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Camino stages either side of Porto: Advice please

Walden

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I am in a position where I can walk for about 9 days on the (Portuguese) Camino. There are a couple of considerations. My partner has already walked from Lisbon to Tomar, so walking from Lisbon would be a little repetitive for her at this time. I have walked from Lisbon to Santiago, but years ago, and loved it. The second consideration is that I have to remote work for an hour or two of so, most evenings during the trip (unavoidable unfortunately), so we will need a base that we can return to, likely in Porto, with reliable Wi-Fi.

I was thinking we could base ourselves in Porto and get a train/ bus out each day to our start point, walk some stages each day. Each evening returning to our base for me to fulfil my work obligations. Any spare days we could explore lovely Porto.

Does anyone have any idea if the public transport would facilitate this? I think a few days walking in the lovely Portuguese countryside from would be really lovely this time of year, given we are under cold grey skies here at home. The kms I have gone for reflect daylight hours this time of year, and getting to from start stop points. Fitness is not an issue thankfully and we regularly walk.

Any advice welcome, or alternative suggestions. Thanks everyone.

Stages I think might work:

Out of Porto
Rates to Barcelos 16km
Ponte de Lima to Rubiaes 17.5km
Rubiaes to Valenca 16.3km

Into Porto:
Agueda to Albergaria a Velha 15.8km
Albergaria -a-Velha to Olviera de Azemeis 19.7km
Sao Jao de Maderia to Grijo 19km
 
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Flog

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
You have some nice options without straying too far from Porto:

You could follow the river out to Foz, up to Matosinhos and walk on up the coast by the boardwalks to Vila do Conde and take the metro or bus back (about 32km).

Or take the bus up to Esposende and walk down the coast to Vila do Conde and jump on the metro back to Porto (about 24km).

Or perhaps cross over the bridge to Gaia and take the train down to Espinho and walk the boardwalks all the way back up the coast to the lovely village of Afurada for lunch, then back along the Gaia shoreline to Porto (about 25km, not the official camino but a very pleasant walk).
 
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Flog

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
I have walked all 3 of these options, one of them just a few hours ago. If the ocean appeals to you, or the idea of a quick dip if you find a safe spot (there are some calm coves), I would recommend them..
 

Walden

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I have walked all 3 of these options, one of them just a few hours ago. If the ocean appeals to you, or the idea of a quick dip if you find a safe spot (there are some calm coves), I would recommend them..
That sounds amazing. I guess I hadn't considered the coast route as I assumed it would be really cold and exposed in early February? And I was trying to keep the Kms under 25km as it's the daylight I'm watching, at 5 km per hr, we're probably looking at 25km max each day? Thanks so much for this...I'll get looking at it this evening. Great idea!
 

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Past OR future Camino
A few in the past; more in the future!
The second consideration is that I have to remote work for an hour or two of so, most evenings during the trip (unavoidable unfortunately), so we will need a base that we can return to, likely in Porto, with reliable Wi-Fi.

I was thinking we could base ourselves in Porto and get a train/ bus out each day to our start point, walk some stages each day. Each evening returning to our base for me to fulfil my work obligations. Any spare days we could explore lovely Porto.

If your work is the only reason for the 'return to Porto' plan, it seems a bit unnecessary to me. I'd suggest getting a local SIM card for your phone, walking from point to point as normal, and if your end of stage destination doesn't have wifi, your computer can piggyback off your phone's Internet data. Having to come back to Porto each day seems a bit drastic. Bom caminho in any case!
 
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Flog

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022
If your work is the only reason for the 'return to Porto' plan, it seems a bit unnecessary to me. I'd suggest getting a local SIM card for your phone, walking from point to point as normal, and if your end of stage destination doesn't have wifi, your computer can piggyback off your phone's Internet data. Having to come back to Porto each day seems a bit drastic. Bom caminho in any case!
In normal times I would agree, and I would continue walking.

But with covid being so rampant right now I decided to rent a cheap place in Porto to minimise my risk of exposure to others. Still, every day is a walking day and I've clocked up close to 200km in the past week..
 

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Walden

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
If your work is the only reason for the 'return to Porto' plan, it seems a bit unnecessary to me. I'd suggest getting a local SIM card for your phone, walking from point to point as normal, and if your end of stage destination doesn't have wifi, your computer can piggyback off your phone's Internet data. Having to come back to Porto each day seems a bit drastic. Bom caminho in any case!
Yeah I know, but unfortunately the conference calls need to be decent quality. Having walked about 10 Camino's over the years, I'm not convinced some of the rural locations would work well. And Porto is not the worst place in the world to be based in for a week or two? Thanks for the suggestion. I'm just really glad I have the option of going at all.
 

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Past OR future Camino
A few in the past; more in the future!
And Porto is not the worst place in the world to be based in for a week or two?
Oh definitely, Porto's great. I just think the back-and-forth transport each day will probably take away a lot of the camino feel and rhythm, but I hope you can make it work.
 
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Walden

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Oh definitely, Porto's great. I just think the back-and-forth transport each day will probably take away a lot of the camino feel and rhythm, but I hope you can make it work.
Cheers Nick. If I can get some walking, and a little sun, I'll be really grateful. The work bit is just the price I have to pay (on this occasion). Grateful for small mercies, so many not able to get going at all. Thanks for the suggestion, I'll look into it.
 

Walden

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
In normal times I would agree, and I would continue walking.

But with covid being so rampant right now I decided to rent a cheap place in Porto to minimise my risk of exposure to others. Still, every day is a walking day and I've clocked up close to 200km in the past week.. View attachment 116620 View attachment 116621 View attachment 116622 View attachment 116623 View attachment 116624
Wow, these are really great pictures. Thank you for putting them up. I have the same plan. I'll rent a place, and then walk some of the routes. I hope the weather is reasonable.
 
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TMcA

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Pamplona to Santiago (2013)
Le Puy to Pamplona in segments (2013 - 2016)
Pamplona to León
Slightly off topic, but my wife and I stayed at the O Valentim hotel in Matosinhos. Service was very good and the food in the dining room was outstanding. Great value. Our room was not large but larger rooms might be available. Close to the Caminho and metro system. Thanks to @Thornley for his recco.

We love Porto. Bom Caminho.
 

Walden

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Slightly off topic, but my wife and I stayed at the O Valentim hotel in Matosinhos. Service was very good and the food in the dining room was outstanding. Great value. Our room was not large but larger rooms might be available. Close to the Caminho and metro system. Thanks to @Thornley for his recco.

We love Porto. Bom Caminho.
Thanks T.
 

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Past OR future Camino
A few in the past; more in the future!
Into Porto:
Agueda to Albergaria a Velha 15.8km
Albergaria -a-Velha to Olviera de Azemeis 19.7km
Sao Jao de Maderia to Grijo 19km
We have discussed in a couple of threads recently how these are not the best stages. Of course, you have already walked them so maybe you have fonder memories.

Here's another idea, especially for a day in which you don't have to work (as you mentioned it would be most evenings). Take a bus/train from Porto to Lamego (2-3 hours), and stay the night there, spending the afternoon visiting some of the interesting sights in town (including a castle, cistern, a church like the more famous Bom Jesus in Braga, atop a large staircase, and, if you're into old churches, the Capela de São Pedro de Balsemão a bit out of town, with some 6th-century Visigothic capitals).

The next morning, walk a stage of the Camino Torres from Lamego to Regua through the terraced vineyards and across the Douro river, which is an utterly spectacular walk.

I can't seem to embed from Instagram, but this link to my post shows a selection of photos from that walk.
 
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Walden

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
We have discussed in a couple of threads recently how these are not the best stages. Of course, you have already walked them so maybe you have fonder memories.

Here's another idea, especially for a day in which you don't have to work (as you mentioned it would be most evenings). Take a bus/train from Porto to Lamego (2-3 hours), and stay the night there, spending the afternoon visiting some of the interesting sights in town (including a castle, cistern, a church like the more famous Bom Jesus in Braga, atop a large staircase, and, if you're into old churches, the Capela de São Pedro de Balsemão a bit out of town, with some 6th-century Visigothic capitals).

The next morning, walk a stage of the Torres from Lamego to Regua on the Camino Torres through the terraced vineyards and across the Douro river, which is an utterly spectacular walk.

I can't seem to embed from Instagram, but this link to my post shows a selection of photos from that walk.
Great suggestion Nick. Thanks so much. I'll get checking it. I would have never thought of that in a million years. Appreciated.
 
Past OR future Camino
2021
You will find the public transportation in/out of Porto to be very very good. There are local trains that parallel hit the main towns along the Camino both north and south. Use Rome2Rio or the Portugal rail site for the scheudules.
 
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Walden

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
You will find the public transportation in/out of Porto to be very very good. There are local trains that parallel hit the main towns along the Camino both north and south. Use Rome2Rio or the Portugal rail site for the scheudules.
Thanks John.
 
Past OR future Camino
2021
My only comment on public transportation is to get information from the websites when possible. We walked from Porto last November and Google Maps and Rome2Rio both had inaccurate times and/or bus numbers, which really had an impact. It was super easy once we got it figured out.
 
Past OR future Camino
Portuguese Coastal (2018)
Portuguese Coastal, with Spiritual Variant (2019)
I was thinking we could base ourselves in Porto and get a train/ bus out each day to our start point, walk some stages each day. Each evening returning to our base for me to fulfil my work obligations. Any spare days we could explore lovely Porto.

Does anyone have any idea if the public transport would facilitate this?
I can provide a definitive answer to this question: yes.
My wife and I did exactly this on our 2018 Camino on the coastal from Porto to Santiago. For the stretch from Porto to Viana do Costello, we did a combination of metro, bus, train and uber that enabled us to return to our rental apartment in Porto every evening. It was crazy but it worked. We wouldn't do it again -- we were Camino newbies at the time -- but for a special situation like yours it might make sense.
Keep in mind that the Porto metro line roughly parallels the Camino path all the way up to Povoa da Varzim while the train, whose route is farther inland, connects Porto and Viana. Once you've reached your termination spot on the coast, wherever that may be, you can either take a bus back to Porto or uber several km inland to one of the metro stations and return that way.
We did the stretch in 5 stages: Matsosinhos, Vila Chã, Povoa de Varzim, Esposende and Viana do Costello.
 

Walden

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
I can provide a definitive answer to this question: yes.
My wife and I did exactly this on our 2018 Camino on the coastal from Porto to Santiago. For the stretch from Porto to Viana do Costello, we did a combination of metro, bus, train and uber that enabled us to return to our rental apartment in Porto every evening. It was crazy but it worked. We wouldn't do it again -- we were Camino newbies at the time -- but for a special situation like yours it might make sense.
Keep in mind that the Porto metro line roughly parallels the Camino path all the way up to Povoa da Varzim while the train, whose route is farther inland, connects Porto and Viana. Once you've reached your termination spot on the coast, wherever that may be, you can either take a bus back to Porto or uber several km inland to one of the metro stations and return that way.
We did the stretch in 5 stages: Matsosinhos, Vila Chã, Povoa de Varzim, Esposende and Viana do Costello.
Ken, this is really helpful. Thank you for taking the time to reply.
 
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Walden

Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
You can contact me offline if you have more detailed questions. Buen Camino!
Ken, do you think it would be too cold for the coastal way in early February? And I wonder if the necessary ferries run in winter? Maybe it would be easier stay on the central, and that way we are nearer the public transport, and possibly a little warmer?

Opinions welcome.
 
Past OR future Camino
Portuguese Coastal (2018)
Portuguese Coastal, with Spiritual Variant (2019)
Ken, do you think it would be too cold for the coastal way in early February? And I wonder if the necessary ferries run in winter? Maybe it would be easier stay on the central, and that way we are nearer the public transport, and possibly a little warmer?

Opinions welcome.
Can't really help you there. I actually live in the Algarve, where we have chilly mornings and nights but a fair amount of sun in the afternoon. Great place to spend the winter!
As a general rule, the weather in Porto is cooler, windier and wetter, but that varies day to day. Some days, weather across Portugal about the same. What I would do is get the Weather Channel app, if you don't have it already, and just study the weather in the Porto area week by week and see if its within your tolerances. As a general rule, it probably would be warmer away from the coast but can't say how much. Maybe you could compare the daily weather in Porto with, say, Braga, and see how much it differs.
I also can't advise you on public transport on the central; all I know is the coastal, where the metro is a BIG help. Buses are more difficult to deal with. Their schedules are typically difficult to find online, so we generally had to obtain them from the local tourist information office. There's also a frequency issue with buses.
You mention "ferries" in the plural; only one I'm aware of is the one at Caminha to cross the Minho into Spain. Don't know if that closes in the winter (we did both our caminos in the summer) but I wouldn't think so. In any case, there are several threads on this Forum devoted to that topic. The real issue there is the tide. And there's a guy with a private boat who will take you across if the ferry's not working.
Hope that's helpful.
 
Past OR future Camino
2021
Don't know if that closes in the winter (we did both our caminos in the summer) but I wouldn't think so. In any case, there are several threads on this Forum devoted to that topic. The real issue there is the tide. And there's a guy with a private boat who will take you across if the ferry's not working.
We were in Caminha in November and the public ferry was closed for renovation. There was no indication as to when it would be running again. You might expect to use the private boat.
 

Corned Beef

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
C. Norte Sept/2022
And I wonder if the necessary ferries run in winter?

Public ferry in Caminha was closed in October but there is a water taxi which is more or less "on-demand". Tickets (€5) from the cafe there. The boatman is a bit of a character.
 

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