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Search 69,459 Camino Questions

Notes from a newbie on my Camino Portugues

ElCee

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Porto Sept 2023
I finished the Camino Portugues 2 weeks ago (my first). We did a hybrid Senta Litoral - Central - senta litoral - coastal - spiritual variante route. It was unseasonably hot (30-35 degrees) and absolutely no rain. I’ll put a few of my thoughts here:
- Senda litoral out of Porto was a great first day of walking. We spent a few hours in Matosinhos visiting the fish market and having a wonderful lunch at Tasquinha Porto de Leixões, a warm family run little place on a side street. We walked on to roughly Perafita making this a 21k day. We were tired but it wasn’t brutal. I’d actually recommend pushing yourself the first day especially since it’s very flat.
- We cabbed it over to the central route from Vila do Conde. Figured we weren’t cheating since we went sideways :)
- the walk from Barcelos to Casa Fernanda has no shade. It was 34 degrees and relentlessly sunny. We really hadn’t experienced any Camino camaraderie at that point so to stumble in near collapse and be embraced by Fernanda and a friendly group of pilgrims who had just had the same day was really very special.
- Other than Fernanda’s, we stayed in private rooms. Some of our favourites were in guest houses. Basically a house or apartment where multiple pilgrims stay in separate bedrooms and share a kitchen, living room and sometimes bathroom. They were impeccably clean, great locations and very reasonable. I’m convinced the Portuguese are the cleanest people in the world so don’t hesitate to book the cheaper places.
- I also recommend staying in the old parts of town with the windy streets. The simplest room looking out on a cobble stone lane is very special. But avoid busy plaça, they can be noisy.
- We cabbed it from Pontevedra to Viana do Castelo to get back on the coastal route. I questioned this move immediately. The coastal/Senda litoral route is very easy walking with the constant of the crashing waves. It’s very meditative. I loved it when we started but I had a hard time getting back into it after a few days of the Central. With its changing scenery, woodland paths, cobblestone lanes, farms, villages, vineyards, stone walls, etc. you never get bored. I loved our Camino so I don’t know that I would do anything differently, maybe just being aware of that difference would be enough.
- Walking towards Caminha, we were sticking to the water so we came to a water taxi at Foz do Minho first and took it. We had a hotel booked in A Guarda so it seemed like a faster option. Missed out on Caminha completely though.
- Due to time constraints we had no days off and I would have liked one in A Guarda. We stayed at the convent which was well worth the splurge. We ate spectacularly at two places on the port - i really don’t think you can go wrong. If we’d taken a rest day I would have gone swimming at the beach.
- Some regrets in the next stretch. Lunch in Oia was wonderful, such a gorgeous little town! It would have been nice to stay there. We stayed in the next town, Viladesuso, which reminded me of a truck stop town in Florida. Really our first ugly town on the Camino. And a lot of this stretch is walking in a bike lane on a highway. So when we got the option to take a trail over the mountains, I have never been so happy to climb a hill in my life! I was practically skipping :) There’s a great little cafe as soon as you’re back on a road.
- There was a lot of talk among pilgrims about the best route into Vigo. We did the coastal route but I would love to hear more about the inland route(s). I was a bit bored with beaches by this point but we did go for a swim.
- Highly recommend Casa D’ Mina just past Ramalosa. Super special place in the middle of no where with a great bar next door and right on the Camino.
- We set out early from Pontevedra on the Variante Espiritual but it was a brutally hot day so in Combarro we were convinced not to attempt the climb to Armenteira. We accepted a ride with an American tour group. I still have mixed feelings. I felt like I was wimping out but I did talk to others who made the climb that day and they said it was just awful. No shade, mostly asphalt roads and ugly.
- We stayed at the monastery - super special.
- Rua da puerto y da agua did not disappoint, really lovely but went by too quickly. The second half of the walk to Vilanuevo da Arousa was through vineyards and along beaches. It was also lovely but very little shade on another 30+ degree day. As we walked that last 5km (that always seems 4 times longer than the first 5km of the day), a Spanish pilgrim said “¿Dónde está este $&@?! pueblo?!!” LOL
- We walked a little further than Padron the next day to shorten our last day. Unfortunately, the hotel was charmless and we were out of synch with our Camino friends so it was a lonely ending. Next time I would plan ahead, exchange contacts, etc. You want to be alone until you don’t want to be alone. And as you get closer to Santiago it gets busier with more big groups so the vibe really changes. It would have been nice to have some of our Camino friends around to recapture the earlier camaraderie.

We’re already planning more walking, maybe a Grand Randonnée in France.
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
I finished the Camino Portugues 2 weeks ago (my first). We did a hybrid Senta Litoral - Central - senta litoral - coastal - spiritual variante route. It was unseasonably hot (30-35 degrees) and absolutely no rain. I’ll put a few of my thoughts here:
- Senda litoral out of Porto was a great first day of walking. We spent a few hours in Matosinhos visiting the fish market and having a wonderful lunch at Tasquinha Porto de Leixões, a warm family run little place on a side street. We walked on to roughly Perafita making this a 21k day. We were tired but it wasn’t brutal. I’d actually recommend pushing yourself the first day especially since it’s very flat.
- We cabbed it over to the central route from Vila do Conde. Figured we weren’t cheating since we went sideways :)
- the walk from Barcelos to Casa Fernanda has no shade. It was 34 degrees and relentlessly sunny. We really hadn’t experienced any Camino camaraderie at that point so to stumble in near collapse and be embraced by Fernanda and a friendly group of pilgrims who had just had the same day was really very special.
- Other than Fernanda’s, we stayed in private rooms. Some of our favourites were in guest houses. Basically a house or apartment where multiple pilgrims stay in separate bedrooms and share a kitchen, living room and sometimes bathroom. They were impeccably clean, great locations and very reasonable. I’m convinced the Portuguese are the cleanest people in the world so don’t hesitate to book the cheaper places.
- I also recommend staying in the old parts of town with the windy streets. The simplest room looking out on a cobble stone lane is very special. But avoid busy plaça, they can be noisy.
- We cabbed it from Pontevedra to Viana do Castelo to get back on the coastal route. I questioned this move immediately. The coastal/Senda litoral route is very easy walking with the constant of the crashing waves. It’s very meditative. I loved it when we started but I had a hard time getting back into it after a few days of the Central. With its changing scenery, woodland paths, cobblestone lanes, farms, villages, vineyards, stone walls, etc. you never get bored. I loved our Camino so I don’t know that I would do anything differently, maybe just being aware of that difference would be enough.
- Walking towards Caminha, we were sticking to the water so we came to a water taxi at Foz do Minho first and took it. We had a hotel booked in A Guarda so it seemed like a faster option. Missed out on Caminha completely though.
- Due to time constraints we had no days off and I would have liked one in A Guarda. We stayed at the convent which was well worth the splurge. We ate spectacularly at two places on the port - i really don’t think you can go wrong. If we’d taken a rest day I would have gone swimming at the beach.
- Some regrets in the next stretch. Lunch in Oia was wonderful, such a gorgeous little town! It would have been nice to stay there. We stayed in the next town, Viladesuso, which reminded me of a truck stop town in Florida. Really our first ugly town on the Camino. And a lot of this stretch is walking in a bike lane on a highway. So when we got the option to take a trail over the mountains, I have never been so happy to climb a hill in my life! I was practically skipping :) There’s a great little cafe as soon as you’re back on a road.
- There was a lot of talk among pilgrims about the best route into Vigo. We did the coastal route but I would love to hear more about the inland route(s). I was a bit bored with beaches by this point but we did go for a swim.
- Highly recommend Casa D’ Mina just past Ramalosa. Super special place in the middle of no where with a great bar next door and right on the Camino.
- We set out early from Pontevedra on the Variante Espiritual but it was a brutally hot day so in Combarro we were convinced not to attempt the climb to Armenteira. We accepted a ride with an American tour group. I still have mixed feelings. I felt like I was wimping out but I did talk to others who made the climb that day and they said it was just awful. No shade, mostly asphalt roads and ugly.
- We stayed at the monastery - super special.
- Rua da puerto y da agua did not disappoint, really lovely but went by too quickly. The second half of the walk to Vilanuevo da Arousa was through vineyards and along beaches. It was also lovely but very little shade on another 30+ degree day. As we walked that last 5km (that always seems 4 times longer than the first 5km of the day), a Spanish pilgrim said “¿Dónde está este $&@?! pueblo?!!” LOL
- We walked a little further than Padron the next day to shorten our last day. Unfortunately, the hotel was charmless and we were out of synch with our Camino friends so it was a lonely ending. Next time I would plan ahead, exchange contacts, etc. You want to be alone until you don’t want to be alone. And as you get closer to Santiago it gets busier with more big groups so the vibe really changes. It would have been nice to have some of our Camino friends around to recapture the earlier camaraderie.

We’re already planning more walking, maybe a Grand Randonnée in France.
Thanks for the good report. I’m in the planning stages for next year and also want to do a hybrid CP, so this was very helpful
 
My walk from Barcelos to Casa Fernanda was the opposite! It was a day of downpour nonstop. I don’t even remember if there were no trees. But her greeting with wine and those fish fritters was much appreciated after such a long day in the rain.
 
Train for your next pilgrimage on Santa Catalina Island, March 17-20
My walk from Barcelos to Casa Fernanda was the opposite! It was a day of downpour nonstop. I don’t even remember if there were no trees. But her greeting with wine and those fish fritters was much appreciated after such a long day in the rain.
I was praying for rain! I have a well travelled brand new Decathlon poncho. Never left it’s pouch.
But Fernanda’s was all the sweeter for that brutal day.
A downside of switching routes was never seeing those wonderful people again after Pontevedra.
 
I finished the Camino Portugues 2 weeks ago (my first). We did a hybrid Senta Litoral - Central - senta litoral - coastal - spiritual variante route. It was unseasonably hot (30-35 degrees) and absolutely no rain. I’ll put a few of my thoughts here:
- Senda litoral out of Porto was a great first day of walking. We spent a few hours in Matosinhos visiting the fish market and having a wonderful lunch at Tasquinha Porto de Leixões, a warm family run little place on a side street. We walked on to roughly Perafita making this a 21k day. We were tired but it wasn’t brutal. I’d actually recommend pushing yourself the first day especially since it’s very flat.
- We cabbed it over to the central route from Vila do Conde. Figured we weren’t cheating since we went sideways :)
- the walk from Barcelos to Casa Fernanda has no shade. It was 34 degrees and relentlessly sunny. We really hadn’t experienced any Camino camaraderie at that point so to stumble in near collapse and be embraced by Fernanda and a friendly group of pilgrims who had just had the same day was really very special.
- Other than Fernanda’s, we stayed in private rooms. Some of our favourites were in guest houses. Basically a house or apartment where multiple pilgrims stay in separate bedrooms and share a kitchen, living room and sometimes bathroom. They were impeccably clean, great locations and very reasonable. I’m convinced the Portuguese are the cleanest people in the world so don’t hesitate to book the cheaper places.
- I also recommend staying in the old parts of town with the windy streets. The simplest room looking out on a cobble stone lane is very special. But avoid busy plaça, they can be noisy.
- We cabbed it from Pontevedra to Viana do Castelo to get back on the coastal route. I questioned this move immediately. The coastal/Senda litoral route is very easy walking with the constant of the crashing waves. It’s very meditative. I loved it when we started but I had a hard time getting back into it after a few days of the Central. With its changing scenery, woodland paths, cobblestone lanes, farms, villages, vineyards, stone walls, etc. you never get bored. I loved our Camino so I don’t know that I would do anything differently, maybe just being aware of that difference would be enough.
- Walking towards Caminha, we were sticking to the water so we came to a water taxi at Foz do Minho first and took it. We had a hotel booked in A Guarda so it seemed like a faster option. Missed out on Caminha completely though.
- Due to time constraints we had no days off and I would have liked one in A Guarda. We stayed at the convent which was well worth the splurge. We ate spectacularly at two places on the port - i really don’t think you can go wrong. If we’d taken a rest day I would have gone swimming at the beach.
- Some regrets in the next stretch. Lunch in Oia was wonderful, such a gorgeous little town! It would have been nice to stay there. We stayed in the next town, Viladesuso, which reminded me of a truck stop town in Florida. Really our first ugly town on the Camino. And a lot of this stretch is walking in a bike lane on a highway. So when we got the option to take a trail over the mountains, I have never been so happy to climb a hill in my life! I was practically skipping :) There’s a great little cafe as soon as you’re back on a road.
- There was a lot of talk among pilgrims about the best route into Vigo. We did the coastal route but I would love to hear more about the inland route(s). I was a bit bored with beaches by this point but we did go for a swim.
- Highly recommend Casa D’ Mina just past Ramalosa. Super special place in the middle of no where with a great bar next door and right on the Camino.
- We set out early from Pontevedra on the Variante Espiritual but it was a brutally hot day so in Combarro we were convinced not to attempt the climb to Armenteira. We accepted a ride with an American tour group. I still have mixed feelings. I felt like I was wimping out but I did talk to others who made the climb that day and they said it was just awful. No shade, mostly asphalt roads and ugly.
- We stayed at the monastery - super special.
- Rua da puerto y da agua did not disappoint, really lovely but went by too quickly. The second half of the walk to Vilanuevo da Arousa was through vineyards and along beaches. It was also lovely but very little shade on another 30+ degree day. As we walked that last 5km (that always seems 4 times longer than the first 5km of the day), a Spanish pilgrim said “¿Dónde está este $&@?! pueblo?!!” LOL
- We walked a little further than Padron the next day to shorten our last day. Unfortunately, the hotel was charmless and we were out of synch with our Camino friends so it was a lonely ending. Next time I would plan ahead, exchange contacts, etc. You want to be alone until you don’t want to be alone. And as you get closer to Santiago it gets busier with more big groups so the vibe really changes. It would have been nice to have some of our Camino friends around to recapture the earlier camaraderie.

We’re already planning more walking, maybe a Grand Randonnée in France.
Another note, and the old timers will roll their eyes so hard they’ll fall off their chairs, pay attention to elevation gain and at what point of the day it happens. The Pontevedra-Armentiera day, we planned to have a nice break in Combarro, air the feet/shoes/socks before starting the climb but this put us in the hottest part of the day.
Also, the sun didn’t come up until 8:30am and we had a no hiking in the dark policy. Call me a tourist but I want to see stuff. We did pick up the pace in the morning and rarely stopped until lunch.
 
I finished the Camino Portugues 2 weeks ago (my first). We did a hybrid Senta Litoral - Central - senta litoral - coastal - spiritual variante route. It was unseasonably hot (30-35 degrees) and absolutely no rain. I’ll put a few of my thoughts here:
- Senda litoral out of Porto was a great first day of walking. We spent a few hours in Matosinhos visiting the fish market and having a wonderful lunch at Tasquinha Porto de Leixões, a warm family run little place on a side street. We walked on to roughly Perafita making this a 21k day. We were tired but it wasn’t brutal. I’d actually recommend pushing yourself the first day especially since it’s very flat.
- We cabbed it over to the central route from Vila do Conde. Figured we weren’t cheating since we went sideways :)
- the walk from Barcelos to Casa Fernanda has no shade. It was 34 degrees and relentlessly sunny. We really hadn’t experienced any Camino camaraderie at that point so to stumble in near collapse and be embraced by Fernanda and a friendly group of pilgrims who had just had the same day was really very special.
- Other than Fernanda’s, we stayed in private rooms. Some of our favourites were in guest houses. Basically a house or apartment where multiple pilgrims stay in separate bedrooms and share a kitchen, living room and sometimes bathroom. They were impeccably clean, great locations and very reasonable. I’m convinced the Portuguese are the cleanest people in the world so don’t hesitate to book the cheaper places.
- I also recommend staying in the old parts of town with the windy streets. The simplest room looking out on a cobble stone lane is very special. But avoid busy plaça, they can be noisy.
- We cabbed it from Pontevedra to Viana do Castelo to get back on the coastal route. I questioned this move immediately. The coastal/Senda litoral route is very easy walking with the constant of the crashing waves. It’s very meditative. I loved it when we started but I had a hard time getting back into it after a few days of the Central. With its changing scenery, woodland paths, cobblestone lanes, farms, villages, vineyards, stone walls, etc. you never get bored. I loved our Camino so I don’t know that I would do anything differently, maybe just being aware of that difference would be enough.
- Walking towards Caminha, we were sticking to the water so we came to a water taxi at Foz do Minho first and took it. We had a hotel booked in A Guarda so it seemed like a faster option. Missed out on Caminha completely though.
- Due to time constraints we had no days off and I would have liked one in A Guarda. We stayed at the convent which was well worth the splurge. We ate spectacularly at two places on the port - i really don’t think you can go wrong. If we’d taken a rest day I would have gone swimming at the beach.
- Some regrets in the next stretch. Lunch in Oia was wonderful, such a gorgeous little town! It would have been nice to stay there. We stayed in the next town, Viladesuso, which reminded me of a truck stop town in Florida. Really our first ugly town on the Camino. And a lot of this stretch is walking in a bike lane on a highway. So when we got the option to take a trail over the mountains, I have never been so happy to climb a hill in my life! I was practically skipping :) There’s a great little cafe as soon as you’re back on a road.
- There was a lot of talk among pilgrims about the best route into Vigo. We did the coastal route but I would love to hear more about the inland route(s). I was a bit bored with beaches by this point but we did go for a swim.
- Highly recommend Casa D’ Mina just past Ramalosa. Super special place in the middle of no where with a great bar next door and right on the Camino.
- We set out early from Pontevedra on the Variante Espiritual but it was a brutally hot day so in Combarro we were convinced not to attempt the climb to Armenteira. We accepted a ride with an American tour group. I still have mixed feelings. I felt like I was wimping out but I did talk to others who made the climb that day and they said it was just awful. No shade, mostly asphalt roads and ugly.
- We stayed at the monastery - super special.
- Rua da puerto y da agua did not disappoint, really lovely but went by too quickly. The second half of the walk to Vilanuevo da Arousa was through vineyards and along beaches. It was also lovely but very little shade on another 30+ degree day. As we walked that last 5km (that always seems 4 times longer than the first 5km of the day), a Spanish pilgrim said “¿Dónde está este $&@?! pueblo?!!” LOL
- We walked a little further than Padron the next day to shorten our last day. Unfortunately, the hotel was charmless and we were out of synch with our Camino friends so it was a lonely ending. Next time I would plan ahead, exchange contacts, etc. You want to be alone until you don’t want to be alone. And as you get closer to Santiago it gets busier with more big groups so the vibe really changes. It would have been nice to have some of our Camino friends around to recapture the earlier camaraderie.

We’re already planning more walking, maybe a Grand Randonnée in

I’ve walked a few other Caminos and I’m planning on walking Portuguese in the spring. Thank you for great information! Buen Camino 🥾
I finished the Camino Portugues 2 weeks ago (my first). We did a hybrid Senta Litoral - Central - senta litoral - coastal - spiritual variante route. It was unseasonably hot (30-35 degrees) and absolutely no rain. I’ll put a few of my thoughts here:
- Senda litoral out of Porto was a great first day of walking. We spent a few hours in Matosinhos visiting the fish market and having a wonderful lunch at Tasquinha Porto de Leixões, a warm family run little place on a side street. We walked on to roughly Perafita making this a 21k day. We were tired but it wasn’t brutal. I’d actually recommend pushing yourself the first day especially since it’s very flat.
- We cabbed it over to the central route from Vila do Conde. Figured we weren’t cheating since we went sideways :)
- the walk from Barcelos to Casa Fernanda has no shade. It was 34 degrees and relentlessly sunny. We really hadn’t experienced any Camino camaraderie at that point so to stumble in near collapse and be embraced by Fernanda and a friendly group of pilgrims who had just had the same day was really very special.
- Other than Fernanda’s, we stayed in private rooms. Some of our favourites were in guest houses. Basically a house or apartment where multiple pilgrims stay in separate bedrooms and share a kitchen, living room and sometimes bathroom. They were impeccably clean, great locations and very reasonable. I’m convinced the Portuguese are the cleanest people in the world so don’t hesitate to book the cheaper places.
- I also recommend staying in the old parts of town with the windy streets. The simplest room looking out on a cobble stone lane is very special. But avoid busy plaça, they can be noisy.
- We cabbed it from Pontevedra to Viana do Castelo to get back on the coastal route. I questioned this move immediately. The coastal/Senda litoral route is very easy walking with the constant of the crashing waves. It’s very meditative. I loved it when we started but I had a hard time getting back into it after a few days of the Central. With its changing scenery, woodland paths, cobblestone lanes, farms, villages, vineyards, stone walls, etc. you never get bored. I loved our Camino so I don’t know that I would do anything differently, maybe just being aware of that difference would be enough.
- Walking towards Caminha, we were sticking to the water so we came to a water taxi at Foz do Minho first and took it. We had a hotel booked in A Guarda so it seemed like a faster option. Missed out on Caminha completely though.
- Due to time constraints we had no days off and I would have liked one in A Guarda. We stayed at the convent which was well worth the splurge. We ate spectacularly at two places on the port - i really don’t think you can go wrong. If we’d taken a rest day I would have gone swimming at the beach.
- Some regrets in the next stretch. Lunch in Oia was wonderful, such a gorgeous little town! It would have been nice to stay there. We stayed in the next town, Viladesuso, which reminded me of a truck stop town in Florida. Really our first ugly town on the Camino. And a lot of this stretch is walking in a bike lane on a highway. So when we got the option to take a trail over the mountains, I have never been so happy to climb a hill in my life! I was practically skipping :) There’s a great little cafe as soon as you’re back on a road.
- There was a lot of talk among pilgrims about the best route into Vigo. We did the coastal route but I would love to hear more about the inland route(s). I was a bit bored with beaches by this point but we did go for a swim.
- Highly recommend Casa D’ Mina just past Ramalosa. Super special place in the middle of no where with a great bar next door and right on the Camino.
- We set out early from Pontevedra on the Variante Espiritual but it was a brutally hot day so in Combarro we were convinced not to attempt the climb to Armenteira. We accepted a ride with an American tour group. I still have mixed feelings. I felt like I was wimping out but I did talk to others who made the climb that day and they said it was just awful. No shade, mostly asphalt roads and ugly.
- We stayed at the monastery - super special.
- Rua da puerto y da agua did not disappoint, really lovely but went by too quickly. The second half of the walk to Vilanuevo da Arousa was through vineyards and along beaches. It was also lovely but very little shade on another 30+ degree day. As we walked that last 5km (that always seems 4 times longer than the first 5km of the day), a Spanish pilgrim said “¿Dónde está este $&@?! pueblo?!!” LOL
- We walked a little further than Padron the next day to shorten our last day. Unfortunately, the hotel was charmless and we were out of synch with our Camino friends so it was a lonely ending. Next time I would plan ahead, exchange contacts, etc. You want to be alone until you don’t want to be alone. And as you get closer to Santiago it gets busier with more big groups so the vibe really changes. It would have been nice to have some of our Camino friends around to recapture the earlier camaraderie.

We’re already planning more walking, maybe a Grand Randonnée in France.
I’ve walked a few other Caminos and I’m planning on walking Portuguese in the spring. Thank you for great information! Buen Camino 🥾
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
I finished the Camino Portugues 2 weeks ago (my first). We did a hybrid Senta Litoral - Central - senta litoral - coastal - spiritual variante route. It was unseasonably hot (30-35 degrees) and absolutely no rain. I’ll put a few of my thoughts here:
- Senda litoral out of Porto was a great first day of walking. We spent a few hours in Matosinhos visiting the fish market and having a wonderful lunch at Tasquinha Porto de Leixões, a warm family run little place on a side street. We walked on to roughly Perafita making this a 21k day. We were tired but it wasn’t brutal. I’d actually recommend pushing yourself the first day especially since it’s very flat.
- We cabbed it over to the central route from Vila do Conde. Figured we weren’t cheating since we went sideways :)
- the walk from Barcelos to Casa Fernanda has no shade. It was 34 degrees and relentlessly sunny. We really hadn’t experienced any Camino camaraderie at that point so to stumble in near collapse and be embraced by Fernanda and a friendly group of pilgrims who had just had the same day was really very special.
- Other than Fernanda’s, we stayed in private rooms. Some of our favourites were in guest houses. Basically a house or apartment where multiple pilgrims stay in separate bedrooms and share a kitchen, living room and sometimes bathroom. They were impeccably clean, great locations and very reasonable. I’m convinced the Portuguese are the cleanest people in the world so don’t hesitate to book the cheaper places.
- I also recommend staying in the old parts of town with the windy streets. The simplest room looking out on a cobble stone lane is very special. But avoid busy plaça, they can be noisy.
- We cabbed it from Pontevedra to Viana do Castelo to get back on the coastal route. I questioned this move immediately. The coastal/Senda litoral route is very easy walking with the constant of the crashing waves. It’s very meditative. I loved it when we started but I had a hard time getting back into it after a few days of the Central. With its changing scenery, woodland paths, cobblestone lanes, farms, villages, vineyards, stone walls, etc. you never get bored. I loved our Camino so I don’t know that I would do anything differently, maybe just being aware of that difference would be enough.
- Walking towards Caminha, we were sticking to the water so we came to a water taxi at Foz do Minho first and took it. We had a hotel booked in A Guarda so it seemed like a faster option. Missed out on Caminha completely though.
- Due to time constraints we had no days off and I would have liked one in A Guarda. We stayed at the convent which was well worth the splurge. We ate spectacularly at two places on the port - i really don’t think you can go wrong. If we’d taken a rest day I would have gone swimming at the beach.
- Some regrets in the next stretch. Lunch in Oia was wonderful, such a gorgeous little town! It would have been nice to stay there. We stayed in the next town, Viladesuso, which reminded me of a truck stop town in Florida. Really our first ugly town on the Camino. And a lot of this stretch is walking in a bike lane on a highway. So when we got the option to take a trail over the mountains, I have never been so happy to climb a hill in my life! I was practically skipping :) There’s a great little cafe as soon as you’re back on a road.
- There was a lot of talk among pilgrims about the best route into Vigo. We did the coastal route but I would love to hear more about the inland route(s). I was a bit bored with beaches by this point but we did go for a swim.
- Highly recommend Casa D’ Mina just past Ramalosa. Super special place in the middle of no where with a great bar next door and right on the Camino.
- We set out early from Pontevedra on the Variante Espiritual but it was a brutally hot day so in Combarro we were convinced not to attempt the climb to Armenteira. We accepted a ride with an American tour group. I still have mixed feelings. I felt like I was wimping out but I did talk to others who made the climb that day and they said it was just awful. No shade, mostly asphalt roads and ugly.
- We stayed at the monastery - super special.
- Rua da puerto y da agua did not disappoint, really lovely but went by too quickly. The second half of the walk to Vilanuevo da Arousa was through vineyards and along beaches. It was also lovely but very little shade on another 30+ degree day. As we walked that last 5km (that always seems 4 times longer than the first 5km of the day), a Spanish pilgrim said “¿Dónde está este $&@?! pueblo?!!” LOL
- We walked a little further than Padron the next day to shorten our last day. Unfortunately, the hotel was charmless and we were out of synch with our Camino friends so it was a lonely ending. Next time I would plan ahead, exchange contacts, etc. You want to be alone until you don’t want to be alone. And as you get closer to Santiago it gets busier with more big groups so the vibe really changes. It would have been nice to have some of our Camino friends around to recapture the earlier camaraderie.

We’re already planning more walking, maybe a Grand Randonnée in France.
When I did the Portuguese Littoral/Coastal in late October 2022, I took the Coastal route from Baiona up to the option point at the Citroen factory, as it was too stormy to do the Littoral route along the ocean that day. At the option point, where markers point both left and right, I went left and crossed Rio Lagares on a footbridge, turning right to follow a good path alongside the river, which has good shade for sunny days. This path doesn’t have many arrows until it ends across the street from the large park where it joins the Camino into Vigo. I highly recommend this route among the many ways to approach Vigo.
 
When I did the Portuguese Littoral/Coastal in late October 2022, I took the Coastal route from Baiona up to the option point at the Citroen factory, as it was too stormy to do the Littoral route along the ocean that day. At the option point, where markers point both left and right, I went left and crossed Rio Lagares on a footbridge, turning right to follow a good path alongside the river, which has good shade for sunny days. This path doesn’t have many arrows until it ends across the street from the large park where it joins the Camino into Vigo. I highly recommend this route among the many ways to approach Vigo.
That sounds nice! I found the instructions in the Wise Pilgrim app so daunting. I hate walking and checking a map constantly. It makes the day drag. We did luck out with some nice cafes and restaurants on the coastal route.

Restaurante Portiño
Camiño do Portiño, 78, 36392 Vigo, Pontevedra, Spain
Café overlooking a gorgeous little pocket beach. Too early to eat but they were very nice people.

Restaurante Machina
Rúa de Canido, 181, 36390 Vigo, Pontevedra, Spain
Best grilled pulpo of our Camino! The owner is a real character.
 
I loved the Portugués and found a lot of clues about the how/why and symbolism around caminos in the last handful of days. If you're into the history and sites consider visiting La Peregrina in Pontevedra, the Variante Espiritual, boat ride to Padrón, Padrón itself, Albergue Cruces De Iria in Iria Flavia. I should go back and do parts I didn't do! I walked from Lisbon and loved the ruins of Conímbriga and Tomar if someone had extra time getting back to Lisbon or something.
 
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.

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