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Caminho da Raia General Discussion

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Past OR future Camino
A few in the past; more in the future!
The Caminho da Raia is one of the three caminos being developed by the Caminhos de Santiago Alentejo e Ribatejo, a government-tourism project (along with the Caminho Nascente and Caminho Central). It can be considered a variant of the Caminho Nascente as it begins and ends at Nascente destinations: Mértola and Alpalhão respectively (about 13 stages).

The Raia follows part of a previously created camino called the Caminho do Este. Basically, the Raia is the section of the Este contained within the Alentejo, which explains why only this part of it is being included in this new, regional government-backed camino.

The Raia is the last of the three caminos to be developed and as such is currently (July 2021) in the ‘Coming Soon’ stage. This means that the official site does not have a guidebook for it and that way-marking is possibly not yet completed. The printed version of the official map just has straight lines between the end-of-stage stops, unlike the other two caminos (Nascente and Central) where the map follows the contours of the trail.

Resources:

Official Site - The Raia is ‘Coming Soon’

Caminho do Este index at douglasajohnson.com - includes stages although this pre-dates the development of these new caminos and is not exactly the Raia; stages sometimes go back and forth between the Raia and the Nascente.

Map - The Raia is in purple-ish:

Screen Shot 2021-04-16 at 11.51.11 AM copy.PNG
 
Last edited:
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jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Past OR future Camino
A few in the past; more in the future!
I am super interested in the Raia and can’t wait to walk it. Here’s a little story about why:

Before the Raia even existed, and before I had even walked my first camino, Wendy and I moved to Portugal. We had a Lonely Planet guidebook and I skimmed each chapter and jotted down places that I thought looked interesting with a reason or two why. I subsequently forgot all about this list but recently found it and realised that of the 14 places that I wrote down in the Alentejo, half of them are on the Caminho da Raia. These are:
  • Serpa (11th C aqueduct, noria)
  • Moura (good mouraria)
  • Vila Viçosa (best marble town)
  • Elvas (world heritage fortifications)
  • Castelo de Vide (attractive village)
  • Portalegre (whitewashed, low-key city)
  • Marvão (whitewashed village, castle, excellent Roman museum)
I’ve been in touch with the Caminhos de Santiago Alentejo and Ribatejo before and I will contact them again to see if they have a timeline for when the Raia will be ‘ready’. I’m sure I could just walk it now even if way-marking is incomplete but one thing we learned on the Nascente is that the ‘creation’ of these caminos is not just about putting up arrows but also about trying to gain permission from private property owners to divert the camino away from roads and onto paths, and about coordinating with local councils to arrange accommodation options where traditional ones don’t exist. The blog linked above notes a lot of road walking and long stages on the Este, so I will wait for the ‘completed’ Raia in the hope that it is more pilgrim-friendly in terms of the trail and infrastructure.
 
Last edited:
Past OR future Camino
CF- Finisterre-Muxia 03/17; Camino SK 10/17; Norte 03/18; Ingles 11/18; Augusta 03/19
The Caminho da Raia is one of the three caminos being developed by the Caminhos de Santiago Alentejo e Ribatejo, a government-tourism project (along with the Caminho Nascente and Caminho Central). It can be considered a variant of the Caminho Nascente as it begins an ends at Nascente destinations: Mértola and Alpalhão respectively (about 13 stages).

The Raia follows part of a previously created camino called the Caminho do Este. Basically, the Raia is the section of the Este contained within the Alentejo, which explains why only this part of it is being included in this new, regional government-backed camino.

The Raia is the last of the three caminos to be developed and as such is currently (July 2021) in the ‘Coming Soon’ stage. This means that the official site does not have a guidebook for it and that way-marking is possibly not yet completed. The printed version of the official map just has straight lines between the end-of-stage stops, unlike the other two caminos (Nascente and Central) where the map follows the contours of the trail.

Resources:

Official Site - The Raia is ‘Coming Soon’

Caminho do Este index at douglasajohnson.com - includes stages although this pre-dates the development of these new caminos and is not exactly the Raia; stages sometimes go back and forth between the Raia and the Nascente.

Map - The Raia is in purple-ish:

View attachment 104375
Thank you. Do you know if the Nascente would be recognized as a starting point by the SDC pilgrims office for a credential? Or would they just calculate distance from last 100 km?
 
Past OR future Camino
CF- Finisterre-Muxia 03/17; Camino SK 10/17; Norte 03/18; Ingles 11/18; Augusta 03/19
I am super interested in the Raia and can’t wait to walk it. Here’s a little story about why:

Long before the Raia even existed, and before I had even walked my first camino, Wendy and I moved to Portugal. We had a Lonely Planet guidebook and I skimmed each chapter and jotted down places that I thought looked interesting with a reason or two why. I subsequently forgot all about this list but recently found it and realised that of the 14 places that I wrote down in the Alentejo, half of them are on the Caminho da Raia. These are:
  • Serpa (11th C aqueduct, noria)
  • Moura (good mouraria)
  • Vila Viçosa (best marble town)
  • Elvas (world heritage fortifications)
  • Castelo de Vide (attractive village)
  • Portalegre (whitewashed, low-key city)
  • Marvão (whitewashed village, castle, excellent Roman museum)
I’ve been in touch with the Caminhos de Santiago Alentejo and Ribatejo before and I will contact them again to see if they have a timeline for when the Raia will be ‘ready’. I’m sure I could just walk it now even if way-marking is incomplete but one thing we learned on the Nascente is that the ‘creation’ of these caminos is not just about putting up arrows but also about trying to gain permission from private property owners to divert the camino away from roads and onto paths, and about coordinating with local councils to arrange accommodation options where traditional ones don’t exist. The blog linked above notes a lot of road walking and long stages on the Este, so I will wait for the ‘completed’ Raia in the hope that it is more pilgrim-friendly in terms of the trail and infrastructure.
I did a slow car trip w my dog in Ján 2020 from through all those places discovering fortes and cliff top castles. All amazing. Look forward to walking this route.
 

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Past OR future Camino
A few in the past; more in the future!
Thank you. Do you know if the Nascente would be recognized as a starting point by the SDC pilgrims office for a credential? Or would they just calculate distance from last 100 km?
It might depend on the particular volunteer but in our case they asked us to tell them how far it was so they could write it in the distance certificate! For the route (actually Nascente + Torres + Geira e dos Arrieiros), they wrote something like: 'Camino Portugués + Geira e dos Arrieiros'.
 
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jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Past OR future Camino
A few in the past; more in the future!
Update on the Raia: it will be officially 'launched' next year!

At the moment the final route is being determined (in some places this involves requesting permission of rural property owners to divert the camino onto their land to avoid road walking). The next steps are way-marking and producing a guide and tracks, and based on what I saw on the Caminho Nascente (and with the guide for the Caminho Central), this will all be professionally done.

Looking forward to walking this route in the not-so-distant future!
 

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