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Partial coastal or full inland route?

ladnergal

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino de Santiago, 2015
I will be doing the Porto to Santiago camino starting around mid April. I was thinking of doing the coastal as far as Vila do Conde and then heading over to Arcos and continuing on the central one. My reason for this is I think it may be less industrial at the outset. Would this be true? Any benefit doing it this way?
 
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Albertinho

ninguém disse que era fácil !
Year of past OR future Camino
2013 Lisboa - Sant.
2014 Ferrol -Sant.
2015 Porto -Sant.
2018 Porto -Valença
2019 Valença -Sant.
I have a better idea for you. I did it several times

I walked from Porto to Viana do Castelo and from there took the bus to Balugães (look at a map (google maps or whatever) and start from there the yellow waymarkers of the central Portuguese caminho.
Why ...? After three kms from Balugães you will encounter the farmost best albergue of the entire Portuguese caminho, Casa da Fernanda in Vitorino dos Piães
The albergue is at the waymarked caminho path at the left side . A sign at the gardenpath, Lugar do Corgo, points to the house .
If you haven't been at Casa da Fernanda, you haven't been on the Caminho Português !

Bom caminho


By the way. The only industrial area you pass by is just outside Matosinhos. Further more around the caminhopaths (coastal or central) you will not find much industry. It is mainly rural. You will like Portugal 🇵🇹
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I will be doing the Porto to Santiago camino starting around mid April. I was thinking of doing the coastal as far as Vila do Conde and then heading over to Arcos and continuing on the central one. My reason for this is I think it may be less industrial at the outset. Would this be true? Any benefit doing it this way?
I walked the Portuguese route like you have planned and was a good choice for me (some of each)...you will still have opportunity to stop at Casa Fernanda's, either to say hello or stay the night.
 

Phoenix

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2014, CF: partial
2016, CF
2018, CF: partial
2019, CP
Last fall I did the Litoral>Coastal to Esposende then took a bus to Barcelos to join the central route. My plan was to continue on the central to SdC, but after 2 days I realized that I missed the coast and took a bus from Ponte de Lima to Viana do Castelo. Although my zig-zag route added a day to my Camino, as someone who lives in a mountainous area of the US I didn't mind an additional day along the beautiful Portuguese coast.
 
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jsalt

Jill
Year of past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
My reason for this is I think it may be less industrial at the outset. Would this be true? Any benefit doing it this way?

Both routes, Coastal and Central, are good; neither are particularly “industrial”. Portugal is not an industrial country. Lots of residential suburbs though, and villages. I suggest you choose either the Coastal or the Central. Then you can go back another time and walk the other route :D.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
cycled from Pamplona Sep 2015;Frances, walked from St Jean May/June 2017. Plans to walk Porto 2020
Hola - our plan (at this time) is to walk the coastal camino from Porto to at least Caminha and then follow the river to Valenca and Tui. We look at going all coastal via Vigo but the extra distance has worked against this route. Our purpose is to try to stay away for major towns or industrial areas. Plus we like the prospect of ocean views. (Yes we know about the petrochemical plant on day one). Cheers for now.
 

jsalt

Jill
Year of past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
Yes we know about the petrochemical plant on day one

I took a group of 15 on the Coastal route in Sep 2018, and we had a thick sea mist that day, so that none of them even saw the petrochemical plant, let alone know it was there! And we walked right past it. I didn’t enlighten them, especially as the sea mist deadened the sound from it as well.
 

jsalt

Jill
Year of past OR future Camino
Portugués, Francés, LePuy, Rota Vicentina, Norte, Madrid, C2C, Salvador, Primitivo, Aragonés, Inglés
The petrochemical plant on a clear day:
1048Petrogal.jpg
 

Walking Lover

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CdS from Leon to Santiago, June 16, 2016 to June 30, 2016.
I will be doing the Porto to Santiago camino starting around mid April. I was thinking of doing the coastal as far as Vila do Conde and then heading over to Arcos and continuing on the central one. My reason for this is I think it may be less industrial at the outset. Would this be true? Any benefit doing it this way?
Part coastal on the boardwalk
 
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roving_rufus

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2013-2015) Portugues (2017-2019) Via Francigena (2018-??) Camino from Ireland (2020-??)
The walk to Vila do Conde along the coast was a nice little contrast to the rest of the route, and it is a fairly pleasant route to get out of a city with minimal traffic to deal with and water on one side for the less than pretty sections. I chose to keep on the coast to Caminha and then up along the river to reach Tui but that was because I had walked from Lisbon and so this provided a nice change! But the option to switch over from Vila do Conde to the Central makes sense to me as a way to leave the centre of Porto in a fairly pleasant way.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2018
I will be doing the Porto to Santiago camino starting around mid April. I was thinking of doing the coastal as far as Vila do Conde and then heading over to Arcos and continuing on the central one. My reason for this is I think it may be less industrial at the outset. Would this be true? Any benefit doing it this way?
This makes sense but I suspect that you want to take the Senda Litoral out of Porto to Vila do Conde (along the river and up the coast by the seashore) rather than the Coastal (which heads north rather than west out of the city, then goes northwest to join the coast at Vila do Conde). The naming of the routes can be confusing.

The advantage of doing it this way is you get a taste of the coast but also get to experience much of the best of what the Central has to offer. This is how I did my Camino Portugues.
 

Rina22

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Arriving in Porto Portugal May 22 2017 to walk the coastal camino.
I will be doing the Porto to Santiago camino starting around mid April. I was thinking of doing the coastal as far as Vila do Conde and then heading over to Arcos and continuing on the central one. My reason for this is I think it may be less industrial at the outset. Would this be true? Any benefit doing it this way?
The coastal is gorgeous and you could do it all the way to Caminha then go inland.
 

KariC

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Caminho portugûes (2016)
Le Puy 2021 or 2022 ??
I did it the way you are proposing, and it was great. Being from the desert, I thought I would want to go longer along the ocean, but I am actually thrilled that' I followed some people I met up with inland.
 

twh

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances May/June, 2018
Porto-Muxia-Finisterre Oct (2019)
I like variety so I did a similar route. First day from Porto along the ocean on the board walk, then the central route to Pontevedra where I turned west on the Spiritual route loop (that includes a boat ride) to Padron where I joined the crowds for the final day and half of walking into Santiago. After that it was a beautiful 3 day walk to Finisterre and 1 day walk to Muxia and then a bus back to Santiago.

If you can, stay flexible and let what's happening around you (weather, people, places, feelings) guide you. If you budget a few extra days you can take advantage of this flexibility. I had heard that walking Porto to Vila do Condo can be unpleasant if it's very windy (rain or shine) so check a forecast just before you leave your Porto accommodations. I had decided ahead of time that I wanted a shorter first day (20 - 25 km) walk to insure I didn't over do it on day one. Thus I had decided to take public transport to my starting point on the coast if the weather forecast was favorable and if not, then public transport to my starting point on the inland route north of Porto, avoiding some of the less interesting city walking. I had a relaxed breakfast and at 9am checked the weather and the coastal route had a sunny, warm and light winds forecast so I took public transport and got dropped off north of Matosinhos but south of the Boa Nova Lighthouse and enjoyed day one walking with the beautiful sand, sun and surf constantly filling my senses.

I was not planning to take the Spiritual loop and actually made my decision to do so when I arrived at the turn off. I was starting to yearn for a less busy walking path so I spontaneously took it. I had done some research before the trip about the Spiritual Variant and the highlights everyone talked about was staying over at the Monastery. Although it sounded like a great experience it wasn't enough to sway me during my planning stage and it sounded like reservations were required several days in advance. I'd also read about the boat ride to Prado that did not excite me and many reviewers said it could be uncomfortable if you got the very exposed 12 passenger boat due to rain, wind, cold and fog since it leaves early in the morning. I thought that was the boat I signed up for but it did not show up on time and about an hour later a larger boat showed up that took about 25 of us onboard and it was tightly packed but had walls, windows and a ceiling. It was cold and wet and a good thing the little boat did not make it. They try to make the boat ride interesting but it isn't. There are various crosses on the side of the river and clam farming going on and they serve hot tea at one point in a dixie cup while we are all sitting on top of each other. I did appreciate the effort but the biggest benefit to me was the boat ride replaced almost a full day of walking, so I stayed on the same walking schedule as the rest of my camino family who I had met along the way that had stayed on the main path and I was able to rendezvous with them all at noon the next day in Santiago.

I had given myself a buffer of 2 days for the whole trip but did not use them and I budgeted 3 days to walk back to Santiago from Muxia. I arrived to Muxia during a blustery day that included a few storms that blew over me, sunshine, clouds, extreme winds, rain, calm, warmth and cold...it was one of the strangest weather days I have ever experienced. The next 6 days was a forecast of storms and lot's of rain so I took a very early bus the next morning to Santiago, then a bus to the airport where I figured out where to go next to use up my remaining days before my flight from Porto left for home. I ended up going to Barcelona via Madrid. It was a much better idea than walking 3 days in the rain and sitting for 2 more days in Santiago. I also got to experience some of the most intense protests in Barcelona in October of 2019 which was interesting from a cultural perspective. It also had the benefit of being able to peacefully stroll down the middle of some of the busiest roads because they were blocked off from traffic. Barricades were set up in advance in the morning providing a park like experience when walking because the protestors mostly came out in mass later in the day. Make the best out of whatever happens and stay flexible. Bom Caminho
 
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Tony Walsh

Tony in Perth
Year of past OR future Camino
Sarria last 120km 2014, Full Camino Frances 2017, Via Francigena 2018, Coast Caomino Portugues 2020
We are doing the Coast route starting in early June, 6 days up to Baiona, then a days rest, and then another 6 days into SDeC. So effectively 7 days coast and 5 days inland, which after driving it all in 2019, when we stayed in Ponte de Lima for 2 weeks, feels like a good balance.
If you go inland, Ponte de Lima is very picturesque with friendly people.
 

LynneR

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF '16, '18
We are doing the Coast route starting in early June, 6 days up to Baiona, then a days rest, and then another 6 days into SDeC. So effectively 7 days coast and 5 days inland, which after driving it all in 2019, when we stayed in Ponte de Lima for 2 weeks, feels like a good balance.
If you go inland, Ponte de Lima is very picturesque with friendly people.

Hi, I am considering doing the CP in June. When you switch from the coast to the inland route, do you know that there is a path that connects at those two points? I'd like to do a bit of the coast, but not the whole way. I'm trying to find a good place to cross over.
Thanks!
Lynne
 

The Kolbist

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
past: Frances, inland Portuguese, Fatima
future: Del Norte, coastal Porugues, Englis
I will be doing the Porto to Santiago camino starting around mid April. I was thinking of doing the coastal as far as Vila do Conde and then heading over to Arcos and continuing on the central one. My reason for this is I think it may be less industrial at the outset. Would this be true? Any benefit doing it this way?
We did exactly that. The acqueduct in Villa Do Conde is amazing during Sunrise. I love the long walk along boardwalk in Porto. Here's our video. hope this helps...
 

Quadragesima

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Portugues (2020)
I walked the way you are describing in January and loved the boardwalks by the coast, so I definitely recommend the Senada Littoral. Be careful around the port area (Laixos), though—I got lost and ended up walking an extra 6-7 km, which made for a very long first day. I highly recommend the albergue at Rates (just after Arcos) for your second night—it’s the friendliest place I stayed on the whole route!
 
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