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If you have done both the CP and the CF...

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Fromistá to Santiago (2018).
#1
Currently considering the CP in about a year. I’m concerned though that the pilgrim routine (walk, wash, laundry, nap, done efficiently, sleep— repeat) will make it difficult to know we are in Portugal rather than anywhere else on Camino.

I’ve found on two camino’s so far that even at a walking pace it can start to feel like that old movie, “If it’s Tuesday it must be Belgium”.

Thoughts from those who’ve done both?

We’d have a max 2 weeks together to walk as a small family of 3 adults.
 

Bradypus

Antediluvian
Camino(s) past & future
Too many and too often!
#2
I have walked the Camino Frances and the Portugues from Porto. I found the differences between Spain and Portugal fascinating and the slow pace of walking gave me plenty of opportunity to observe them. I've never understood the argument that you should walk short days otherwise you do not have time to see the country you are passing through - I always keep my eyes open while I walk and on a good day I can even walk, chew gum and think at the same time ;-)
 

Via2010

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
06/07 & 12 Camino Francés, 08-10 Via de la Plata, 13/14 & 17 Camino Portugués, 18 Camino Primitivo
#3
Hi,

I have walked both of them twice (CF in 2006/2007 the whole way, in 2012 from Astorga; CP in 2013/2014 the whole way from Lisbon, in 2017 from Porto).

If you have two weeks, I would deeply recommend doing the Portuguese from Porto onwards, allowing you to enjoy this camino with a moderate pace. You walk past beautiful farm houses, vine yards, the barroque churches (for me the most striking difference compared to the CF). The food is better, too.

BC
Alexandra
 

AML

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept 2013
Norte/Primitivo May/June 2014
Vasco del Interior/ Burgos - Leon/Del Salvador/Primitivo May/June 2015
Ourense - Santiago Sept 2015
Camino Ingles Sept 2015
Porto-SDC Sept/Oct 2016
#4
Don't worry about 'knowing' you are in Portugal, you will know that you are on the Camino, that's the main thing, so enjoy every moment.
You could learn some Portuguese words, phrases to use on your camino, that way you will be more aware you're in Portugal.
The food and the menus are somewhat different to Spain also,
Good luck
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#5
I'm pretty confident I will be walking the Portuguese route from Porto in mid April 2019. I have the Brierley guidebook and although I have not looked at it in depth yet, the maps look quite confusing with three route options often intertwined, reminding me of a quilt or maze, crisscrossing every which way; very overwhelming.
The maps in his Frances guidebook were definately more straightforward. Is the Portuguese route busier? I do not mean with pilgrims, but with towns, highways, etc as the maps look very congested.
Also, I've seen threads where people start on the coast, but eventually turn inland to the interior routes, but there seems to be differing opinions on the "best way" to do it, especially when some posters mention no arrows and/or busy traffic.
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2006) portugues(2013)San Salvador (2017)
#6
I'm pretty confident I will be walking the Portuguese route from Porto in mid April 2019. I have the Brierley guidebook and although I have not looked at it in depth yet, the maps look quite confusing with the three different routes often intertwined and confusing. The maps in his Frances guidebook seemed more straightforward.
Also, I've seen threads where people start on the coast, but eventually turn inward to the interior routes, but there seems to be differing opinions on the "best way" to do it, especially when some mention no arrows and busy traffic.
I would say there will be plenty of light shed on the topic once Andywild gets going...
 

Morgan Holmes

Every day is a path to walk.
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances to Santiago from SJPDP (2014); Fromistá to Santiago (2018).
#7
I’m lucky to have some Portuguese speaking friends, so I can learn a little, and read up on the architecture. For me, being “on camino” is not the main thing anymore than it was for the Romans. It’s a road to take me through culture and economics, agriculture and history etc. But for me a disappointment of contemporary Camino is that my anthropology training is frustrated by the pace. If two weeks is ample for the route from Porto I may well get more of what I have not had enough time for on two CFs.
Of course I’ve learned more on each end of each Camino.... much more in the anthropology of medicine and the history of pilgrimages understood through such lenses. But when walking I can be reminded of the chorus from “One Night in Bangkok”....
And I’m a very observant person.... by training and character. Hence my concern.
 

hel&scott

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2004 St Jean - Santiago, 2008 &18 Seville - Finesterre, 2010 Ferrol - Lisbon, 2012 from Cartehenga.
#9
You will know you are in Portugal because everything comes with custard. Infrastructure is different, we slept with a lot of firemen in between Porto and Lisborn, but reports are there are more alburgues now and you don't have to rely on the kindness of bomboderos. Its less populated then the French route (which we liked), until you get to Tui which becomes pretty busy.

In all I liked it but would not recommend walking it in winter like we did.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" camino
Porto to SdC May 2019
#11
Apart from the language, the cheaper cost of everything and that big wet thing that runs alongside the west edge of Portugal the main difference is fewer pilgrims and the preponderance of granite setts (yes, I know you all call them cobbles but they're NOT - OK, bugbear of mine :))
 

Jan_D

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Aragones (2011)
Frances (2012)
Norte (2013, 2014)
Hospitalera (2014)
Portugues (2017)
#12
I've seen threads where people start on the coast, but eventually turn inland to the interior routes, but there seems to be differing opinions on the "best way" to do it, especially when some posters mention no arrows and/or busy traffic.
You probably know all of this, but in case anyone else is confused:

The Central Camino is the traditional camino from Porto, chosen by over 60% of CP pilgrims. It goes inland through historical towns like Barcelos and Ponte de Lima.You can also take a detour to Braga. It's very congested getting out of Porto, and into/ out of the bigger towns, but you also pass through some nice countryside and traditional villages with lots of medieval architecture etc.

The "Costa" path runs close to the coast (not to be confused with the "Litoral" which literally goes on the beach or boardwalks, although they converge in many places). Some stretches of the Costa are quite built up, but you get to walk along the Atlantic and to experience Portuguese seafood and coastal culture. At some points you can choose to reconnect with the Central (for example at Vila do Conde there's an option to walk 10km to reach Arcos). Many Costa pilgrims walk until they reach the Minho River (border with Spain) and then head inland along the river to connect with the Central in Tui. Otherwise you can stay on the coast until Vigo (you'd have to cross the Minho by ferry).

From Tui you head north to Santiago. Once you reach Pontevedra, you can take a detour onto the "Variante Espiritual" which goes along the coast again. Takes longer, but very beautiful.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#13
Thank you, Jan. This info will be helpful to me I'm sure as I get more into the planning!
 

andywild

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
april '2018'
#14
I would say there will be plenty of light shed on the topic once Andywild gets going...
Is that a good thing? I can't help being such an inspiration to others.. I like to think I've started at least 15 people smoking in my time.. the Camino with roll ups . There may even be a book in it!!
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP-Leon (15)
SJPdP-SdC-Finisterre-Muxia (16)
Lisbon-SdC (17)

Le Puy-Pamplona (19)
#15
One thing to consider if starting in Porto, is that the Spanish border is about the halfway point to SdC (by the Central route; and less than halfway on the Litoral). That may suit you, if you want to compare / contrast the two countries, or frustrate you, if you want to spend most of your time in Portugal itself...
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016)
Future (God-willing): Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo (2018)
#16
Not only will setts and custard and better food and cheaper prices tell you that you are in Portugal, but so will the crazy drivers and preponderance of English! Additionally, from Porto to Santiago, there is much less “nature walking” and much more frequent village-merging-into-another-village.
There’s no shortage of things to observe.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugese (2018)
#18
Walked Camino Portugues in late June this year. Loved it. Along the coast out of Porto and then the central route to Barcelos and on. Saw no more than 15 other pilgrims as we walked each day so we had lots of quiet times which we enjoyed. Consider a rest day at the boarder in Tui. It’s a perfect place to stop. Bom Caminho
 
#19
I've seen threads where people start on the coast said:
My plan is to walk CP from Porto to Compostela in May 2019 for 19 days, in which 3 days in Porto and 2 days in Compostela and 1 organized day trip to Finisterre and Muxia. (The actual days on CP would be 11, not including the day trip.)

I will walk roughly 21 km a day (a distance of a half-marathon). If a "stage" is longer than that, I will take a taxi/bus for the remaining distance.

The 1st day of walk will be on the Coastal route to Vila do Conde and stay there for a night, then take a taxi/bus to Acros on the Central route, and walk to Barcelos.
 

Portia1

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2009, Portuguese 2012
Frances 2016, (Frances 2019)
#20
Porto to Santiago is easily doable in the time you have. You will definitely know the difference between Portugal and Spain! Loved the Portuguese. Casa Fernanda is a highlight. We walked in fall during grape harvest. They do it the old fashioned way. The Portuguese are lovely and friendly people. Terrain is easier than the Frances but the stones and fast traffic can make it an adventure of a different kind. Crossing the international bridge is a quick reminder that you are now in Spain. It gets busier and less pastoral from here.
 

marjm007

Active Member
#21
Currently considering the CP in about a year. I’m concerned though that the pilgrim routine (walk, wash, laundry, nap, done efficiently, sleep— repeat) will make it difficult to know we are in Portugal rather than anywhere else on Camino.

I’ve found on two camino’s so far that even at a walking pace it can start to feel like that old movie, “If it’s Tuesday it must be Belgium”.

Thoughts from those who’ve done both?

We’d have a max 2 weeks together to walk as a small family of 3 adults.
I have done both and found them very different yet similar. I recommend you fly into Lisbon what a beautiful city! We bused to Fatima and then I to Porto. You can do it in 2 weeks. Bon Caminho
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - central from Porto (2018 - planned)
#22
Currently considering the CP in about a year. I’m concerned though that the pilgrim routine (walk, wash, laundry, nap, done efficiently, sleep— repeat) will make it difficult to know we are in Portugal rather than anywhere else on Camino.

I’ve found on two camino’s so far that even at a walking pace it can start to feel like that old movie, “If it’s Tuesday it must be Belgium”.

Thoughts from those who’ve done both?

We’d have a max 2 weeks together to walk as a small family of 3 adults.
I haven't done the CP yet (although I start soon) and have only done the CF twice, so take this for what it is worth. Certainly, on the CF people have a tendency to forget the name of the village they are in or slept in last night. I expect it may be the same in Portugal. But no one is going to confuse Navarre with Castille or Castille with Galicia. By the same token, I think you will know that you are in Portugal, and not just because of the different language.
 

Elizbeth

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
El Camino Fraces (2015)
#23
I'm pretty confident I will be walking the Portuguese route from Porto in mid April 2019. I have the Brierley guidebook and although I have not looked at it in depth yet, the maps look quite confusing with three route options often intertwined, reminding me of a quilt or maze, crisscrossing every which way; very overwhelming.
The maps in his Frances guidebook were definately more straightforward. Is the Portuguese route busier? I do not mean with pilgrims, but with towns, highways, etc as the maps look very congested.
Also, I've seen threads where people start on the coast, but eventually turn inland to the interior routes, but there seems to be differing opinions on the "best way" to do it, especially when some posters mention no arrows and/or busy traffic.
Just entered Galicia yesterday . Came from Porto . Yes Portugal is absolutely beautiful , people are kind and helpful . Toilets did not smell not even in a crowded pub lol . Clean everywhere ...Arrows you will find and Albergues too . The only thing that is stressful for me ( I chose the Central way ) is the lack of room on the roads . Roads lack shoulder . Most of the road unless is a detour of sorts run between tall stone walls . Have no clue how villagers manage walking between the constantly fast zipping cars. Lots of stone paved roads. I felt lucky it wasn’t raining . Have no clue how do pilgrims manage to share the road in a downpour because you are almost brushing against stone walls in many places . Be super careful and you will be fine . Do not attempt in dark !
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" camino
Porto to SdC May 2019
#24
I haven't done the CP yet (although I start soon) and have only done the CF twice, so take this for what it is worth. Certainly, on the CF people have a tendency to forget the name of the village they are in or slept in last night. I expect it may be the same in Portugal. But no one is going to confuse Navarre with Castille or Castille with Galicia. By the same token, I think you will know that you are in Portugal, and not just because of the different language.
Ah, that's what my friend JoJo calls "Pilgrim Brain" from the time she asked another pilgrim where had just come from and they actually looked back over their shoulder trying to remember.
It's a bit like the scene in the Magnificent Seven where Yul Brynner's character is asked where he's come from - gestures back over his shoulder with a thumb; and where he's going - points forward with a finger . . .

#Der-do, der do der do. Der do, der do dum,
 
Camino(s) past & future
2016
#25
You probably know all of this, but in case anyone else is confused:

The Central Camino is the traditional camino from Porto, chosen by over 60% of CP pilgrims. It goes inland through historical towns like Barcelos and Ponte de Lima.You can also take a detour to Braga. It's very congested getting out of Porto, and into/ out of the bigger towns, but you also pass through some nice countryside and traditional villages with lots of medieval architecture etc.

The "Costa" path runs close to the coast (not to be confused with the "Litoral" which literally goes on the beach or boardwalks, although they converge in many places). Some stretches of the Costa are quite built up, but you get to walk along the Atlantic and to experience Portuguese seafood and coastal culture. At some points you can choose to reconnect with the Central (for example at Vila do Conde there's an option to walk 10km to reach Arcos). Many Costa pilgrims walk until they reach the Minho River (border with Spain) and then head inland along the river to connect with the Central in Tui. Otherwise you can stay on the coast until Vigo (you'd have to cross the Minho by ferry).

From Tui you head north to Santiago. Once you reach Pontevedra, you can take a detour onto the "Variante Espiritual" which goes along the coast again. Takes longer, but very beautiful.
Very well put
 
Camino(s) past & future
May and October 2015
(2015 October)
June 2018 Portuguese
#26
I have walked the Camino Frances and the Portugues from Porto. I found the differences between Spain and Portugal fascinating and the slow pace of walking gave me plenty of opportunity to observe them. I've never understood the argument that you should walk short days otherwise you do not have time to see the country you are passing through - I always keep my eyes open while I walk and on a good day I can even walk, chew gum and think at the same time ;-)
:oops:
 

Walking Lover

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CdS from Leon to Santiago, June 16, 2016 to June 30, 2016.
#27
Currently considering the CP in about a year. I’m concerned though that the pilgrim routine (walk, wash, laundry, nap, done efficiently, sleep— repeat) will make it difficult to know we are in Portugal rather than anywhere else on Camino.

I’ve found on two camino’s so far that even at a walking pace it can start to feel like that old movie, “If it’s Tuesday it must be Belgium”.

Thoughts from those who’ve done both?

We’d have a max 2 weeks together to walk as a small family of 3 adults.
The road surfaces will assure you that you are in Portugal. 82% is hard surface with a great amount of 4x4, granite cobblestone.
 

Via2010

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
06/07 & 12 Camino Francés, 08-10 Via de la Plata, 13/14 & 17 Camino Portugués, 18 Camino Primitivo
#28
The only thing that is stressful for me ( I chose the Central way ) is the lack of room on the roads . Roads lack shoulder . Most of the road unless is a detour of sorts run between tall stone walls . Have no clue how villagers manage walking between the constantly fast zipping cars. Lots of stone paved roads.
I have done the central from Porto twice but I can not remember that much road-walking. The only uncomfortable section was on day 2 when I was switching from the coast to the central, between A Touginha and Sao Miguel de Arcos (before Rates). There you had to walk on the shoulder of a busy road with lorries rushing to the nearby industrial estate. But last August they were working on the road, refurbishing it and it seemed that they were adding a pavement for the pedestrians.

Many sections of the central lead through little villages with almost no traffic or over cobbled farm-tracks.

But compared to the mud I experienced on the farm-tracks on the Camino Primitivo this year, I would prefer those cobbled farm-tracks.
 
Camino(s) past & future
2015 -SJPP- Santiago .Oct/Nov
2017 -Porto to Santiago.Oct
2017- Santiago- Finesterre. Nov
#29
I have done both and they are both really interesting and unique . The coastal way from Porto is beautiful . I then crossed into the inland at Barcelos and the nature countryside was spectacular . There are many beautiful forests that are magnificent cathedrals of trees . It's beautiful . The villages, food , wine etc . Not as many people as CF . Quieter . Serene. You will love it .
 

Elle Bieling

Elle Bieling, PilgrimageTraveler
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés (2014, 2018), Finisterre (2014, 2018) Primitivo (2015), Portuguese var routes (2017, 2018)
#30
I absolute love Portugal and the Caminos I have done there! The food is different but great, the Pastel de Nata (custard tart) is to die for, and despite what everyone says about walking out of Lisbon or walking out of Porto, I found none of them to be anymore industrial than walking out of any other city. The riverside promenades that take the pilgrimage traveler out of Lisbon and Porto are both amazing. Here is my blog, if you want to delve deeper into Portugal and its Caminos: The Many Ways on the Portuguese Camino. Bom Caminho!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#31
Hi Elle, I appreciate your comments and will definately look at your blog. I have the Brierley guide and unsure from Porto to take the central, costa, or senda litoral...lots of options. I won't be going until April so have lots of time to learn more before deciding. (We're adding in the Fisherman's route, too.)
 

Elle Bieling

Elle Bieling, PilgrimageTraveler
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés (2014, 2018), Finisterre (2014, 2018) Primitivo (2015), Portuguese var routes (2017, 2018)
#32
Hi Elle, I appreciate your comments and will definately look at your blog. I have the Brierley guide and unsure from Porto to take the central, costa, or senda litoral...lots of options. I won't be going until April so have lots of time to learn more before deciding. (We're adding in the Fisherman's route, too.)
You're welcome Chris! I had trouble also, deciding which route to do out of Porto. It is a real toss up, which is nicer, the Central or the Coastal. If you look at my photos, you can decide for yourself. We did the Coastal first, since we are from Colorado and like the change of the seaside. It is truly beautiful. Then we went back a year later and did the Central, this past spring. The history on this route is amazing, with tons of Roman bridges and roads to walk upon. Tui and Valenca are incredible as well. We did NOT get to the Variante Espiritu, but I suppose this is a reason to go back. We actually have the Interior Route planned in the Spring of 2019 with friends. Ha ha. A Portugues Camino addict I suppose.
Also, be very careful if you are coming out of Libson, on my day four from Santarem to Golega, the Brierly guide is not correct. In fact the signage that we encountered on the actual camino was not correct! Read this day carefully. Hopefully the signs have been corrected, as they changed this route!
Buen Camino!
 

Elle Bieling

Elle Bieling, PilgrimageTraveler
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés (2014, 2018), Finisterre (2014, 2018) Primitivo (2015), Portuguese var routes (2017, 2018)
#33
@Camino Chris, I forgot to say that the Senda Litoral and the Costal are often the same. We did a combination of the two, only walking on the Senda Litoral where it was practical. If you read my info, it explains all that. I am guessing that about 50% of the time we were on the Senda. The boardwalks make for a lovely and less foot-pounding stroll!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#34
Elle, we will not be starting from Lisbon. I do look forward to reading your blog/photos. I remember following your blog before we walked the Primitivo and it was excellent and helpful, so know this one will be, as well.

It is also great to hear you have walked the Portuguese route(s) twice and are planning a third! It seems many think it is less scenic and too many cobbles and scary road walking, yet it gets rave reviews by others, such as yourself. I have done a week touring in Portugal by car, so have some idea of what this country is all about. Our plans are for spring 2019, too.

I walked the Le Puy in June and it was fabulous, as well. And then there's Italy...and, and, and!
Happy travels!
 

Elle Bieling

Elle Bieling, PilgrimageTraveler
Camino(s) past & future
Inglés (2014, 2018), Finisterre (2014, 2018) Primitivo (2015), Portuguese var routes (2017, 2018)
#35
I walked the Le Puy in June and it was fabulous, as well. And then there's Italy...and, and, and!
Happy travels!
Indeed, indeed! I need to check out the Le Puy Route. I still haven't done the Frances - it scares me! Too many people.
Thank-you for your nice comments as well!;)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés Sept. 2017
Camino Portugués Apr-May 2019
#36
Hi Elle, I appreciate your comments and will definately look at your blog. I have the Brierley guide and unsure from Porto to take the central, costa, or senda litoral...lots of options. I won't be going until April so have lots of time to learn more before deciding. (We're adding in the Fisherman's route, too.)
I am planning to do the CP next spring and also have the Brierley guide. So many options it IS confusing.... check out the blog by Kay Davis followingthearrows.com. Scroll down & click on Camino Portugues. She has information about 3 “link routes” to go to/from/between the central & coastal routes. She also provides a bit more detailed info than Brierley. Hope this helps.
BC
Charlotte
 

ms.layne

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2013
Camino Portugues 2015
#39
Currently considering the CP in about a year. I’m concerned though that the pilgrim routine (walk, wash, laundry, nap, done efficiently, sleep— repeat) will make it difficult to know we are in Portugal rather than anywhere else on Camino.

I’ve found on two camino’s so far that even at a walking pace it can start to feel like that old movie, “If it’s Tuesday it must be Belgium”.

Thoughts from those who’ve done both?

We’d have a max 2 weeks together to walk as a small family of 3 adults.
If you walk CP avoid summer at all costs due to the heat. Lots of shoulder walking north of Porto on the main route. Very easy terrain any way you go.
 

Jacobus

Pilgrim since 2008
Camino(s) past & future
CF 2008 09 14
Del Norte 2011. Portuguese 2015, 2017Ingles 2015 Fisterre 2015.
#40
Currently considering the CP in about a year. I’m concerned though that the pilgrim routine (walk, wash, laundry, nap, done efficiently, sleep— repeat) will make it difficult to know we are in Portugal rather than anywhere else on Camino.

I’ve found on two camino’s so far that even at a walking pace it can start to feel like that old movie, “If it’s Tuesday it must be Belgium”.

Thoughts from those who’ve done both?

We’d have a max 2 weeks together to walk as a small family of 3 adults.
The albergue, pension and hotel experiences are similar. Language, food, culture are different. The terrain on the Portuguese is comparatively level except for one steep climb leading to Rubiaes (I hope I spelled that right) The scree covered mountain is one of the most challenging that you will face on the Frances, the Portuguese or the del Norte. If you want exact details contact Albertinho. He is most helpful and quite knowledgeable about the CP
 
Camino(s) past & future
2015 -SJPP- Santiago .Oct/Nov
2017 -Porto to Santiago.Oct
2017- Santiago- Finesterre. Nov
#41
Yes.. I remember that climb when I did the Portuguese Camino this time last year October 2017 . It was such a great feeling getting to the top though
 
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Aurigny

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, 2016; Português Central, 2017; Port. Interior, 2017; Primitivo, 2018; Port. Coastal, 2018.
#42
I've walked both the central and coastal Portugues, as well as the Frances. All have their attractions, but for my money the central (Porto to Vila do Conde, then across to Barcelos via Arcos) is the very nicest of the three. It took me a week in January 2017; even then the weather was tolerable and an astonishing range of trees and plants were in bloom. The countryside was pretty; varied; physically undemanding; and in the cultivated parts well tended. There were quite enough amenities to meet any pilgrim's requirements. If I were introducing someone new to the experience, this is the route along which I would bring them.

I described what I saw along the way here: https://www.caminodesantiago.me/community/threads/live-from-the-portugues.45243/

The coastal route didn't make nearly as favourable an impression on me. Some of it is attractive: the stretch from Correço to Baiona in particular. But I spent too much time for my liking threading my way through beachfront resorts packed with holidaymakers, to say nothing of the endless and unlovely environs of the city of Vigo. Accommodation options are fewer and more expensive, with albergues being considerably more widely spaced than on the Central. I don't regret having done it, but unlike the other, I can't see myself going back for a second trip along that route.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Leon - Santiago (2015); Ingles (2016); Baiona - Santiago (Aug 2018!)
#43
I finished Baiona to Santiago on August 31st. Loved walking through the eucalyptus forests and vineyards, hated Vigo, and the entire thing was hotter than I expected, and I was prepared for warm weather. Very few peregrinos until I met up with the Central at Redondela, but I enjoyed the solitude.
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" camino
Porto to SdC May 2019
#44
I finished Baiona to Santiago on August 31st. Loved walking through the eucalyptus forests and vineyards, hated Vigo, and the entire thing was hotter than I expected, and I was prepared for warm weather. Very few peregrinos until I met up with the Central at Redondela, but I enjoyed the solitude.
Agree on Vigo but Pontevedra made up for it!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese Coastal Route(2016), Del Norte (2017) Camino Portuguese Litoral Senda (2018)
#45
I'm pretty confident I will be walking the Portuguese route from Porto in mid April 2019. I have the Brierley guidebook and although I have not looked at it in depth yet, the maps look quite confusing with three route options often intertwined, reminding me of a quilt or maze, crisscrossing every which way; very overwhelming.
The maps in his Frances guidebook were definately more straightforward. Is the Portuguese route busier? I do not mean with pilgrims, but with towns, highways, etc as the maps look very congested.
Also, I've seen threads where people start on the coast, but eventually turn inland to the interior routes, but there seems to be differing opinions on the "best way" to do it, especially when some posters mention no arrows and/or busy traffic.
I'm sitting in the Madrid airport after just completing the CP from Porto. Don't worry about the intertwined paths, everything is well waymarked. I've done the Coastal and the Senda Litoral. In either case just keep the sea on your left through Portugal and you can't get lost. If you go inland via Tui in Spain you still won't have any trouble. One alternate that is beautiful is to go from Camiñha in Portugal to Valenca and then cross into Spain. This path follows the river Minho and it's beautiful, well marked, and has plenty of services. You're going to love the differences in food and culture between the two countries, both with beautiful friendly people. Obviously I'm still in the post Camino nirvana come down stage, anxious to get home but basking in the extended afterglow of a fantastic trip. Go for it. Grab the adventure. Buen Camino.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2015); Camino Norte/Primitivo (2016); Camino Frances (2017); Le Puy (June 2018)
#46
Thank you so much, Paintboy! A very encouraging post. Was the roadwalking difficult (treacherous) in your opinion?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese Coastal Route(2016), Del Norte (2017) Camino Portuguese Litoral Senda (2018)
#47
Thank you so much, Paintboy! A very encouraging post. Was the roadwalking difficult (treacherous) in your opinion?
No. The cobblestones can be a bit tiresome but you can usually find soft ground off to the side. I very seldom felt like there was t room for me and a car. Just use normal cautions. Have a great time.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francais 2014
Camino Portuguese 2016
#48
Currently considering the CP in about a year. I’m concerned though that the pilgrim routine (walk, wash, laundry, nap, done efficiently, sleep— repeat) will make it difficult to know we are in Portugal rather than anywhere else on Camino.

I’ve found on two camino’s so far that even at a walking pace it can start to feel like that old movie, “If it’s Tuesday it must be Belgium”.

Thoughts from those who’ve done both?

We’d have a max 2 weeks together to walk as a small family of 3 adults.
Morgan, my wife and I did the Francaise in 2014 and the Portuguese in 2016. Below is my postscript from my blog
Postscript
The Portuguese Camino was very different to the Camino Frances.
First it was not as physically demanding.
Second the churches along the way did not seem as if they were a part of the walk. Many were closed and those open were unattended.
Thirdly, the camaraderie between pilgrims was friendly but reserved as you did not have that "see you again later" feeling. The walk from Porto was too short to allow that to happen. Might be quite different if walking from Lisbon.
Fourth and final, you do walk a lot on cobbled roads and some are shared with cars and bikes, so you need to keep aware when in those situations.
That having been said, the people were great and the countryside was magnificent with green grass and bubbling rivers.
Would I recommend it - yes as it still has that quiet reflective opportunity that seems to be passing on the very busy Frances.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Walked French and English
Cylced French and Portuguese
#49
We've cycled both, as couldn't get the time required to walk with work constraints, LOVED the differences between the 2 countries. I wouldn't worry the Portuguese won't let you forget that you are not in Spain.....They will more than likely tell you more than once....Loved the national sense of pride they have in their Country. Having been a big fan of Spain for years, so much so I've tried learning Spanish as a hobby for 5 years or so, in truth the Portuguese People surprised me, and it is them that will make your Camino even more special....Take note of the possible hotter temperatures if starting from Lisbon.
 

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