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How does the Camino Portuges compare to the Camino Frances ?

2020 Camino Guides

scubajunky

Active Member
HI All,
I have done the Frances in two sections and loved it.
How does the Camino Portuges compare to the Frances ?
I want to walk for four to three weeks and I want it to be social like the frances, will that be so ?
Is the portuges as beautiful ? where is the official start point ?
Thanks in advance for any help
 

meenas

New Member
Hello! I walked the Camino Portuguese in Sept/October 2012. I did about 12 days between Lisbon and Porto (I'd have to check my notes) and then 10 days from Barcelos to Santiago de Compostela. It's very different atmosphere wise. I didn't meet any other pilgrims until I was close to Porto. Also, the Albergue network betweenLisbon and Porto is almost non existent and people often use the bombieros (firefighters) for a donation. I issued a mix of the few albergues I could find and then hotels/pensiones. The way is well marked with yellow arrows (blue arrows go the other direction to Fatima). People will wish you 'boa viagem'! Between Porto and Santiago, particularly once you reach Galicia, it feels much more like the Camino Frances and the numbers increase. There was a lot of road walking but also some amazing towns and country walking. I used the John Brierley book which was very useful. For what the Camino Portuguese 'lacks' in feeling like a traditional Camino, the Portguese people make up for in friendliness and helpfulness. And the food was fantastic!!!! Towns like Tomar, Coimbra, Porto - amazing. But be prepared for far fewer people. Hope this helps!
 

Urban Trekker

Happy Trails
Camino(s) past & future
English Camino (2013)
Portuguese Camino (2014)
French Camino (2016)
Way of Saint Francis April 2017
I walked ftom Porto to Santiago in 2014. Loved it, no Pyrenees to cross. I'll let you know how they compare in a couple of months. Buen Camino

Happy Trails
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
In terms of albergues, I'd have to disagree with the earlier post about albergues between Lisbon and Porto. When I walked in 2008, it was true that there were no albergues. But things have changed quite a bit -- take a look at the list of the ViaLusitana

And in many towns, there are pilgrim-oriented places where the owners offer rooms at reasonable prices.


http://www.vialusitana.org/en/albergues_eng/

And in the middle of this thread you can see an announcement about the upcoming opening of an albergue in Alpriate, about 20 km out of Lisboa. This will make things much easier for pilgrims at the beginning.
https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/camino-portugues.38041/#post-372998
 

Dutch

Straightforward
Camino(s) past & future
SJPP-SdC sept '13
Porto-SdC May '14
SdC-Finis/Muxia May '14
SJPP-Finisterre sept '14
Pamplona-Burgos march '15
Porto - Sdc may '15
Camino salkantay june '15
SJPP - SdC aug/sept '15

Pacific Crest Trail april thru sept 2016
Porto to SdC is like a short version of the Frances. Wonderful, beautiful and very social. Well worth it.

Also plenty of albergues and gooooood food. If you enjoyed the Frances, guaranteed you will enjoy this as well.
 

scubajunky

Active Member
Thanks to everyone who has responded so far, I'm not sure I fancy a lot of road walking, is that mainly between Lisbon and Porto or Porto and SDC ?
Is there hilly, mountains to walk over at all ?
Anyone done the Camino De Norde ? how does that compare ?
 

LesBrass

Likes Walking
Camino(s) past & future
yes...
Hello - I've not walked the Portuguese route but I have just returned from a holiday around Lisbon, with visits to Sintra and Coimbra and around the region. I can't talk about the camino but certainly the region is very beautiful and the Portuguese people are so very friendly... we've already planned our next trip... and the one after... and we're resolved to walk the Camino Portuguese in 2017.

I think you'll have a wonderful trip :)
 

frida1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April 11-May 11 2014
I walked the Portugues from Santarem to Albergaria last September. I had to delay the remainder because I fell and broke a kneecap. It's true there is less of a network, but albergues do exist at intervals of at least every 30 k or so, and sometimes more frequent. Via Lusitana has a 24 hour help line, and several pilgrims I met used it to arrange for transport when they did not want to walk an entire segment. I found the way was pretty well way marked, and I am not a particularly good route finder. I loved the Portugues and plan to finish it next fall. The portion Lisbon/Porto is much, much quieter than the Frances, but not completely empty. Most nights there were 5-10 pilgrims in the smaller towns, although during the day I sometimes walked without seeing any.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but will I be fit enough for 2020?
Which version of the Portuguese route? We took the Littoral last June from Porto to SdC. A LOT of road walking. The Portuguese love to pave roads and pavements (UK)/sidewalks(US) with 4" cubes of granite or "setts" - not enjoyable to walk on.

Not as many cafes and stops outside of the towns. We pre-booked hostales and hotels on Booking.com so can't comment on refugios except the Youth Hostel in Esposende which was fabulous (swimming pool with palm trees!)

On Portugal in general - great country, nice people, delicious food and not expensive.
 

frida1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances April 11-May 11 2014
For walking on hard surfaces, try shoes made by Hoka One One. They really work.
 

mralisn

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-SdC (2005), Camino Norte-Fisterra (2010), SJPdP-Muxia-Fisterra (2012), Camino Norte w/Primitivo-Muxia-Fisterra (2014), Camino Portuguese (2016)
Hello friends,

Will be walking in June, Lisbon--->(as much coastal path as possible)--->SdC--->Muxia---> Fisterra.

Looking forward to reading more updated input here and will certainly contribute upon my return.

Keep a smile,
Simeon
 

scubajunky

Active Member
What's the littoral ? I'm thinking of doing the coastal route as much as I can anyhow.
What about Lisbon to Porto ? is that a good section or lots of road walking too ?
 

Stephen F.

carpintero de Colorado
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Português 2015
Via de la Plata 2016
HI All,
I have done the Frances in two sections and loved it.
How does the Camino Portuges compare to the Frances ?
I want to walk for four to three weeks and I want it to be social like the frances, will that be so ?
Is the portuges as beautiful ? where is the official start point ?
Thanks in advance for any help

I walked from Barcelos to Santiago last summer. It was fantastic. There is not much real road walking (I am not counting country back roads and lanes). The route is beautiful with relatively little change in altitude (avg. less than 250 m in any one day). I found the pilgrim society very congenial. All the albergues I stayed in were great. I would highly recommend Casa Fernanda in Lugar de Corgo and Refugio de la Jerezana in Cesantes.

For 3 to 4 weeks you would want to start in Lisbon, or a little north of Lisbon. Bom Caminho.
 

scubajunky

Active Member
Thanks so where there many alberges ? same deal as the CF 5-8 Euro ?
Is the CP flat then all the way ? No mountains to see at all ?
 

Stephen F.

carpintero de Colorado
Camino(s) past & future
Caminho Português 2015
Via de la Plata 2016
N
Thanks so where there many alberges ? same deal as the CF 5-8 Euro ?
Is the CP flat then all the way ? No mountains to see at all ?
No, no real mountains. North of Porto the Caminho is pretty close to the sea. It crosses a number of rivers and climbs the hills between. It is by no means flat, but the climbs are modest. Lovely countryside and forests.
Plenty of albergues to break your journey as you please.
Awesome new private in Padron in addition to the others I mentioned.
 

mralisn

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-SdC (2005), Camino Norte-Fisterra (2010), SJPdP-Muxia-Fisterra (2012), Camino Norte w/Primitivo-Muxia-Fisterra (2014), Camino Portuguese (2016)

amsimoes

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
I am out.
Friends have my email.
Thanks, so no mountains but no less beautiful, just different ?
I can not seem compare paths, all equal, all different. Why do you want to compare?
Simply makes the way (caminho).
What is more beautiful for some people is ugly to others. I do not like crowds. Others love crowds!
 

Catahoula19

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances - 2014
Portuguese - 2016
Chemin St Jacques - TBD
Via Francigena - TBD
Less pilgrims, less commercial, fewer sweeping broad vistas, more road and cobblestone walking on the Portuguese. They're very different. Both are outstanding. For a first timer I'd always recommend the Frances.
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
I walked from Porto. Less scenic, but still pretty. Lots and lots of villages - the way seems to merge from one into the next. You will curse the cobblestones. The food is amazing. And cheap. In June of last year the route was mildly populated. I remember one shortish steepish ascent on a trail and one steep paved downhill, otherwise it's pleasantly undulating.
 

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