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Camino Senda Litoral, de la Costa, and Central

Jessie H

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
2019.04.22 ~ 05.03 walk Camino Senda Litoral
Hi everyone,

I plan to arrive at Porto at 21. April. One day around Porto. At 23rd starting from Porto heading to Santiago.

It must be an eternal question to ask: which one to take among the three options...

I plan to walk along Camino Senda Litoral. Would I miss many historical spots like Tui or Barcelos? Are the beachtowns rather new? Living in Germany makes me looking forwards to the coast ....

Comments?

Many thanks in advance!

Cheers
Jessie
 

Mike Molloy

Wizened old step-taker
Camino(s) past & future
English Camino 2017
Finisterre/Muxia 2018
Portuguese (2019)
I have decided to do the coastal this year and probably will do the inland route next time Problem solved for me.!
Mike
 

Albertinho

ninguém disse que era fácil !
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Lisboa - Sant.
2014 Ferrol -Sant.
2015 Porto -Sant.
2018 Porto -Valença
2019 Valença -Sant.
I have decided to do the coastal this year and probably will do the inland route next time Problem solved for me.!
Mike
Parabéns ! Congratulations! Wise decision
 

Elle Bieling

Elle Bieling, PilgrimageTraveler
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés, '14 '17 Finisterre, '14 '17 '18 Primitivo, '15 '18 Portuguese, '17, '18 San Salvador, '18
Yes, I agree, do both! Pick one and plan to do that other another time. They are both fantastic for different reasons. Here is lots of info and photos to help you decide from my website: the Many Ways on the Camino Portugues.
 

MichaelF4

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese Coastal 2017
Camino Frances 2018
Hi everyone,

I plan to arrive at Porto at 21. April. One day around Porto. At 23rd starting from Porto heading to Santiago.

It must be an eternal question to ask: which one to take among the three options...

I plan to walk along Camino Senda Litoral. Would I miss many historical spots like Tui or Barcelos? Are the beachtowns rather new? Living in Germany makes me looking forwards to the coast ....

Comments?

Many thanks in advance!

Cheers
Jessie
I walked the coastal and loved it. The first two days there are many beach resorts but then it becomes more quiet. Viana do Castelo is a beautiful little town. But be prepared that the coastal route can be very quiet in places. There were a few days when I spent hours walking alone. But this was perfect for me as it gave me both the experience of solitude and then the fun experience of meeting of pilgrims for the last few days when the trails connect.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
If you walk the Senda, you will certainly miss most of the historic Portuguese towns mentioned in the pilgrim accounts of the Camino Portugues from centuries ago (like Barcelos, Ponte de Lima, and Valença do Minho), as well as a couple of Spanish ones (Tui and Porriño). Vila do Conde, about 30 km into the Senda route from Porto is mentioned in a pilgrim account from the late 16th century (the pilgrim in question then headed inland from Vila do Conde to Barcelos). And, of course, from Redondela onwards, the towns you will see are very historic and consistently mentioned in pilgrim accounts. So you will get to see places like Pontevedra, Caldas de Reis and especially Padrón (famous for its peppers and its close association with St. James).

On the other hand, you will see instead some very nice coastline and I'm sure some nice towns and fishing villages. I turned inland after Vila do Conde, so I can't speak to them in detail.
 

Albertinho

ninguém disse que era fácil !
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Lisboa - Sant.
2014 Ferrol -Sant.
2015 Porto -Sant.
2018 Porto -Valença
2019 Valença -Sant.
If you walk the Senda, you will certainly miss most of the historic Portuguese towns mentioned in the pilgrim accounts of the Camino Portugues from centuries ago (like Barcelos, Ponte de Lima, and Valença do Minho), as well as a couple of Spanish ones (Tui and Porriño). Vila do Conde, about 30 km into the Senda route from Porto is mentioned in a pilgrim account from the late 16th century (the pilgrim in question then headed inland from Vila do Conde to Barcelos). And, of course, from Redondela onwards, the towns you will see are very historic and consistently mentioned in pilgrim accounts. So you will get to see places like Pontevedra, Caldas de Reis and especially Padrón (famous for its peppers and its close association with St. James).

On the other hand, you will see instead some very nice coastline and I'm sure some nice towns and fishing villages. I turned inland after Vila do Conde, so I can't speak to them in detail.
What you say is right The provinces Douro Litoral and Minho have an ancient history. Ponte de Lima is the oldest town of Portugal. The wineries and n the Fouro valley exist since ages.

Next to Viana do Castelo Caminha is an old place but further more the places are small fisherman's villages and touristical places like Vila Praia de Âncora.

At the Spanish coast are some interesting places like A Guarda and Baiona ,worthwhile to visit. However many don't I like the big city of Vigo. Had the time during some vacations in the south west Galician area to explore the town .

But real northern Portugal you'll encounter in places like Barcelos ,Ponte de Lma and Valença as David says.
 

Camino Chris

Take one step forward...then keep on walking.
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I am walking along the Fisherman's route from Porto Covo to Sagres, walking the sandy cliffs along the SW coast of Portugal.Then I head up to Porto to begin the Portuguese Camino. I will only walk 2 days on the coast before turning on to the central route as I will have had enough of the coast by then. I loved the Frances with all the villages and hope to duplicate that feel somewhat by walking the central route. I leave home on April 15th, just 3 weeks away!
 

roving_rufus

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013-2015) Camino Portugues from Lisbon (2017-2019) Via Francigena (2018-??)
I wanted to get a bit of both routes so walked the coastal route as far as Caminha and then followed a river side cycle path along the river to Valença were I joined the Central. But as I had walked from Lisbon the coast was a nice change of scenery for a few days. However at the time the weather was a big factor in choosing whether to switch at Vila do Conde or Caminha, as parts of the coastal and littoral are exposed and can get very windy (having lived on the Irish Atlantic Coast do not under estimate the effect wind can have). The walk from Porto out along the river and along the sea to Vila Do Conde is a great route out of the city and may provide enough ocean to someone who is sea starved
 

Albertinho

ninguém disse que era fácil !
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Lisboa - Sant.
2014 Ferrol -Sant.
2015 Porto -Sant.
2018 Porto -Valença
2019 Valença -Sant.
I wanted to get a bit of both routes so walked the coastal route as far as Caminha and then followed a river side cycle path along the river to Valença were I joined the Central. But as I had walked from Lisbon the coast was a nice change of scenery for a few days. However at the time the weather was a big factor in choosing whether to switch at Vila do Conde or Caminha, as parts of the coastal and littoral are exposed and can get very windy (having lived on the Irish Atlantic Coast do not under estimate the effect wind can have). The walk from Porto out along the river and along the sea to Vila Do Conde is a great route out of the city and may provide enough ocean to someone who is sea starved
In addition , once walked the coastal between Viana do Castelo and Vila Praia da Âncora and later the mountain Santa Tegra. (You see this mountain from miles away walking in Portugal from Vila Praia ) from A Guarda to Santa Maria de Oia during rainfall, the path that leads into the hills on dirtpaths is very slippery . I saw people falling , hurt by stones .so in that case it is better to walk close to the seaside (beira-mar in Portuguese)
In A Guarda then you have the choice to follow the main road to Santa Maria de Oia/ Baiona /Vigo , the PO 355 .that is no problem. The cycle/footpath is separated from the road where the traffic goes. And once if you should follow the mountainpath, once rounded the mountain, you will end up the same road untill S.M de Oia so it is a kind of shortcut.Also later you will walk along the seaside on the same road. There is a path away from the shore.look at the webside of
o Freixo's. He gives some maps but they are very remote.
I personally loved the coastroad with nice views specially as you enter Baiona and later to Vigo.
IF you leave Baiona direction Ramalhosa /Nigrán there is a choice to follow the yellow markers into the hills to Vigo but also green markers .they lead you along the seaside-you even can walk a part on the sandy beach if you like-and you pass the famous Cees islands .
 

walker_wisdom

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués - Senda Litoral (2017)

Next Camino - tbc, open to suggestions.
We chose the Senda Litoral and didn't regret it. It is really up to personal interpretation but we also found some historic places along the coast which link that route to the Camino over hundreds of years, they are just lesser known and maybe do not feature in historic accounts of the Camino. I think its really up to you. We made a video about the Senda Litoral and also wrote about our experiences because we struggled to find much information before we left about that particular route.
 

Pilger99

Member
Camino(s) past & future
addicted since 1999 (Aragones, CF), lots of caminos in Spain and Portugal since then
If you feel like beaches, than you have to follow the coast.
You can still decide to walk towards the central route later.
Vila do Conde, Viana do Castelo and the Minho river are the typical places you take that choice.

Wind is better bearable on the central, but the coast is more relaxed (less pilgrim) than the central.

Take the german yellow guide with you to get information about accomodation. It's not a complete guide for any alternative, but for the main routes I can recommend it. If you like it a different style look for "Camino Portugues für Bauchfüßler". Andrea also went on the galician coastal way.
The coastal route is fully marked, but not always following the coast. Sometimes the detour to the villages above is worth it, sometimes I felt it's not. If you just plan to follow the arrows, the guide books are extra weight and cost. A short list about accomodation will do.
For the Litoral I'd advice you to take the maps from caminador.es.

You will always miss places by walking. 2km extra is already far away and 10km distance is generally out of reach.
If you have time you can visit Braga and Barcelos from Porto by train.
Tuy is not what I'd miss, but Valenca is worth a stay. Even though the path goes through, strolling around the castle without backpack is still better.
 

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