I am planning on biking the coastal route from Porto in May. Has anybody been on it in the past year? Any suggestions? I don't particularly care for alberques and plan on cheap hotels all the way. All information welcome.
I was in Viana do Castelo last summer (not walking) and spent some time on the coast and I saw a lot of yellow arrows, which really surprised me. One went right past a pretty amazing dolmen that we came upon in our rental car. So I would say that the arrows are out there, but I'm not sure how completely waymarked the route is.
BTW, did you bike from Lisbon to Santiago last year? Laurie
this route is well marked, i just finished walking it, on december 1. alot of people were biking it, im not sure about the walk over the mountain range after ponte de lima, that was the most rugged climb. i had alot of water, mud etc. the roads are narrow, watch your back, and i stayed at alberques, as i was the only person walking, most of the time, but some nice hotels offer discounts, like in Cee, 25 euro, and you will find private pensions and hotels that offer discounts, have fun!
Thanks for this information, I am hoping to walk from Porto on the coastal route too -- someday. This is kind of confusing, but I don't think that the route larryflo is talking about goes through Ponte de Lima as johnnyesparto described, so I think people are talking about different routes.
I have found something on Peter Robins' website that might help a bit, but I'm not sure how up to date it is.
"The coastal route from Porto, the Camino Portugués de la Costa, also known as the Caminho do Noroeste or Caminho do Atlântico, is also under development. The Amigos in Viana do Castelo are marking the section from Castelo do Neiva via Viana to Caminha and Valença.
On the Galician side, a route is marked from A Guarda via the monastery at Oia to Vigo, joining the Central route at Redondela. This route is also known as the Camino Monacal and according to a local tradition was the pilgrimage route used by Thomas à Becket. A guide is produced by the Asociación Amigos de los Pazos."
And as I said, I did see a few arrows near a dolmen, which was near the beach in a town called Praia de Ancora. But unfortunately, I couldn't follow them that day.
I plan to split that route out into its own page, and have been waiting for more announcements from the Xunta on what their plans are - but then the Xunta were never noted for speedy action. The main reason for them to support this officially is to have a route from/via Vigo, as the folk in Vigo are complaining that they're left out of the Camino de Santiago budget. AIUI, the route is well used from Vigo, but much less used further south. In Portugal, I have not been able to find anyone who claims responsibility for the section in Braga District, i.e. to Castelo da Neiva.
Accommodation shouldn't be a problem in May, tho might be so in the summer season as all the hotels are full of seaside holiday-makers.