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Coastal or Central

AnneS

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Time of past OR future Camino
Frances
I am planning to do Camino Portuguese from Porto with a few friends in mid June 2023. We hope to walk for about 6/7 days. We are looking for advice on whether to do the Coastal or Central route taking into consideration the heat in June.
 
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I am planning to do Camino Portuguese from Porto with a few friends in mid June 2023. We hope to walk for about 6/7 days. We are looking for advice on whether to do the Coastal or Central route taking into consideration the heat in June.
Generally speaking, the coastal is a bit cooler because you have those ocean breezes. But heat may not be a critical factor in June; that would be more of an issue in August.
 
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Coastal in June might be a little bit ahead of summer vacation beach hustle. I like it because of the towns and beaches but I’ve done both. So flip a coin after looking at the weather forecast for that particular week.
 
I personally do not like the central Portuguese route. Though there are some pretty parts, there are a number of sections of it that are quite dangerous, very narrow curved roads with no place to walk, no shoulder, and speeding traffic. We literally had to tie bright orange bandanas onto our sticks and hold them aloft so traffic coming over hills and around corners would see us. I have not walked the coastal route. People seem to either love it or hate it (saying it's boring). If you DO walk the central, be prepared for some hairy, scary days.
 

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I personally do not like the central Portuguese route. Though there are some pretty parts, there are a number of sections of it that are quite dangerous, very narrow curved roads with no place to walk, no shoulder, and speeding traffic. We literally had to tie bright orange bandanas onto our sticks and hold them aloft so traffic coming over hills and around corners would see us. I have not walked the coastal route. People seem to either love it or hate it (saying it's boring). If you DO walk the central, be prepared for some hairy, scary days.
Yes, I remember this being a problem, particularly in the early stages south of Arcos. Road walking is much less common on the Coastal.
 
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We did the Coastal route three years ago, over 12 days, into Santiago. Loved it and have a group of 6 friends joining us to do it again this Spring.
 
Hi Anne5!
I have not walked the central!

But i loved the coastal it was my first Camino; from Porto to Santiago!
Porto is a place to defo visit and explore I loved it's vibe and so much to do there; I walked out along the Douro river to the sea and along the boardwalks flat and easy!
If the weather is good and like me you love the sea it's fab!
Walk on the beach, go swim and eat loads :)
I took my time and stayed more than one night in several places shame you only have a week!!!

(However at the other end i thought the best part of the whole Camino was the Espiritual Variant starting from just outside Pontevedra through Combarro, Armentiera and Villa Nova de Arousa where you catch the Pilgrim boat to Pontecesures a short walk to Padron and then Santiago. If you want a Compostela you need to start in Vigo)
Have a wonderful walk
Buen Camino
Woody
 
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Well, it's not completely an either or situation, you can do a blend of both. Day one out of Porto walking the central route has alot of road walking along narrow shoulder of the N-306 highway, so not particularly enjoyable.
So on day one I would recommend walking the coastal route to Vila do Conde. On day two, head inland until just before you reach Villa d'Arco and rejoin the central route at that point.
So gives you a day of walking the coastline, but mainly sticking to the more traditional central route mostly.
 
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I am planning to do Camino Portuguese from Porto with a few friends in mid June 2023. We hope to walk for about 6/7 days. We are looking for advice on whether to do the Coastal or Central route taking into consideration the heat in June.
If you are starting in Porto and walking for 6 or 7 days either you are in really great shape and extremely ambitious or you aren't going to make it all the way to Santiago. Of course, do what is right for you, but with only a week available, you might want to consider walking from Valença/Tui (Central) or from Caminha (Coastal). The two routes join not to far thereafter at Redondela. I can't really give fully informed advice as to which is better to walk, as I've only walked the Central for that part myself. I did like Valença/Tui (the town in the fortress at Valença was nice) but I've heard that the Spanish part of the Coastal is quite impressive, too. If you start at the Portuguese border instead of Porto you should be able to fit the Spiritual Variant into your Camino which is really highly spoken of. Trying to fit that into a week's walk from Porto would, in my opinion, take it from extremely ambitious to absurdly ambitious. :) Of course, you may not be intending, as mentioned above, to go all the way to Santiago. But if you stoop much short of it, you are likely to stop before the Spiritual Variant which is very close to the end, finishing in Padron, one day out of Santiago.
 
If you are starting in Porto and walking for 6 or 7 days either you are in really great shape and extremely ambitious or you aren't going to make it all the way to Santiago. Of course, do what is right for you, but with only a week available, you might want to consider walking from Valença/Tui (Central) or from Caminha (Coastal). The two routes join not to far thereafter at Redondela. I can't really give fully informed advice as to which is better to walk, as I've only walked the Central for that part myself. I did like Valença/Tui (the town in the fortress at Valença was nice) but I've heard that the Spanish part of the Coastal is quite impressive, too. If you start at the Portuguese border instead of Porto you should be able to fit the Spiritual Variant into your Camino which is really highly spoken of. Trying to fit that into a week's walk from Porto would, in my opinion, take it from extremely ambitious to absurdly ambitious. :) Of course, you may not be intending, as mentioned above, to go all the way to Santiago. But if you stoop much short of it, you are likely to stop before the Spiritual Variant which is very close to the end, finishing in Padron, one day out of Santiago.
Thanks for all the suggestions. Having completed the Camino Frances last year we do not plan to walk to Santiago but start in Porto and walk about half way to Santiago.
 
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Thanks for all the suggestions. Having completed the Camino Frances last year we do not plan to walk to Santiago but start in Porto and walk about half way to Santiago.
In that case, you could consider doing what I did. Start by walking the Senda Litoral (which hugs the coast) out of Porto (along the river and up the coast as far as Vila do Conde. That will give you, by most reports, a more pleasant walk out of Porto than the Coastal or the Central, which head north rather than west out of town. At Vila do Conde, a day or a day and a half out of town, turn right and head inland to join the Central at Arcos. Then head North on Arcos. That will give you a chance to see the nice towns of Barcelos and Ponte de Lima, and Valença/Tui, as well as enjoy the hospitality of Casa da Fernanda on the Central, while still having a nice taste of the coastal walk.
 
Well, it's not completely an either or situation, you can do a blend of both. Day one out of Porto walking the central route has alot of road walking along narrow shoulder of he N-306 highway, so not particularly enjoyable.
So on day one I would recommend walking the coastal route to Vila do Conde. On day two, head I land u til just before you reach Villa d'Arco and rejoin the central route at that point.
So gives you a day of walking the coastline, but mainly sticking to the more traditional central route mostly.
This is what I did in September this year. Got a day of the coast and then the traditional camino which was fantastic. Loved it.
 
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We did the Central out of Porto back in September. We did not enjoy the first two days very much. Lots of walking on or near roads, noisy (cars on cobblestones sound like jets taking off next to you), just not a pleasant experience. It did get better by day 3 but we would most certainly start from the coast if we did it again. Note - we ended up having a GREAT Camino - just not the first two days.
 
L
Well, it's not completely an either or situation, you can do a blend of both. Day one out of Porto walking the central route has alot of road walking along narrow shoulder of he N-306 highway, so not particularly enjoyable.
So on day one I would recommend walking the coastal route to Vila do Conde. On day two, head I land u til just before you reach Villa d'Arco and rejoin the central route at that point.
So gives you a day of walking the coastline, but mainly sticking to the more traditional central route mostly.
Please clarify this: "On day two, head I land u til just before you reach Villa d'Arco..."

Thanks 😊
 
I am planning to do Camino Portuguese from Porto with a few friends in mid June 2023. We hope to walk for about 6/7 days. We are looking for advice on whether to do the Coastal or Central route taking into consideration the heat in June.
I think going from Porto on either route you chose you may need a few more days. Unless you skip some areas or plan doing around 30-35km per day.
 
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L

Please clarify this: "On day two, head I land u til just before you reach Villa d'Arco..."

Thanks 😊
Chris, best thing I can suggest is to get a guide book. I have the one by John Brierley. If you look at the route maps, what I have suggested is immediately aparrent.
This route change may add a few kilometers to the overall length, but eliminates the frankly horrible first day out of Porto visit the central route which is a cobblestone, granite sett/roadwalking nightmare and not very safe on top of that because of the close proximity to traffic for hours.
 
Chris, best thing I can suggest is to get a guide book. I have the one by John Brierley. If you look at the route maps, what I have suggested is immediately aparrent.
This route change may add a few kilometers to the overall length, but eliminates the frankly horrible first day out of Porto visit the central route which is a cobblestone, granite sett/roadwalking nightmare and not very safe on top of that because of the close proximity to traffic for hours.

I don’t understand “head I land u til just before.” Is this an abbreviation for something?
 
Sorry, fumble fingers while typing on my phone. Head inland until just before reaching Villa de Arco.
I don’t understand “head I land u til just before.” Is this an abbreviation for somethi
 
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