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Coastal route or central route

andycohn

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2012,13,15); Finisterre / Muxia (15); Portugeuse (17); Primitivo (17); Norte (18); Ingles (18)
My wife and I are planning to walk the Camino Portugues, starting in Porto, in May, and we're trying to decide between the coastal route from Porto to Redondela (not along the senda, but the route slightly inland) and the central route. I can't really find any good comparisons between the two routes in the Camino Portugues threads I've read on the forum. From reading Brierley's guide, it seems the coastal route has less walking on busy roads, and also offers stopovers that are 20 - 25k apart rather than stages of more than 30k. But we can't get any kind of fix on differences in scenery or any other relative merits. If anyone has walked them both, we'd appreciate your feedback.
 

Albertinho

ninguém disse que era fácil !
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Lisboa - Sant.
2014 Ferrol -Sant.
2015 Porto -Sant.
2018 Porto -Valença
2019 Valença -Sant.
From Porto to Santiago you easily can walk stages of 15 to 20 kms per day.everywhere are places to stay overnight.
The coastal scenery is coastal :cool:. You see the ocean at your left as long as you walk northwards. Now and then you can walk some kms off the coastline .from Baiona to Vigo you can choose to walk into the hills (yellow waymarkers) or follow the coast (green waymarkers-not original but you'll arrive in Vigo:))
The central way from Redondela . Just out of the book . If you like something special, choose after Pontevedra for the Variante Espiritual -see the subforum here- and walk to Vilanova de Arousa and take the boat to Padrón where you continue on the central route to Santiago.

Bom caminho
 

andycohn

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2012,13,15); Finisterre / Muxia (15); Portugeuse (17); Primitivo (17); Norte (18); Ingles (18)
Thanks for the feedback and suggestions.
 

nollaigc

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Walking since 2008, various stages of French,Norte and Via del Plata- addicted to the Way
Be sure you check the weather!
Wettest Camino I've ever experienced- this May
Started on the coastal from Porto but verrred inland from Caminha to Santiago
Still loved it
I'm such a Camino saddo
NollaigC
 

Doogman

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Many more in the future (hopefully)
Hi: I have walked both of them, and I would have a slight preference for the coastal route. I enjoyed both of them, but there is something special about the blue water, waves crashing, etc. I did it in July, and the weather was spectacular, so that also helps create good memories. There is a fair bit of boardwalk/asphalt/cobblestone on the route, but I did not find that a problem. If you follow the yellow arrows on the coastal route (Caminha da Costa), you will weave back and forth between the coast and slightly inland, so you get a bit of both types of scenery. I thought the scenery on the coastal route got better as I headed north. You can't go wrong with either route, as Ponte de Lima, Valenca, Tui, etc. are all nice places. But if I had to do it again I would do the coastal.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
I walked the central last May from Porto, except for the first day when I walked along the beach.

First, in defense of the central, you do not need to walk 30km a day (I am a 20km girl) nor is there a lot of walking on dangerous roads (perhaps more road walking then the Frances, but no difference with the Norte and Primitivo). It also takes you to Ponte de Lima, Pontevedra, Valencia and Tui, all beautiful towns. And as mentioned by Albertinho, it is the gateway to the Variante Espiritual which offers a visit to the beautifu Poio monastery, the stunning village of Combarro and the walk on the Camino de Piedra & Agua, one of the most beautiful stretches I have walked.

As I said, I walked 1 day along the coast, and it was very special to walk for hours and hours on a baordwalk along the ocean. I am glad I experienced it, but would havebeen bored to death doing this day after after day. This being said, people I met on the Variante who had been walking along the coast loved it.

Perhaps you can startwalking along the coast, knowing that you can always cut back inland? There is no need to commit to either Camino, just get to Porto, walk on the coast to Vila do Conde, and see how you feel.
 

Rainerbernd

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
On St James ways since 1971
Be sure you check the weather!
Wettest Camino I've ever experienced- this May
Started on the coastal from Porto but verrred inland from Caminha to Santiago
Still loved it
I'm such a Camino saddo
NollaigC
As nollaigc said, check the weather. Working as hospitaleiro in Angeiras this May we had the wettest and coolest May I can remember. The torrential downpoor can be very nervy. When it happened to me I always switched to the Caminho Central in Vila do Conde because it was more protected in the inland.

For 10-days weatherforecast check:
https://www.ipma.pt/en/otempo/prev.localidade.hora/#Porto&Vila do Conde
 

Albertinho

ninguém disse que era fácil !
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Lisboa - Sant.
2014 Ferrol -Sant.
2015 Porto -Sant.
2018 Porto -Valença
2019 Valença -Sant.
Walking along the coast has its charms. It a gives a feeling of holiday , sun, sand, fishermen villages, waves, looking in the distance. Flat most of the time.
The central route is partly through a rural area with old towns and villages .
More people you'll meet going the same direction.

The second time I walked mixed up both parts.
Started in Porto , but skipped the very busy part by taking the metro to Fórum Maio and soon arrived in a more rural area to Vairão (nice albergue Mosteiro do Vairão) São Pedro de Rates ,Barcelos-stayed there another night to visit the beautifull town of Braga by bus with its world heritage famous church Bom Jesus do Monte and ended up at casa Fernanda, the place to stay on the caminho Português.
From there we jumped over to the coast which is 25 kms from Fernanda away.
You can take public transport to Viana do Castelo and continue from there your coastal adventure (bus or train from Balugães or Barroselas)
From there to Vila Praia de Ãncora and Caminha where we crossed the river Minho to A Guarda. Continued to Santa Maria de Oia and Baiona (lovely old town) and from there to Vigo and Redondela.we did not stay in the albergue there but walked on for another 3 kms to Cessantes where is Maria's refûxio de la Jerézana which we liked better than the big drafty,smelly,noisy albergue in Redondela. We were there on our first caminho. Horrible.
From there on the central route to Pontevedra and there as mentioned before the Variante Espiritual which was a great experience.
From Padrón where we ended up to Santiago.
Best of both caminhos. The central and the coastal caminho.
 
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Ray J

Where exactly are we?
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2015)
Portuguese & Rota Vicentina (2016)
Le Puy & Paris to Moulins (2017)
Via Francengina (2018)
My wife and I are planning to walk the Camino Portugues, starting in Porto, in May, and we're trying to decide between the coastal route from Porto to Redondela (not along the senda, but the route slightly inland) and the central route. I can't really find any good comparisons between the two routes in the Camino Portugues threads I've read on the forum. From reading Brierley's guide, it seems the coastal route has less walking on busy roads, and also offers stopovers that are 20 - 25k apart rather than stages of more than 30k. But we can't get any kind of fix on differences in scenery or any other relative merits. If anyone has walked them both, we'd appreciate your feedback.
We didn't use Brierly for the coastal - he gave it short shrift. We combined the coastal and inland trails. It is urban from Porto to Angeiras, but it's well marked and much of it is on boardwalks by the ocean so it's not too bad. Once you get to Angeiras it becomes less urban. Out of Angeiras, we stayed along the coast by going to Vila do Conde. Really beautiful walk with boardwalks much of the way.

At that point, we decided to head inland to Arcos to hook up with the Camino Portuguese which meant being on the N309 so we were on asphalt most of that time. Not only that, but the road is extremely narrow with little or no shoulder, so be advised. Loved Angeiras to Vila do Conde; Vila do Conde to Arcos, not so much.

Recommendation: When you get to Tui, the San Clemente Alburgue is worth checking out. We got a private room upstairs for cheap, they have laundry facilities, there's a large garden area, and best of all (for us, anyway) it's right on the trail on the northern edge of town which makes for an easy and quick getaway.

Recommendation #2: A good place to stay in Porto: Nice Way Hostel http://nicewayhostels.com/porto/ . Only open for two weeks when we were there, so they were still working out some kinks, but I’m sure they’re good to go now. Nice place (as all the Nice Way Hostels we stayed at were), very centrally located.
 
A

Anemone del Camino

Guest
Please be advised that the 2016 edition of Breierly's guide does cover the coastal in as much detail as he covers the central.
 

andycohn

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2012,13,15); Finisterre / Muxia (15); Portugeuse (17); Primitivo (17); Norte (18); Ingles (18)
We didn't use Brierly for the coastal - he gave it short shrift. We combined the coastal and inland trails. It is urban from Porto to Angeiras, but it's well marked and much of it is on boardwalks by the ocean so it's not too bad. Once you get to Angeiras it becomes less urban. Out of Angeiras, we stayed along the coast by going to Vila do Conde. Really beautiful walk with boardwalks much of the way.

At that point, we decided to head inland to Arcos to hook up with the Camino Portuguese which meant being on the N309 so we were on asphalt most of that time. Not only that, but the road is extremely narrow with little or no shoulder, so be advised. Loved Angeiras to Vila do Conde; Vila do Conde to Arcos, not so much.

Recommendation: When you get to Tui, the San Clemente Alburgue is worth checking out. We got a private room upstairs for cheap, they have laundry facilities, there's a large garden area, and best of all (for us, anyway) it's right on the trail on the northern edge of town which makes for an easy and quick getaway.

Recommendation #2: A good place to stay in Porto: Nice Way Hostel http://nicewayhostels.com/porto/ . Only open for two weeks when we were there, so they were still working out some kinks, but I’m sure they’re good to go now. Nice place (as all the Nice Way Hostels we stayed at were), very centrally located.
Thanks for the advice.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
As nollaigc said, check the weather. Working as hospitaleiro in Angeiras this May we had the wettest and coolest May I can remember. The torrential downpoor can be very nervy. When it happened to me I always switched to the Caminho Central in Vila do Conde because it was more protected in the inland.

For 10-days weatherforecast check:
https://www.ipma.pt/en/otempo/prev.localidade.hora/#Porto&Vila do Conde
Did the Coastal in May last year - sunshine all the way, temperature averaged 30 degrees - your weather may vary ;)
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but 2019?
The Pousada de Juventude de Ofir in Fão/Esposende is very nice - even has a swimming pool! Dormitory or private rooms too. About 1/4 mile (500m) off the Camino.
 

Rainerbernd

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
On St James ways since 1971
Did the Coastal in May last year - sunshine all the way, temperature averaged 30 degrees - your weather may vary ;)
Olá Jeff , I remember May last year. It was as you described - sunshine all the way. But this year it was terrible.
 

Albertinho

ninguém disse que era fácil !
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Lisboa - Sant.
2014 Ferrol -Sant.
2015 Porto -Sant.
2018 Porto -Valença
2019 Valença -Sant.
Olá Jeff , I remember May last year. It was as you described - sunshine all the way. But this year it was terrible.
Proably that was not in Portugal.
We walked from the 8th of May 2015 from Porto to Casa Fernanda and the weather was so bad that we stayed almost a week at Fernanda's due to heavy storms and showers. When the weather improved we continued at the coastal from Viana do Castelo and even then at times we had lots of rain, going to Baiona and Vigo.
 

Rainerbernd

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
On St James ways since 1971
Olá Albertinho, sorry for posting it was May last year. Sometimes I´m a bit confused what May was it. I always stay in Angeiras in May/June every year. You are right, one May was terrible. Now I remember I had to buy a warm pullover and an umbrella at the gipsy market because it was so cold, rainy and windy. But i am still not shure which May it was.
 
Last edited:

Albertinho

ninguém disse que era fácil !
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Lisboa - Sant.
2014 Ferrol -Sant.
2015 Porto -Sant.
2018 Porto -Valença
2019 Valença -Sant.
Olá Albertinho, sorry for posting it was May last year. Sometimes I´m a bit confused what May was it. I always stay in Angeiras in May/June every year. You are right, one May was terrible. Now I remember I had to buy a warm pullover and an umbrella at the gipsy market because it was so cold, rainy and windy. But i am still not shure which May it was.
Life goes by so fast !:cool:

Boas festas e prospéro ano 2017 , muito saude e felicidade !
Talvez encontramo-nos uma vez no caminho no futuro .

Grande abraço deste lado da Holanda
 

Rainerbernd

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
On St James ways since 1971
Caro Albertinho, obrigadinho e desejo a você e a vossa família, de coração, que tenham um feliz Natal e um ano novo de muito éxitos, saúde e felicidade.

Een gezegend Kerstfeest e um forte abraço

Rainer
 

Stephen Hayes

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese coastal
Hi I'm just wondering how you got on, my wife and I are starting in baiona to Vigo to redondella to pontevedra to caldais de reis to padron.any advice?
 

andycohn

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2012,13,15); Finisterre / Muxia (15); Portugeuse (17); Primitivo (17); Norte (18); Ingles (18)
Hi Stephen: We started on the coast in Porto, but only stuck with it for two days, up to Esposende. Perhaps because we've lived by the California coast for over 40 years, we actually found the coastal route pretty monotonous, and largely devoid of other pilgrims, so we took a local bus inland to Barcelos, and then followed the central route all the way to Santiago. Thus, we never made it along the coast to Baiona or Vigo. Starting in Redondela, where you'll join the central Camino, the walking is pretty easy -- pleasantly scenic, with gently rolling hills. Plenty of companionship, mostly northern Europeans. We stayed in private rooms in albergues, or pensiones, and typically booked a day ahead, and it was never a problem getting a room. (I'd book ahead in Santiago, however, as soon as you figure out when you're going to arrive there). One place I particularly liked was Vila San Clemente in Tui (first town in Spain). Both dorm and private rooms, with a lovely garden out back. Right on the camino, as you leave Tui. 35 euros for a double. If possible, leave yourself some time to wander around Pontevedra, a lovely largish city. We also had a good meal at El Muino in Caldas de Reis -- lively place right on the river. In Padon, we enjoyed seeing the actual padron -- the mooring to which the boat carrying James' headless body back to Spain was supposedly docked. In Santiago itself, a great place to stay is San Martin Pinario in the Seminario Mayor, right across from the cathedral. Beautiful old monastery re-purposed as a luxury hotel. Special pilgrim rate of 40 euros, if you book with them direct by e-mail (reservas@sanmartinpinario.eu) or phone - 34 981 56 02 82. They also have good 10 euro pilgrim meals. Another good pilgrim meal is at Tarawa, on the same street as the pilgrim office. Pilgrim office is always a wait to get your compostela. We found best time is very late afternoon or early evening. In Santiago, besides enjoying the cathedral, we really liked the Museum of Pilgrimage, which had interesting historical information, not always flattering to the church. If you're interested, I could also e-mail you the list of other places we stayed. They were all fine, but nothing exceptional. Finally, if you're making reservations in advance, I've found it better to call places rather than relying totally on booking.com. A lot of the smaller pensiones don't list on booking.com, and often places that are listed as sold out on booking.com really aren't. Portugal is better than Spain for finding people who speak English, but if you learn only one phrase in Portuguese -- Do you have a room (bed) available for tomorrow night? -- you'll muck through.

Bom caminho!
 

Stephen Hayes

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese coastal
Hi Stephen: We started on the coast in Porto, but only stuck with it for two days, up to Esposende. Perhaps because we've lived by the California coast for over 40 years, we actually found the coastal route pretty monotonous, and largely devoid of other pilgrims, so we took a local bus inland to Barcelos, and then followed the central route all the way to Santiago. Thus, we never made it along the coast to Baiona or Vigo. Starting in Redondela, where you'll join the central Camino, the walking is pretty easy -- pleasantly scenic, with gently rolling hills. Plenty of companionship, mostly northern Europeans. We stayed in private rooms in albergues, or pensiones, and typically booked a day ahead, and it was never a problem getting a room. (I'd book ahead in Santiago, however, as soon as you figure out when you're going to arrive there). One place I particularly liked was Vila San Clemente in Tui (first town in Spain). Both dorm and private rooms, with a lovely garden out back. Right on the camino, as you leave Tui. 35 euros for a double. If possible, leave yourself some time to wander around Pontevedra, a lovely largish city. We also had a good meal at El Muino in Caldas de Reis -- lively place right on the river. In Padon, we enjoyed seeing the actual padron -- the mooring to which the boat carrying James' headless body back to Spain was supposedly docked. In Santiago itself, a great place to stay is San Martin Pinario in the Seminario Mayor, right across from the cathedral. Beautiful old monastery re-purposed as a luxury hotel. Special pilgrim rate of 40 euros, if you book with them direct by e-mail (reservas@sanmartinpinario.eu) or phone - 34 981 56 02 82. They also have good 10 euro pilgrim meals. Another good pilgrim meal is at Tarawa, on the same street as the pilgrim office. Pilgrim office is always a wait to get your compostela. We found best time is very late afternoon or early evening. In Santiago, besides enjoying the cathedral, we really liked the Museum of Pilgrimage, which had interesting historical information, not always flattering to the church. If you're interested, I could also e-mail you the list of other places we stayed. They were all fine, but nothing exceptional. Finally, if you're making reservations in advance, I've found it better to call places rather than relying totally on booking.com. A lot of the smaller pensiones don't list on booking.com, and often places that are listed as sold out on booking.com really aren't. Portugal is better than Spain for finding people who speak English, but if you learn only one phrase in Portuguese -- Do you have a room (bed) available for tomorrow night? -- you'll muck through.

Bom caminho!
Hi Stephen: We started on the coast in Porto, but only stuck with it for two days, up to Esposende. Perhaps because we've lived by the California coast for over 40 years, we actually found the coastal route pretty monotonous, and largely devoid of other pilgrims, so we took a local bus inland to Barcelos, and then followed the central route all the way to Santiago. Thus, we never made it along the coast to Baiona or Vigo. Starting in Redondela, where you'll join the central Camino, the walking is pretty easy -- pleasantly scenic, with gently rolling hills. Plenty of companionship, mostly northern Europeans. We stayed in private rooms in albergues, or pensiones, and typically booked a day ahead, and it was never a problem getting a room. (I'd book ahead in Santiago, however, as soon as you figure out when you're going to arrive there). One place I particularly liked was Vila San Clemente in Tui (first town in Spain). Both dorm and private rooms, with a lovely garden out back. Right on the camino, as you leave Tui. 35 euros for a double. If possible, leave yourself some time to wander around Pontevedra, a lovely largish city. We also had a good meal at El Muino in Caldas de Reis -- lively place right on the river. In Padon, we enjoyed seeing the actual padron -- the mooring to which the boat carrying James' headless body back to Spain was supposedly docked. In Santiago itself, a great place to stay is San Martin Pinario in the Seminario Mayor, right across from the cathedral. Beautiful old monastery re-purposed as a luxury hotel. Special pilgrim rate of 40 euros, if you book with them direct by e-mail (reservas@sanmartinpinario.eu) or phone - 34 981 56 02 82. They also have good 10 euro pilgrim meals. Another good pilgrim meal is at Tarawa, on the same street as the pilgrim office. Pilgrim office is always a wait to get your compostela. We found best time is very late afternoon or early evening. In Santiago, besides enjoying the cathedral, we really liked the Museum of Pilgrimage, which had interesting historical information, not always flattering to the church. If you're interested, I could also e-mail you the list of other places we stayed. They were all fine, but nothing exceptional. Finally, if you're making reservations in advance, I've found it better to call places rather than relying totally on booking.com. A lot of the smaller pensiones don't list on booking.com, and often places that are listed as sold out on booking.com really aren't. Portugal is better than Spain for finding people who speak English, but if you learn only one phrase in Portuguese -- Do you have a room (bed) available for tomorrow night? -- you'll muck through.

Bom caminho!
Brilliant stuff. All our hotels are pre booked so we don't have to worry about accommodation.we did sarria to Santiago last year and really enjoyed it.so we wanted to get some coastal views this year thanks for your help we will definitely try that place in caldais de reis. Thanks again
 

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