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Coastal or Inland Portuguese with one week only?

Year of past OR future Camino
2021
My friend and I are celebrating a 50 year friendship this year!
My friend wants to meet me either in Spain or Portugal. I am departing Canada next month and hope to walk (my first camino) del Norte in September as summer heat not my thing. I have as long as I need so no hurry at all.
My friend wants to join me and walk a week and has a leaning towards Portugal. We both love water and so the coastal route is more appealing although the historical component is also enticing.

QUESTION: If we only have one week together - in October - what is best route to research?
All opinions welcomed.

PS: friend open to Spain too but if I've been on the del norte already then it might be good to dip my tired toes into Portugal?
 
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Phoenix

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2014, CF: partial
2016, CF
2018, CF: partial
2019, CP
Porto to Caminha along the coast was one of the best walks I've ever done. I look forward to walking it again someday.

Check out the gronze stages: https://www.gronze.com/camino-portugues-costa

EDIT: (Oct 2019 - didn't see a drop of rain until reaching Spain)
 
Last edited:
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Year of past OR future Camino
CF 2014, CF 2018, CP 2019 from Coimbra
So... I did this in 2019... I departed Nov 1 out of Canada... with promises that October is the wet season and November usually a little drier and cooler. But Portugal was slammed with bad weather sent over from Canada. When we were having early snow storms at home, they landed on Portugals shores as fierce winds and sopping rain.

I was compelled by weather and practicality to turn inland instead of going coastal out of Porto (I had started in Coimbra). I have no regrets and I fell in love with the whole region from Tui to Padron. I also loved Portugal.... excellent food, lovely people... Just a wonderful trip and even though it ended with me in an ER in a small town near Navare when I was supposed to be enjoyed myself at a seaside B&B in Salir do Porto... I will forever cherish that trip. The ER ENT saved me from sepsis, performed two emergency surgical interventions to get me home safely, and *ordered* my home GP to refer me for an immediate tonsillectomy -- which I did have as an ER admit as soon as I landed at home in Ontario.

I owe my life to the Portuguese healthcare system. My Canadian healthcare preferred to treat me with increasingly obscure antibiotics for 40 years for chronic tonsilitis than to remove them. I ended up allergic to almost everything -- which is why the Portuguese surgeon would only do a more moderate procedure on me in Caldas do Reihna.

Anyway, I digress. The point is: the generosity of Portuguese culture, the oranges that grow (and land on the street) like apples in the BC interior... the great food... the amazing small villages with a patina of rust and moss...

At that time of year, maritime weather is pretty sure to send you inland. I also recommend that you keep a Nalgene bottle or similar with you that you can fill with hot water and take to bed as a heat source. And don't wait for the heat to come on in the municipal albergue in Caldas de Reis; in fact, I recommend that you look at a private albergue there.

And definitely get your Pradronia certificate from the tourist office in Padron when you get there.

I wish it had not been pouring on the day I was there... I'd have liked to have seen more of the town.
 

jkontheway

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2018)
Kumano Kodo (2019)
Portugues (2020)
I agree with @Phoenix. There are also a few moments where you can turn inland to join the Central route, so you can end up doing a bit of both. The other option you have is to follow the Costa Verde route (Minho Green Coast), which is not an official Camino, but follows the Coastal route quite literally from Porto up to the Spanish border.
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
I too was going to walk this year with my college buddies to celebrate 50 years together. Damn COVID spoiled it until next year. I will meet them
In Porto. I am starting in Faro.
Can’t wait. I have walked before from Lisbon and did the interior route. We will do the coastal. Interior is wonderful but maybe coastal might be better depending on your friend’s fitness level. I se you are doing the Norte. I did that one in 2018 and you will love it. For you either way in Portugal will be a piece of cake after the Norte.
i think you should go coastal and if the weather is tough you can always go over to the interior. You can’t predict the weather so go with the one you are drawn to. Watch some videos if you like. Efren Gonzalez video series on the Coastal Portuguese will give you a great idea of the beauty of the Coastal.
Finally I have to pile on @Faye Walker
The point is: the generosity of Portuguese culture, the oranges that grow (and land on the street) like apples in the BC interior... the great food... the amazing small villages with a patina of rust and moss...
Compostela not important than without a doubt stick to Portugal.
No knock on Spain or it’s people but the Portuguese people are the warmest, friendliest and most generous people I have ever met. Stay in Portugal. Buen Camino
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I too was going to walk this year with my college buddies to celebrate 50 years together. Damn COVID spoiled it until next year. I will meet them
In Porto. I am starting in Faro.
Can’t wait. I have walked before from Lisbon and did the interior route. We will do the coastal.
I thought that you were doing the VdlP in October. Is that the plan that changed?
 

Elle Bieling

Elle Bieling, PilgrimageTraveler
Year of past OR future Camino
2014
Hi @gayeh. You can look at my blog, with a plethora of photos, so you can make a choice between the two! For the coastal, my vote would be from Porto, through Caminha, then onward to Baiona, over some amazing sections of roman roads. Baiona is a wonderful town with a castle, an amazing waterfront and gorgeous beaches! It should only take you a week to walk this distance, from Porto to Baiona! For me, the one from inland Colorado, it is always a pleasure to walk on the beach. Start here, at Porto to Vila do Conde for this sections info/photos.

To see the section for the Central, which is more historic, with lots of grand cathedrals, and castles, more Roman roads, and more of a sense of history, with varied terrain, ups and downs, start here Porto to Vilarinho. You can easily get to Tui in 5-6 days, and then O Porriño is a lovely little town for one more day's walk. The walk from O Porriño to Redondela is not as great, and for me, I would skip Redondela for Pontevedra and the pilgrims church there.

Both routes are fabulous, and for me, extremely hard to pick a favorite, although, I may lean slightly to the Coastal. But Valença and Tui are so fantastic on the Central route, that it is a very hard call indeed!

Happy planning and choosing! and Buen Camino! ~ Elle
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
I thought that you were doing the VdlP in October. Is that the plan that changed?
I am doing VDLP this October. I am walking with the boys in 2022. Originally it was reversed. I was going to start in Faro and meet my college buddies in Porto thus year and do the VDLP in 2022. But Covid, one of my friends getting cancer and another's wife also getting cancer put a big wrench in the big master plan. But thankfully Bill is doing great and Melinda is also doing better and better. The future looks bright for both and so does the walk of a lifetime!!!! I can't wait. I am working them over to start before Porto and maybe by the time we walk I will have them in Fatima or Tomar. Then up to Porto. Then up the coast to the Spiritual Variant then off to Santiago. I really look forward to navigating things from Faro up to Lisbon. Can't wait for my October VDLP as well.
I always have you my Oregon pal who stays on top of my Camino life!
What is your next camino?
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I always have you my Oregon pal who stays on top of my Camino life!
What is your next camino?
I don't know yet. Maybe the Portugués from Lisbon in September? Or if I wait until next year the VdlP in the Spring.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Portuguese Coastal (2018)
Portuguese Coastal, with Spiritual Variant (2019)
We both love water and so the coastal route is more appealing although the historical component is also enticing.

QUESTION: If we only have one week together - in October - what is best route to research?
All opinions welcomed.
If you love water views, you should definitely consider the Portuguese coastal route from Porto. I would end in Vigo, Spain, since that's a good place to take a bus or train on to wherever you need to go in Spain or Portugal (you can take an actual Portuguese train from Vigo right back to Porto). My wife and I did this stretch back in 2018; you can see her blog here: https://twoclinestraveling.wordpress.com
Bom caminho!
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
1989
My friend and I are celebrating a 50 year friendship this year!
My friend wants to meet me either in Spain or Portugal. I am departing Canada next month and hope to walk (my first camino) del Norte in September as summer heat not my thing. I have as long as I need so no hurry at all.
My friend wants to join me and walk a week and has a leaning towards Portugal. We both love water and so the coastal route is more appealing although the historical component is also enticing.

QUESTION: If we only have one week together - in October - what is best route to research?
All opinions welcomed.

PS: friend open to Spain too but if I've been on the del norte already then it might be good to dip my tired toes into Portugal?
There are a few factors that go into the "best route", chief among which is: how important is it that you end up in Santiago and your friend receives a Compostela? If that is important, even on the "Camino Portugues" there won't be that much experience of Portugal as the last week or so of that Camino is in Spain, walking north from the Portuguese border. Another thing to consider is how far you want to walk each day. If your friend hasn't done much in the way of long-distance walks and hasn't done a lot of training, you might want to look at a more leisurely pace for your week.

A few options:
If ending in Santiago is important:
- Start in Caminha, on the Portuguese side of the rio Minho, on the Coastal route and follow it through Baiona and Vigo on the coast before uniting with the Central at Redondela and, depending on your timing, possibly taking the Variante Espiritual to Padron and then Santiago.
- Don't worry about the Camino Portugues (since you will spend so little time in Portugal) and walk the Camino Ingles, so your friend can walk a "complete" Camino.
- Don't worry about the Camino Portugues (since you will spend so little time in Portugal) and walk the last 100 km or so on any Camino. I hear the last 100 km of the Sanabres from Ourense is very nice, although it isn't coastal.

If ending in Santiago is not important, you can pick anywhere on a Camino and start walking for a week. I might suggest starting in Porto, a lovely little Portuguese city. You could start with the Senda Litoral, along the river to the coast and up the coast along the boardwalks. A day or two would take you the 33 km to Vila do Conde. From their you could continue up the coast until time ran out. Or you could head in to join the Central and, in four or five days, make it to the border with Spain, through Barcelos and Ponte de Lima, a couple of lovely Portuguese towns.

For what it is worth, I did my Camino Portugues (From Porto to Vila do Conde on the SL, and then over to the Central) in October (2016) and the weather was fine. Quite hot the first few days cooling as we went north, with only a couple of day's rain at the end in Galicia.
 

SMBHNL

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF: 2016, 2017. CP: April 2018
Any section between Porto and Caminha along the coast. It's beautiful.
 
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