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My first Camino Portugués - newbe questions

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Chris Moon

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
1 (2017)
Hi,

I'm 69 and starting my first Camino from Porto in the last week of September. Land in Porto very late on Monday 23/9 and am planning to start my journey the next day and would greatly appreciate some advice.

  1. How does one start a Camino? Is there an official starting point in Porto and do I need to get my pass stamped somewhere before leaving the city?
  2. Planning the coastal route and am aiming at approx 14 days. is this realistic?
  3. Does one need to book ahead for a bed in an Albergue?
  4. What would be a minimum-cost daily amount to budget for?

    warm regards,
    Chris
 

martyseville

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
a/a
No “official starting point.
Most like getting first stamp at the cathedral in either O Porto or Lisboa. Which one you are starting from.
Or get first stamp at hotel, hostel, B&B , bar, cafe, etc.
There is no required place to start. Or how far to walk. Where etc. it is your Camino.

14 days? Depends on your fitness, km per day, weather, etc. but 14 sounds ok. All subject to change.

No advanced reservations, booking ahead, at the municipal albergues. But, can do such in private hostels, albergues, hotels etc.

How much to budget per day?? Is discussed, and rediscussed, over and over again on this forum.
Depends on your tastes. Places to stay, eat at etc.
Some days may be more than others. Especially if in larger cities.

Cash rules on the Camino. Most smaller stores, albergues, bars, cafes etc are cash only.

ATMs to get cash are in most, if not all, cities and small towns.

Don’t withdraw too much. Split it up. Never all in rear pocket wallet.

Sorry to say but don’t ever, ever, leave your valuables or money alone in place you are staying in! Even take such to shower with you.

Porto(also known as O Porto) is wonderful city. Stay at least one night there.

Many good places to stay.

Most start their Camino a few train stops out of Porto.
 
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jsalt

Jill
Camino(s) past & future
Portugués, Francés, Le Puy, Rota Vicentina, Soulac, Norte, Madrid, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés
Hi,

I'm 69 and starting my first Camino from Porto in the last week of September. Land in Porto very late on Monday 23/9 and am planning to start my journey the next day and would greatly appreciate some advice.

  1. How does one start a Camino? Is there an official starting point in Porto and do I need to get my pass stamped somewhere before leaving the city?
  2. Planning the coastal route and am aiming at approx 14 days. is this realistic?
  3. Does one need to book ahead for a bed in an Albergue?
  4. What would be a minimum-cost daily amount to budget for?

    warm regards,
    Chris
There is no official starting point, but the cathedral in Porto is a good place to get your first stamp (go into the cathedral and ask at the counter for a stamp).

Then walk down from the cathedral to the river, and keeping the river on your left, walk to Matosinhos. (For me, that is one of the best days on the whole camino – missed by those who get a train or bus out of the city – it’s vibrant, busy, fun, ice cream stalls, cafes, restaurants and beaches, but definitely no nasty roads to cross.)

You might find that one or two budget hostels are full when you get there as they don’t have as many beds as the hostels on the Camino Frances, but there will be cheap pensions nearby that you can stay at, and the numbers will definitely be dwindling by the end of September.

You should be fine on about 30 to 40 euros per day. Bom Caminho!
Jill
 

surya8

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues Central and Coastal 2017 & 2019; Portugues Interior, Sanabres, Fisterra & Muxia 2018
Most stamp at the cathedral in the centre of Porto, then head to Matosinhos on the metro (stop Mercado) and start from there to Vila do Conde, that would be around 22km for the first day. Some head from the Cathedral down to the river and continue from there, no industrial zones, I really enjoyed this walk. Don't forget about 2 stamps a day on the last 100km if you want to get your compostella at the end. My usual spending on 4 Portugues caminos was 15-17 euros a day, I stayed mostly in the municipal albergues, sometimes eat out, sometimes cooked in the albergues. September is busy but about booking see as you go. The first municipal albergue in Vila do Conde is great: new, clean, near the supermarket and never leaves anyone on the street :) Bom Caminho! :)
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Camino Portugues, June 2019
I walked the Portugues this last June and it was wonderful. I am happy to answer any questions from my personal perspective, if you want to send me a DM. Any excuse to talk about it with somebody who wants to!
 

Ivan_Prada

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés-(septiembre 2018)
Portugués-(en planes 2021)
I No worries, refer to the attached photo of the map in the Credencial de Peregrino-Catedral De Santiago.

164F0BB6-F84A-4865-9633-B0A4E2ACF0D0.jpeg Notice the caption (I quote): “Para poder obtener la “Compostela”, la variante espiritual debe iniciarse, como mínimo en Porriño o Vigo.”

Translated: in order to obtain the Compostela, the spiritual variant must, as a minimum, start either in Porriño or Vigo.

Hope this helps.
 

Ed Aster

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances May 2017
I did my Camino when I was 69 also, a wonderful experience and the coastal route is fantastic. My costs were around 50-60 euros a day for private room with showers and food inexpensive compared with the Camino Frances. For private accommodation book ahead if at Albergue no need.
Enjoy!!!!!
Buen Camino
 

Michael Nosek

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning first Camino September 2017
Buen Camino! I'm starting from Porto on September 30th. Has anyone walked from Porto to Vila do Conde on Day 1? Any input on best options for Day 1 is much appreciated.
 

JillGat

la tierra encantada
Camino(s) past & future
C. Frances
SJPP - Finisterre - Muxia, May 2016
C. Frances, Sept 2017
Camino Portugues, June 2019
I had planned to walk from Porto to Vila do Conde, but got hit by a big wind and rain storm along the coast (it even had a name: Miguel), so stopped in Angeiras, before Conde.
 

Ivan_Prada

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés-(septiembre 2018)
Portugués-(en planes 2021)
No worries, refer to the attached photo of the map in the Credencial de Peregrino-Catedral De Santiago.
3F9D599B-2948-437C-ABA9-38EE1378EFC4.jpeg Notice the caption (I quote): “Para poder obtener la “Compostela”, la variante espiritual debe iniciarse, como mínimo en Porriño o Vigo.”

Translated: in order to obtain the Compostela, the spiritual variant must, as a minimum, start either in Porriño or Vigo.

Hope this helps.
 

Carolyn G

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2018
May 2019
(Future - CP September 2020)
Hi,

I'm 69 and starting my first Camino from Porto in the last week of September. Land in Porto very late on Monday 23/9 and am planning to start my journey the next day and would greatly appreciate some advice.

  1. How does one start a Camino? Is there an official starting point in Porto and do I need to get my pass stamped somewhere before leaving the city?
  2. Planning the coastal route and am aiming at approx 14 days. is this realistic?
  3. Does one need to book ahead for a bed in an Albergue?
  4. What would be a minimum-cost daily amount to budget for?

    warm regards,
    Chris
 

Carolyn G

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
May 2018
May 2019
(Future - CP September 2020)
So there is no Pilgrim’s Office in Porto? Good to know - I’ll order a few passports from Ivar. Chris, you’ll need to collect 2 stamps a day for the last 100k (from Tui). Buen Camino!
 

snowwhite1962

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances Sept/Oct 2017
Planning - Camino Portuguese Sept/Oct 2019
I'm starting on Saturday 28 Sept in Porto heading to Vila do Conde for day 1 and then head inland to pick up the central route. Starting to get excited, I leave in 10 days for some sightseeing in Lisbon and Porto before starting. Just need to get over a raging cold first (haven't been able to pop my ears for a week so getting a littler nervous).
 

Salash

Road less travelled
Camino(s) past & future
Senda Litoral Portugal (2019)
Camino Central Portugal (2020)
Hi,

I'm 69 and starting my first Camino from Porto in the last week of September. Land in Porto very late on Monday 23/9 and am planning to start my journey the next day and would greatly appreciate some advice.

  1. How does one start a Camino? Is there an official starting point in Porto and do I need to get my pass stamped somewhere before leaving the city?
  2. Planning the coastal route and am aiming at approx 14 days. is this realistic?
  3. Does one need to book ahead for a bed in an Albergue?
  4. What would be a minimum-cost daily amount to budget for?

    warm regards,
    Chris
Hi Chris,
My friend and I walked the Senda Litoral and coastal routes in April this year. We started at the cathedral, walked down to the river and out to the coast along the riverfront. It was an awesome way to start our walk - I can't recommend it highly enough!
Depending on your level of fitness, 14 days should be ample. We are only a few years younger than you, but we are both quite fit, it took us 9.5 days.
We walked in the week before Easter. We had no problems with accommodation until we reached the 100km point. We ended up leaving very early each morning, and stopping in smaller towns. There's a great spreadsheet in the resources that lists all the accommodation on the CP, we used that to plan where we'd stop.
We averaged less than 20€ a day by buying food in supermarkets.

Enjoy your Camino!
Jen
 

Alex M

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Plan for 2017 - Sarria to Santiago
Hi,

I'm 69 and starting my first Camino from Porto in the last week of September. Land in Porto very late on Monday 23/9 and am planning to start my journey the next day and would greatly appreciate some advice.

  1. How does one start a Camino? Is there an official starting point in Porto and do I need to get my pass stamped somewhere before leaving the city?
  2. Planning the coastal route and am aiming at approx 14 days. is this realistic?
  3. Does one need to book ahead for a bed in an Albergue?
  4. What would be a minimum-cost daily amount to budget for?

    warm regards,
    Chris
Hello Chris. I am also 69 and I did the stretch from Porto to Tui only in June this year (central route). That took about six days so I imagine the whole thing is feasible in two weeks. I recommend the Brierley camino map book for Portugal. I cannot comment on albergues as I stayed in pensions/hotel. For the latter you definitely need to book ahead, but I ran into people staying at albergues who had not done so. If you would like to chat I would be happy to Skype if you want. My email is [removed by ivar, please us DM on the forum] if you would like to arrange. Bom caminho! Alex (UK)
 
Last edited by a moderator:

John H.

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF - 2017
CP Central - 2017
CP Coastal - 2018
CF - [hopefully again someday]
Just suggestions:
  1. No official starting point and no 1st stamp requirement. The Porto Cathedral (Terreiro da Sé, 4050-573 Porto) is a good starting point for the Central or Coastal routes. I think you can also puchase the stamp book there. Be aware that the first day of walking from there is almost entirely on concrete, either route.
  2. Many people do it in 11-12 days. 14 days is just under 20 kms per day and seems very realistic and doable for most people.
  3. Should not require to book ahead but you may not get your 1st choice some nights. There seems to be fewer accommodation choices than on the Camino France. Get a good app for your phone to help locate the options.
  4. My typical daily budget is ~ 36 Euros unless I want a private room = 10 Euro for hostel bed (nicer Pensions and simple Hotels can be 25-60 Euros) + 10 Euro pilgrim menu dinner, 7-8 Euro for lunch, 5-8 Euros for breakfast + ___ for other coffee and drinks
Have fun.
 

Krista Rogman

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016), Camino Portugues (2017)
Hi,

I'm 69 and starting my first Camino from Porto in the last week of September. Land in Porto very late on Monday 23/9 and am planning to start my journey the next day and would greatly appreciate some advice.

  1. How does one start a Camino? Is there an official starting point in Porto and do I need to get my pass stamped somewhere before leaving the city?
  2. Planning the coastal route and am aiming at approx 14 days. is this realistic?
  3. Does one need to book ahead for a bed in an Albergue?
  4. What would be a minimum-cost daily amount to budget for?

    warm regards,
    Chris
I am 68 y/o and have walked from Porto to Santiago 2 times. Both times have been on the central way.
I think thaqt the "official" start to that part of the camino is at the church where you can get your first stamp. While I have not walked the costal route, I'm told it is beautiful with little shade.
One thought in order to get through Porto (which is a busy modern city) is to take the metro. There are many stops you can take and then walk over to the costal route. One thought is to get off at the Santa Clara stop and avoide all of the busy city.

I took the metro to the stop Vilar do Pinheiro, then walked the central way.
I walked 6 days then took a day off in Tui (on the Portugese/Spanish border.) I then walked the rest of the way in 6 more days. I am a slow walker and that was a doable pace for me.

The municipal albergues take no reservations, it is first-come-first-served. If there is not enough room for you the people usually help you find someplace to swtay for the night.
I did book reservations at a few private albergues. It is a good to have a rough idea how far you are going to walk and where you would like to stay. Your camino books should help you.

Because I usually stay in Madrid for a day or two b efore and after the camino, I roughly p[lanned on $100/day. Just albergues and food would likely be closerf to $50.00/day/person.

I have walked alone on the camino. Be alert and get out if you don't feel comfortable. You will be fine.

Kris
 

doris

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuga
Has anyone walked from Lisbon to Santiago in November? Is weather an issue , open Albergues ?
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
Buen Camino! I'm starting from Porto on September 30th. Has anyone walked from Porto to Vila do Conde on Day 1? Any input on best options for Day 1 is much appreciated.
I knew a number of people who did. I only walked as far as Vila Cha, a few km before Vila do Conde. The second day I walked to Vila do Conde and then turned right to walk to Arcos and Rates on the Central route.

Personally, I think that the best option is to start at the Cathedral in Porto, walk down to the river and along the river to the ocean. Then turn north and walk along the ocean until you get to Vila do Conde. This route is called the "Senda Litoral". Another alternative is to head north out of Porto along the "Coastal Route" (although it doesn't seem to arrive at the coast until Vila do Conde). I haven't tried that route so I can't speak to it from personal experience. The reports I was getting weren't as positive as for the Senda Litoral, which is why I made the choice that I did.

Following the Senda Litoral, the walk from Porto to Vila do Conde is about 32 or 33 km, I believe. Doable for many, but a long first day.
 

Older Guy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francis -May 2016 by bike---Loved it
I am contemplating a Portuguese Camino in 2021, but when reading about the ocean boardwalk route out of Porto, was told to be extremely careful if it has rained as the boardwalk can be very slippery. I would appreciate you comments or the comments of others. Part of me would like to follow the coast for as long as I can.
 

auburnfive

Active Member
We did the coastal route last Sept, and had not one day of rain, we headed inland at Vigo and visited some great towns along the way, and hit a local festival in Oia. Brierleys recent edition on the Portuguese have excellent maps on the coastal route there is often a choice of going along the coast, or inland a bit, but you’ll end up in the same locations, but can criss cross as you like. 2 years earlier a friend and I did the central route, but when you don’t live near water, walking beside the ocean was such a treat.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
I am contemplating a Portuguese Camino in 2021, but when reading about the ocean boardwalk route out of Porto, was told to be extremely careful if it has rained as the boardwalk can be very slippery. I would appreciate you comments or the comments of others. Part of me would like to follow the coast for as long as I can.
I can't say for sure, as I experienced no rain until I was well into Galicia.
 

John H.

Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF - 2017
CP Central - 2017
CP Coastal - 2018
CF - [hopefully again someday]
If you want to start at the Cathedral in Porto when it is open, confirm its hours. When I was there last year it was open 9am-12noon & 2:30pm-7pm.
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
To all people starting in Porto, if you have not visited the city before, take the time and spend a day there. Food and architecture are amazing, well worth enjoying. :)
Not even mentioning the very affordable and hungover-free (in my case) Porto wine tastings :D
 

Guemes

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
None
Buen Camino! I'm starting from Porto on September 30th. Has anyone walked from Porto to Vila do Conde on Day 1? Any input on best options for Day 1 is much appreciated.
I am planning on walking that same route on that same day! I hope I can make it as I was going to meet my husband there that night. What have you decided?
 

Guemes

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
None
I'm starting on Saturday 28 Sept in Porto heading to Vila do Conde for day 1 and then head inland to pick up the central route. Starting to get excited, I leave in 10 days for some sightseeing in Lisbon and Porto before starting. Just need to get over a raging cold first (haven't been able to pop my ears for a week so getting a littler nervous).
I’m curious what route do you plan on for heading inland? I’m doing that route on the 30.
 

Carpe Diem

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Santiago via Portugal Route
Thank you all for your kindness in offering such helpful advice.
:)
My BF and I just finished 250 miles/ 388 Km via Portugal starting at Tomar and took a rest day in Porto and a 2 day detour to the Coastal route from Viana do Costelo to Rondendela and this was where we rejoined the Central route. I started on August 27 and finished on Sept. 12 (total of16 walking days). I loved it despite the cobble stones that did a number on my ankle but you power through and will still love it!
Be prepare for the 80% cobblestones, stony paths and asphalts on the Portugal Central route. The Coastal route is just as stony. The only way to get around this is to walk the other routes or start in Tui on the Spain side which is 118km to Santiago de Compostela which means you still can get your certification of completion if you are interested.
Also get all the cash you need from he ATMs that accept Visa withdrawal from your bank on the Portugal side as the Spain side charges you Eur5 per transaction.
Don't overpack, I am 95lbs and I carried 10lbs including a 1.5L hydration pack which weigh about 3 lbs when filled. All you need is one outfit for the evening and a pair of flip flop after you wash up and eat the most divine meals without putting on an ounce. Have a change of top and bottom for your daily hike. This means you will always be wearing one set of clothes and a clean set in your pack (which you can wash at virtually every stage).
Use compression sacks to separate your night, day clothes, electronics etc for easy unpacking.
My BF and I stayed in hotels with our own room and bathrooms and for the entire trip of 20 days (1 day arrival into Lisbon and train to Tomar where we started, 1 day of R&R in Porto and 1 day to Brugos to catch a bus to Madrid airport for our return to NY- 16 days of walking) plus food it cost us a total of USD2000.
This is my first camino, My BF's second- he walked the 500miles France route 2 years ago) and we are already planning our next camino together.
Bom Caminho!
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Camino(s) past & future
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I found walking the Literal was a welcome relief from the stone sets and the rough paths of the Central and Coastal. It is pretty much all boardwalk - dead flat and a lovely bounce underfoot! Others have said they found the constant walking right beside the sea was boring but I never found it so. I came across fishermen and surfers and people playing beach volleyball and locals hunting for shellfish and I loved the wild wind blowing straight off the Atlantic!
 

Michael Nosek

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Planning first Camino September 2017
I am planning on walking that same route on that same day! I hope I can make it as I was going to meet my husband there that night. What have you decided?
Very nice! Hope to see there. We are planning on leaving Porto and walking to Vila do Conde on day 1. From there we are planning on crossing over to the Central. I found this post that should be helpful.

No trouble at all.
Arriving along to coast from Porto into Vila do Conde will be by passing a bridge over the river. Turn right at the end of the bridge and follow the river at your right side and you are on the waymarked caminho to São Pedro de Rates.

Attention. As soon as you turn right at the end of the same bridge after two meters (yes two meters !) is a waymarker to the right that leads underneath the bridge . If you follow that particulairy waymarker you continue following the coastal caminho .
That caminho leads through the town of Vila do Conde to Póvoa de Varzim .

Through Vila do Conde leads an antique aquaduct. By following that aquaduct , there also will be waymarkers to the Central Route to Arcade and São Pedro de Rates. However I followed the aquaduct once as a tourist, I did not follow the waymarkers from there.
 

Pilgy

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
C. Francés April 06, C. Fisterre May 06, C. Frances Oct 17, C. Portuguese Oct 18, C. Inglese Nov 18
I knew a number of people who did. I only walked as far as Vila Cha, a few km before Vila do Conde. The second day I walked to Vila do Conde and then turned right to walk to Arcos and Rates on the Central route.

Personally, I think that the best option is to start at the Cathedral in Porto, walk down to the river and along the river to the ocean. Then turn north and walk along the ocean until you get to Vila do Conde. This route is called the "Senda Litoral". Another alternative is to head north out of Porto along the "Coastal Route" (although it doesn't seem to arrive at the coast until Vila do Conde). I haven't tried that route so I can't speak to it from personal experience. The reports I was getting weren't as positive as for the Senda Litoral, which is why I made the choice that I did.

Following the Senda Litoral, the walk from Porto to Vila do Conde is about 32 or 33 km, I believe. Doable for many, but a long first day.
How was the walk from Vila do
Conde to Rates?
 

Carpe Diem

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Santiago via Portugal Route
I am contemplating a Portuguese Camino in 2021, but when reading about the ocean boardwalk route out of Porto, was told to be extremely careful if it has rained as the boardwalk can be very slippery. I would appreciate you comments or the comments of others. Part of me would like to follow the coast for as long as I can.
 

Carpe Diem

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Santiago via Portugal Route
I did the Camino Portugues from August 27 to Sept. 12 2019 from Tomar - 300 miles in total. No rain throughout this time other than a drizzle at night while we were having dinner at Pontevedra.

While we took the central route we detoured and walked 2 days on the coastal route to escape the cobblestones and rocky paths which is the challenge of the Camino Portugues. Not the entire Coatal route is on Board walk or by the water. In fact much of iis inland and also full of unforgiving cobblestones. Only the last 73miles or so from Tui onwards where the cobblestones did not hurt and walkable where we could cover 5-6km/hr or 3.5-3.75 miles an hr. However, the stage from Pontevedra to Caldas de Reis has a stretch of unforgiving cobblestones. I enjoyed my 300 mile but if could turn back time I would do the French way or the Del Norte as the scenery per friend’s who have done all 3 advised is better and not as hard on the soles of your feet with more forest trails.
 

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