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How empty is the Lisbon section?

H Richards

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May/June 2017 Francés
Oct 2017 Le Puy / Francés (parts)
June/July 2018 Norte
Oct/Nov 2018 Francés
I hope you will indulge me a newbie question quickly.

I hear often that the section between Lisbon and Porto is really empty of pilgrims going to Santiago, but can you help quantify this for me. If I were to leave on 1st June from Lisbon, how many pilgrims would I be likely to see on the road, and how many would be sharing my albergue at the end of the day?

For bonus points, what would the most likely nationalities of the people be?

I'm just trying to get a feel for whether I should try this route for my upcoming next camino. Thanks!
 

omar504

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016,2017,2018
I t s been awhile since i last did this route but didn't think it w a s bereft of others.however from porto busy and tui very busy. I would say lisbon to porto still has a good mix between busy and bearable numbers. As for nationalities...i met portuguese ( obviously),an american lady,irish bloke,2 german girls etc...i avoided albergues because i prefer hotels...and they are reasonably priced in portugal
 

Elle Bieling

Elle Bieling, PilgrimageTraveler
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés, '14 '17 Finisterre, '14 '17 '18 Primitivo, '15 '18 Portuguese, '17, '18 San Salvador, '18
I walked Lisbon to Porto in late April, early May in 2017 and saw very few pilgrims. Aussies, Swiss, Americans and that's about it. We saws LOTS of Portuguese pilgrims walking the other way, southward toward Fatima, after we passed Tomar.

After Porto, the whole camino changed. Lots and lots of pilgrims from everywhere on both routes, the Coastal in 2017 and the Central in 2018. And numbers are growing, from what I understand. You can read all about my experiences of the Many Ways on the Camino Portugues to get the flavor of what I experienced.

Good luck and buen camino!
 

redgoonerinoz

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Have walked( may 2015)
We are at Santarem after walking from lisbon. Yesterday was busy day. 1 french guy 2 irish ladies 2 koreans and a czeck and Lithuanian. Nice and peaceful with good weather. Tuesday 7th may. Not at all like the Francis at this time of year. It will not get much busier!
 

H Richards

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May/June 2017 Francés
Oct 2017 Le Puy / Francés (parts)
June/July 2018 Norte
Oct/Nov 2018 Francés
I walked Lisbon to Porto in late April, early May in 2017 and saw very few pilgrims. Aussies, Swiss, Americans and that's about it. We saws LOTS of Portuguese pilgrims walking the other way, southward toward Fatima, after we passed Tomar.

After Porto, the whole camino changed. Lots and lots of pilgrims from everywhere on both routes, the Coastal in 2017 and the Central in 2018. And numbers are growing, from what I understand. You can read all about my experiences of the Many Ways on the Camino Portugues to get the flavor of what I experienced.

Good luck and buen camino!
Thanks Elle. I've been reading your blog already, even before you suggested it. :)
 

H Richards

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May/June 2017 Francés
Oct 2017 Le Puy / Francés (parts)
June/July 2018 Norte
Oct/Nov 2018 Francés
We are at Santarem after walking from lisbon. Yesterday was busy day. 1 french guy 2 irish ladies 2 koreans and a czeck and Lithuanian. Nice and peaceful with good weather. Tuesday 7th may. Not at all like the Francis at this time of year. It will not get much busier!
Thanks @redgoonerinoz , that's just the info I was after!
 

Walking Lover

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CdS from Leon to Santiago, June 16, 2016 to June 30, 2016.
I hope you will indulge me a newbie question quickly.

I hear often that the section between Lisbon and Porto is really empty of pilgrims going to Santiago, but can you help quantify this for me. If I were to leave on 1st June from Lisbon, how many pilgrims would I be likely to see on the road, and how many would be sharing my albergue at the end of the day?

For bonus points, what would the most likely nationalities of the people be?

I'm just trying to get a feel for whether I should try this route for my upcoming next camino. Thanks!
Very empty. We walked it in July, '17; didn't see any other pilgrims until the end of the first stage. There we saw 5. The same wad try until we got to Tui.
 

The Kolbist

Member
Camino(s) past & future
past: Frances, inland Portuguese, Fatima
future: Del Norte, coastal Porugues, Englis
Actually if you walk within 5-6 days before every 13th from May to October, a lot of local pilgrims are walking towards Fatima. The route for CP and Camino de Fatima are the same from Lisbon to Santarem. We didnt get an accommodation in Azambuja because 100s of locals took all the accommodation including the school gym. We had to stay in Villafranca de Xira and took the train to Azambuja to continue to Santarem.
 
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Rex

Pilgrim Trekker
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Santiago (2013)
Lisboa to Santiago (2018)
Walked Lisboa to Santiago in Sept 2018. First night there were three of us in the hostel at VFdeXira. Two Scandinavian ladies and me. Next night in Port do Muge, 2 Kiwi ladies and me. Next night in Azzancha, 1 French lady, a German couple and me. Next stop, Tomar. Albergue full, mostly of Germans, Kiwis and Portuguese, and me. (Detoured to Fatima for a day - couldn’t find a reasonable room, but did find hundreds of pilgrims from everywhere.) Not until Coimbra did I begin to see more than 5 or 10 pilgrims in the albergues, and then it was Aussies, Brits, Kiwis, Germans, and a couple of Brazilians and one lone Yank... that would be me.
Never had a full albergue anywhere until Mealhada, and then there were more pilgrims... but still plenty of rooms.
It seemed to me that the albergues and hostel keepers from Lisboa to Tomar were particularly grateful for the intrepid pilgrims who chose this path and chose their rooms. The hospitality was outstanding in this stretch.
Bom Caminho
 

H Richards

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May/June 2017 Francés
Oct 2017 Le Puy / Francés (parts)
June/July 2018 Norte
Oct/Nov 2018 Francés
Walked Lisboa to Santiago in Sept 2018. First night there were three of us in the hostel at VFdeXira. Two Scandinavian ladies and me. Next night in Port do Muge, 2 Kiwi ladies and me. Next night in Azzancha, 1 French lady, a German couple and me. Next stop, Tomar. Albergue full, mostly of Germans, Kiwis and Portuguese, and me. (Detoured to Fatima for a day - couldn’t find a reasonable room, but did find hundreds of pilgrims from everywhere.) Not until Coimbra did I begin to see more than 5 or 10 pilgrims in the albergues, and then it was Aussies, Brits, Kiwis, Germans, and a couple of Brazilians and one lone Yank... that would be me.
Never had a full albergue anywhere until Mealhada, and then there were more pilgrims... but still plenty of rooms.
It seemed to me that the albergues and hostel keepers from Lisboa to Tomar were particularly grateful for the intrepid pilgrims who chose this path and chose their rooms. The hospitality was outstanding in this stretch.
Bom Caminho
Thanks Rex. That's pretty interesting, and I'm impressed you walked such long stages!
 

Camino Chris

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
I'm on the Portuguese now and started in Porto. I am in Tui now. Mostly met Portuguese, 3 other Americans, 2 from Finland, and several Germans.
 
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Leigh Macklin

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances {2016}, Portugese {2017}
Very empty. We walked it in July, '17; didn't see any other pilgrims until the end of the first stage. There we saw 5. The same wad try until we got to Tui.
I walked at the same time with the same experience. I did not see any pilgrims the first 5 days (Lisbon to Tomar). In Tomar I met a pair of New Zealanders. A day or two later I met another Canadian. Right before Porto we 'picked up' an Italian. After Porto we encountered more pilgrim, mostly French and Spanish. It never felt busy and we always had choice of accomodations. The infrasture is expaning rapidly with far more albergues then are in guidebooks.
 

H Richards

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May/June 2017 Francés
Oct 2017 Le Puy / Francés (parts)
June/July 2018 Norte
Oct/Nov 2018 Francés
Thanks. I guess it's good news that the albergue race won't be happening, but I don't really want to be potentially alone for so many days in a row. For me the social aspect of the camino is a big part of its healing ability, and one I'm craving right now.
 

surya8

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues Central and Coastal 2017 & 2019; Portugues Interior, Sanabres, Fisterra & Muxia 2018
If I were to leave on 1st June from Lisbon, how many pilgrims would I be likely to see on the road, and how many would be sharing my albergue at the end of the day?
I walked between Santaren and Porto out of season, at the end of Oct. There were between 3 and 9 people at the stage on a particular day, more came after Coimbra. I found a Camino family easily, right after my first day and we walked together all the way to Porto. Plenty of chats and shared meals with fellow pilgrims and amazing hospitality of the locals as well! There were people from Portugal, Brazil, Russia, Denmark, Canada, Australia and Germany. We'd been talking to the hospitalieros along the way and they say this stretch is getting busy, numbers are coming, so I guess June is usually busy and you will find your company on the way. Bom Caminho! :)
 

H Richards

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May/June 2017 Francés
Oct 2017 Le Puy / Francés (parts)
June/July 2018 Norte
Oct/Nov 2018 Francés
I walked between Santaren and Porto out of season, at the end of Oct. There were between 3 and 9 people at the stage on a particular day, more came after Coimbra. I found a Camino family easily, right after my first day and we walked together all the way to Porto. Plenty of chats and shared meals with fellow pilgrims and amazing hospitality of the locals as well! There were people from Portugal, Brazil, Russia, Denmark, Canada, Australia and Germany. We'd been talking to the hospitalieros along the way and they say this stretch is getting busy, numbers are coming, so I guess June is usually busy and you will find your company on the way. Bom Caminho! :)
Thanks surya, that's encouraging to hear :)
 

cullwer

Kate - Ireland
Camino(s) past & future
German and Frances 2016
Portugues 2018
Via de la Plata 2019
We (a group of 3) left Lisbon on June 1st last year and we met a few pilgrims. We were about 8 in the hostel the first night and we bumped into them a few times, they were much faster walkers and covered longer distances. But it is a beautiful route and if you enjoy peace and quiet this is a great stretch of the Camino

What pilgrims we met were very mixed nationalities, Spanish, American, English, Mexican, NZ, Irish, German...
 
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H Richards

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May/June 2017 Francés
Oct 2017 Le Puy / Francés (parts)
June/July 2018 Norte
Oct/Nov 2018 Francés
We (a group of 3) left Lisbon on June 1st last year and we met a few pilgrims. We were about 8 in the hostel the first night and we bumped into them a few times, they were much faster walkers and covered longer distances. But it is a beautiful route and if you enjoy peace and quiet this is a great stretch of the Camino

What pilgrims we met were very mixed nationalities, Spanish, American, English, Mexican, NZ, Irish, German...
Was it about 8 people in the hostels every night, or just that first one?
 

Sunny Fitgirl

Fast Little Canadian
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (May/June 2017)
Camino Norte (May/June 2018)
I hope you will indulge me a newbie question quickly.

I hear often that the section between Lisbon and Porto is really empty of pilgrims going to Santiago, but can you help quantify this for me. If I were to leave on 1st June from Lisbon, how many pilgrims would I be likely to see on the road, and how many would be sharing my albergue at the end of the day?

For bonus points, what would the most likely nationalities of the people be?

I'm just trying to get a feel for whether I should try this route for my upcoming next camino. Thanks!
Hi,

I am planning to start around then too. Although it may be the 2nd or 3rd if I really like Lisbon. I hope to meet quite a few pilgrims and have fabulous weather this year. :)

Carla
 

Helen1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
London to Santiago (2014)
Narbonne to Oloron (2015)
Camino Portugues (2016)
Sentier Cathar (2017)
Walking in August a couple of years ago I don't think there were more than 15 of us. Given that some were camping, some sleeping out, some staying in private accomodation and we were walking different length stages it was really quiet and most walked alone or with a friend but we occasionally caught up at cafes. The only place where we were all together walking in a group was coming out of Tomar. Far more people walking to Fatima in the other direction. People were from all over and I think everyone had walked a camino before.
 

Walking Lover

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CdS from Leon to Santiago, June 16, 2016 to June 30, 2016.
I hope you will indulge me a newbie question quickly.

I hear often that the section between Lisbon and Porto is really empty of pilgrims going to Santiago, but can you help quantify this for me. If I were to leave on 1st June from Lisbon, how many pilgrims would I be likely to see on the road, and how many would be sharing my albergue at the end of the day?

For bonus points, what would the most likely nationalities of the people be?

I'm just trying to get a feel for whether I should try this route for my upcoming next camino. Thanks!
Very empty in July, 17.
 

Debbie Linton

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015, Portuguese 2017, ? 2018
I hope you will indulge me a newbie question quickly.

I hear often that the section between Lisbon and Porto is really empty of pilgrims going to Santiago, but can you help quantify this for me. If I were to leave on 1st June from Lisbon, how many pilgrims would I be likely to see on the road, and how many would be sharing my albergue at the end of the day?

For bonus points, what would the most likely nationalities of the people be?

I'm just trying to get a feel for whether I should try this route for my upcoming next camino. Thanks!
Have walked Lisbon to SDC twice in the last two years - love Portugal. Last year we found it much busier than 2017 and it got busier as we walked. Having said that, the numbers are perfect in my opinion. You will not always find an Albergue between Lisbon and Porto but the Pensions and small hotels are very inexpensive. The nationalities were mixed with a strong German presence. Met some fabulous Australians and quite a few fellow Canadians.
 

robproct

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CP from Lisbon 2018
I walked from Lisbon last October and did not see another pilgrim for the first seven days. Ahh, the luxury of solitude. I slept alone in the fire station in Alhandra and again at the nunnery in Santarem where I had the whole place to myself. After leaving Porto it was busier. The first leg was to Vilarinho, 27km and there was no accomodation left in the whole town so I took a taxi on to Sao Pedro de Rates where I met some lovely people and had a great meal at the local restaurant. I met a scattering of people with increasing numbers the after Coimbra and even more after Tui.
 

Debbie Linton

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015, Portuguese 2017, ? 2018
I walked from Lisbon last October and did not see another pilgrim for the first seven days. Ahh, the luxury of solitude. I slept alone in the fire station in Alhandra and again at the nunnery in Santarem where I had the whole place to myself. After leaving Porto it was busier. The first leg was to Vilarinho, 27km and there was no accomodation left in the whole town so I took a taxi on to Sao Pedro de Rates where I met some lovely people and had a great meal at the local restaurant. I met a scattering of people with increasing numbers the after Coimbra and even more after Tui.
Interesting, we started walking September 13 and had loads of company between Lisbon and Santarem. What a difference a week or two can make.
 

robproct

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CP from Lisbon 2018
Yes, I was a bit surprised at how quiet it was but as I said I found the solitude to be most enjoyable and gave me ample time for contemplation.
 

anthikes

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2016 Frances
2018 Portuguese
2019 VDLP
I am in Santiago now having just finished the VDLP. I swear that every pilgrim I have spoken to has come from the Portuguese way! Just a coincidence of course, but none came from Lisbon though.
 

Mary Colleen

Caminante
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues from Lisboa (May-June 2017)
Pelgrimspad (May 2018)
I hope you will indulge me a newbie question quickly.

I hear often that the section between Lisbon and Porto is really empty of pilgrims going to Santiago, but can you help quantify this for me. If I were to leave on 1st June from Lisbon, how many pilgrims would I be likely to see on the road, and how many would be sharing my albergue at the end of the day?

For bonus points, what would the most likely nationalities of the people be?

I'm just trying to get a feel for whether I should try this route for my upcoming next camino. Thanks!
It's not busy but we did run into people everyday, Australian, Dutch, American, Italian, Spanish, Austrian, German, at least these are the ones we talked to.
 

Mary Colleen

Caminante
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues from Lisboa (May-June 2017)
Pelgrimspad (May 2018)
The problem was we kept running into this group of around 7 when we arrived at the albergue, so sometimes we were left out, but we always found something, on the way sometimes we saw nobody.
 
Camino(s) past & future
None yet; perhaps the Portugese (2021?)
We have a part-time home in Vila Nova da Barquinha, north of the railway, on the way to Atalaia and look down across a neighbour's field at the Caminho route. When we're there in the spring or fall, we typically see 3 or 4 pilgrims walking by, daily--and of course we're not always looking out! So around 10 a day is probably typical. We're about 2-3 hours' walk north of Golega.

I suspect numbers drop off a bit between mid-June and early September because it can get very hot in the Tejo (Tagus) valley, and pretty unpleasant for walking. Spring and fall are much more welcoming.

As far as lack of facilities in this stretch, the "Mediotejo" region (central Tagus) is working hard to develop more infrastructure. Obviously from their point of view, the tourist economy is a focus and pilgrims tend to be not big spenders, but still just word of mouth of how wonderful the country is, is good for tourism generally in Portugal. I think more towns will be developing hostels, etc. through this stretch (including, I hope, my own town!) and the signage and servies are bound to get better over the next few years.

There have been a lot of articles recently in the local Portuguese-language papers about initiatives to make the experience pleasanter/easier for pilgrims. It's a bit of a foreign concept (the Santiago pilgrimage) for many Portuguese, in my experience and conversations, because of the focus on Fatima in the local religious population. And the country's government is, of course, not religious in nature at all though many members of the government may be themselves!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis September/October 2015
I just returned from walking the Portuguese Camino starting March 28th in Lisbon and finishing April 25th in Santiago. The first night in Alpriate albergue there were ten of us, two of which I kept up with for about two weeks. Most days I walked alone, but met up at the albergues at the end of the day. Porto was busier and after Tui it was crowded. The only time the albergues were full was O Farmecello.
 

surya8

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues Central and Coastal 2017 & 2019; Portugues Interior, Sanabres, Fisterra & Muxia 2018
I've just heard from my friend who volunteers in the new donativo albergue Casa Catolico in Branca, about 50km south of Porto, between Albergaria-a-Velha and Sao Joao de Madeira. He said some days in the morning between 20 and 30 people pass by, so the closer to Porto the busier. I've posted about this albergue here as it's brand new and not in the apps yet: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/new-donativo-albergue-casa-catolico-lisbon-porto-stretch.62251/#post-745118 Bom Caminho! everyone :)
 

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