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Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese Way (Porto - Santiago - Finisterre) June/July 2015
Portuguese Way (Lisbon - Santiago - Finisterre) May/June 2017
#1
"Perhaps pilgrimage, the Path of Enquiry, will lead us to that point of understanding where there is no longer any separation between path and goal, where life itself becomes pilgrimage and every step a prayer. In the meantime, we stumble along in the dark clouds of unknowing and that is, perhaps the essential beginning place, to have the courage to admit we are lost and the humility to ask directions.”

So, after scanning some threads, looking at maps (online) and in the process feeling a little bombarded with all the information I've read today I thought I'd humble myself before my fellow experienced travellers/pilgrims and ask for directions. Quite literally as well.

I'm wanting to walk the Caminho Do Mar from Sintra yet continue along the coast as much as possible to Porto rather than head inland towards Fatima. From Porto I plan to again take the coastal route via Vila do Conde - Viana Do Castelo - Caminha - A Gaurda (via boat) - Baiona and onwards to Pontevedra. I then plan to take the spiritual route via Padron and into Santiago then finally onwards to Finisterre.

Specific questions I have in mind are. . .

How much of the route is waymarked? I'm probably thinking more along the Caminho Do Mar when I turn left towards the coast instead of right to Fatima!

How do I reach the start of the Portuguese Spiritual Way? I'm guessing somewhere out of Pontevedra there will be waymarks offering the alternative route? I somehow can't seem to remember them though when I was there in 2015. (On a side note though I do recall being offered the slightly alternative route into Pontevedra which saved us a long trek along a busy asphalt road and through industrial towns on what was a blistering hot sunny day in July!)

Any other advice you could offer would be greatly appreciated as my brain is somewhat frazzled at this moment in time to be more specific (although I'm sure I'll think of something in the morning!)

I have about 6 weeks once I arrive in Lisbon to do this so I'm also wondering whether I'll have enough time? I'll probably get a bus across to Sintra and start walking from there rather than from Lisbon.

Much love and respect.
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, De Soulac, Norte, Madrid-Salv-Primitivo
#2
How do I reach the start of the Portuguese Spiritual Way? I'm guessing somewhere out of Pontevedra there will be waymarks offering the alternative route?
Hi, the turn-off for the Variante Espiritual is well-signposted.
Jill
498b.jpg

500b.jpg
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese Way (Porto - Santiago - Finisterre) June/July 2015
Portuguese Way (Lisbon - Santiago - Finisterre) May/June 2017
#3
Thank you Jill. That's good to know! Have you walked the spiritual route yourself?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, De Soulac, Norte, Madrid-Salv-Primitivo
#4
Hi, it was in my itinerary in March last year. I’d walked from Sagres (from 1 Feb), up the Rota Vicentina to Lisbon, bused to Fatima, and continued walking north from there. I had good and bad weather, as expected at that time of the year. But at Viana do Castelo, after 2 days of strong wind and horizontal rain coming straight at us on the coastal path, we decided to bus to Ponte de Lima for calmer weather inland. However, I will be back in Viana on 29 May this year, to continue where I left off. I should be onto the Variante Espiritual about 5 June. I took the photos above as I passed by last March.
Jill
 

musicman

Ensuitepilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
2004, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
#5
There is no way marking , coastal wise, from Lisbon.
I walked along and inland occasionally, from Sintra.
We had some interesting experiences, recalled on my blog:-
https://ensuitepilgrimblog.wordpress.com/
Scroll down to the bottom of Archive 2013 June .
You will need local maps.
From Porto it's a doddle; good directions.

Bom camino
 

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Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese Way (Porto - Santiago - Finisterre) June/July 2015
Portuguese Way (Lisbon - Santiago - Finisterre) May/June 2017
#6
There is no way marking , coastal wise, from Lisbon.
I walked along and inland occasionally, from Sintra.
We had some interesting experiences, recalled on my blog:-
https://ensuitepilgrimblog.wordpress.com/
Scroll down to the bottom of Archive 2013 June .
You will need local maps.
From Porto it's a doddle; good directions.

Bom camino

Thanks for the link to your blog musicman! Very helpful in being able to see some of the surrounding area from your photos. I tend to take things in visually you see so tend to memorise things more easily that way.

Did you buy the maps when you got there or where you able to buy before you arrived in Portugal? Plus how did you manage to get across the Aveiro Lagoon into Sao Jacinto? Is there a boat that goes across the harbour there? I'd be less than amused if I ended up having another experience like my first Camino getting lost around the harbour of Viana Do Castelo travelling south.

But I would definitely tend to agree with you that from Porto on the boardwalks along the coast it's quite a simple route to follow and one I'm looking forward to again this year.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese Way (Porto - Santiago - Finisterre) June/July 2015
Portuguese Way (Lisbon - Santiago - Finisterre) May/June 2017
#7
Hi, it was in my itinerary in March last year. I’d walked from Sagres (from 1 Feb), up the Rota Vicentina to Lisbon, bused to Fatima, and continued walking north from there. I had good and bad weather, as expected at that time of the year. But at Viana do Castelo, after 2 days of strong wind and horizontal rain coming straight at us on the coastal path, we decided to bus to Ponte de Lima for calmer weather inland. However, I will be back in Viana on 29 May this year, to continue where I left off. I should be onto the Variante Espiritual about 5 June. I took the photos above as I passed by last March.
Jill

Depending on how long it takes me to walk up the coast from Sintra (don't think I'm in that much of a rush to be honest) I may possibly be on the route at similar times. I'm leaving Lisbon for Sintra on the 3rd May. But so glad you've decided to join up the dots having had such bad weather last year. Plus Ponte de Lima? Sadly I'll not be going through there this year as taking the coastal route all the way but what an amazing place to find some calmer weather! I stayed 2 nights there as I was really impressed with the town. I'd arrived as well just at the start of a small street music festival that was taking place and it was definitely some of the more memorable nights I had along the Portuguese.

Bom Caminho!
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#8
Hi, the turn-off for the Variante Espiritual is well-signposted.
Jill
View attachment 32711

View attachment 32712
To reach the Variante Espiritual, leave Pontevedra by going over the Ponte do Burgo bridge and follow the arrows. At one point you will find yourself on a very straight path along a railway, and then you must either take a right or a left, and that is where you see the signs Jsalt posted. You take a left, those who take the regular route turn right.

You can also take a shortcut to go directly to Poio. This shaves off a good 5 km if not more. In that case, you take the Ponte da Barca.

The only reason I can imagine they have you go through the same bridge as those taking the traditional route is so both stay together as long as possible, but if your intention is to visit Combarro and climb up to Armenteira and spend the night in the albergue there, I would go straight to Poio, visit its monastery, then Comabrro and hike up.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, De Soulac, Norte, Madrid-Salv-Primitivo
#9
Hi, thanks Anemone, that’s great advice.
Here is the link to O´Luis do Freixo’s detailed maps:

http://www.caminador.es/

Caminhos Portugueses a Santiago

For Variante Espiritual maps scroll down a long way to:
Section C.: PORTO-Tui-SANTIAGO

And a bit further down to:
VARIANTE ESPIRITUAL DO SALNÉS
VE01.Pontevedra-Armenteira. pdf;
VE01.GM
VE02.Armenteira-Vilagarcia.pdf;
VE02.GM
VE03,Vilagarcia-Padron.pdf;
VE03.GM

Jill
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#10
Hi, thanks Anemone, that’s great advice.
Here is the link to O´Luis do Freixo’s detailed maps:

http://www.caminador.es/

Caminhos Portugueses a Santiago

For Variante Espiritual maps scroll down a long way to:
Section C.: PORTO-Tui-SANTIAGO

And a bit further down to:
VARIANTE ESPIRITUAL DO SALNÉS
VE01.Pontevedra-Armenteira. pdf;
VE01.GM
VE02.Armenteira-Vilagarcia.pdf;
VE02.GM
VE03,Vilagarcia-Padron.pdf;
VE03.GM

Jill
On the last map (page 8) ou can see the "official variante" in red, and the long loop it makes, and two more direct options to Poio in green and orange.
 

musicman

Ensuitepilgrim
Camino(s) past & future
2004, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
#11
Thanks for the link to your blog musicman! Very helpful in being able to see some of the surrounding area from your photos. I tend to take things in visually you see so tend to memorise things more easily that way.

Did you buy the maps when you got there or where you able to buy before you arrived in Portugal? Plus how did you manage to get across the Aveiro Lagoon into Sao Jacinto? Is there a boat that goes across the harbour there? I'd be less than amused if I ended up having another experience like my first Camino getting lost around the harbour of Viana Do Castelo travelling south.

But I would definitely tend to agree with you that from Porto on the boardwalks along the coast it's quite a simple route to follow and one I'm looking forward to again this year.
I borrowed a map.
You can cross at that point, by ferry.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese Way (Porto - Santiago - Finisterre) June/July 2015
Portuguese Way (Lisbon - Santiago - Finisterre) May/June 2017
#12
Today I had a change of heart and after talking with my wife (and walking partner) we've decided to stay at home and watch TV for the rest of our lives!

Nah only joking! We have however decided to take the bus out of Lisbon to start our walk from Fatima then head to Porto. We thought it would be nice to see some of the inland route instead of continually trying to hug the coast up from Lisbon as we will still stick to the coastal route all the way North and onto the Spiritual Way. So I'm now concentrating on finding out more about the Spiritual Way and in particular I've heard there's quite a steep climb to be had along this route. Back to reading!
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
#13
@Playful Dread , the steep uphill is from Combarro to Armenteira. Another reason to take the shorter route to Poio rather that the common one with those walking the traditional route.

There are no albergues in Combarro, a few pensiones. And all $$$$ in high season as Combarro is THE place to be during the summer months.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, De Soulac, Norte, Madrid-Salv-Primitivo
#14
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese Way (Porto - Santiago - Finisterre) June/July 2015
Portuguese Way (Lisbon - Santiago - Finisterre) May/June 2017
#15
@Playful Dread , the steep uphill is from Combarro to Armenteira. Another reason to take the shorter route to Poio rather that the common one with those walking the traditional route.

There are no albergues in Combarro, a few pensiones. And all $$$$ in high season as Combarro is THE place to be during the summer months.
Thank you for the advice

Is that shorter route waymarked? I'd hate to miss the turn and end up having to explain to my wife why we are now having to walk up steep hills constantly for hours on end!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese Way (Porto - Santiago - Finisterre) June/July 2015
Portuguese Way (Lisbon - Santiago - Finisterre) May/June 2017
#16
Hi, if you have already been to Tomar, and don’t mind missing it this time, you can follow a way-marked path, starting behind the sanctuary in Fatima, to Ansiao overnighting at Residencial Manalvo in Caxarias.

https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/exits-from-fatima-to-santiago.34370/

Jill
i started from Porto last time I walked the Camino Jill so this year will be the first time I've visited the south of portugal. So I'm going to walk from Fatimar to Tomar and take in both towns if I can.

Again, thank you for your comment.
 


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