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Recommendations: Lisbon to Porto or Porto to Santiago?

PMB

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2008) Camino Portugues (2013)
My husband and I live in Canada and are planning to walk ~2weeks along the Camino Portugues in June 2013. We have the John Brierley Camino Portugues guide and maps. I walked the Camino Frances in 2008 so have some idea of what to expect.

We are really looking forward to the trip! But we are not sure which section of the route we should walk.

Based on your experience on the Camino Portugues, would past pilgrims recommend the leg from Lisbon to Porto or from Porto to Santiago? We are not concerned with obtaining the compostela certificate of completion in Santiago. Our main goal is to discover Portugal (and Spain if we do the porto-santiago section), see new places, take in the scenery, experience the local culture and have an adventure. Does one of these two sections provide more variety of scenery and experiences?

Thank you in advance for your thoughts and feedback! :)
 
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Bobbie Surber
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances st Jean to Santiago (Sept/Oct 2012) Finisterre Oct 2012
Part -Portugues (Oct. 2012)
Camino del Norte June-July 2013
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Leon to Santiago October 2015
Last fall I walked the Camino Frances from SJPP to Santiago then did the Portuguese route from Oporto.
The other Pilgrims I met talked about how hard Lisbon to Oporto was with a less established network of trail and Pilgrim accommodations. If I had two weeks I would recommend the Oporto to Santiago route.

All the best to you and Buen Camino!
Bobbie
 

periperi

New Member
it is now sadly a few years since i did my portuguese caminhos and i understand things have changed south of porto, but my instinct would be to say go from, rather than to, porto. Lisbon to Porto is *great*; it'll take you through point to point through Portugal/the caminho's most important towns Lisbon/Tomar/Coimbra/Porto (especially if you take an interior route, eg fitting in Fatima, but note you'd still miss Guimaraes and Braga which are a little bit north of porto), but particularly in June, it's pretty lonely, there's much less access to food & water, and the trees are lower, so it'll be more hot/exposed. the people are incredibly friendly, but not well-versed in walker's requirements (so you may spend a while without water when it turns out to have been available just the other side of the park to where you speak to people, as i found..!).
north, there's much more caminho infrastructure, more piligrims, and more cover. aside from a few towns' industrial areas, it's a much more pleasant 'walk'.
 
M

mikevasey

Guest
Hi which section you walk is also decided by what distances you feel comfortable walking, until you get to Alvaizere which is about 190 km north of Lisbon you will find yourself facing etapas of 30 km +. If you can do these distances, then my suggestion is to start from Tomar and see how far you get in the next two weeks, you will see some very beautiful parts of the camino south of Porto and if you get as far as Ponte de Lima or Rubies the you will have seen some beautiful sections north of the Douro. One thing i would add is if you take the central route out of Porto, get the Metro to avoid the early parts of it, the dual carriageway you have to cross is very dangerous, brierley talks about it in his book.

Mike
 

Stephen Nicholls

Steve Nicholls, Suffolk, U.K.
Past OR future Camino
Too many caminos to list in the permitted 100 characters!!
You've had some good advice.
I'm walking Lisbon to Porto in three weeks time, having completed Porto to SdC in 2011. I'm anticipating problems of accommodation, and will probably have to use small hotels for much of the way initially. Thereafter I don't have a problem taking a bus to help me to the next stop. Or the train - if you look at the map, the railway runs close to the camino for quite a bit of the way.
My friend Diogo says the trains are fairly frequent.
I'm happy with 20 km stages, but not more.
I shall take a load of pictures, and probably write up a diary on my return. You can see my diary/pictures for the Porto to SdC pilgrimage on my web site.
Buen camino!
 
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Albertinho

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2013, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2022
Ola Stephen. Maybe we discussed it before but due to all preps I can't remember. When do you walk your caminho Portuges ?
We are starting next monday from Lisbon doing about the same schedule as you. 20 kms a day max.
Now and then taking a train for 10 kms to reach the next place to sleep when the day trip is 30 kms .
We sleep most of the time in hostals Sometimes at the bombeiros volontarios (volontairy firefighters) now and then staying an extra touristical day in Tomar, Coimbra and Porto.
From Porto , I learned from your and my good friend Diogo , to start in Povoa de Varzim instead of walking the bouring track from Matesinhos (industrial area) northwards.
We will follow the coastal route all away up to Vigo .nice place to be.. Well. Maybe we see you somewhere and of course we hope to meet other peregrinos on our way. We had contact by mail with the German lady Mira, who starts one day before us from Lisboa, next sunday but she will have a faster pace but we promished each other to keep in contact. So it's a brotherhood of peregrinos and that''s why its meant for. Pois nâo ? Isn't not ?
Bom caminho
 

PMB

New Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances (2008) Camino Portugues (2013)
Hi everyone, thank you for your thoughts and feedback on routes for our 2 week trip. This information has helped definitely us plan our trip. We decided to walk from Porto to Santiago. We have booked our flights and aim to start walking on June 10th!

Thank you for your responses; this is a very useful forum!
 

scruffy1

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
Holy Year from Pamplona 2010, SJPP 2011, Lisbon 2012, Le Puy 2013, Vezelay (partial watch this space!) 2014; 2015 Toulouse-Puenta la Reina (Arles)
I read your posting too late to offer first advice will throw my two cents woth in now. I understand that constraints of time have forced you to cancel Lisbon-Santarem-Tomar-Coimbra and thats a real shame. No that section of the Camino is not that much more difficult it does however require one to think on his feet and to find alternatives, something many guidebook pilgrims find difficult.
Porto is a lovely city, don't even consider leaving without a really good look around-I know excitement your feet are itching to be off and Santiago calls but do take time to be a tourist.
Along the way you will see many wonderful sites-the church at S. Pedro de Rates, try and catch the market day at Ponte de Lima two days actually one for antiques collectibles and junk one for farmers, Rubiaes also has an interesting chuch, Valenca do Minho and Tui are quickly done but just past Tui do give my regards to Saint Telmo next to his bridge (ex-Navy must keep good relations), Porrino is a disaster walk quickly through unless you do enjoy bars-garages-furniture stores-farm equipment depots-used cars-factories-trash dumps-(true people must make a living but why so ugly?), Pontevedra is a wonderful town the albergue there less, do stop at the church in Padron to see the boat relic the priest requires a small donation but this is part of the Saint James tradition. The Portuguese are wonderful people warm friendly helpful however they are hands down the absolute worst drivers on three continents-beware any stretch on the road!!
They are Portuguese,meaning Bom Caminho and no Buen/Bon Camino the villagers respect pilgrims the townspeople somewhat less and both groups do think we are all crazy-long distant walking is not part of their national heritage short distance walking is also something difficult for them to consider.
Its a lot of fun should you consider the coastal route take a lot of water you will quickly dehydrate in the heat and wind and water sources are few and far between
 

biarritzdon

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
CF11, CF12, CP13, CF14, CA15, S.Anton15, CF&CI15
Ditch Pig16, CF&CP17, CdN18, CM18, CF18, LePuy19
Scruffy, thanks for the advice. I start early in July 2013 and don't see Brierley as being a totally reliable source.
 

Albertinho

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2013, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2022
My wife and Iwalked from Lisbon ,starting may 6th , arriving in Santiago last friday. The first part Lisbon to Porto is a beautifull part except for the part Oliveira da Azemeis to Porto. You will meet some industrial and big urban areas but okay to walk. The second part between Porto and Santiago is great except for some places,mentioned below.

The hardest part between Ponte de Lima and Rubiais (lot of climbing hills) and the most bouring part was between Tui and Porriño ( industrial area) but okay to walk too !

But we liked the complete walk.. Nice to meet the Portugese and Galicean people, good food, nice places to sleep.

Beautiful places to stay..Coimbra.. If you are in Barcelos, stay another day there and make the one day trip without backpack by bus to Braga and visit the beautifull church upon the hill.. Porto.. And of course Santiago..

Special places to sleep. The albergue in Santarèm just behind the touristinfo...the hostal Solo Dura in Golega super.. the sleepingfacility at Colegio da Imaculada Conceicao in Cernache..the albergue in Mealhada and the best..casa Fernanda in Vitorino de Piaes. This is a must for every Pilgrim at the Portugese caminho.

We did it at a slow pace all together in 34 days ..not more than 20 kms a day.

One more tip. Avoid the walk between Alverca do Ribatejo and Azambuja. Horrible walk aside the motorway. Take the train.. 30 kms ,a few euros a ticket but better for your health..

Bom caminho
 
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Dre

New Member
Past OR future Camino
To walk part of the primitivo in june 2016
You've had some good advice.
I'm walking Lisbon to Porto in three weeks time, having completed Porto to SdC in 2011. I'm anticipating problems of accommodation, and will probably have to use small hotels for much of the way initially. Thereafter I don't have a problem taking a bus to help me to the next stop. Or the train - if you look at the map, the railway runs close to the camino for quite a bit of the way.
My friend Diogo says the trains are fairly frequent.
I'm happy with 20 km stages, but not more.
I shall take a load of pictures, and probably write up a diary on my return. You can see my diary/pictures for the Porto to SdC pilgrimage on my web site.
Buen camino!
HI Nicholls,

I am trying to take a look at your website but can't see it. Is the website still online?
 

JP

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2014 & 2017
Camino Portuguese 2016
Camino Del Norte 2019.
We have a reputation for daredevil drivers here in Quebec, but after walking only a few days in Portugal I think we are very meek! Having a car or semi truck brushing by you by only a few inches is very scary!
 
Last edited:

Albertinho

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2013, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2022
We have a reputation for daredevil drivers here in Quebec, but after walking only a few days in Portugal I think we are very meek! Having a car or semi truck brushing by you by only a few inches is very scary!
Point your sword to these Portuguese daredevils and they will respect you dearly especially when you wear your helmet.:D
 

JP

Active Member
Past OR future Camino
Camino Frances 2014 & 2017
Camino Portuguese 2016
Camino Del Norte 2019.
I did not have my sword, but my girlfriend almost ran a motorcyclist through with her walking stick when he was heading straight for us on the side of the road!
 

Albertinho

Veteran Member
Past OR future Camino
2013, 2015, 2016, 2018, 2019, 2022
I did not have my sword, but my girlfriend almost ran a motorcyclist through with her walking stick when he was heading straight for us on the side of the road!
I agree with you . Portuguese are very kind people but once behind the steeringwheel they are like devils. Over the years I drove many many miles with my car and towed on campingtrailer and experienced some strange "art" of acting from the Portuguese drivers. Sometimes they try to merge in between my car and hooked on trailer !:cool:

I must admit this only happens on minor roads-on the motorways you 'll see hardly any cars but on the minor roads, unfortunately where we peregrinos walk , indeed it can be very dangerous. We allways walk towards the upcoming traffic but keep an eye on overtaking cars from behind us too. We wear reflecting safetyvests and indeed we attend drivers that we are there with our sword.. eh walkingpoles

Bom caminho .
 
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