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Help with a Portuguese camino —Geira, Interior or Zamorano?

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Like most of us, I have no idea when I’ll be able to walk again. But I think that it’s a good idea to have a bunch of camino plans ready to go at a moment’s notice, depending on how much time I have and depending on what season it is. Obssessive, yes, I know.

There are three short-ish Caminos in the northwestern part that all have my attention:

Zamorano-Portugués
Geira e dos Arrieiros
Portugués Interior

I will be researching all three but would appreciate any insight. Which of the three would you walk and why?

Thanks, bom caminho, Laurie
 
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Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
I would do Geira e dos Arrieros if it had a good signallling.
I know parts of it as a tourist . I am particularly interested in the stretch Braga - Portela do Homen - Lobios - Entrimo - Castro Laboreiro and also Ribadavia,
The Portuguese part is very rocky (so the name Peneda in Peneda-Geres National Park) and I don´t know if there is too much tarmac or cobblestone to avoid difficult parts.
There is a Roman road in the Portela do Homem pass (the border) with some Miliari (milestones) and free pools with hot water in Lobios. In my case I could enjoy conversations with elder people in Portugal who still speak "old Portuguese".
 
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Isca-camigo

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Various ones.
It has been mentioned that the signalling for the Camino Geira might be completed by the end of this year, I'm not sure if that is the case now but I expect it to be done in the 1st half of next year.

My option would be for the Camino Geira so much of what I am hearing is almost too much good to be true, it certainly grabs the attention. The paths will be mostly natural but difficult in some places and very rural. I have 14 days for the CG next year I could go on to the coast and Finistera but my early morning flight out of Santiago is deterring me from doing this so I am looking at little add ons to this route to use up the time and arrive in Santiago on my last night. A 2 day detour would be to Santuario de Nossa Senhora da Peneda
there used to be an Albergue de Peregrinos here but the site it was on was converted into a hotel, I have seen connecting routes from the CG it would be somewhere after Lobios where you would cross over a Serra and would rejoin the Camino there.
After Ribadavia the Camino misses Leiro and the San Clodio monastery https://www.turismo.gal/recurso/-/detalle/5175/san-clodio-do-ribeiro?langId=en_US&tp=8&ctre=33 but there is an option to detour from the Camino or maybe spend two days in Ribadavia and use one of the days to walk to the Monastery http://www.concelloleiro.org/senda-rio-avia/ .
There is lots of little detours, but those are the two main ones for me.
Buen Camino
 
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I found a good set of tracks for the Geira on wikiloc. 9 days with these stages. The author is Isa Isi. Looks like a good starting point.

Braga
Terras de Bouro
Portela do Homem
Ameijoeira
Cortegada
Berán
Beáriz
A Portela
Pontevea
Santiago

I was a bit disappointed that the trail doesn’t actually go through the town of Geres. It’s an old spa town, kind of a hub. So maybe, @Isca, you might want to consider a detour there. I remember walking in the eastern part of the park to a very beautifuld monastery in ruins, called Pitoes das Júnias, but that is probably too far from Geres to be an add-on.

Are these stages similar to the ones others have seen, planned, or walked? I haven’t even started to look at lodging options, which might require some reconfiguring of course.
 

MyDestinationGalicia

Mark Auchincloss
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
Yes I'm glad there's interest for camino from Braga to Santiago de Compostela known as Camino de Santiago da Geira Romana e dos Arrieiros. Here's the website link for further info https://debragaasantiago.com/etapas-camino-xacobeo/ There's also an alternative route which starts at the border between Portugal and Spain called Camino Miñoto Ribeiro that does @Isca-camigo (thanks for video link) pass San Clodio. Here's the website link for further info https://www.caminominotoribeiro.com/en/inicio.htm I'd recommend either route albeit Geira is the official historic route and the other is more an invention of the local mayors. Either way you will walk through the Ribeiro wine producing area where you can taste some of the very best red and white wines in Spain !
 
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Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.
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peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
There's also an alternative route which starts at the border between Portugal and Spain called Camino Miñoto Ribeiro that does @Isca-camigo (thanks for video link) pass San Clodio.
ENOUGH! Why is it that whenever I ask for information on a camino, the responses invariably just make me add more caminos to my ever growing list! o_O
 

Isca-camigo

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Various ones.
I found a good set of tracks for the Geira on wikiloc. 9 days with these stages. The author is Isa Isi. Looks like a good starting point.

Braga
Terras de Bouro
Portela do Homem
Ameijoeira
Cortegada
Berán
Beáriz
A Portela
Pontevea
Santiago

I was a bit disappointed that the trail doesn’t actually go through the town of Geres. It’s an old spa town, kind of a hub. So maybe, @Isca, you might want to consider a detour there. I remember walking in the eastern part of the park to a very beautifuld monastery in ruins, called Pitoes das Júnias, but that is probably too far from Geres to be an add-on.

Are these stages similar to the ones others have seen, planned, or walked? I haven’t even started to look at lodging options, which might require some reconfiguring of course.

I would say at least two of those stops do not have accommodation options, Portela do Homem
Ameijoeira
There is a stop I am not familiar or heard of yet on the Galician side
A Portela.
The Wikiloc poster may have had connections to these areas so was able to stay at those places or used some creative taxi drop offs and pick ups.
Most people who walk seem to do it in 9 days some in 8 or one person in 7, I'm going to go for 10 or more, I have waited so long for this it would seem a shame to rush it. My provisional stops are:-
Braga(H)
Caldelas(Alb)
Campos de Gere's(Alb)
O Banos- Entrimo( H's or Aptmts)
Castro Laboreiro( H's or B&B's)
Cortegada (CR or Pen)
Ribadavia( H) - There is some luxury accommodation here but I will go for the humble Hotel Caracas, don't know why, sometimes I get a fixation on staying at a place on Camino this is one of them.
Feas(CR)...
.'Feás (km 83)
Hospedaje: Casa Rural O Forno do Curro +34 609 855 238
Comidas por encargo: Bar Nictron +34 988 28 51 78 (muito recomendável)'

This is copied and pasted from the website for this route, the Casa Rural has a room set aside for pilgrims it only has two single beds.

Forcarei.. this place is 1.6km off route but has a couple of hotels, you would take the detour at about the 54-53 km mark.

Pontevea - There is a hotel spa just out of town but for a little while the town advertised an Albergue de Peregrinos before the virus hit, it listing was taken down soon after, hopefully it is offered again next year.
Santiago
I still have to add in detours and one two night stop( Ribadavia)
The Beran stop would mean that you would probably be doing a flying visit to Ribadavia before walking on the additional 4-5 km in the afternoon, or getting a taxi back in and out to visit the many rich historical and cultural sights of Ribadavia.
June can't come quick enough for me.
 
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Pelegrin

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019
Yes I'm glad there's interest for camino from Braga to Santiago de Compostela known as Camino de Santiago da Geira Romana e dos Arrieiros. Here's the website link for further info https://debragaasantiago.com/etapas-camino-xacobeo/ There's also an alternative route which starts at the border between Portugal and Spain called Camino Miñoto Ribeiro that does @Isca-camigo (thanks for video link) pass San Clodio. Here's the website link for further info https://www.caminominotoribeiro.com/en/inicio.htm I'd recommend either route albeit Geira is the official historic route and the other is more an invention of the local mayors. Either way you will walk through the Ribeiro wine producing area where you can taste some of the very best red and white wines in Spain !
This is a lot of information about Geira.
Moitas Grazas !!.
 

Paul_Garland

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2012-18, VdlP 2013, Primitivo part 2018, Fisterra/Muxia frequently, VdlP Portugues parts
Like most of us, I have no idea when I’ll be able to walk again. But I think that it’s a good idea to have a bunch of camino plans ready to go at a moment’s notice, depending on how much time I have and depending on what season it is. Obssessive, yes, I know.

There are three short-ish Caminos in the northwestern part that all have my attention:

Zamorano-Portugués
Geira e dos Arrieiros
Portugués Interior

I will be researching all three but would appreciate any insight. Which of the three would you walk and why?

Thanks, bom caminho, Laurie
For the Zamorano, have a look at the fb group for Albergue Ricobayo. Photos and videos give a flavour, includes route info and accommodations. Note Ricobayo albergue may go to 'collect key from neighbour' status when it re-opens (I moved on in June), and that the albergue in Almendra del Pan won't be ready for a considerable time.
 
Peaceable Projects Inc.
Peaceable Projects Inc. is a U.S.-based non-profit group that brings the vast resources of the wide world together with the ongoing needs of the people who live, work, and travel on the Camino de Santiago pilgrim trail network in Spain.
Camino Way Markers
Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.

MyDestinationGalicia

Mark Auchincloss
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
I would say at least two of those stops do not have accommodation options, Portela do Homem
Ameijoeira
There is a stop I am not familiar or heard of yet on the Galician side
A Portela.
The Wikiloc poster may have had connections to these areas so was able to stay at those places or used some creative taxi drop offs and pick ups.
Most people who walk seem to do it in 9 days some in 8 or one person in 7, I'm going to go for 10 or more, I have waited so long for this it would seem a shame to rush it. My provisional stops are:-
Braga(H)
Caldelas(Alb)
Campos de Gere's(Alb)
O Banos- Entrimo( H's or Aptmts)
Castro Laboreiro( H's or B&B's)
Cortegada (CR or Pen)
Ribadavia( H) - There is some luxury accommodation here but I will go for the humble Hotel Caracas, don't know why, sometimes I get a fixation on staying at a place on Camino this is one of them.
Feas(CR)...
.'Feás (km 83)
Hospedaje: Casa Rural O Forno do Curro +34 609 855 238
Comidas por encargo: Bar Nictron +34 988 28 51 78 (muito recomendável)'

This is copied and pasted from the website for this route, the Casa Rural has a room set aside for pilgrims it only has two single beds.

Forcarei.. this place is 1.6km off route but has a couple of hotels, you would take the detour at about the 54-53 km mark.

Pontevea - There is a hotel spa just out of town but for a little while the town advertised an Albergue de Peregrinos before the virus hit, it listing was taken down soon after, hopefully it is offered again next year.
Santiago
I still have to add in detours and one two night stop( Ribadavia)
The Beran stop would mean that you would probably be doing a flying visit to Ribadavia before walking on the additional 4-5 km in the afternoon, or getting a taxi back in and out to visit the many rich historical and cultural sights of Ribadavia.
June can't come quick enough for me.
Yes some good choices here thanks for sharing. I know the owner of Caracas in Ribabavia vey well, Manolo. Their menu del dia is excellent and his house wine too as he makes it himself like most of the food including the pork! Fanatical Real Madrid fan and he's really poular in the town as he always gives fantastic service, doesn't speak a word of English though but his young son that looks like him can help.

I mentioned the alternative route from the group of local mayors that has got Government support see https://www.caminominotoribeiro.com/en/ I was really surprised that in a very recent Facebook post (that post dates my previous post update) they have a new map with a new route starting from Braga (on their website their Camino starts in Portela do Home) see
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Thanks so much for this information, @MyDestinationGalicia

Trying to compare the two maps (Geira and Miñoto), am I right that the two caminos meet up somewhere near Pontevea, and the differences are that the Miñoto heads straight north from Braga and then along the Minho, while the Geira swings northeast from Braga through the park and then up to Pontevea?
 

FreeCat

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Francés
Camino del Norte
Camino del Salvador
Camino Primitivo
Camino Portugués
Camino Torres
Tratando de comparar los dos mapas (Geira y Miñoto), tengo razón en que los dos caminos se encuentran en algún lugar cerca de Pontevea, y las diferencias son que el Miñoto se dirige directamente al norte desde Braga y luego a lo largo del Miño, mientras que el Geira gira hacia el noreste desde Braga. por el parque y luego hasta Pontevea?

Hi.
Out of curiosity, I downloaded the tracks of the Camino Miñoto Ribeiro and the Caminho da Geira e dos Arrieiros to compare their route.
If you use Google Earth you can see them with the attached file.
You will be able to observe that it shares the route in many sections and they continually fork to join again kilometers later. After passing Forcarei, each one takes a different route to Santiago de Compostela.
 

Attachments

  • De Braga a Santiago.kmz
    66.7 KB · Views: 17

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
I thought I would bump this thread as I have a similar question to @peregrina2000 and her call for comparisons between the caminos was not really answered.

After we finish our current Caminho Nascente in Trancoso, the main options for continuing seem to be a partial Torres to either Lamego and then the CPI or longer on the Torres to Braga and then the Geira. I know pretty much nothing about either route, which I sort of like but it makes it a bit hard to choose between them! As I understand, the CPI is mountainous and the Geira is rocky. We are looking for a route with the least road walking and stages around 20-25km. Any insights?

@Isca-camigo: do you know if the Geira is fully signed yet?

If the CPI, I would prefer to start in Viseu to do the ‘full’ camino (even though that could be described as an artificial designation), which would require a bus. Even taking a bus sideways (from Trancoso) or backwards (from Lamego) would feel a bit strange and break what would otherwise be over 1000km on foot. Taking the Geira option would allow for a ‘full’ second camino without transport.
 

Isca-camigo

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Various ones.
Hi @jungleboy I following avidly your journey in Thread 'Caminho Nascente from Tavira - Spring 2021' https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/caminho-nascente-from-tavira-spring-2021.69855/ As far as I know the CPI is no more mountainous than the Camino Geira, they both don't really go over the 1000 metre mark much, but they both have steep ascents and descents as they cross river basins, and as you have walked the Primitivo you know what crossing the embalse just before Grandas de Salime is like, but with the Camino Geira and CPI this happens more frequently.
In answer to your question I don't think the Geira is fully marked - but I am not 100% sure, and with borders opening up again the route could be fully waymarked while you are walking ( or it may not), I think it was fully waymarked recently from Ribadavia.
I'm going to chip in with a suggestion about walking from Viseu if that is really what you want to do, I have a friend who walked over the Xmas period to Viseu on the Via Estrela from Caceres, he had to use GPS and because it was near lockdown conditions he had to plan his stops very carefully, the Via Estrela intersects with the Caminho Nascente and crosses it just after Belmonte, it will be tough going in some places and you will probably go to the highest point of your journey( 1200metres+) if you do it, but at least there is the option of following a historical Camino( in the process of being recovered again) all the way to and from Viseu without getting on a bus.
But I hope you take the Geira😉, for purely selfish reasons, I may not get to walk again this year and I would like someone of here to walk it and write about it, I think it's a stunner you know.

Bom Caminho

Edit: when I say they aren't really mountainous they actually could well be that or seem like it, the altimetry may not paint a whole picture for both routes.
 
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Original Camino Way markers made in bronze. Two models, one from Castilla & Leon and the other from Galicia.

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
@Isca-camigo: do you know if the Geira is fully signed yet?
I must have intuited that you would ask this, because in the current thread on the Geira, I just noted that both the video and the website say that marking is not complete, and a GPS is necessary.

Wait till I come in the fall and meet me in Braga. 😁 (said more wishfully than hopefully)
 

Isca-camigo

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Various ones.
They have been waymarking on the Galicia side for the last couple of months, and I haven't seen the same kind of activity on the Portuguese side from social media posts, it could be they were waiting for the borders to open before restarting.
 

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
Thank you @Isca-camigo, the Geira is starting to sound like the best option! Even without full signage, with the official tracks available to download, way-marking should be OK.

@peregrina2000, I jumped over to the other thread and @Wendy Werneth is excited about the heritage guide in Galego! Hopefully both the heritage guide and the actual guide (in either POR/ESP/GAL/ENG) will be available to buy in Braga.
 

alansykes

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Except the Francés
current Caminho Nascente in Trancoso, the main options for continuing seem to be a partial Torres to either Lamego and then the CPI or longer on the Torres to Braga
I did the Torres/CPI to Peso da Régua from Trancoso and then the CPI up to Verín and on to the Sanabrés. It was glorious. I did a slight detour after Peso da Régua, going up a disused railway line to Vila Real up the Corgo Valley, which was one of my top 10 ever camino days.

IMG_20171129_135318.jpg


Also slightly shorter (and a lot flatter) than the official CPI. The other advantage was that I got to Peso at noon so was able to take the little railway line up and down the spectacular Duoro gorge to Pocinho.

PS the Zamorano Portugués is great as well - a very happy 9 days between Zamora and Verín. Bragança, the wild empty Tras os Montes area and the Ruta de los Contrabandistas frontier crossing were highlights. I'll clearly have to do the Geira some day.
 
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