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Lisbon to Fatima, Fatima to Porto, Porto to Santiago! Need h

ghostaaad

New Member
Past OR future Camino
June'13
Hello!

My mum, sister and I plan to go on the Camino in June this year, havent bought the tickets yet but getting really excited already! I was wondering whether you can help me plan it.. Its so hard to find any information whatsoever about the Camino to Fatima and whether the stops on the camino to Fatima count in your Pilgrim passport :/. Do you think it's better to do Lisbon to Fatima by foot, get the bus from Fatima to Porto and do the Porto to Santiago by foot again as we only have 3 weeks to do it? Or we'll manage to do it all by foot in 3 weeks?? Btw, is the way from Porto on the coast? We would really like to walk near the coast :).
Also, my sister is completely blind and I was wondering whether you know of any other blind pilgrims that did the Camino in the past and whether there is any information about the pilgrimage available in Braille? And is the Camino to Fatima well marked? And are there enough hostels/places to sleep on the way?? None of us had ever done the Camino so I'm a bit worried we'll get lost and find ourselves sleeping somewhere on the side of the road...

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
Best wishes,
Anna
 
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I paralleled a couple for a week. The wife was blind. She held her husband's arm while walking. At the albergues, he laid out her equipment so she could find things by touch -- for going to the shower, meals, dressing, and going to bed. They got along very well it appeared. I don't know about braille items, or the Camino Portugues...
 
M

mikevasey

Guest
Hi Anna, I walked to Fatima 2 years ago and then on to Santiago with a bit of gap between Rabcal-70 km past Fatima and Porto. There are a lot of changes going on this route at the moment, it is being more clearly marked and it is possible some of it where it is on asphalt is being re-directed to go on trail, the best person to speak to is a person called Rodrigo Cerqueira he is a contact in the Fatima association which deals with this route,http://www.caminho.com.pt?, try the contact option at the bottom of the link.

Mike
 

Diogo92

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
C. Português 2013, 2014
C. de Fátima 2014
C. do Salnés 2015
Hello Anna

First of all, welcome to the Forum 

I wish you and your sister good luck for your Camiño. I will give you some advises.

Since you have only 3 weeks, I do not think that your plan it’s possible, unless you walk 30 or more Km per day (and I think I’m giving a good margin). You also have the problem to find places to stay after Fatima until Porto.

Has Mike said, the way to Fatima it’s changing and they are introducing some new things, but we are not aware of the changes that are being really made here in Portugal. You could also take Mike’s advice, and contact Rodrigo Cerqueira, but I warn you that they tend to take some time to respond to you (I’ve sent an email at the 18th, and I only got my answer today!).

I advise for you to probably do Lisboa to Fatima, and then catch the Bust to Porto and departure from there until Santiago. I don’t know any story about blind pilgrims, but I think it’s possible since you are going with your mom also. About the route starting in Porto, you can either go throughout the mainland or near the Coast, You can choose it', and I advise you search both route aspects here in the forum.

Hope to hear something from you ;)

Best Regards
Diogo
 
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CF 2006,08,09,11,12(2),13(2),14,16(2),18(2) Aragones 11,12,VDLP 11,13,Lourdes 12,Malaga 16,Port 06
Please take special care on the route from Porto to Santiago. There are some very narrow places where there is no shoulder to walk on and the cars go by very fast. You must walk single file and stay completely off the road because there are curves. It can be scary. I'm not sure how your sister will manage, but I'm sure you'll figure it out. Bom Caminho!
 
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ghostaaad

New Member
Past OR future Camino
June'13
Hello again!

Thank you so much for all the quick responses! They are really helpful, I have already started looking up the websites and available transport from Fatima to Porto. I will discuss it all with my mum and sister and if you have any further thoughts, please let me know :).
Anna
 

Diogo92

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
C. Português 2013, 2014
C. de Fátima 2014
C. do Salnés 2015
ghostaaad, visit rede-expressos.pt to see avaliable buses from Fatima to Porto.

Best Regards
Diogo
 

DurhamParish

Un Cerveza, Por Favor
Past OR future Camino
Caminho Portuguese 2012 & 2018
Camino Frances 2014, 2015, 2015, 2017, 2018
Anniesantiago said:
Please take special care on the route from Porto to Santiago. There are some very narrow places where there is no shoulder to walk on and the cars go by very fast. You must walk single file and stay completely off the road because there are curves. It can be scary. I'm not sure how your sister will manage, but I'm sure you'll figure it out. Bom Caminho!

Agree with Anniesantiago about the camino north of Porto. I opted for the traditonal route out of town instead of the coastal route for the first day. Once I got out of the urban area, a lot of the road had high stone walls on either side of the road with very narrow shoulders (and that shoulder being mostly a ditch). I had to assume some most unnatural positions to avoid being hit by the mirrors on the busses and trucks that zoomed by.

Don't be frightened off, though. That was my first camino, and it changed my life.
 

micbook

Active Member
Hi Anna,

Welcome to the forum and congrats on getting ready for your first Camino!
I intended to walk from Lisbon to Santiago last June. I walked some stretches from Lisbon, but found the path in multiple parts not as pilgrim-friendly, so I ended up catching a train from Tomar to Porto. There is work that's done to make the path in Portugal better, but it sounds like it might be a good idea not to walk the whole stretch before Porto with your sister, as some people recommended in previous responses. I'm not as familiar with Fatima, as I haven't walked through it.

From Porto, for the most parts, the path is far better. There are still a few stretches of road-walking, but if you walk with your sister, I'd imagine it'll be fine. There's pretty good both train and bus options, so you can usually catch one or the other, or both. I ended up taking a train from Tomar to Porto, in which case you'll take the train to the main station (Campanhã) and then another quick ride (different train) to the São Bento station, which is close to central town.

Porto is lovely! A great albergue I thoroughly enjoyed was Porto Poets Hostel. As of last summer, there was no pilgrims hostel in Porto, so Poets served a pretty good and close substitution. From Porto, you can take the coastal route for a day and then walk back inland (which is what I did), or you can stay on the coastal route. You can see some of my previous posts in the Camino Portugues forum about my personal impressions, and here's a short blog post and pictures from the first day out of Porto-
https://michalrinkevich.wordpress.com/2012/07/10/a-buen-camino/

Hope this helps. If you have other questions, feel free to send pm.

Buen Camino!
Michal
--
https://michalrinkevich.wordpress.com/tag/camino-de-santiago/
 

ekas

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Frances & Portugues (2012)
Greetings Anna,

I walked the Portugues backwards from Santiago to Fatima last year. Perhaps the direction isn't the same but maybe some of my experiences can help you. First of all it took me 3 weeks to walk that distance (Lisbon is almost 130km further). That being said, Lisbon to Santiago in 3 weeks is going to be physically challenging (one thing to also consider is that it could get rather hot in Portugal during the summer months which adds to fatigue).

This route should be divided into two portions - the first is south of Porto, and the second is between Porto and Santiago. I divide it this way because south of Porto (and in Porto itself) there is little to no accommodations specifically for pilgrims. Until you pass Porto you have to depend on pensions/motels/or the best option of the bombeiros voluntarios (Volunteer Firefighters who will often let you sleep on the floor in the fire station). South of Porto - there is a pilgrims hostel in Fatima (though its open all day and unmonitored so don't leave any valuables there) and there are new hostels in Mealhada and Agueda (between Coimbra and Porto).

North of Porto there are pilgrim's hostels (albergues) along the route. Also one thing to consider is that most people do the Portugues starting in Porto, so do keep in mind that south of Porto you will see very few pilgrims, if any. Basically, as you progress north the Camino Portugues gets better in many ways - more fellow pilgrims, more accommodations, better marked routes, etc.

If three weeks is the time you have allotted for your trip I would consider taking the bus from Lisbon to Fatima and then from Fatima to maybe Coimbra. Coimbra to Santiago is roughly 18 days (15 stages I believe but some of them are worth breaking up). If you choose to take the bus from Fatima to Porto you will have 10 stages between Porto and Santiago, which you can break up into 12 days easily.

If you are going to Fatima for religious reasons and your schedule is somewhat flexible, I recommend trying to be in Fatima Saturday night (the evening candle-lit rosary is attended by the townspeople and a wonderful experience) and stay for the noon Sunday Mass where you can experience the Adeus, a rather moving experience (don't forget your white handkerchief =P).

There is a fair amount of walking along roads so I would recommend that you take a reflective vest so drivers can better see you. I do not know what experience your sister has with walking 'off-road' (i.e. non-paved road) but keep in mind that the Camino Portugues is a real mixed bag of terrain. There are some sections of it where the terrain gets rather rough with steep slopes and jagged rocks for footing (I believe the worst is both north and south of Redondela - someone correct me if I'm remembering wrong). Do not let this discourage you, but if this is something your sister hasn't done before perhaps a trial-run would help.

Hope this helped some :)
 
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Albertinho

ninguém disse que era fácil !
Past OR future Camino
2013 Lisboa - Sant.
2014 Ferrol -Sant.
2015 Porto -Sant.
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2019 Valença -Sant.
Thanks for all useful the information you all share on this forum.
Leaving in about 27 days from now from Lisbon we keep an eye on the Portuguese news and weather reports every day now and due to the recent indunations of and muddy trails along side the Tejo river, it's good to consider the Fatima detour as an alternative..

Thanks again .
 

Zahid Makhdoom

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Portuegues via Fatima
Hello all friends:
I am a 60 years old man of small frame. Have substantial hiking, trekking, and long-distance walking experience. I am also diabetic and suffer from hyper-tension. I am planning a "dual-pilgrimage" from the first week of May 2015. The first component of my intended pilgrimage shall be from Lisboa to Fatima. Stay a night or two in Fatima and then begin my foot-journey to Santiago de Campostela on 13 May 2015. I am requesting your gracious help in the following areas:
1. Usual weather in May along the Portuguese Way.
2. How much money I need to bring along?
3. Do I need to bring along a sleeping bag?
4. Would there be vegetarian friendly places along the way?
5. Are there helpful website or print resources that I can access.

I am truly grateful to all my brothers and sisters who would very graciously help me complete my pilgrimage. Many thanks.

Zahid
 
M

mikevasey

Guest
Hi Zahid, welcome to the forum. The link I gave for Fatima Amigos on the 26 March 2013 in this thread is still good. They are a very active group who are constantly seeking ways to to take the walking route along more tranquil paths and off road, they have already converted an old school house into an Albergue de Peregrinos on one of the routes that feeds into the main Lisbon route. Any questions about getting to Fatima, the Fatima credencial, peregrino lodgings, places to eat, distances or guides then they are the people to ask.

The weather would usually be warm at that time of year, but with weather patterns changing i would wait to closer to the time to see what kit would be useful. I saw photos for the may pilgrimage last year and warm clothing was essential unlike previous years. Lisbon will not be a problem for finding vegetarian meals, in more remote areas it may be that you may have to ask for something that may appear as side dish to be be made in to a main meal, hopefully there wil be more options than chips or salad.
The route from Fatima which rejoins the Caminho de Santiago in Ansiao had waymarking in Sep/Oct 2011 but was patchy, i think it had been done by cyclists who expected to go several km down roads without signage, it would partly explain why all the arrows were on the non walking side of the road going with the flow of the traffic and yes the connecting route was mostly on asphalt. There is a website www.rotadoperegrino.com/ which has a section with the map for the route to Santiago, the website is for fatima pilgrims but it gives some useful contacts which you might be able to use. I would say that south of Porto look at 35-50 Euros a day because of the amount of hotels, pensions you will have to use, less than 30 euros a day north of Porto, you can stay in Pilgrim accommodation all the way to Santiago.

Good Luck

Mike
 
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Zahid Makhdoom

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Portuegues via Fatima
My gracious brother Mike:
Good morning. I am extremely grateful to you for your thoughtfulness and generosity. The information you have very kindly supplied shall help me a lot as I plan for my departure in 2015. I intend to walk 30-45 kilometres each day given the terrain is not much undulated or the elevation gain is almost nil. I shall keep you posted as I make progress in my prep. Once again, grateful to you for your kindness. Have a pleasant day.

With love and respect,

zahid
 
M

mikevasey

Guest
Hi Zahid I assume that you know the time you are in Fatima is one of the two main dates for the Portuguese to go on pilgrimage to it. I have seen estimates that at the two main times of the year nearly a million people go there, a lot by foot. The Fatima group whose website i pointed you too,do group trips at those times, the advantage of going with them- if they are doing one- is that they will have a roof to go over your head at night even if it is in a sports hall and you have to sleep on your roll mat.

Which just having written I realised that you will need your sleeping bag as well.

It could be a very beautiful time to walk to Fatima with long lines of pilgrims and a lot of them will be singing.


Mike
 
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pilgrimess

New Member
Hi Zahid I assume that you know the time you are in Fatima is one of the two main dates for the Portuguese to go on pilgrimage to it. I have seen estimates that at the two main times of the year nearly a million people go there, a lot by foot. The Fatima group whose website i pointed you too,do group trips at those times, the advantage of going with them- if they are doing one- is that they will have a roof to go over your head at night even if it is in a sports hall and you have to sleep on your roll mat.

Which just having written I realised that you will need your sleeping bag as well.

It could be a very beautiful time to walk to Fatima with long lines of pilgrims and a lot of them will be singing.


Mike
Hi Anna,

5 of us walked the Portuguese Camino in July, 2012, taking the bus from Fatima to Porto where we began the walk. We walked 120 miles in 9 days which I thought was too fast. (I was the oldest in the group). One night, we stayed at a hotel because the albergue was full, once we slept on the floor with mats because the beds were all taken, and once the albergue manager drove us to an albergue extension as the main lodge was full. It was an unforgettable experience and almost always we found the yellow arrows easily. We came through some warm rains but the climate was the best. (we got lucky, I think.) Rural Portugal along the camino is just lovely. I voted for not walking along the coast because I've hiked on beaches before and it is more challening in my opinion. We arrived in Santiago and stayed at a wonderful Franciscan homeless shelter and albergue quite near the cathedral. The next morning we witnessed the beautiful thurible being swung high into the ceiling of the cathedral during Mass. Getting back to Fatima and Lisbon was much more difficult. We could not find either a direct train or direct bus route to Fatima from Santiago and wound up cobbling train and bus tickets to get us back in time for the flight home from Lisbon.

Buen Camino to you!
Connie
 

Diogo92

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
C. Português 2013, 2014
C. de Fátima 2014
C. do Salnés 2015
Hi Zahid I assume that you know the time you are in Fatima is one of the two main dates for the Portuguese to go on pilgrimage to it. I have seen estimates that at the two main times of the year nearly a million people go there, a lot by foot. The Fatima group whose website i pointed you too,do group trips at those times, the advantage of going with them- if they are doing one- is that they will have a roof to go over your head at night even if it is in a sports hall and you have to sleep on your roll mat.

Which just having written I realised that you will need your sleeping bag as well.

It could be a very beautiful time to walk to Fatima with long lines of pilgrims and a lot of them will be singing.


Mike

Yeah, if they follow the indicated path. There are still a lot of people who decide to walk on tarmac, without following the blue arrows, which it's deadly has we usually see every year, with pilgrims being hit by cars. A tragedy, it's what it is..

@Zahid Makhdoom, well just pay attention to what Mike said about the date. The best for you, it's to book a Hotel room now or something like that for Fatima, because the latter you do it, the expensive it will be, and the hardest to get accommodation.

May it's a "don't know month". It could be hot, or it could be raining. Last year, I caught 4 days of heat, and 6 of rain from Póvoa de Varzim to Santiago. They say that this year, it could be drier, since we are having a "real" winter.

Vegetarian could be difficult in some small places, but in the majority off the big cities, you will find something. Even in Fatima, you have a restaurant that has a salad called "Salada de Santiago", which is vegetarian. Very good! In Barcelos you have na italian restaurant that has a wonderful vegetarian lasagna. YUMMI, I'M GETTING HUNGRY!!! :D

I would take the sleeping bag, even for that month. During the day it could be hot, but during the night, temperatures can decrease by 10º.
About walking 30 to 45km per day, you don't have big elevation in the Caminho Português, but arriving to Fatima you will. Just pay attention that you will find a lot of tarmac to walk in. But I think that up until May, you will find new marks, taking you to the beautiful country side.

Beside the link that Mike told you, visit also, http://www.vialusitana.org/. They are a portuguese association for the Portuguese Caminho.

Best Regards
Diogo
 
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Diogo92

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
C. Português 2013, 2014
C. de Fátima 2014
C. do Salnés 2015
Hi Anna,

5 of us walked the Portuguese Camino in July, 2012, taking the bus from Fatima to Porto where we began the walk. We walked 120 miles in 9 days which I thought was too fast. (I was the oldest in the group). One night, we stayed at a hotel because the albergue was full, once we slept on the floor with mats because the beds were all taken, and once the albergue manager drove us to an albergue extension as the main lodge was full. It was an unforgettable experience and almost always we found the yellow arrows easily. We came through some warm rains but the climate was the best. (we got lucky, I think.) Rural Portugal along the camino is just lovely. I voted for not walking along the coast because I've hiked on beaches before and it is more challening in my opinion. We arrived in Santiago and stayed at a wonderful Franciscan homeless shelter and albergue quite near the cathedral. The next morning we witnessed the beautiful thurible being swung high into the ceiling of the cathedral during Mass. Getting back to Fatima and Lisbon was much more difficult. We could not find either a direct train or direct bus route to Fatima from Santiago and wound up cobbling train and bus tickets to get us back in time for the flight home from Lisbon.

Buen Camino to you!
Connie

The ALSA line, which exist for years, leave from Santiago at 10:30am every day, and stops in Vigo, Braga, Porto, Coimbra, Fátima, Santarém and Lisbon. How the heck did you missed that? o_O

Best Regards
Diogo
 
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rickster

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2012), LePuy (2013), Coastal Portuguese( 2013), Norte (Fall 2014)
Just a different thought....I flew to Porto, took a bus to Fatima in the morning and returned late that afternoon. Would suggest spending the night at Fatima to get a better experience vs rushing like I did. Then returned to Porto, toured this beautiful city and set out to walk the Portuguese Coastal route, which I highly recommend.
 

pilgrimess

New Member
The ALSA line, which exist for years, leave from Santiago at 10:30am every day, and stops in Vigo, Braga, Porto, Coimbra, Fátima, Santarém and Lisbon. How the heck did you missed that? o_O

Best Regards
Diogo

Hello Diogo,

Thank you for your reply, our guide (his first time on the camino) must not have known about the ALSA line. Is it a bus or a train?

Connie
 
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Diogo92

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
C. Português 2013, 2014
C. de Fátima 2014
C. do Salnés 2015
Hello Diogo,

Thank you for your reply, our guide (his first time on the camino) must not have known about the ALSA line. Is it a bus or a train?

Connie

It's a Bus company, that works in Spain, and that also do international service.

Best Regards
Diogo
 

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