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From Viseu to Santiago

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Just as I have settled on the Geira from Braga as a part of my 2021 camino (hopefully), I see this report on Gronze that describes the Caminho Portugues Interior from Viseu (ultimately the hope is to join Coimbra to Viseu, so people starting further south could easily transition).

When someone starts to describe a camino by calling it “the most beautiful, the most spectacular, the most intimate and the most spiritual of the Portugués caminos” you have got my attention.


I think that those of us who love untraveled and rural caminos, like the Invierno and Olvidado, will be turning our attention more and more to Portugal. The big numbers have not yet got there, and the infrastructure seems decent. The Portuguese government is promoting caminos for economic redevelopment purposes, and the pilgrims are the likely beneficiaries.

387 km from Viseu to Santiago. It joins with the Sanabrés in Verín, so that section will be familiar territory (at least once you get beyond the Verín alternative of the Sanabrés). Gronze has got a stage by stge with all its typical information posted.

 
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jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Past OR future Camino
A few in the past; more in the future!
Nice! I remember (from a previous post of yours, I think) that Gronze had planned to introduce their page for the CPI in the first part of this year. At one stage during our 2021 camino we were going to switch from the Torres to the CPI in Lamego and go to Santiago that way, so I checked to see if the page was up yet, but it wasn't and - unrelated to that - we chose the Geira in the end instead. That will allow us to do a 'full' CPI from Viseu (or even Coimbra) one day as we're pretty hooked on the Portuguese caminos!
 
Past OR future Camino
2021
I walked the CPI from Coimbra to Lamego this summer and I can heartily agree this is a very special route and so much more rural than the Lisbon-Porto way. The waymarking is pretty good; it does need a bit of planning though as many of the cafes and places to stay have been closed by the lockdown. There are a couple of stage ends with literally nowhere to stay so one needs to either change the stages or be prepared to get a cab (thankfully very cheap in Portugal compared to Northern Europe) in order to find a bed. And as for finding stamps? Good luck; I got four in my first 6 days.

There are hardly any pilgrims on this route - I had the fun of explaining what the camino was to one village resident, while sitting next to a yellow arrow sign on a lamp-post. He had wondered why someone had put it there!
 
Past OR future Camino
Frances - 2009
Portuguese Interior (2014)
Hadrian's Wall (2017)
Porto to SdC ( Seaside) 2019
Just as I have settled on the Geira from Braga as a part of my 2021 camino (hopefully), I see this report on Gronze that describes the Caminho Portugues Interior from Viseu (ultimately the hope is to join Coimbra to Viseu, so people starting further south could easily transition).

When someone starts to describe a camino by calling it “the most beautiful, the most spectacular, the most intimate and the most spiritual of the Portugués caminos” you have got my attention.


I think that those of us who love untraveled and rural caminos, like the Invierno and Olvidado, will be turning our attention more and more to Portugal. The big numbers have not yet got there, and the infrastructure seems decent. The Portuguese government is promoting caminos for economic redevelopment purposes, and the pilgrims are the likely beneficiaries.

387 km from Viseu to Santiago. It joins with the Sanabrés in Verín, so that section will be familiar territory (at least once you get beyond the Verín alternative of the Sanabrés). Gronze has got a stage by stge with all its typical information posted.

Having pilgrimed this route in 2014, I can attest that it is both beautiful (I was there in September) and challenging. Aurelio Simones ( amsimones@gmail.com ) was / is a strong supporter of the Interior Route and the reason that I gave it a go. I suggest you communicate with him concerning questions about the route. He lives in Lisbon.
I found it a wonderful trek in and out of the various Portuguese river valleys. I was there just before the grape harvest and it was magnificent to see the grapes - it surely was a great year for harvest. The wine harvest before had, obviously, been good! ;)
I often have said that the route was "half as far as the Frances' but twice as hard!" I have suggested that it really wasn't the best route for a 1st time pilgrim.
There were places that the route was not well marked. It was marked but not "well". There were places where the albergues were not well served by food opportunities - but it was not so difficult that I wouldn't recommend it. As a matter of fact, I found it quite rewarding as a "pilgrim's progress" - so to speak...
I found wonderful people - to include a bar owner - now not there- who was from Connecticut and really enjoyed having a fellow USA with whom he could "chew the fat." I found the days long and often difficult - not always a lot of fuentes... (but I regularly found a local farmer willing to fill a water bottle).
All in all - a wonderful experience...
Oh, and I travelled it alone as I am want to do. I'm not sure that I would advise that for everyone.
Bom Caminho!
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2021
Just as I have settled on the Geira from Braga as a part of my 2021 camino (hopefully), I see this report on Gronze that describes the Caminho Portugues Interior from Viseu (ultimately the hope is to join Coimbra to Viseu, so people starting further south could easily transition).

When someone starts to describe a camino by calling it “the most beautiful, the most spectacular, the most intimate and the most spiritual of the Portugués caminos” you have got my attention.


I think that those of us who love untraveled and rural caminos, like the Invierno and Olvidado, will be turning our attention more and more to Portugal. The big numbers have not yet got there, and the infrastructure seems decent. The Portuguese government is promoting caminos for economic redevelopment purposes, and the pilgrims are the likely beneficiaries.

387 km from Viseu to Santiago. It joins with the Sanabrés in Verín, so that section will be familiar territory (at least once you get beyond the Verín alternative of the Sanabrés). Gronze has got a stage by stge with all its typical information posted.

In mid December of 2019 I had just completed the CF and met my beautiful, wonderful and of course perfect older daughter :) in Porto for 9 days as she was going to graduate school in Manchester, England. Her Christmas break fell perfectly for our visit. We took a day trip to Braga and of course it is a wonderful city. We saw the sights, and walked the city and ate at a wonderful Thai restaurant called Ra-Cha-Kao. Food was great and of course the owners were warm, welcoming and caring. So much like almost anyone you will meet in this fantastic country. Of course you have to visit the Bom Jesus Do Monte. Another thing that struck my daughter and me was that it was close to Christmas and of course there were lights on the street and there were some decorations and reminders of Christmas in many store windows. But you were not bombarded by the crass commercialism of the holiday season like you are in the United States. We never watched tv so I cannot say about Christmas commercials but the differences in the street and especially in stores was like night and day. It was far more understated and quite lovely. We found this to be true in Porto, Braga and the other places we visited.
If my college friends still want to do the Coastal Camino from Porto next year, I will be doing the CP again. But this time before I meet them I will start in Faro and do a small detour this time to Fatima and then over to Tomar and we will include the Spiritual Variant too. If not the Madrid to the CF and then probably the Invierno if it is not a really rough winter but who knows :).
 
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jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Past OR future Camino
A few in the past; more in the future!
I often have said that the route was "half as far as the Frances' but twice as hard!" I have suggested that it really wasn't the best route for a 1st time pilgrim.
There were places that the route was not well marked. It was marked but not "well". There were places where the albergues were not well served by food opportunities - but it was not so difficult that I wouldn't recommend it. As a matter of fact, I found it quite rewarding as a "pilgrim's progress" - so to speak...
It sounds like when talking about difficulties, you are referring to waymarking and lack of infrastructure. But what about the trail itself? Is there a lot of asphalt walking? How challenging are the mountainous sections?
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I have heard from a former forum member that the way from Coimbra is almost completely marked to Viseu. This video starts in Coimbra and has a lot of off-road walking, though it’s always hard to tell from a video whether there is a lot of asphalt that just never got put in the video.


Stages posted by the Italians who made that video

Coimbra - Penacova 23
Penacova- Santa Comba (30)
Santa Comba - Farminhao 35 (albergue)
Farminhao - Almargem 30 (albergue) — Viseu is in between Farminhao and Almargem
Almargem - Ribolhos 23 (albergue)
Ribolhos - Lamego 37.6
Lamego - Bertelo 28 (albergue)
Bertelo - Vila Real 12 (albergue, casa diocesana)
Vila Real - Parada de Aguiar 27 (albergue)
Parada de Aguiar - Chaves 41
 
Past OR future Camino
Frances - 2009
Portuguese Interior (2014)
Hadrian's Wall (2017)
Porto to SdC ( Seaside) 2019
It sounds like when talking about difficulties, you are referring to waymarking and lack of infrastructure. But what about the trail itself? Is there a lot of asphalt walking? How challenging are the mountainous sections?
There was not a "lot" of roadway. I did find myself making up for my not observing a marker by using the road - the whole route parallels the N2 for much of the journey. There was a lot of muddy trail and the route in and out of the valleys was fairly steep. Some places were literally through a vineyard. You have, no doubt, seen how difficult that can be. I would say that the whole of the route is challenging. Of course, I am no longer as young as I once was.
 

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