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Camino Portugues hesitation

Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2015, Camino Portugues 2017, Camino Finisterre 2017, Le Puy Route (Sept. 2018)
#1
I plan to walk the Camino Portuguese from Lisbon to Santiago then hopefully onto Finesterre at the end of August. I'm committed with flights from Paris and accommodation in Lisbon but I am willing to forego the cost and redo the Camino de Santiago walk from Le Puy to SJDP because I have been reading some posts on Facebook that there is a lot of walking beside roads and highways as well as industrial areas and the scenery is quite bland. I would appreciate any advice from pilgrims with experience walking this route.
 

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onwayhome

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances Ponferrada-Santiago,(c1986)
Frances SJPP-Santiago (2011)
Portuguese Porto- Finisterre (2016)
St Michaels Way (2016)
#2
Hi Rossco, I'd say the Porto to Finisterre section has plenty of walking off road through some fine towns and villages, with the option of taking a route along the sea. I haven't walked the Lisbon to Porto section so can't comment. For road walking I carry a super lightweight fluorescent reflective vest which scrunches up into a pocket. I like to think that dangling it from my pole holding hand nearest the traffic creates a bit more space between me and the cars but this may be illusory!
 
#3
Hi, I've just returned from walking the Porto - Santiago section, and I must say I found it very disappointing.
I took the metro from Porto to Vila do Conde to start - VERY busy roads, with no markings/arrows at all until Arcos, where the central route joined.
Long stretches of narrow, busy roads, with no pavement - it was really quite scary in places.
OK, it wasn't all bad, but there was a lot of tarmac, with much more traffic than, for instance, the Ingles, and certainly the Frances.
This was my 11th camino walk, and by far the worst.
FWIW, I'd say, "Go for the Frances, every time"
 
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A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#4
Hi, I've just returned from walking the Porto - Santiago section, and I must say I found it very disappointing.
I took the metro from Porto to Vila do Conde to start - VERY busy roads, with no markings/arrows at all until Arcos, where the central route joined.

This was my 11th camino walk, and by far the worst.
Well, I walked Porto to Santiago last May and also did not enjoy it, in fact I was afraid I no longer liked Caminos, but no, it's just this one I didn't like. Hardly pulled out my camera, which says a lot.

This being said, I did not find it had lots of road walking, perhaps because I have been on the Norte and Primitivo before. But beautiful,it is not. If you've loved Le Puy I am thinking you may bitterly disappointed.

As for the quoted bit above: there is no reason to leave Porto by metro as you can reach Villa do Conde by walkijg along the coast on the boardwalk. And yes, I also got lots leaving VdoC following the aquaduct, but that was my fault as thr guidebook didmsay itmwas not mark and Imthought it said the other route was not marked.
 

timr

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Several and counting...
#5
@Rossco
Horses for courses!!
I walked Porto to SdC in November last year, the first two days along the littoral route and thereafter on the 'coastal' route. [I give up with the designations, they don't make sense to me.]
I really liked it!!! Very quiet. Some very picturesque towns along the way. I don't recall long stretches on the road......my memory may be fading....but I don't remember being uncomfortable on roads. I would do it again.

I did record most of my days here

Here is what I said one day...

Today's walk from Tamel Sao Pedro to Ponte de Lima 25km in strong sun, downhill, through autumnal vineyards, seeing a ewe lambing, rivals any other Camino day I have done anywhere for natural beauty........ Again only 3 of us in another very well equipped, historic and very friendly muni albergue.
I'm very conscious that if it were raining heavily it would not be so romantically beautiful. But it is summer in November here. Feeling blessed!
 

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tillyjones

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances June 2015
VDLP May 2017
del Norte September 2018
#6
I'm having similar concerns about my upcoming VDLP.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#7
I'm having similar concerns about my upcoming VDLP.
The bits on VDLP along roads will quickly be forgotten when you walk through the dehesa. But there are also parts through vineyards where there is nothing to look at, nor anywhere to hide from the sun, but the terrain is excellent for walking: hard /compact, FLAT soil. Very few tractor tracks or loose stones.
 

Shushy

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese
#8
I plan to walk the Camino Portuguese from Lisbon to Santiago then hopefully onto Finesterre at the end of August. I'm committed with flights from Paris and accommodation in Lisbon but I am willing to forego the cost and redo the Camino de Santiago walk from Le Puy to SJDP because I have been reading some posts on Facebook that there is a lot of walking beside roads and highways as well as industrial areas and the scenery is quite bland. I would appreciate any advice from pilgrims with experience walking this route.
My husband and I walked from Santarem to Santiago last June/July and found the whole experience wonderful. Very tough, long days at times. This is the only camino we have walked. I suppose everyone has a different view of what they want our of their experience. We chose the Portuguese route as we did not want to walk with many others. Every day was quiet and beautiful at times, and at other times not great. From what I have read one cannot avoid busy roads and the occasional highway but we never felt unsafe. The only unsafe thing were the low road signs which my husband walked into twice. He is 6 four 4 inches and when walking along narrow roads one has to keep ones head focused on the road below ones feet. We always spent time with other Pilgrims along the way. We wrote a blog which you may find interesting and I took many beautiful photographs. Ourwayportuguesecaminho.wordpress.com. I would suggest walking from Porto after spending a day or two there and also we took a break in Ponte de Lima. Sad to miss out on Coimbra which is a wonderful town. Oldest university in Europe. Remember, everyone has there own views and preferences. If you want to be with people all the time, then I do not think the Portuguese route is the way for you. Kind regards, Shushy
 

SabineP

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#9
I had the same positive feelings as @timr . I really like this Camino ( from Porto ) After Barcelos no cobblestones anymore. Enough pilgrims but not a massive influx. More than adequate albergues. Great cuisine and above all wonderful people the Portugues.
 
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amorfati1

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014_Caminho Portuguese (Lisboa to Santiago_4 weeks in May)
#10
I plan to walk the Camino Portuguese from Lisbon to Santiago then hopefully onto Finesterre at the end of August. I'm committed with flights from Paris and accommodation in Lisbon but I am willing to forego the cost and redo the Camino de Santiago walk from Le Puy to SJDP because I have been reading some posts on Facebook that there is a lot of walking beside roads and highways as well as industrial areas and the scenery is quite bland. I would appreciate any advice from pilgrims with experience walking this route.
please do keep in mind that some folks simply don't 'get it right' and miss the path (yellow arrows) and then indeed end up alongside busy roadways. has happened to many (most?) of us.
but that does not mean it's entirely this way. or the intended caminho.
yes, there is some alongside roadways - but to depict it as "lot of walking beside roads and highways as well as industrial areas and the scenery is quite bland." is not only misleading, but distortive.
but who knows - everyones perception is different. i learned long ago not to 'argue' perceptions.
i walked alone from Lisboa to SdC - and found the camino to be a treasure , and the landscape enchanting. and the people to be treasures as well.
yes, there are flat parts around the tejo-valley ... but that's what many river plains do look like.
Bom Caminho -
 

Oppis

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF -15, VdlP -15, Sanabres-16. Portugues -17, Norte/Primitivo -17, Mozarabe/Torres-18
#11
I certainly agree with those positive comments above. Wright now spending a day off at Porto. The Way from Lisbon has been amazing, especially this time of the year. The country side is so decorated with thousands of flowers, witch completely makes one to walk in wonderland. After 21 days walking we stood ahead of the most incredible skenery of Porto.
I understand too. We all have our opinion, and the Justice to it, but at least for us this has been the number 1 , so far. Have walked CF and VdlP before. I will encourage all those who do hesitate this route. Don't worry about the highways. There is always a sidewalk along those few kilometers, and there really is a few of them. We always have had a bed to sleep and proprly of caminofrends to enjoy of the evenings.
So, forget worries and go ahead.
Bom Caminho
 
H

HighlandsHiker

Guest
#12
Hi, I've just returned from walking the Porto - Santiago section, and I must say I found it very disappointing.
I took the metro from Porto to Vila do Conde to start - VERY busy roads, with no markings/arrows at all until Arcos, where the central route joined.
Long stretches of narrow, busy roads, with no pavement - it was really quite scary in places.
OK, it wasn't all bad, but there was a lot of tarmac, with much more traffic than, for instance, the Ingles, and certainly the Frances.
This was my 11th camino walk, and by far the worst.
FWIW, I'd say, "Go for the Frances, every time"
I thank you so much! That's what I'd suspected after reading many accounts of it that even from here seemed to be minimizing.
 

philip a tobin

irish scouse
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
2013....2014....2015.......2017...2018
#13
I plan to walk the Camino Portuguese from Lisbon to Santiago then hopefully onto Finesterre at the end of August. I'm committed with flights from Paris and accommodation in Lisbon but I am willing to forego the cost and redo the Camino de Santiago walk from Le Puy to SJDP because I have been reading some posts on Facebook that there is a lot of walking beside roads and highways as well as industrial areas and the scenery is quite bland. I would appreciate any advice from pilgrims with experience walking this route.
I have posted in the past about my Camino from Oporto,it was mainly to say how much I hated the miles of cobblestones that played havoc with my feet,also my nervousness at so much road walking on busy roads,but above all,the wonderful ,helpful Portuguese people that made the 'negatives' fade into the background.From the incredible city of Oporto,to the remoter areas of the countryside I met the same kindness,helpfulness and encouragement that will stay in my memory forever.
 

LakeMcD

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015
Portuguese 2016
GR10/Norte/Primitivo 2017
Chemin LePuy: 2018
#14
I walked from Lisboa to Santiago last year, late June thru July. There are some downsides compared to the Frances, but all in all I enjoyed it immensely. If I were to recommend this to a friend I would suggest starting in Tomar, the Templar castle there was one of the highlights of the trip as well as the day's walk out of Porto along the waterfront, after the short transit hop. The Spiritual Variant I would also highly recommend. I enjoy Portugal and find the people there very hospitable and gracious to pilgrims.
 

Oppis

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF -15, VdlP -15, Sanabres-16. Portugues -17, Norte/Primitivo -17, Mozarabe/Torres-18
#15
Some more observations.
No meseta/dehesa. Quite a lot up/downhills, prefer to take poles, IF possible. Portuguese people are just great. Food is absolutely good and cheap. Example: where can you find a menu for 5€( 2 platos+ desert+ wine) in CF. Here in Porto those are almost every corner, excluding the tourist area on the Riverside. All the Way the prices in cafes are close to ridiculous. And there are a huge among of them.
I am expecting, that it will be a bit change on next days, but we are ready for it.
Again. Do not hesitate. Take the first step. Camino is always a Camino, where ever you are currently walking.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013 CF
2014 Le Puy-St Jean
2014, 2016 Volunteer St JPDP
2016 Portuguese
2017 Porto-Santiago
#16
please do keep in mind that some folks simply don't 'get it right' and miss the path (yellow arrows) and then indeed end up alongside busy roadways. has happened to many (most?) of us.
but that does not mean it's entirely this way. or the intended caminho.
yes, there is some alongside roadways - but to depict it as "lot of walking beside roads and highways as well as industrial areas and the scenery is quite bland." is not only misleading, but distortive.
but who knows - everyones perception is different. i learned long ago not to 'argue' perceptions.
i walked alone from Lisboa to SdC - and found the camino to be a treasure , and the landscape enchanting. and the people to be treasures as well.
yes, there are flat parts around the tejo-valley ... but that's what many river plains do look like.
Bom Caminho -
Hi Rossco
I have done both walks and they are very different. The walk from Le Puy is mainly on paths and through fields and forests. Having said that some of the paths are rough and I have heard it said it is the toughest of the Caminos due to the steep sections before Cahor. We walked in late August through September so a similar time to you. Just be aware if the French are on holidays accommodation can be tricky and it is more expensive that Portugal. It follows the GR 65 a French walking route and approximates what might have been the original route, with variations. We found it very beautiful.
On the Portuguese Camino, we left from Lisbon in September last year and it was was mainly on roads, hot and dry and not as scenic. The people were helpful and the accommodation easy to find. From Porto we walked the central route which improved as we got closer to Santiago, still mainly on roads so not very attractive compared to walking in France.
We are considering walking the coastal route from Porto this September as from all we have heard it is the pick of the routes although not as well signed and accommodation can be a challenge. So Le Puy to St Jean is about 740 km and somewhat longer than Camino Portugues at about 613 km. Hope this helps.
 

Ange13

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to SDC .... 2014

Lisbon to SDC ... 2017
#17
I plan to walk the Camino Portuguese from Lisbon to Santiago then hopefully onto Finesterre at the end of August. I'm committed with flights from Paris and accommodation in Lisbon but I am willing to forego the cost and redo the Camino de Santiago walk from Le Puy to SJDP because I have been reading some posts on Facebook that there is a lot of walking beside roads and highways as well as industrial areas and the scenery is quite bland. I would appreciate any advice from pilgrims with experience walking this route.
I, also, am currently in Porto after walking from Lisbon. Tomorrow I plan to walk 1 day coast route and then return to central route. I absolutely disagree with the comment that there are sidewalks at every roadside. I have felt unsafe (because of cars) multiple times. This is not from missing arrows or walking an incorrect path. There is a tremendous amount of asphalt walking. My daughter (whom is walking with me now, and also joined me on CF 3 years ago) and I both agree that up to this point any camino in Spain would have been a better choice. However, that being said, the people here in Portugal are WONDERFUL!!!! The food is really good, too. The weather has been great and , yes, there are tons of flowers. If you decide to walk the Portuguese route , do NOT stray from the recommended stops otherwise you may have some very long walks .... and make sure you take your guide book. This is a very different type of Camino. I am not in favor of using different modes of transportation during my camino , BUT , if I knew then what I know now, I would train/bus the stages from Lisbon to Santarem. Also taking the detour to Fatima then back to Tomar, does create some hard days, but that is a great option!

I just want to add that 3 years ago my daughter and I walked Camino Frances starting in SJPdP to Santiago de Compostela (during June/July) in 26 days. Hard, long and hot days was not something that we were not expecting. What we were not expecting was the amount of pavement pounding combined with the extremely fast driving Portuguese culture.
 
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frida1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April 11-May 11 2014
#18
I walked the Frances in 2014. Last year I did the Portugues from Santarem to Santiago, and then on to Muxia. I very much enjoyed the Portugues. Walking on an asphalt lane is not too different from the senda along the highways on the Frances in terms on road surface. The Portugues is very different from the Frances, but I loved it. There are quite a few beautiful old towns, including Santarem, Golega, Tomar, Coimbra before you reach Porto. After Porto, there are many more pilgrims, and lots of beautiful towns and forest walking. The Portugues people are very friendly, and in my opinion the food is really good. Because it is less traveled, there is more a sense of walking among locals, and being catered to by locals then along the Frances where so much is camino-oriented.
 

Cmess

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Norte,
#19
I too am considering walking the Portugues from Porto to Santiago, but it seems that there are many mixed reviews. Anyone know how this route compares to the Camino Norte? I have walked that in the past and enjoyed it very much. Also, it seems difficult to tell whether the coastal route or the inland route is the better option. Anyone have any thoughts on that? Which is more scenic, has less roads, and has interesting towns?
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#20
am considering walking the Portugues from Porto to Santiago, but it seems that there are many mixed reviews. Anyone know how this route compares to the Camino Norte?
Which is more scenic, has less roads, and has interesting towns?
Nothing scenic on the central Portuguese from Porto to Santiago other than the few km along the Ruta de piedra & agua on the Variante espiritual. It doesn't hold a candle to the Norte.
 

SabineP

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#21
I too am considering walking the Portugues from Porto to Santiago, but it seems that there are many mixed reviews. Anyone know how this route compares to the Camino Norte? I have walked that in the past and enjoyed it very much. Also, it seems difficult to tell whether the coastal route or the inland route is the better option. Anyone have any thoughts on that? Which is more scenic, has less roads, and has interesting towns?

Barcelos and Ponte de Lima in Portugal are more than worthwile to stroll around. The same goes for Pontevedra in Spain.
The walk from Ponte de Lima to Rubiaes is gorgeous!!
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#22
Barcelos and Ponte de Lima in Portugal are more than worthwile to stroll around. The same goes for Pontevedra in Spain.
The walk from Ponte de Lima to Rubiaes is gorgeous!!
But visiting these towns will take an hour or so, Pontevedra 90 minutes, or the equivalent of half a day's walk. Getting to them is pretty blah, and the Caminos are about the route, the walking. :rolleyes:
 

SabineP

Veteran Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
some and then more. see my signature.
#23
But visiting these towns will take an hour or so, Pontevedra 90 minutes, or the equivalent of half a day's walk. Getting to them is pretty blah, and the Caminos are about the route, the walking. :rolleyes:
Of course " De gustibus etc " but I can easily spend a day in these towns visiting a church, the odd museum here and there and above all savouring the food and just spending time on an outside terrace seeing the world and pilgrims go by.
 

laineylainey

Active Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
2012 - 2015 CF
2015 SdC-Fisterra-Muxia
2016 Porto-SdC
2017 Salvador&Primitivo
2017 Mozarabe
#24
I recommend the Portuguese coastal route for a very different and wonderful experience, but then I just love being close to the sea!
I walked the Frances to Muxia over 4 years and when I decided to walk the Portuguese coastal last year, my main challenge was to leave or try to minimise the" comparisions" else I would get all caught up in "this is worse/better than....." It worked for me and I had a splendid time and can only echo some of the real positive comments there have been said ( especially timr)about the Portuguese camino. I am hoping to walk the Primitivo and Salvador this year and again I am expecting a very different experience! Also when I think back, I remember being told, reading, hearing that the Meseta on the Frances was best missed and I am so glad I didn't listen because for me it was one of the most beautiful parts and there being fewer walkers, when I was there, gloriously quiet in parts, giving me the chance to really experience it.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 2016
#25
My husband and I walked from Lisbon in September of 2016. Lisbon to Porto is tough with long stages and yes there is a lot of road walking. Tough road walking....and cobblestones. Roads with no shoulder and cars going VERY fast. They are trying to mitigate this on the route and so it keeps changing here and there. There are towns in this section that I feel sorry for anyone to never see in their lifetime!!! I will say that the coastal route from Porto on is FANTASTIC. No better scenery to be had if you like wild coastlines. Great coastal towns with ancient monasteries. Oia comes to mind. It is very different from the Frances, less populated with pilgrims but as many say, the people are amazing, the food is wonderful. I wouldn't have missed this one for anything. If I go back I'd love to go Porto to Santiago. From Ponte Vedra the Variante Espiritual is not to be missed. This was so unlike anything I saw on the Frances. My blog if your interested is http://jcadventures83.blogspot.com/ Bom Caminho~
 
Camino(s) past & future
The French Way May/June (2015) Complete.
Proposed - Porto Way from Lisbon May(2017).
#26
My husband and I walked from Santarem to Santiago last June/July and found the whole experience wonderful. Very tough, long days at times. This is the only camino we have walked. I suppose everyone has a different view of what they want our of their experience. We chose the Portuguese route as we did not want to walk with many others. Every day was quiet and beautiful at times, and at other times not great. From what I have read one cannot avoid busy roads and the occasional highway but we never felt unsafe. The only unsafe thing were the low road signs which my husband walked into twice. He is 6 four 4 inches and when walking along narrow roads one has to keep ones head focused on the road below ones feet. We always spent time with other Pilgrims along the way. We wrote a blog which you may find interesting and I took many beautiful photographs. Ourwayportuguesecaminho.wordpress.com. I would suggest walking from Porto after spending a day or two there and also we took a break in Ponte de Lima. Sad to miss out on Coimbra which is a wonderful town. Oldest university in Europe. Remember, everyone has there own views and preferences. If you want to be with people all the time, then I do not think the Portuguese route is the way for you. Kind regards, Shushy

Thank You for this. I'm leaving May 9th, from Lisbon. Reading some of these comments have put the Fear into me, But I've walked from StJPdP two years ago, walked the entire 800 Km. I will remain optimistic and open minded on the Portuguese Route, some people just might expect too much. I will report back!
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Donating Member
#27
Thank You for this. I'm leaving May 9th, from Lisbon. Reading some of these comments have put the Fear into me, But I've walked from StJPdP two years ago, walked the entire 800 Km. I will remain optimistic and open minded on the Portuguese Route, some people just might expect too much. I will report back!
This is a debate without resolution, but I think it's good for people to give opinions. In the end it's up to you. Some people love the Caminho from Lisbon, some don't

(try maggie's blog for one of those who loved it.
https://magwood.me/my-caminos/camino-portuguese/)

You can see Kimmo's live comments sprinkled through these threads, and I think it's a fair evaluation to say he and his wife are loving it, so it is definitely an individualized opinion with a lot of variation.

In part, I think the opinion has to do with the expectations, the weather you got, the people you met (or didn't meet), your body's conditions, etc. There is no denying that there is a lot of asphalt on this route, but there is also a lot of asphalt on the Camino del Norte and increasingly more and more on the Frances itself.

I was in Conimbriga at the Roman ruins a few weeks ago and I met two pilgrims. One was a Danish guy and the other was a Brazilian. The Dane was loving it, the Brazilian wasn't. They both started in Lisbon, had essentially been staying in the same places, and had experienced the same weather. One said there was a lot of asphalt, the other said it wasn't a problem. One thought the towns were interesting, the other didn't, on and on (though I will inject a judgment here, I don't know how anyone can think that the Convento do Cristo in Tomar is "not interesting.")

When I walked from Lisbon in 2008, it was hard to extract that "camino feeling," in part because there were no pilgrims and no albergues. Both of those facts have changed dramatically now. I would highly recommend the albergue in Alpriate for your first night's stay. 20 km from the Cathedral in Lisbon, it is an albergue run by the Via Lusitana (the Lisbon Amigos group). Good place to meet those who will be in your "pilgrim cohort" and to get up to date information from the hospitalero/a.

In opinions as in all else -- vive la difference! Bom caminho, Laurie
 

Chito

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning to begin my second Camino April 15, 2017.
#28
I am currently on the Camino from Porto to Santiago. I took the coastal route for the first couple days out of Porto and joined the central route; currently in Ponte De Lima. I'm enjoying it very much. The food along the coast is awesome and it reminds me very much of the northwest coast of California. On the central route also the food has been wonderful and it is even less expensive than Spain. The auberge's have been great. The coastal route a bit after Porto was very much on boardwalks which I found very comfortable on my feet. I am enjoying the fact that many of the small churches are open, people are very friendly and so far so good.
Whichever route you decide, I wish you a Bon Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
The French Way May/June (2015) Complete.
Proposed - Porto Way from Lisbon May(2017).
#30
This is a debate without resolution, but I think it's good for people to give opinions. In the end it's up to you. Some people love the Caminho from Lisbon, some don't

(try maggie's blog for one of those who loved it.
https://magwood.me/my-caminos/camino-portuguese/)

You can see Kimmo's live comments sprinkled through these threads, and I think it's a fair evaluation to say he and his wife are loving it, so it is definitely an individualized opinion with a lot of variation.

In part, I think the opinion has to do with the expectations, the weather you got, the people you met (or didn't meet), your body's conditions, etc. There is no denying that there is a lot of asphalt on this route, but there is also a lot of asphalt on the Camino del Norte and increasingly more and more on the Frances itself.

I was in Conimbriga at the Roman ruins a few weeks ago and I met two pilgrims. One was a Danish guy and the other was a Brazilian. The Dane was loving it, the Brazilian wasn't. They both started in Lisbon, had essentially been staying in the same places, and had experienced the same weather. One said there was a lot of asphalt, the other said it wasn't a problem. One thought the towns were interesting, the other didn't, on and on (though I will inject a judgment here, I don't know how anyone can think that the Convento do Cristo in Tomar is "not interesting.")

When I walked from Lisbon in 2008, it was hard to extract that "camino feeling," in part because there were no pilgrims and no albergues. Both of those facts have changed dramatically now. I would highly recommend the albergue in Alpriate for your first night's stay. 20 km from the Cathedral in Lisbon, it is an albergue run by the Via Lusitana (the Lisbon Amigos group). Good place to meet those who will be in your "pilgrim cohort" and to get up to date information from the hospitalero/a.

In opinions as in all else -- vive la difference! Bom caminho, Laurie

Thank You very much. Perecption is everything. I've put the Alburge Alpriate into my guide.
 

Oppis

Member
Donating Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF -15, VdlP -15, Sanabres-16. Portugues -17, Norte/Primitivo -17, Mozarabe/Torres-18
#31
Today continued from Porto, the costal. At the moment staying at Labruge, a lovely albegue, renoved from a former scool building. No bunkbeds. Good facilities, donativo. Restaurant and minimarket just around the corner. For those, who start in Porto a reasonable distance to walk for the first day. Only 900 meters inside from the seaside. Can highly recommendate.
Bom Caminho.
 
H

HighlandsHiker

Guest
#32
My husband and I walked from Lisbon in September of 2016. Lisbon to Porto is tough with long stages and yes there is a lot of road walking. Tough road walking....and cobblestones. Roads with no shoulder and cars going VERY fast. They are trying to mitigate this on the route and so it keeps changing here and there. There are towns in this section that I feel sorry for anyone to never see in their lifetime!!! I will say that the coastal route from Porto on is FANTASTIC. No better scenery to be had if you like wild coastlines. Great coastal towns with ancient monasteries. Oia comes to mind. It is very different from the Frances, less populated with pilgrims but as many say, the people are amazing, the food is wonderful. I wouldn't have missed this one for anything. If I go back I'd love to go Porto to Santiago. From Ponte Vedra the Variante Espiritual is not to be missed. This was so unlike anything I saw on the Frances. My blog if your interested is http://jcadventures83.blogspot.com/ Bom Caminho~
WayWalker, did you have any trouble with the markers on the Coastal? And you're talking about the Coastal and not the Littoral, right? I also like wild coastlines, but had heard that the Coastal was inland for long stretches so that the coast really wasn't visible. I have a guide book for it, but it really helps to hear the first-hand accounts like yours, so thanks!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais 2014
Camino Portuguese 2016
#33
I plan to walk the Camino Portuguese from Lisbon to Santiago then hopefully onto Finesterre at the end of August. I'm committed with flights from Paris and accommodation in Lisbon but I am willing to forego the cost and redo the Camino de Santiago walk from Le Puy to SJDP because I have been reading some posts on Facebook that there is a lot of walking beside roads and highways as well as industrial areas and the scenery is quite bland. I would appreciate any advice from pilgrims with experience walking this route.
I loved Portugal and Spain. But apart from the walking (we walked from Porto in May 2016), the towns of Lisbon, Santarem, Tomar, Coimbra and Porto to name but a few are spectacular. The quiet after the Francais (September 2014) was noticeable. The people were friendly, generous and helpful. Every day was an adventure for my wife and I.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais 2014
Camino Portuguese 2016
#34
I loved Portugal and Spain. But apart from the walking (we walked from Porto in May 2016), the towns of Lisbon, Santarem, Tomar, Coimbra and Porto to name but a few are spectacular. The quiet after the Francais (September 2014) was noticeable. The people were friendly, generous and helpful. Every day was an adventure for my wife and I.
Also if you would like to read my story of the Camino in Portugal, you can find it listed in www.johnandlindatravels.com
 

zrexer

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
2014, 15 & 16 Camino Frances
2017 Camino Portuguese
2018 Camino Primitivo (Sept.)
#35
I have been back a few days now after completing the Portuguese Camino from Porto to Santiago.
My wife and I walked via the central route.
I can definitely say that day 1 out of Porto is not much fun. A lot of road walking in close proximity to busy roads. The other thing is that the Portuguese love granite cobble stones which we started to refer to as 'hobble stones.' After long stretches of cobble stones, asphalt almost felt like walking on feathers in comparison.
Without having walked the coastal route, I would recommend that for day 1 out of Porto and you can rejoin the central route on day 2 at Arcos as things improve from that point.
Now this post may appear negative, but after a hard day 1 we started to enjoy the route very much. Way marking is generally very good and we only had a few moments of head scratching to figure things out.
We stayed at some interesting accomodations, generally small hotel or Pensions. A stand out was our night with Dutch born Han and his incredible restored 16th century Quinta da Portela close to Facha. We generally had very postitive encounters with all local people.
Prior to walking in Portugal we thought it would be similar to Spain, but it is unique in many ways from the architecture, language and food.
We found that the Portuguese in most cases seem to show more pride in their properties and their upkeep as compared to the Spanish. Even modest houses and properties looked well maintained in most cases.
There is a certain sameness to the terrain, but it is probably the fact you are walking closer to the coast in most cases versus across a country like you do on the Frances route. The population density is always heavier in coastal regions so there are times you don't feel you are very far away from urban settings.
So while I can't comment on the Lisbon to Porto section I will say we enjoyed the route overall from Porto to Santiago.
Make sure you allow at a minimum a full day for Porto or even 2 days if your time allows. We did not not having only a half day from our arrival day prior to starting the following morning. Porto is a wonderful and interesting city.
We had incredible weather, more summer like than spring and not a single drop of rain in almost 3 weeks. Had my zip off sections of my pants off the entire time and except for early mornings, short sleeves the entire day walking.
You need to go in to this route not expecting a repeat of the Camino Frances experience and route, but embrace the uniqueness of Portugal and what this route offers.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese Way (Porto - Santiago - Finisterre) June/July 2015
Portuguese Way (Lisbon - Santiago - Finisterre) May/June 2017
#36
The way I see it. The external landscape can be as beautiful or as ugly as you want it to be. It's your internal 'landscape' that will define which one you see in front of you.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2013, 2016
#37
WayWalker, did you have any trouble with the markers on the Coastal? And you're talking about the Coastal and not the Littoral, right? I also like wild coastlines, but had heard that the Coastal was inland for long stretches so that the coast really wasn't visible. I have a guide book for it, but it really helps to hear the first-hand accounts like yours, so thanks!!
I'm not really sure about the "names" for each camino, but our itinerary after the Lisbon portion went, Porto-Matosinhos, Vila do Conde, Apulia, Viana do Castelo, Ancora, A Guarda, Oia, Baonia, Vigo, Redondela, Pontevedra, (Variante Espiritual - 4 days) Padron to Santiago. We didn't find the waymarkers hard to locate. Compared to the Frances you had to keep your eye out, so in that sense yes. We bushwhacked off the camino one day into Vigo trying to follow the coastline and it was a mistake.
 
H

HighlandsHiker

Guest
#38
I'm not really sure about the "names" for each camino, but our itinerary after the Lisbon portion went, Porto-Matosinhos, Vila do Conde, Apulia, Viana do Castelo, Ancora, A Guarda, Oia, Baonia, Vigo, Redondela, Pontevedra, (Variante Espiritual - 4 days) Padron to Santiago. We didn't find the waymarkers hard to locate. Compared to the Frances you had to keep your eye out, so in that sense yes. We bushwhacked off the camino one day into Vigo trying to follow the coastline and it was a mistake.
Thanks so much! That helps!
 

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