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Camino Portugues Aug/Sept 2020 // Corona - should I take tent?

Lisa van Holsteijn

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Portugues (Aug 2020)
Hello everyone,

I'm a newbie to the Camino and have booked flights to Lisbon leaving next Friday the 14th of August - flying out of Porto 5 weeks later. I'm going to going by myself, haven't decided which route to take yet and am finding it hard to plan because I just have no idea how things are looking with places to stay due to Corona measures.

Do any of you know if there are enough hostels open along the Camino Portugues? I've heard that the section between Lisbon and Porto is usually very quiet, could that mean that most of the hostels just won't be open? For this reason I'm considering taking a tent along. But I have no idea whether it's possible to wild camp or whether I would need to find camp sites which could also be closed? I would much prefer not to have to carry a tent (and sleeping bag and mat and possibly cooking things) but if I'm going to get caught out with most hostels being closed I'm willing to take it just to be safe. Any experiences with camping along the Camino?

Can anyone recommend a good website that's really up to date or perhaps even a phone number that I could call to get some current information?

Would greatly appreciate any thoughts/tips!

Thanks in advance :)
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New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2015/16
Camino Portuguese 2017/18
Camino Norte 2018/19
Camino Frances again 2020
Hi Lisa
I walked that route a few years back. On the first few sections, which follow a train line, I just hopped on a train to and from accommodation in Lisbon. After a few stages I came across pleasant towns that had a number of options for cheap accommodation and managed to book them on the web a day or two in advance. I think Airbnb was what I used. There aren’t that many hostels on the route out of Lisbon. The train line goes all the way to Tomar from Lisbon and was easy to hop on and off at the start/end of each leg, the trains cheap and timetable on the web. It is likely to be very hot and I wouldn’t want to be carrying a tent myself, and don’t actually remember passing any campsites, though I could be wrong. As it was hot I only took a sleeping bag liner rather than a bag, though I obviously didn’t need that when stopping at B&Bs. I would encourage you to carry the bare minimum, so often you see walkers carrying large packs but not needing half the stuff packed. There are much more options for accommodation on the Porto to Santiago leg. I also had the John Brierley Camino Portugues book which helped a great deal with planning each leg. Hope this helps and good luck.


Walking to Christ, with Christ, through Christ.
Year of past OR future Camino
First Caminho this summer! (July 2020)
Just got back from Portuguese Central camino.

Lots of private hostels and hotels open but most (95%) municipal hostels and pilgrim albergues are closed. The one in Pontevedra is open, but we had little luck with the other ones. That means that your expenses for the camino will be doubled/tripled (10-20 a night). To counteract too much of a dent in my wallet and for fun times I brought my hammock and slept outside most of the time with occasional albergue staying for fellow pilgrim fun! :)

If your tent is nice and light go for it, but remember that everything you take with you will be carried for days on end of walking...what seems like a light bag at first sight proves different after a few days of walking!

Either way, you will be fine :). Lots of places to tent around, and also lots of private albergues.

Lisa van Holsteijn

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Portugues (Aug 2020)
Hey Joao!
Thank you, this really helps a lot. Was the number of closed pilgrim Albergues basically the same all the way along the route? Or is there a certain section that you would recommend where there are more that are open where I could potentially just start from? Also, how where the numbers of people? When you did decide to stay in an Albergue did you have to book in advance to get a spot? or could you also just turn up on the day?
And final question, how long did it take you? Would you say 5 weeks is enough to make it from Lisbon to Santiago without having to rush?

Lisa van Holsteijn

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Portugues (Aug 2020)
One other thing that would be really useful for me to know: do you think I would be able to camp in the garden of the private hostels? Where I could perhaps just pay a small amount to use their showers and kitchen? do they tend to have shared kitchens where you can cook your own food? Being able to make use of a toilet, shower and kitchen would make the camping a lot easier.
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Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
And final question, how long did it take you? Would you say 5 weeks is enough to make it from Lisbon to Santiago without having to rush?

I am hoping to do the CP from Lisbon in September and five weeks should be enough. I have a rough outline of 32 walking days which more than most stage guides (which are about 26 days). I am trying to keep days to no longer than 25km.


Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
It is a great choice to start your walk in Lisbon. I did this walk in 2016 and loved it. There is so many beautiful cities to see before Porto and the people are so friendly.
I do not know the current situation regarding accommodation. Not a lot of albergues but the bombeiros (fire brigade) offered accommodation in many places. I was happy to stay in pensions but if this does not suit your budget take your tent. The pathway goes through many forests so you could find many places to pitch your tent.
There were a number of days where I needed to walk 30kms because of the lack of accommodation but if you have your tent you can avoid this.
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francis SJPP April 2016,
August 2017, May 2018
Camino Portuguese
2019, May Porto, Sept Lisbo
Hi Lisa,
I made Portugese pilgrimage twice in 2019. First in May from Porto, then in September from Lisboa to SdC. Both times pretty hot with forest fires around Coimbra in Sept. All up it took 34 days, going slow. I always needed to carry plenty of water. It was so enjoyable and I made lifelong friends. I followed Brieleys guide book (on my own.) doing the central way both times. It's so good as you will get the two cultures, and I realised the Fatima pilgrimage is what the Portugese are most dedicated to. I liked getting to the Alpriate alb on the first day out of Lisboa.
Next time I want to do the Spiritual Variant. A 'must book' experience is walking from Barcelona to Lugo de Corgi, to "Casa Fernanda"- @ 20klms. pH 914 589 521 Fernanda & welcoming.
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