A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement

Portuguese Camino

Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugal
#1
Hello all,

We are avid hikers from Canada, in our late 40's and early 50's. Our plan is to walk the camino to Santiago from Porto next September 2019 and haven't made up our mind yet which route to take, Inland, Coastal or a combination of the 2. I'm sure we will figure that out with all the advice on this forum.
A few questions we would have tho is some feedback from all of you on using an agency over organizing and booking our own itinerary. My Dutch background always has me looking for the best bang for my buck and to save a few dollars (-:

Here are some questions;
1) Seeing that we want to walk the camino in September 2019 (6th to 20th approximately) would we need to prebook accommodation? We would want our own room (no dormitory style) so is there enough hotels or guesthouses available?
2) Do you find that paying by credit card (Visa and/or MC) is widely accepted in hotels and restaurants?
3) Is there anyone that traveled the camino route from Porto without pre booking accommodation and any feedback you can share?
4) Where and on which route is the best and most interesting place to take a 1 day break from hiking?
5) Anyone that thinks they have the best route suggestion and is willing to share this from town to town?

Appealing to us is the luggage transfer offered by some agencies, and it doesn't seem there is another way around that if you don't want to carry things other then a small daypack. Any thoughts on that would be appreciated
 
Camino(s) past & future
Past 2016:Sarria - Santiago
Past 2018:Central CP & Finist-Muxia-SdC
Future 2020:Via Francigena
#2
Hi Martin&Yvonne,

We finished our Portuguese Caminho just this August. We went by the central route from Lisbon.
1& 3. We never pre-booked accommodation but did stay in dormitory rooms (ages 47 & 49 costing 6 - 15 euro each. Some albergues did have single rooms but at double the price. We did not look for hotels or guesthouses so I can't answer that question. Porto was the only place we thought we might not get a room. If you are starting there I would pre-book so you can relax before you start.
2. We used a multi currency passport card which was effectively a MC without the fees and being attached to our home accounts. We had one major issue with this. In smaller places the ATMs would not accept our card. So we learned to plan and get extra money out in the larger places.
4. We LOVED the central route. Lots of farmland, villages, cornfields, tomato fields, forests, hilltops, just stunning and quite peaceful walking. A one day break...We changed our end of day destination from the Brierley suggested endings after Porto as the path became very busy with pilgrims. And since we were not booking we worried we might not get a bed. For a day rest perhaps Barcelos or Ponte de Lima - both quite beautiful with a lot of history. Redondela & Padron likewise. Do some research and see which fulfils your curiosities.
5. Like I stated earlier we LOVED the central route and followed Brierley. The route was great and well marked. We met wonderful people and made life long Caminho family members.

Whichever route you chose it will be the right one for you. Caminho is an amazing experience. Planning is half of the enjoyment in anticipation. Have fun, good luck and Bom Caminho. Connie and Adriano.
 
Camino(s) past & future
(2015) Frances
(2018) Portuguese
(2019) VdP Seville to Salamanca
(2020) VdP Salamanca to Santiago
#3
1) Seeing that we want to walk the camino in September 2019 (6th to 20th approximately)....

Contrary to many, I have always prebooked. That way, I know I can just enjoy the walk without worrying about where I'm going to stay. That said, I don't think you'll have much of a problem. I walked during that same time period and there were many vacancies (even at the better hotels).

2) Do you find that paying by credit card (Visa and/or MC)....
Hotels - mostly yes. Restaurants vary. If it's a larger restaurant they usually do but smaller town restaurants often only accept cash. That said, in those restaurants meals are usually under 15E per person.

4) Where and on which route is the best...
It depends on what you like. The national park off the coast of Baiona (or Vigo) is very nice to spend a day (you can also talk the ferry company into letting you take the ferry to the island from Baiona and then another ferry to Vigo if you want to). Caminha is also a nice town to spend some time in. Baiona and Vigo are both larger cities that have the amenities and places to just stroll.

5) Anyone that thinks they have the best route....
This really depends on what distance you want to walk each day. Having walked the Camino Frances, I found the inland portions of the Portuguese not as nice. I did enjoy the coastal portions (particularly those just outside Porto and up to Esponsende (although the fog got in the way). I used a service to set up the hotels and routing based on my limitations and interests and didn't regret it at all. They provided excellent accomodations, luggage routing, and a little route assistance but nothing else so I was on my own.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugese (2018)
#4
Having wanted to stay in hotels we used the booking.com app. It worked perfectly. Easy to book. Easy to cancel. Reviews at the fingertips. I’d suggest a rest day in Tui. It’s about 1/2. Tui, Spain and it’s neighboring town of Valenca, Portugal are fabulous. We stayed at a small hotel that was just perfect called Hotel a Torre do Xudue. This is on the central route. We walked along the coast day 1 and then to the central route http://www.booking.com/Share-Gnavp2
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugese (2018)
#5
Also regarding the baggage transfer service: We carried the first 100 miles and then after developing some leg issues we used Correos which is run by the Spanish postal service. So worth it. About 6 Euros per day and they took our packs from hotel to hotel. Never an issue
 
#6
Hello all,

Here are some questions;
1) Seeing that we want to walk the camino in September 2019 (6th to 20th approximately) would we need to prebook accommodation? We would want our own room (no dormitory style) so is there enough hotels or guesthouses available?
My CP trip will be May 12 to 30, 2019. Except in Porrino, all hotels are booked with free cancellation either through booking.com, expedia, or directly with the hotels whichever offer the best prices.

I guess hotels in Porrino do not accept reservation till the new season (April, 2019. )

Air Transact from Toronto directly to Porto was C$633.00 purchased in May this year.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2016)
Camino Portugues (June-2018)
#7
We walked the Coastal Route in June, 2018. And we loved it. We would call ahead each morning to book beds but had no trouble whatsoever. The Camino is typically a cash society especially in the smaller towns. If you are aware of that and plan ahead some, you will be able to find plenty of ATM's. Plan to stay a couple of days in Porto before starting out. It is a beautiful city with much to see. We did not find the Brierley book particularly helpful so find something that breaks down the coastal route with much greater detail.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugal
#8
Hi Martin&Yvonne,

We finished our Portuguese Caminho just this August. We went by the central route from Lisbon.
1& 3. We never pre-booked accommodation but did stay in dormitory rooms (ages 47 & 49 costing 6 - 15 euro each. Some albergues did have single rooms but at double the price. We did not look for hotels or guesthouses so I can't answer that question. Porto was the only place we thought we might not get a room. If you are starting there I would pre-book so you can relax before you start.
2. We used a multi currency passport card which was effectively a MC without the fees and being attached to our home accounts. We had one major issue with this. In smaller places the ATMs would not accept our card. So we learned to plan and get extra money out in the larger places.
4. We LOVED the central route. Lots of farmland, villages, cornfields, tomato fields, forests, hilltops, just stunning and quite peaceful walking. A one day break...We changed our end of day destination from the Brierley suggested endings after Porto as the path became very busy with pilgrims. And since we were not booking we worried we might not get a bed. For a day rest perhaps Barcelos or Ponte de Lima - both quite beautiful with a lot of history. Redondela & Padron likewise. Do some research and see which fulfils your curiosities.
5. Like I stated earlier we LOVED the central route and followed Brierley. The route was great and well marked. We met wonderful people and made life long Caminho family members.

Whichever route you chose it will be the right one for you. Caminho is an amazing experience. Planning is half of the enjoyment in anticipation. Have fun, good luck and Bom Caminho. Connie and Adriano.
Hello Connie and Adriano. Thank you for your reply! Really appreciated. Kudos to you guys for sticking it out in a dorm. It would bring us right back to our backpacking days 25+ years ago in your home country but nowadays prefer to stay away from the sounds and smells that come with that. Having said that, if need be we wouldn’t be opposed to an occasional dorm.

About the style of CC you mentioned we are not familiar with it but reading through all the comments, paying for accommodation and in many cases food at restaurants shouldn’t be a problem. And then there is always the option of the ATM machines.

Thank you for the route suggestion. It’s going to be a toss up which route to take.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugal
#9
1) Seeing that we want to walk the camino in September 2019 (6th to 20th approximately)....

Contrary to many, I have always prebooked. That way, I know I can just enjoy the walk without worrying about where I'm going to stay. That said, I don't think you'll have much of a problem. I walked during that same time period and there were many vacancies (even at the better hotels).

2) Do you find that paying by credit card (Visa and/or MC)....
Hotels - mostly yes. Restaurants vary. If it's a larger restaurant they usually do but smaller town restaurants often only accept cash. That said, in those restaurants meals are usually under 15E per person.

4) Where and on which route is the best...
It depends on what you like. The national park off the coast of Baiona (or Vigo) is very nice to spend a day (you can also talk the ferry company into letting you take the ferry to the island from Baiona and then another ferry to Vigo if you want to). Caminha is also a nice town to spend some time in. Baiona and Vigo are both larger cities that have the amenities and places to just stroll.

5) Anyone that thinks they have the best route....
This really depends on what distance you want to walk each day. Having walked the Camino Frances, I found the inland portions of the Portuguese not as nice. I did enjoy the coastal portions (particularly those just outside Porto and up to Esponsende (although the fog got in the way). I used a service to set up the hotels and routing based on my limitations and interests and didn't regret it at all. They provided excellent accomodations, luggage routing, and a little route assistance but nothing else so I was on my own.

Hi John,

Thanks for your reply. I take it you walked both the inland and coastal Camino ?
That’s interesting. We still haven’t figured out what to do. In a way the coastal appeals to me. I personally love the ocean and beach living in landlocked Alberta Canada. (I realize that walking the coastal doesn’t necessarily mean you are walking along the ocean mostly) But also reading a lot of good stuff about the inland.

May I ask which travel agency you used? I haven’t read much about that on the forum but we have looked into a few different ones.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugal
#10
Having wanted to stay in hotels we used the booking.com app. It worked perfectly. Easy to book. Easy to cancel. Reviews at the fingertips. I’d suggest a rest day in Tui. It’s about 1/2. Tui, Spain and it’s neighboring town of Valenca, Portugal are fabulous. We stayed at a small hotel that was just perfect called Hotel a Torre do Xudue. This is on the central route. We walked along the coast day 1 and then to the central route http://www.booking.com/Share-Gnavp2
Thanks David!

Very familiar with Booking. I’m a Genius member........
Did you find that Wifi is widely available in hotels and restaurants? Or did you have a data plan. We usually don’t buy any data for traveling oversees, just putting our phones on airplane mode and use wifi when available. Your response is appreciated.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugal
#11
Also regarding the baggage transfer service: We carried the first 100 miles and then after developing some leg issues we used Correos which is run by the Spanish postal service. So worth it. About 6 Euros per day and they took our packs from hotel to hotel. Never an issue
I find this very interesting. Do I understand it right that you were only able to use this in Spain?is that service available in Portugal as well? Any problems you ran into with language etc?would really appreciate if you could explain the process of arranging for that service. How exactly does it work? And 6 euro,s per BP per day correct?
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugal
#12
My CP trip will be May 12 to 30, 2019. Except in Porrino, all hotels are booked with free cancellation either through booking.com, expedia, or directly with the hotels whichever offer the best prices.

I guess hotels in Porrino do not accept reservation till the new season (April, 2019. )

Air Transact from Toronto directly to Porto was C$633.00 purchased in May this year.
Thanks!we would be flying from Calgary. Likely Air Canada due to our aeroplan miles. But thanks for your advice.
 
Camino(s) past & future
September 2016
#13
I just returned from the CAMINO Portuguese from Lisbon to Santiago. Went along the coast from Porto Northwards and it was stunning. Most of the sends litoral is finished with boardwalk and only a couple of places were on hard sand. Stunning beaches; even went swimming once(cold water though!). Did not pay with card but cash; cash machines in Portugal will give you a maximum of 200euros per transaction. Stayed in dorms, private or double or triple rooms and only booked the night before when I could; otherwise took my chance and provided I got there by 2:00pm had no problem. It was very hot early September so started sometimes at 05:30 am with friends..... Great route!
Good luck.
 

Rex

Pilgrim Trekker
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdP to Santiago (2013)
Lisboa to Santiago (2018)
#14
Just finished CP from Lisbon to Santiago on Sept 15. Only place where there were zero rooms was Ponte de Lima, completely due to the giant festival that occurs on the first or second weekend of Sept each year. Note: I used private hostels and small hotels or private homes for rooms. Only stayed in one albergue, as combination of snorers/early risers seems to ensure that I can’t get enough sleep in those situations. I’ve commented on another thread about asking at bar cafes for recommendations, or if any of the locals rent rooms (when hotels are all booked). Used Booking.com for the 2 nights where it was necessary to arrange a room in advance.
WiFi is available in virtually every bar, cafe, hotel, etc... along the route, but you may have to ask. Didn’t use a data plan, just Wi-Fi (personal opinion, ATT, my USA carrier, charges exorbitant prices for any usage overseas, as the best plan (data, text and phone) they could offer would have run me almost USD200 for the trip!).

Porto and Tui/Valença are both worthy of spending an extra day to experience all the history, architecture, fortifications, etc...
Walked the central route and didn’t experience a big increase in peregrino traffic until Tui. Didn’t use a baggage service and kept my backpack to 11kg, which is a relatively comfortable load for a 70kg hiker.

Bom Caminho!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2013
Camino del Norte a Chimayó (USA), 2015
Camino Portugues, 2017
#16
Just book a hotel in the morning, or no earlier than the night before. Booking.com is as good as any. Credit cards are generally OK in hotels and big city restaurants, otherwise the Camino is a cash-based experience for albergues and smaller cafés. Use ATMs as necessary, but always have enough cash on hand for a hotel room and a couple of meals -- €100 minimum, more better. If given the option, always pay in Euros rather than Canadian or US dollars -- the exchange rate is almost always better.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Caminó francés (2017)
Planning Caminó portugués (2018)
Planning Lycian Way (2018)
#17
Porto is worth spending a day or two in. I loved it and recommend the tuk tuk tour. Great way to see the city if you have limited time. I walked this route a month ago and took a mix of the coastal and Senda Litoral....this route keeps you as close to the coast as you can get. It’s beautiful...you can’t get lost, the two routes meet up. For accommodation you should have plenty. I found Booking.com excellent and booked one day out. Luggage transfer is abundant when you cross into Spain. It’s a bit harder to locate in Portugal. You certainly don’t need a travel company to arrange anything:)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugal
#18
Porto is worth spending a day or two in. I loved it and recommend the tuk tuk tour. Great way to see the city if you have limited time. I walked this route a month ago and took a mix of the coastal and Senda Litoral....this route keeps you as close to the coast as you can get. It’s beautiful...you can’t get lost, the two routes meet up. For accommodation you should have plenty. I found Booking.com excellent and booked one day out. Luggage transfer is abundant when you cross into Spain. It’s a bit harder to locate in Portugal. You certainly don’t need a travel company to arrange anything:)
Thank you Stacey (and Jim)

Seems that most experienced travellers recommend to just start walking and book accommodation on the go. We are definitely capable doing that.
So, piecing everything together we are leaning towards the coastal route from Porto. This will both be our starting point and point of return and we will definitely spend some time in the city.
Good to know about what’s possible about CC as well as to bringing sufficient cash. Only thing we would need to figure out is what to do about luggage. We could carry ourselves (I guess it would make us more of real pilgrims) or just see whats available when we would want to use luggage service.

Thanks again.
 

OLDER threads on this topic



A few items available from the Camino Forum Store



Pilgrims here right now

Advertisement
Booking.com

Latest posts

Most read today

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 8 1.1%
  • February

    Votes: 4 0.5%
  • March

    Votes: 33 4.5%
  • April

    Votes: 107 14.7%
  • May

    Votes: 179 24.5%
  • June

    Votes: 52 7.1%
  • July

    Votes: 15 2.1%
  • August

    Votes: 10 1.4%
  • September

    Votes: 218 29.9%
  • October

    Votes: 88 12.1%
  • November

    Votes: 11 1.5%
  • December

    Votes: 5 0.7%
Top