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Central and Coastal Portuguese routes

Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Well, one week away from start day and I just printed stingynomads ( I really like them) Central Camino route.

I really just want to get to the Spiritual Variant. I keep reminding myself it’s all spiritual I can walk my comfortable pace…. But singing NUNS! I’d like to stay there forever (at least 2 days near by if not the guesthouse)

The routes are similar to start. For those who have done them what are pros and cons? It’s probably ALL GoOd 😊
 
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Faye Walker

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
I had plans for the coastal and spiritual combination in Nov 2019 but bad weather (really high waves and quite cold) shut out much of the coastal and drove all of us inland. Not that there were very many at that time of year.
Anyway, I had my plans and the camino had its plans for me… and the central route blew my mind with its beauty.
I will probably walk the coastal route in 2022 with my step-sister, but my sincere wish is for any walker to be able to combine bits and pieces instead of choosing just one — if there’s only one opportunity to walk.
If you think you can return in a few years, then I just think that it’s probably best to treat each route as profoundly lovely, and worth being taken on its own merits.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
CF- Finisterre-Muxia 03/17; Camino SK 10/17; Norte 03/18; Ingles 11/18; Augusta 03/19
Well, one week away from start day and I just printed stingynomads ( I really like them) Central Camino route.

I really just want to get to the Spiritual Variant. I keep reminding myself it’s all spiritual I can walk my comfortable pace…. But singing NUNS! I’d like to stay there forever (at least 2 days near by if not the guesthouse)

The routes are similar to start. For those who have done them what are pros and cons? It’s probably ALL GoOd 😊
Where are the singing nuns?
 

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
The routes are similar to start. For those who have done them what are pros and cons? It’s probably ALL GoOd 😊
@Elle Bieling has written extensively on both. You can find her at http://www.pilgrimagetraveler.com and she also did a podcast interview with us on the topic of coastal vs central (Episode 1.4).

This is very obvious advice but if you’re more drawn to the ocean and like a scenic camino, take the coastal. If you’d prefer a more historical and traditional route, take the central.
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I walked the coastal route for only two days from Porto to Vila do Conde because I had just walked the stunning Fisherman's trail on the Rota Vicentina. I chose to turn inland for variety and to capture a bit of the "Frances feel".
 

Renascer

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Glad that Armenteira monastery is open right now! 🙏 Can one do a reservation or they dont allow reservations and you just walk there to check availability?
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Portuguese Coastal (2018)
Portuguese Coastal, with Spiritual Variant (2019)
Where are the singing nuns?
Actually, I think a better description would be "chanting nuns." I assume you're referring to the Vespers service at 7 p.m. Here's part of the description I put in my book: "Eight nuns and one priest, most of them elderly, had taken seats in a semicircle of chairs around the altar. One of the nuns sat at a small electronic organ. Precisely on the hour, she began playing the opening notes of the liturgy as the others intoned the verses in Spanish."
While the sound of this liturgy is musical, it's a droning kind of music, with the notes in a narrow range. Not Italian Opera. But very pleasant to listen to, even mesmerising.
At the end, one of the nuns invited us peregrinos up to the altar, where we received a special Pilgrims Blessing. Priceless experience.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Portuguese Coastal (2018)
Portuguese Coastal, with Spiritual Variant (2019)
Glad that Armenteira monastery is open right now! 🙏 Can one do a reservation or they dont allow reservations and you just walk there to check availability?
The contact page of the monastery’s Website offers ways to make bookings via telephone or email for the 13 rooms set aside for guests. See https://www.monasteriodearmenteira.es. I would advise booking in advance to make sure you get a room (which are quite nice, by the way).
 

slrivers

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
(2019)
Well, one week away from start day and I just printed stingynomads ( I really like them) Central Camino route.

I really just want to get to the Spiritual Variant. I keep reminding myself it’s all spiritual I can walk my comfortable pace…. But singing NUNS! I’d like to stay there forever (at least 2 days near by if not the guesthouse)

The routes are similar to start. For those who have done them what are pros and cons? It’s probably ALL GoOd 😊
Thanks for the reference to stingynomads. I checked out their blog. I've just started reading about the Spiritual Variant and this helped me understand that option. We are walking Camino Portuguese starting in mid September.
 
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Renascer

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
The contact page of the monastery’s Website offers ways to make bookings via telephone or email for the 13 rooms set aside for guests. See https://www.monasteriodearmenteira.es. I would advise booking in advance to make sure you get a room (which are quite nice, by the way).
Thank you so much. That is helpful. I thought you were only able to reserve to stay at least two nights there. Am i confusing with another monastery? or i can indeed stay just one night there? I will research better this reservation.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Thank you for your responses.
Saint Augustine said, “He who sings, prays twice.” I consider chanting prayerfully singing for sure. I sent a message through the contact us page and put the contact number in my phone. Sister Paula responded with kindness. If it’s God’s will, I will receive the pilgrim blessing and attend Vespers. If there’s a room available I’ll be blessed indeed 😊
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
Portuguese Coastal (2018)
Portuguese Coastal, with Spiritual Variant (2019)
Thank you so much. That is helpful. I thought you were only able to reserve to stay at least two nights there. Am i confusing with another monastery? or i can indeed stay just one night there? I will research better this reservation.
Yes, the Website does say clearly: "La estancia mínima es de 3 noches durante los meses de Julio y Agosto y en Semana Santa y de 2 noches el resto del año. La estancia máxima es de 7 días."
However, my wife and I had no trouble booking one night in late June 2019.
My interpretation is that while the monastery caters to large Christian groups that stay for several days, they are willing to be flexible when traffic is low. Only a few other pilgrims were staying the night we were there.
I would further note that traffic is likely to be lower than usual this year as Spain recovers from the pandemic.
 

Renascer

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Yes, the Website does say clearly: "La estancia mínima es de 3 noches durante los meses de Julio y Agosto y en Semana Santa y de 2 noches el resto del año. La estancia máxima es de 7 días."
However, my wife and I had no trouble booking one night in late June 2019.
My interpretation is that while the monastery caters to large Christian groups that stay for several days, they are willing to be flexible when traffic is low. Only a few other pilgrims were staying the night we were there.
I would further note that traffic is likely to be lower than usual this year as Spain recovers from the pandemic.
Yes Just wanted to confirm. Thank you. Hopefully things will get better soon with more people getting the vaccine.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I toured the monestery at Armentiera in 2019, but I did not realize they offered lodging. We stayed at the municipal in town, which was very nice and they called the boat reservation in for my son and me. We had a nice meal at a restaurant in the village.
 
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Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Well, one week away from start day and I just printed stingynomads ( I really like them) Central Camino route.

I really just want to get to the Spiritual Variant. I keep reminding myself it’s all spiritual I can walk my comfortable pace…. But singing NUNS! I’d like to stay there forever (at least 2 days near by if not the guesthouse)

The routes are similar to start. For those who have done them what are pros and cons? It’s probably ALL GoOd 😊
I’m leaving July 8th to walk the coastal route. Gonzo is the best! I too hope to stay with the singing nuns. I completed the form on their site but haven’t heard back. I’m looking for other monasteries/convents that host pilgrims. Any advice? Buen Camino! Hope to see you there! 😎
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Portuguese Coastal (2018)
Portuguese Coastal, with Spiritual Variant (2019)
Year of past OR future Camino
Portuguese Coastal (2018)
Portuguese Coastal, with Spiritual Variant (2019)
Thank you! How far is it from the convent Armentiera? Did you stay there? What is it like? Obrigado! 😎
My rough estimate is that 15 km separate the two monasteries (on the Camino trail). So, it is possible to stay first in Poio and then in Armenteira. We did not stay in the Poio monastery, however, so I have no personal knowledge of that. We stayed in Combarro, which is a few more kilometres up the trail.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
My rough estimate is that 15 km separate the two monasteries (on the Camino trail). So, it is possible to stay first in Poio and then in Armenteira. We did not stay in the Poio monastery, however, so I have no personal knowledge of that. We stayed in Combarro, which is a few more kilometres up the trail.
We stopped in to take a look at the monestery in Poio on our way to Combarro. I'm not sure, but I think there was a two night minimum to stay and it seemed more suited for regular tourism.
I loved staying in Combarro.
 
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Renascer

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
We stopped in to take a look at the monestery in Poio on our way to Combarro. I'm not sure, but I think there was a two night minimum to stay and it seemed more suited for regular tourism.
I loved staying in Combarro.
Where are good places to stay in Combarro? I plan to sleep there too.
 

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