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Looking for recommendations for Portuguese Camino guide book

Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP–Santiago (2012); SJPdP–Santiago, (2015); SJPdP–Logrono (2017); Logrono-Santiago (2018)
Hello dear forum members, I am wondering if I could get recommendations for a good guide book for the Portuguese camino. I have heard of the coastal route, but prefer the other (traditional?) way. Planning on walking mid-May. Thank you!
 

andycohn

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF (2012,13,15); Finisterre / Muxia (15); Portugeuse (17); Primitivo (17); Norte (18); Ingles (18)
John Brierley’s guide covers both the coastal and central routes. Clear maps, good lists of albergues and other accomodations. Clear walking directions. Also, gives you good background information on the places you’ll visit, which are mostly lacking in the available apps. It’s available on this forum from the forum store.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP–Santiago (2012); SJPdP–Santiago, (2015); SJPdP–Logrono (2017); Logrono-Santiago (2018)
John Brierley’s guide covers both the coastal and central routes. Clear maps, good lists of albergues and other accomodations. Clear walking directions. Also, gives you good background information on the places you’ll visit, which are mostly lacking in the available apps. It’s available on this forum from the forum store.
Thank you!
 

JohnMcM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Some, and with luck, some more.
Hello dear forum members, I am wondering if I could get recommendations for a good guide book for the Portuguese camino. I have heard of the coastal route, but prefer the other (traditional?) way. Planning on walking mid-May. Thank you!
Hello joanneking,
If you are planning on starting from Porto, the Gronze site info is very useful, as is the Brierley book.
Buen (good guide-book) Camino
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP–Santiago (2012); SJPdP–Santiago, (2015); SJPdP–Logrono (2017); Logrono-Santiago (2018)
Hello joanneking,
If you are planning on starting from Porto, the Gronze site info is very useful, as is the Brierley book.
Buen (good guide-book) Camino
Thank you, John. Have you walked the Portuguese, and, if so, what do you know of the coastal route?
 

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
Please have a look at my website, all totally free information to help your planning and the option to purchase my ebook to take along at a very reasonable price! That's because unlike other guides, once you decide which route you are taking, you only need to purchase what you need. Click here: The Many Ways on the Camino Portugues.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2015) Frances
(2018) Portuguese
(2019) VdP Seville to Salamanca
(2020) VdP Salamanca to Santiago
Just walked it last year (coastal route) and took a Brierley guide and online app on my phone. The online apps don't weigh anything so the more the better. There are several that allow downloading of the maps so that you don't need Internet while walking. I've always found that helpful just to check and make sure that I didn't miss an arrow. I've never understood the desire to say that one app or guide is the best. As long as you can get them in electrons, you can pick and choose what you need to use at your leisure. I've found that guides generally have one of three focuses routing and elevation, accomodation, and history. Brierley tries all three and is a compromise.
 

mike mcbroom

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis June 17, 2015 ,Portagusee from Porto to Santiago August 2016, Francis may 2018 this year wil
Thank you, RJM. Did you walk the coastal route or the traditonal way
?
i have walked from Porto to Santiago. the Brierley guide book worked good. I also think the Wise Pilgrim works well.
This year I will start the Portuguese Coastal route in Lisbon on May 15. if you want company, let me know. 001-314-974-5557
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Camino Portugues, June 2019
When you say "coastal," do you mean the (slightly inland) coastal route, or the shore route, Senda Litoral?
 

Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Camino(s) past & future
"Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment" Amazon/Kindle books authored
"Slow Camino"
Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment
Review
Travel memoirs are my favorite reading nowadays, and when I read this I hit the jackpot. There are detailed descriptions of great meals and other tourist stuff, interspersed with memories of the personal struggles that motivated the author to make the pilgrimage. This book is one of the best of the genre because the author is intelligent and real, in addition to being a terrific writer. It was a plus for me that the author is a lapsed rather than practicing Catholic. More accessible to me as an agnostic.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
I used the Wise Pilgrim app ("Wisely + the Camino Portuguese" in the app store) with the maps downloaded for offline use. I varied between the Central, the Coastal, and the Literal.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP–Santiago (2012); SJPdP–Santiago, (2015); SJPdP–Logrono (2017); Logrono-Santiago (2018)
Central. Porto to Santiago.
I found the guidebook to be helpful. On the Frances I now carry the Brierley maps only guidebook.
Thank you!
Just walked it last year (coastal route) and took a Brierley guide and online app on my phone. The online apps don't weigh anything so the more the better. There are several that allow downloading of the maps so that you don't need Internet while walking. I've always found that helpful just to check and make sure that I didn't miss an arrow. I've never understood the desire to say that one app or guide is the best. As long as you can get them in electrons, you can pick and choose what you need to use at your leisure. I've found that guides generally have one of three focuses routing and elevation, accomodation, and history. Brierley tries all three and is a compromise.
Thank you, John. On my first Frances walk I carried the Brierley but couldn't get used to the way the Way was displayed, and the book had far more information than I wanted (historical etc.) I bought a Michelin Guide which I love and have used all three times I've walked that camino.
When you say "coastal," do you mean the (slightly inland) coastal route, or the shore route, Senda Litoral?
When you say "coastal," do you mean the (slightly inland) coastal route, or the shore route, Senda Litoral?
Hi Jill, Good question! I actually don't know which route I mean, it's just what I've heard from various people, to walk/not walk/walk part way on the coastal route. Is the senda litoral some kind of boardwalks over the sand beach?
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP–Santiago (2012); SJPdP–Santiago, (2015); SJPdP–Logrono (2017); Logrono-Santiago (2018)
I used the Wise Pilgrim app ("Wisely + the Camino Portuguese" in the app store) with the maps downloaded for offline use. I varied between the Central, the Coastal, and the Literal.
Thank you! Can you tell me how you chose/decided when to walk which route?
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese.
@joanneking it was pretty much serendipity, although the hard sets sent me to the Literale when my feet got too tired/sore.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP–Santiago (2012); SJPdP–Santiago, (2015); SJPdP–Logrono (2017); Logrono-Santiago (2018)
I used the Brierley and found it very good. I walked from Lisbon on the inland route.
Thank you!
When you say "coastal," do you mean the (slightly inland) coastal route, or the shore route, Senda Litoral?
I don't know what I mean 😩 More research needed, I guess. This is the first mention of the Senda Litoral I've heard.
 

Albertinho

ninguém disse que era fácil !
Camino(s) past & future
2013 Lisboa - Sant.
2014 Ferrol -Sant.
2015 Porto -Sant.
2018 Porto -Valença
2019 Valença -Sant.
Thank you!

I don't know what I mean 😩 More research needed, I guess. This is the first mention of the Senda Litoral I've heard.
There is a path near the coast . You almost can touch the ocean - the Senda Litoral. ( litoral in Portuguese /Spanish means nearby the coast)
The "coastal " controversially😏 Follows the coast from a certain distance.
You notice the "coastal " from about Esposende and further on from Viana do Castelo to Vila Praia de Âncora. The waymarked path into the hills with a view at the ocean from a distance.
In Spain between Ramalhosa/Nigrán and Vigo is a part of caminho that leads off the "beira mar" the direct part along the water aka the Senda Litoral.
The first part from Porto to Matosinhos and Vila do conde only follows the coastline as Senda Litoral
 
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Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues (October 2018)
Augustine Camino (July 2019)
I brought one but honestly didn't need it! Ended up leaving it at a hostel along the way :)
 

Just_Me

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues (April 2019)
Wise pilgrim is the way to go.
if you have 20/20 vision perhaps, some of the maps are downright illegible, even with glasses on I cannot read a word on some of them. It is a lot thicker (and therefore heavier) too.

I favour the Camino Portugués from CaminoGuidebooks.com over the Brierly.
 

hughb

Member
Camino(s) past & future
C del Norte June 2013 plus Finisterre.
Part of Camino del Norte July 2015
Hopefully the Camino Ingles 2016
Hello dear forum members, I am wondering if I could get recommendations for a good guide book for the Portuguese camino. I have heard of the coastal route, but prefer the other (traditional?) way. Planning on walking mid-May. Thank you!
Well you have a lot of choice. I live in Portugal and have collected most. There's the wise pilgrim app, when it works, it's great. Then there's the black spots where it doesn't!!. Then there's the CSJ. If you want to know exactly where to turn left or right without looking around or watching the arrows, it's fantastic. Then there's Brierly, gives you loads of information but deviate from the map and you are snookered. Ivars free app is great if your phone has a good battery, will get you back on theCamino
 

Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Camino(s) past & future
"Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment" Amazon/Kindle books authored
"Slow Camino"
Are you taking the route from Lisbon or Porto?
If you take the train from Lisbon you can get off and start in Tomar which was the highlight of my Portuguese Camino from Lisbon. This is from Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment.
The Templar Castle in Tomar Portugal is AMAZING. Best thing I saw on three Caminos!

For me it was very much like walking into Fenway Park for a Boston Red Sox baseball game and seeing the expanse of green grass on the playing field magically open up before your eyes as you come up one of the enclosed tunnels into the open expanse of the stadium. Once inside the walls of the castle, I found myself walking along a wide dirt path with trimmed hedges on either side that enclose lushly landscaped gardens full of orange trees, ornamental shrubs and carefully pruned evergreens. The beautiful space encircled by the outer castle walls is as big as a soccer field and looming directly ahead is the round-shaped Church Rotunda. The Templars introduced eastern ideas to 12th century Portugal including the idea of a round church. Churches throughout Europe were always in the shape of a “Greek cross”, so this was a radical departure having a 16-sided polygonal buttressed church with round windows. It is believed that the architecture of the church was modeled after both the Mosque of Omar and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem from plans brought back from the Crusades by the Templars. The introduction of round towers in the outer protective walls which were more resistant to attack than square towers, as well as the construction of a citadel with a central tower or “keep” that offered residential and defensive functions were also new to 12th century Portugal.
The most transformative idea taken by the Templars from their travels to the east was their adoption of Gnostic philosophy. The belief that enlightenment can come from within each individual and that the divine can be experience by taking responsibility for one’s own spiritual development is the central tenant of Gnosticism. Other Gnostic sects such as the Cathars and the Bogomils also believed in a doctrine of “living resurrection” which has ancient roots in both the teachings of the Essenes and the Nazorites and their priestly messiah John the Baptist. Clearly these ideas were threatening to the power of the Catholic Church which purposely maintained a monopoly on salvation through the sacraments it offered to the faithful, as well as the idea that the individual could approach God only through the intermediary of a priest or bishop. Self-empowerment was not tolerated by the Catholic Church at the time. For the Gnostics, resurrection is not a physical phenomenon that happens in the future when one dies, but rather a here and now spiritual enlightenment that occurs through an out-of-body experience referred to as “raising the dead”. Initiates of Gnosticism are exposed to a knowledge (gnosis is Greek for “secret knowledge”) that expands their consciousness and provides a vision of being “one with the Universe”. I can only think how similar this belief is to Eckhart Tolle’s idea that we are not the objects of our awareness, but we are pure awareness itself. The realization of this concept is part of a “flowering of human consciousness” according to Tolle. The Templars believed that when their consciousness was expanded, they then were enlightened or “risen”. Conversely those deprived of the secret knowledge and teaching were viewed as “unaware” or dead and they were doomed to perpetually walk through life as if asleep. For the Gnostics, the material world is evil and God is wholly transcendent from his creation. God is too perfect and too infinite to interact with the evil of the material universe. They also believe that human beings are “sparks” or droplets of the same spiritual essence that is God. However, we are trapped in material bodies and we are subject to sin which is caused by the lack of “secret knowledge” of our true nature. God initiates our salvation because he wants to draw back pieces of himself. I reflected that had I lived during the 12th century, I would have been drawn powerfully to Gnostic philosophy.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP–Santiago (2012); SJPdP–Santiago, (2015); SJPdP–Logrono (2017); Logrono-Santiago (2018)
i have walked from Porto to Santiago. the Brierley guide book worked good. I also think the Wise Pilgrim works well.
This year I will start the Portuguese Coastal route in Lisbon on May 15. if you want company, let me know. 001-314-974-5557
i have walked from Porto to Santiago. the Brierley guide book worked good. I also think the Wise Pilgrim works well.
This year I will start the Portuguese Coastal route in Lisbon on May 15. if you want company, let me know. 001-314-974-5557
Hi Mike, Thank you for your recommendation. We are beginning at Porto at around the same time you are leaving from Lisbon.
 

Calisteve

Member
Camino(s) past & future
June 16 CF
July 17 CF with my son (aged 14)
July 18 CP with my wife
Definitely WisePilgrim - used it last year for Porto to SDC (but it covers from Lisbon as well). Superb.
 

Salash

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portuguese 2018
I have Elle's guidebook, I find it really clear and easy to follow. :) I like that it's digital, so no extra weight and no network connection needed.
In contrast Brierley's guide seems a little confusing, although the maps are very good.
 
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP–Santiago (2012); SJPdP–Santiago, (2015); SJPdP–Logrono (2017); Logrono-Santiago (2018)
I have Elle's guidebook, I find it really clear and easy to follow. :) I like that it's digital, so no extra weight and no network connection needed.
In contrast Brierley's guide seems a little confusing, although the maps are very good.
Thank you for your recommendation!
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
I have the Brierley. I found it useful and user friendly. All I needed.
If weight is an issue he also publishes a maps only version.
 

mike mcbroom

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francis June 17, 2015 ,Portagusee from Porto to Santiago August 2016, Francis may 2018 this year wil
When you say "coastal," do you mean the (slightly inland) coastal route, or the shore route, Senda Litoral?
senda Litoral
 

walker_wisdom

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués - Senda Litoral (2017)

Next Camino - tbc, open to suggestions.
So in case it is not clear, Brierley does multiple guides, some containing lots of information and maps and the smaller versions with just maps (and a page or two of background at the beginning). We wrote a little guide for the Senda Litoral but we found the Brierley maps only version the most useful for us along the way - along with scouring lots of these forums (and some German forums too). Our guide is more about the experience and how we navigated using the Brierley maps only, offline google maps etc. If you do get the Brierley book I think its really important to make sure you understand the map "legend" before beginning (that said I don't think I really understood it until we started). Once you understand his maps they can be quite helpful, but at first glance we did not find them particularly enlightening. Also the Senda Litoral is just a tiny sliver at the back of the guide book, so this means you could actually tear out a whole chunk of the book but I couldn't bring myself to do this as a bibliophile.... Also the Senda Litoral, Coastal and Central all join together for the last few days so make sure you don't miss those pages, oh and Porto is on the main guide too so don't lose that either!
 

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