camino. It's safer than the Eurovelo route because there's less road and more trail, it's flat, and it's beautiful to cycle on the boardwalk beside the sea.

Spain has generous margins for road cyclists. Portugal doesn't. Spanish drivers respect the 1.5 meter bike clearance rule. Less so the more anarchic Portuguese, including truck-drivers. With kids the Eurovelo route is, in my opinion, best avoided.

Ignore the bleatings of walkers who want this lovely trail all to themselves ... 🚵‍♀️
Thank you! we’ve switched back and forth at times based on the GPX And you are right the views are beautiful! We like the Camino better for the most part and the walkers have been so wonderful! We’ve enjoyed chatting w them at rests and most people seem very generous and friendly!
 

stevewarne

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portugal Coastal Camino (2022)
Thank you! We’ve mixed and matched the EV1 with the Camino in Portugal and also found stretches of the EV not viable at all. We had a few hike a bikes to get thru the sand and rock and also ended up on N13 for a short bit. You were wise to avoid the bridge across Limia! That was a bit scary pulling a small trailer and also w two teens. The views along the coast have been stunning!

We’ll hit the hills after Vigo in two days. Are they as hard as the GPX show? thanks for your helpful suggestions!
I thought the views were amazing too. It was really the most scenic bike tour we've done, and I'd love to go back and do it again. But next time, we'd slow it down and spend a day or two in each of the cities along the way.

There is a big hill coming out of Vigo that takes you up to a ridgeline with beautiful views of the bay below. It's a short hill and walkable. Then it's almost all downhill into Redondela.

I'm glad to hear someone else appreciates the ride as much as we did. Have fun and good luck.

Oh, one other thing. If you haven't gotten to Spain yet. You can take a private ferry from Caminha to Spain instead of the public one. The private ferry (WhatsApp to Miguel at 351 913 254 110 to schedule it) drops you and your bikes on the beach across the river. You then walk about 100 ft to a boardwalk that goes around the penninsula to A Guarda. It's a beautiful ride and it avoids the street riding that you have to do if you take the big ferry.
 

dogtails

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino del Santiago
I thought the views were amazing too. It was really the most scenic bike tour we've done, and I'd love to go back and do it again. But next time, we'd slow it down and spend a day or two in each of the cities along the way.

There is a big hill coming out of Vigo that takes you up to a ridgeline with beautiful views of the bay below. It's a short hill and walkable. Then it's almost all downhill into Redondela.

I'm glad to hear someone else appreciates the ride as much as we did. Have fun and good luck.

Oh, one other thing. If you haven't gotten to Spain yet. You can take a private ferry from Caminha to Spain instead of the public one. The private ferry (WhatsApp to Miguel at 351 913 254 110 to schedule it) drops you and your bikes on the beach across the river. You then walk about 100 ft to a boardwalk that goes around the penninsula to A Guarda. It's a beautiful ride and it avoids the street riding that you have to do if you take the big ferry.
thanks! We took the private ferry and it was worth it! Got a few flat tires riding through Oia where there seems to be lots of thorny bushes. What route did you take out of Vigo? I’m hoping for a not steep climb!
 

stevewarne

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portugal Coastal Camino (2022)
thanks! We took the private ferry and it was worth it! Got a few flat tires riding through Oia where there seems to be lots of thorny bushes. What route did you take out of Vigo? I’m hoping for a not steep climb!
I've attached the GPX file of the route we took, a JPEG file, and below is a link to the Google Map of our track. There is a steep climb, but it doesn't last long and we walked it. Vigo was a lot better than we thought it would be. We stopped at Coffee Runners Cafe. That was nice. Also, when in doubt about safety, ride on the side walks . . .might be illegal, but nobody cares. I'd love to hear how it goes for you

https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?...&ll=42.19889143203119,-8.727293506594947&z=12
 

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dogtails

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Camino del Santiago
I've attached the GPX file of the route we took, a JPEG file, and below is a link to the Google Map of our track. There is a steep climb, but it doesn't last long and we walked it. Vigo was a lot better than we thought it would be. We stopped at Coffee Runners Cafe. That was nice. Also, when in doubt about safety, ride on the side walks . . .might be illegal, but nobody cares. I'd love to hear how it goes for you

https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?hl=en&hl=en&mid=1A7FIEjbZ8Hv0NlrrtXLtEgn7rW21jFQ&ll=42.19889143203119,-8.727293506594947&z=12
Thank you! and one more question… how hard were the last 10 miles or so into Santiago de Compostela that are nearly all up hill? Asking for two teens 😂
 
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stevewarne

New Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portugal Coastal Camino (2022)
Thank you! and one more question… how hard were the last 10 miles or so into Santiago de Compostela that are nearly all up hill? Asking for two teens 😂

Thank you! and one more question… how hard were the last 10 miles or so into Santiago de Compostela that are nearly all up hill? Asking for two teens 😂
For us, even with the rain, it didn't seem too hard because it was a short day. It's about a 5 mile section in the middle between Padron and Santiago that is hilly. Also, some rough and rocky paths where even a good cyclist has to get off and walk. I think if you and the teens made it that far, you'll do great at the end, especially knowing you are almost done.
 

Corned Beef

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
C. Norte Sept/2022
At the 5 miles to go section, you may need to walk. There will be more walkers on some rather narrow paths and the road options may not appeal as they're busy too.

There is a rail station at Osebe but it seems to be the usual one-train-a-day station. Or there are far more options with Padron. (You need the Regional Express or Media Distancia trains)

As @stevewarne suggests, the arrival is worth the walk/ride but the rail option is there if they need it.
 

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