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Hello, I am new to the forum and I am hoping you guys will be able to help me. I am thinking of walking the Camino Portuguese in September and I don't speak any Spanish! Would this cause me any problems? Roughly speaking how long does it take to walk this Camino? Thanks
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Hi Sally

I haven't walked this but ......

You can find information on the Camino Portugues on the Confraternity of St James Website.
The total distance from Porto is 232k with about half in Portugal and half in Spain. Depending on how far you plan to work each day you should be able to do this comfortable within two weeks

As for the language, presumably they speak Portuguese in the Portuguese half of the Camino.
There are refugios along the route so you could probably get by without much Portuguese/Spanish but it would be really worthwhile learning a few basic phrases.

I used John Brierly's excellent guide for the Camino Frances. He has also written a guide to the Camino Portugués from Porto to Santiago (Camino Guides:Findhorn Press, 2005)

Buen Camino



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Year of past OR future Camino
Portuguese '08, Frances '11, del Norte '14, Invierno '16, Ingles '17, Primitivo October 2018
Hi, Karin here. We did just about half the Portuguese route in May. Started in Valenca/Tui and made Santiago in 6 days...allowing for a relatively slow pace to give us time to adjust to jet lag. So yeah..the whole route from Porto in two weeks...doable. We spoke very little I'm ashamed to say :oops: BUT I do speak German...and that got us thru in two rather interesting occasions! With few key should be able to get thru. People were very very helpful, kind and I'd go back in two seconds if someone handed me a ticket and said go! Stop home long enough to gather a few things...and GONE! The is a delightful little restaurant in Porrino...the alburge was memorable...ahhh....Ill be smiling the rest of the day now...

Guess you could also check our/my blog


Wishing you all the very best....Buen Camino, Karin


Staff member
Just my 2 cents. In Portugal they speak a lot more English compared to Spain. You should have no problem there... in Spain, a smile and a dictionary will take you all the way to Santiago!



Active Member
I did the Porto-Santiago section in May in 11 days. I know no Portugese and just a little Spanish and had no problems. I agree with Ivar that more people in Portugal than in Spain speak English but in some of the smaller places they spoke only Portugese. You should have a way to communicate basic needs for getting a room etc.
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New Member
Hi Sally, I'm doing el camino portuguese in September also, so if you see a "kangaroo" around, its going to be me and I will be able to help you, My name is Julio and I am from Brisbane, Australia


New Member
I Sally, I will be doing the same camino in September to, beginning in 22th, if you need help by that date just ask.

see you

Jose Valente

Javier Martin

Veteran Member
Hello Sally,

You are not the first nor the last non-spanish or portuguese person who don't speak both languages to walk this path. So, don't worry about.

Trying to help you (and it's no a joke) there's a free guide to download in for the Camino Portuguese ... in spanish or portuguese. I hope it's useful for you.

And don't worry for your language, portuguese and galician people are incredibly kind!!

Buen Camino, enjoy it!!

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.


Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2005
Ptgse 2007 Norte 2009 Ingles 2011
Vasco del 2013 Ourense to SdC 2016
Invierno? 2020
Hi Sally
I did this walk last year in May/June, 2007 with four others, and we had a tiny amount of Portuguese and language was not a problem. A hint on leaving Porto - if you are taking transport out-as suggested by Brierly look for up to date information from the web site -. We got a bus but we hear the Metro would be better. On occasion you will not have a refugio but you can stay elsewhere as per the Guide. many hotels give large discounts to pilgrims because there is no refugio. The way is clearly marked . There are enough walkers to be able to meet others but not too many. More join on the Spanish side. The pastries are a treat !!
Regards Jill

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