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Day "zero" suggestions?

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
My friend and I will be arriving in Porto around 10 am next Wednesday. We have a reservation at Casa da Praia in Labruge. We will start our walk from there the next morning. But since we will be arriving so early in the day, we will have several options, depending on how tired we are after traveling from the west coast of the US.
We can drop our backpacks off at the hotel, and head down to Porto to either sightsee, or walk the Camino from Porto as far as we can until we wear ourselves out. If we do decide to walk I have heard that the part leaving Porto is not that interesting. Any suggestions on where to start walking? Ideally, we would be able to walk from Porto to Labruge, which is about 19 km, but I'm not sure how doable that will be after 3 flights and 20+ hours of traveling. 🤪
 

Roland49

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2019 July
Hi fellow Pilgrims,

Porto is a really nice city. I stayed there 1,5 days after my camino francés. Went sightseeing, climbed the belltower of the Clarigos church, met part of my camino-family and had a nice dinner on the evening with my camino-family on the banks of the river.
The lovely sights and sounds on the riverbanks and the beaches of the atlantic were quite unique after 4 weeks on the camino.

My suggestion: take your time, rest a little and go sightseeing. The Camino will be there on the next day!

Have fun!

Buen Camino!
Roland
 

linkster

Nunca dejes de creer!
Camino(s) past & future
CF (17) Sarria - Portomarín
CF (17) SJPdP - SdC
CF (18) SJPdP - Fisterra
CP (19) Porto - Muxia
@trecile Porto is a great city. I stayed at Blue Sock Hostel (Japanese cubes). It was near the river and centrally located. It was a short walk up to the cathedral. The cathedral had some great tiles upstairs in the cloister. We took the metro from the São Bento train station to Matoshinos and started walking from there. The São Bento train station has some beautiful tiles.

Here is the Porto Metro Map. São Bento to Trindade (yellow line D toward Hospital São João 2 stops). Then switch Trindade to Mercado (blue line A toward Senhor de Matoshinos ~16 stops). 1 stop before the end of the line. We missed the Mercado stop and had to walk back.
Bom caminho!👣:D:cool:
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I should have mentioned that I have already spent a couple of days in Port this year.
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
Ditto to all of the above replies. I've been to Porto twice and it would be a shame to not explore before you begin the Camino.
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
Will you be going back to Porto after the Camino? If not, I'd recommend going into the city to sightsee. If you can, do walk across the Luis 1 bridge and take in the view of Porto from across the river, in the town of Vila Nova de Gaia. There's even a teleférico there (a sky cable car) that's about 5€ for a round trip. There are amazing views of Porto from Vila Nova. And it's a nice river walk and will keep you awake :). You can even take a boat tour from there but if you feel nauseous with jet lag maybe don't do that.

Otherwise, in Porto itself there's the Clérigos Tower to see, the Harry Potter bookstore (Lello e Irmao), comfort food at Steak n' Shake (an American Midwest burger and milkshakes joint), and parks like City Park or the Jardín do Palacio Palacio de Cristal.

Buen Camino!
Faith

Edit: I just realized you've been to Porto before. Have a great time there this time as well!
 

natefaith

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Sarria-Santiago (2009)
León-Ponferrada (2014)
Camino Inglés (2017)
I forgot to mention - IF you start walking from Porto, many people enjoy starting a bit farther north in Foz do Douro or Matosinhos and skipping walking out of the city. There's a great boardwalk/ paseo from Foz do Douro on north. There's even a Pizza Hut in Foz! :) (I'm all about comfort food when I'm in survival mode/ jet lagged!)
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Currently on a "Virtual" Camino and striding out across Castile y Leon!
If you're coming over all the way from the west coast I'd play tourist for the day - did you try the open top bus tour last time you were there?

The walk out isn't exciting - I took the metro out to Matosinhos and started walking from there (fabulous market BTW). There's a tourist office close to the beach there - good for a stamp!

I take it you won't be needing to buy any hiking poles ;)

If you haven't already tried it seek out the Francesinha and the ice cream is to die for.

Have a great Camino - I'm sure you will.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Currently on a "Virtual" Camino and striding out across Castile y Leon!
Yes, I understand that, but if we do decide to start walking from Porto, is there a section to skip?
Trecile, do you have the route on Google Earth? Worth doing a "walk through" to see what you might like to miss!
 

Doogman

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
?
When I walked the Portuguese Central route, I started at the Cathedral and simply followed the yellow arrows north through the city. It was a very urban walk, and probably not to everyone's liking, but I enjoyed it. I got to see parts of the city that I would never venture to otherwise.

When I walked the Coastal route a bit later, I took the Metro to Matosinhos and walked along the coast from there.

If I had to recommend between the two options, I would tell you to walk from Matsosinhos.

If I ever start in Porto again, I would likely start at the Cathedral, walk down to the river, follow the river to the coast, and then head north. I don't know how far that would be to Labruge, but it is an option for you. But it may be a bit too much after a long trip to get to Porto.
 
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
The best part of Porto to me were the fresh sardinhas grilled by the woman down at the river - heaven!
 

nickpellatt

Member
Camino(s) past & future
French 2015 Portuguese 2018 Norte May 2019 Finesterre and Muxia April 2019
I wouldnt put yourself under any pressure to do anything when you get to Porto other than rest and acclimatise slightly. Sure, if you have some energy go for a walk, treat yourself to a nice meal ... but Im sure your trip is about everything that will follow after Porto, rather than anything on offer in the city itself.

I travel East a lot, and find jetlag to be quite hard. It sounds crazy, but if you have time and the opportunity, start getting used to your new timezone now. I assume Europe is + hours to you? So start waking and sleeping earlier. If you can change your bodyclock before travelling, it makes it much easier to get used to the new timezone on arrival.

edit to add - If you like healthy food / veggie or vegan, try the buffet at Da Terra. I personally didnt like the food in Portugal, but this place was the best I experienced there. it gets busy tho so go early if you can.

I would put yourself under a bit of pressure to walk from where you are staying though. Im not a huge fan of taking a bus or train just because a section isnt as beautiful as we'd like. There may be a time later when injury, illness or freak weather means you absolutely cant walk ... so I believe you should walk when you can.
 
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steve 217

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino frances planning via del la plata
My Brothers nephew and i. Did the portugese way, last year we were on bikes it was a blast. if i was walking id take the trolley car out of the city to the head of the river and walk from there the boardwalk was lovely very reminiscent of california.

Have a great Camino i found the portugese people wonderfully accommodating and kind .
PS recommend Redondella great place
 

simeon

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPDP LosArcos 09\14 Tricastella SDDC 0515 Porto SDDC 1015 LosArcos Burgos 1016 Burgos Leon 0917
Majestic cafe desert and a white port yum
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I forgot to mention - IF you start walking from Porto, many people enjoy starting a bit farther north in Foz do Douro or Matosinhos and skipping walking out of the city.
That's the advice that I was looking for.
If you're coming over all the way from the west coast I'd play tourist for the day - did you try the open top bus tour last time you were there?

The walk out isn't exciting - I took the metro out to Matosinhos and started walking from there (fabulous market BTW). There's a tourist office close to the beach there - good for a stamp!
I missed going to Matosinhos when I was there in July - I've heard that's the place to go for seafood.
When I walked the Coastal route a bit later, I took the Metro to Matosinhos and walked along the coast from there.

If I had to recommend between the two options, I would tell you to walk from Matsosinhos.
That sounds like probably the best option, and it's only about 8 km from Matosinhos to Labruge.
I would put yourself under a bit of pressure to walk from where you are staying though. Im not a huge fan of taking a bus or train just because a section isnt as beautiful as we'd like. There may be a time later when injury, illness or freak weather means you absolutely cant walk ... so I believe you should walk when you can.
I have never taken a bus or train on any Camino in the past and don't plan to start now! But I don't consider this "day zero" as part of my Camino. That will officially start the next day from Labruge.
if i was walking id take the trolley car out of the city to the head of the river and walk from there the boardwalk was lovely very reminiscent of california.
Sounds perfect.

My goal in posting was to have some ideas of options for this "day zero" before we really start the Camino. We will have left our backpacks at our accommodation in Labruge, so will just have lightweight packs for water, a jacket, etc. Depending on how we feel - I don't usually get jet lag on my outbound flight, but I doubt if I will have slept much in the 20+ hours of traveling, and my friend has never been to Europe, so don't know how she will react to the trip - I think that the plan will be to drop our things off in Labruge, head down to Porto, look around a bit, get our credentials stamped in the cathedral, then if we have the energy head up to Foz do Douro or Matosinhos via bus or trolley and walk as far as we can. We both have return flights home from Porto, so there will be more opportunities to enjoy the city.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués Porto'17,Lisbon'18
Inglés A Coruña y Ferrol '18
Invierno'19
Yes, I understand that, but if we do decide to start walking from Porto, is there a section to skip?
Hi,
I happen to be in Porto right now on a family trip not to walk. The walk down to the water from the Cathedral and then along the river out of Porto (the litoral) is one of my favorite walks on any camino I've done. It is completely flat other than the walk down. I would never skip any of this walk. If your flight goes well and the day is nice I imagine 20km would fly by, and then you will sleep like babies. It could even help with jetlag. Good luck.
Buen Camino
MaryEllen
 

frontiers

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2010)
Portugués (2016)
Inglés (2019)
The walk down to the water from the Cathedral and then along the river out of Porto (the litoral). It is completely flat other than the walk down. I would never skip any of this walk.
I totally agree! Quite some time since I walked it but I do remember loving it. I shall say that I love Porto though, and this may bias my overall perception ...
 

KinkyOne

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
I haven't been to Porto but no matter which city I would come to for the first time I would definitely do ... yes - nothing. Or almost nothing in todays sense of "speeding" around. I would find myself a nice place somewhere moderately lively (with as much locals as possible), order a beer and just feel the energy. For the whole day long.

I always do this and never regreted it. If I got good vibe I was back another time. And only then it's the time for museums, galleries, architecture etc.

Have a nice Camino @trecile :)
 

bmcbride

CVRambler
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2014), Camino Inca (2015), Primitivo (2017), Portugues (2018), Finisterre (2018)
Last year, travelling from the West Coast of Canada, I arrived into Porto early in the morning (too early to get into my accommodation). I stored my backpack in a storage locker and I walked from the Cathedral to Matosinhos, then caught the metro back to Porto in the afternoon. A few days later, after everyone from my Camino family had arrived in Porto, we took the Metro to Matosinhos and began from there. I really enjoyed my walk along the river on my first day. I wasn't too jet-lagged from the flight, and could easily have walked a bit farther than Matosinhos.
 

Elle Bieling

Elle Bieling, PilgrimageTraveler
Camino(s) past & future
A total of eight in the past 6 years!
@trecile IMHO, the ONLY way to leave Porto to walk, is by the river on the Senda Litoral! I have repeatedly said how serene and beautiful this is, and still, everyone gives the advice to take the metro to Matosinhos, or some other work around. For me, being able to walk every single step of the way from the glorious cathedral in Porto is highly important. I agree with Camino Chrissy that this is a beautiful walk. If you have already seen Porto, then why not walk, taking it slowly, enjoy the promenade, and know that it is entirely flat along this coastal area. Here is my rendition of the walk: Leaving Porto via the Senda Litoral.
OR just see how you feel the day you get there and then decide. Buen Camino!
 

Roland49

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2019 July
I have walked almost to Matosinhos (up to the gardens of Montavideu) on the coastal scenic route and had much fun. The air, the sea, the people sitting on the beach. The Views!

Then I headed back to the city center an took the "Electrico".
For the Pilgrims there is no better way as to walk there, I think. You will see different views of the town and will see many different people minding their own business.

Have fun!

Buen Camino!
Roland
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
As your best Oregon pal I think you should stay in Porto and chill out. I know you have been there before but why not enjoy a beautiful city and its wonderful people. I ate at a great Thai restaurant there but I have no idea the name hahaha. Relax and refresh before you start. As for walking and skipping. Walking out of Porto is not as bad as walking out of Lisbon. I always believed that you should walk the whole way if you can. Good and bad. The bed stretches reminds me not to let things bug me and let things go and just walk. The good and great stretches are well, just good and great.
 

saara kinnunen

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata (Sevilla-Salamanca 2015) Via de la Plata (Salamanca- Santiago de Compostela 2016)
Yes, I understand that, but if we do decide to start walking from Porto, is there a section to skip?
I recommend that you begin your Camino from Cathedral of Porto and walk beside the river and then the seeside untill your alberga.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I recommend that you begin your Camino from Cathedral of Porto and walk beside the river and then the seeside untill your alberga.
That's what I would like to do, but I'm not sure if we will have the energy to walk 19 km after aong travel day with little sleep. 😃
Starting from the cathedral in Porto the next day isn't really an option, because we only have 10 days to walk to Santiago, and once we "officially" start I'm not interested in skipping anything.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
. I always believed that you should walk the whole way if you can. Good and bad. The bed stretches reminds me not to let things bug me and let things go and just walk. The good and great stretches are well, just good and great.
I share the same philosophy. That's why our plan is to start in Labruge and not skip any sections. That's why I'm calling the day we arrive day "zero". If we manage to walk from Porto to Labruge I will rename it day one. 😊
 

saara kinnunen

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Via de la Plata (Sevilla-Salamanca 2015) Via de la Plata (Salamanca- Santiago de Compostela 2016)
That's what I would like to do, but I'm not sure if we will have the energy to walk 19 km after aong travel day with little sleep. 😃
Starting from the cathedral in Porto the next day isn't really an option, because we only have 10 days to walk to Santiago, and once we "officially" start I'm not interested in skipping anything.
Then you could take the train From Porto to Matosinhos and walk to your Alberga. That is not too much. I`ll begin my Camino on Saturday from Porto Airport, if God will. Exciting!!!
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Then you could take the train From Porto to Matosinhos and walk to your Alberga. That is not too much. I`ll begin my Camino on Saturday from Porto Airport, if God will. Exciting!!!
That's one option under consideration.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
My friend and I will be arriving in Porto around 10 am next Wednesday. We have a reservation at Casa da Praia in Labruge. We will start our walk from there the next morning. But since we will be arriving so early in the day, we will have several options, depending on how tired we are after traveling from the west coast of the US.
We can drop our backpacks off at the hotel, and head down to Porto to either sightsee, or walk the Camino from Porto as far as we can until we wear ourselves out. If we do decide to walk I have heard that the part leaving Porto is not that interesting. Any suggestions on where to start walking? Ideally, we would be able to walk from Porto to Labruge, which is about 19 km, but I'm not sure how doable that will be after 3 flights and 20+ hours of traveling. 🤪
I believe that when people say that the part leaving Porto is not that interesting, they are talking about the walk north out of the city on the Central and Coastal routes, rather than the walk on the Senda Litoral that will take you to Labruge. I found the walk out of the city towards Labruge actually quite nice. You start at the Cathedral and walk down through an older part of town to the river. Then you walk along the riverside, under some impressive bridges and by some nice street art to the coast. Along the coast past beaches and fortresses (Castelo do Queijo, half way between the mouth of the Douro and Matosinhos), rocky promontories with picturesque churches (Boa Nova, halfway between Matosinhos and Cabo do Mundo) and along boardwalks and past monuments (Obelisco da Memoria, halfway between Matosinhos and Labruge) to Labruge. The terrain is fairly flat, so 19 km wouldn't be too hard, but easy for me to say here. It depends on how much sleep you manage on the planes. Maybe after 20 hours cooped up in planes, a nice bit of walking will be just the thing. 🤪

You are never that far from a road. If it ever becomes too much, you can call a cab to take you the rest of the way to Labruge. If you are going to walk some of it, I would be sure to see Boa Nova and get some time on the boardwalks.
 
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VNwalking

Wandering in big circles
Camino(s) past & future
Francés ('14/'15)
San Olav/CF ('16)
Baztanés/CF ('17)
Ingles ('18)
Vasco/CF/Invierno ('19)
Just an off-the-wall thought: Why not eat lunch here, and then take transport to Matosinhos and walk from there? It's not so often that you can have your cake and eat it too. ;)
the Camino Portuguese gives you the possibility of eating Michelin-starred food at a reasonable price at a place that actually LIKES pilgrims...
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
I share the same philosophy. That's why our plan is to start in Labruge and not skip any sections. That's why I'm calling the day we arrive day "zero". If we manage to walk from Porto to Labruge I will rename it day one. 😊
I remember we discussed that when we had lunch, ie walking the whole route. Maybe you will be back down this year. I leave for SJPP on October 25th. I will start walking on the 29th. I definitely need a few days after that long flight. I will ask my friend if he remembers the name of that Thai restaurant we ate at. There is also a great little Port bar down the street. I don't like Port but we had a great evening in the bar after we ate at the Thai place. Their chicken wings (alitas) were great. One more thing. I found great airfares within Spain (Maybe Portugal also) on Iberia. My flight from SDC back to Madrid cost me $25US. You can't beat that one way non-stop with a stick. I am paying $40 (it may be 45)US one way from Madrid to Pamplona. Check it out. The flight from SJPP is way cheaper than the train or bus and the Pamplona price was almost exactly the same. Look forward to hearing about your trip.
 
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Queso

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
?
My friend and I will be arriving in Porto around 10 am next Wednesday. We have a reservation at Casa da Praia in Labruge. We will start our walk from there the next morning. But since we will be arriving so early in the day, we will have several options, depending on how tired we are after traveling from the west coast of the US.
We can drop our backpacks off at the hotel, and head down to Porto to either sightsee, or walk the Camino from Porto as far as we can until we wear ourselves out. If we do decide to walk I have heard that the part leaving Porto is not that interesting. Any suggestions on where to start walking? Ideally, we would be able to walk from Porto to Labruge, which is about 19 km, but I'm not sure how doable that will be after 3 flights and 20+ hours of traveling. 🤪
1 suggestion: get a sello at the cathedral in Porto.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
1 suggestion: get a sello at the cathedral in Porto.
Aah, but trecile has said 'once we "officially" start I'm not interested in skipping anything'. Getting the first sello at the cathedral in Porto might be considered to make that the "official" start. In that case, it would work if the 19 km is doable. If not, it might conflict with the expressed philosophy.

Of course, trecile is also free to consider the "official" start as somewhere other than the location of the first stamp, but that is how it is likely to be seen at the Pilgrim Office in SdC.
 

Roland49

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2019 July
The flight from SJPP is way cheaper than the train or bus and the Pamplona price was almost exactly the same. Look forward to hearing about your trip.
Did I miss something here? I never did see an airport in SJPdP ;)
If you mean Biarritz, add a minimum of 13€ to the price for transportation from Biarritz Airport to SJPdP (or vice-versa).

My flight back home (Germany) from Porto (180€) was much cheaper than from SdC (410€, 1 flight/week in the summer). And from Porto there were some carriers and dates to choose.

Almost all flights to Biarritz were starting in France, GB or Spain. As a mid-european you have to get there first.

Buen Camino!
Roland
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
Did I miss something here? I never did see an airport in SJPdP ;)
If you mean Biarritz, add a minimum of 13€ to the price for transportation from Biarritz Airport to SJPdP (or vice-versa).

My flight back home (Germany) from Porto (180€) was much cheaper than from SdC (410€, 1 flight/week in the summer). And from Porto there were some carriers and dates to choose.

Almost all flights to Biarritz were starting in France, GB or Spain. As a mid-european you have to get there first.

Buen Camino!
Roland
WHOOPS I meant to say Santiago!!! I will fix that slight geographical error now!
 

laineylainey

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
started in 2012, hooked ever since.
Yes, I understand that, but if we do decide to start walking from Porto, is there a section to skip?
I got the metro or train to Matosinhos as a few people had mentioned the walk from Porto being a bit boring, but then I read that there is an alternative and beautiful shoreline route out of Porto - the Littoral Way, not well signposted but just keep the shoreline to your left all the way to Póvoa and I wish I had done that route.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Camino(s) past & future
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I got the metro or train to Matosinhos as a few people had mentioned the walk from Porto being a bit boring, but then I read that there is an alternative and beautiful shoreline route out of Porto - the Littoral Way, not well signposted but just keep the shoreline to your left all the way to Póvoa and I wish I had done that route.
We ended up taking an Uber to the Cathedral in Porto after arriving in Porto, and walking to Matosinhos until we were absolutely exhausted with jet lag after 20+ hours of traveling with almost no sleep. I'm glad that we did it that way, as the Senda Litoral out of Porto along the river is very nice. After that, it is very pretty along the boardwalk, but each town looks very similar.
 


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