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Starting at cathedral worth it?

Casserole

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2009 - Solo, SJPdP to Finisterre
2018 - Daughter (2) and Hubby, Sarria to SdC
I fly into Porto late at night and was planning on staying at a hostel near the airport. I only have 11 days set aside to walk Porto to SdC.

Is it worth it to go into Porto and start at the cathedral? I’m hoping to have long enough walking days that I have plenty of time on the variant and (now I’m dreaming) walk to Muxia.

What do you guys think? (By the way, I know I am over thinking this, but I’m just super excited)
 

Kiwi-family

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Past: (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018)-Frances, Baztan, San Salvador, Primitivo, Fisterra,VdlP, Madrid
Will I throw a cat among the pigeons to say never mind JUST the cathedral - ALL of Porto is worth a day! So yes, I’d go to the cathedral....and more.
 

Derrybiketours

A journey of 500 miles begins with one step!
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdeP-FIN(09/2018)
PORTO-SANT(11/2018)
Caminho Da Fe(01/2019)
SJPdeP- SANT(09/2019)
Madrid(7/2020)
If you didn't then the not knowing what you missed may impact on enjoyment of walk. Its a nice beginning, receive second stamp or first depending on if you stay night before in Albergue then take in view, make your way down the narrow picturesque cobbled streets to the sea, always keeping to your left and walk to Vila do Conde via board walk and ocean views, magical first days walk. I'd expect after 10 days to walk to Muxia would be a challenge too far but you could get bus or why not be content with Santiago as your final stop and return to include Muxia some day. I didn't do variant, like Muxia keeping for another time but if added think could be challenging to make it too Santiago 🤠
 

Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2015;
Norte/Primitivo 2016;
Frances 2017;
Le Puy 2018;
Portuguese/FishermanTr. 2019
I think trying to add in Muxia is cramming in too much and would end up frustrating you. As the two others have said, enjoy more of Porto, the variant is already a great addition, and see Muxia fon a bus ride or postpone it for another time.
Buen Camino!
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
Porto and Portugal are wonderful. If you really enjoy walking long days and 35k a day then try it. I dont know the distance if you go to Santiago via the coast and variant and then walk to Muxia. I think it is about 350K from Porto along the coast to Muxia. That will leave you very little time to get a Compostela if you want one and make it to Muxia. My personal preference would be to walk less and enjoy the sights and sounds and the people you meet more. But we all walk our own camino. Check the distances I could be off. I don't think it is alot but check it out on Gronze or just look it up. Buen Camino.
 

Derrybiketours

A journey of 500 miles begins with one step!
Camino(s) past & future
SJPdeP-FIN(09/2018)
PORTO-SANT(11/2018)
Caminho Da Fe(01/2019)
SJPdeP- SANT(09/2019)
Madrid(7/2020)
It took me 10 days minus extra time to walk Variente but expect this route could be done in 8 days, allowing 3 days from Santiago to Muxia. I walked it immediately after completing Francè and if you really go for it 7 days could be possible🤠

1 Porto – Vilarinho (or Vila do Conde) 27 kms
2 Vilarinho – Barcelos 27 kms
3 Barcelos – Ponte de Lima 33.5 kms
4 Ponte de Lima – Rubiães 20.5 kms
5 Rubiães – Valença or Tui 20 kms
6 Valença or Tui – Redondela 30 kms
7 Redondela – Pontevedra 20.5 kms
8 Pontevedra – Caldas de Reis 21.1 kms
9 Caldas de Reis – Padrón 17 kms
10 Padrón – Santiago 23.9 kms
 

Terry Callery

Chi Walker
Camino(s) past & future
"Portuguese Camino - In Search of the Infinite Moment" Amazon/Kindle books authored
"Slow Camino"
From the Journal I kept while walking the Portuguese route from Lisbon.
Most pilgrims who walk the Portuguese Camino will start in Porto, where they obtain their pilgrim credentials at the Porto Cathedral (also known as the Sé do Porto). Few times in my life have I been in a place that so anchored everything surrounding it. The city of Porto was born on the banks of the Douro River, and the hillside section, or “Morro da Sé,” is the oldest, and—some would say—the most authentic part of the great city. During the Middle Ages, the large public square around the cathedral was where all the trade and commerce were conducted. The word “Sé” refers to the governing center, or “seat,” of the district where the church is located. The Vatican is therefore located at the Holy See in Rome, or the “holy chair,” designating an ecclesiastical jurisdiction. The Sé Cathedral’s construction began in the twelfth century, and the cathedral was built in the prevailing Romanesque style; however, after many centuries of renovations and additions, it is a mix of architectural styles. The façade of the Sé do Porto is flanked by two monumental square towers—crowned with Baroque cupolas—that command the space below and give the structure the look of a fortified castle. A long stone stairway leads to the entrance and affords a panoramic view of the city below. Looking up at the façade, my eyes were drawn to the mandala-like Romanesque rose window that gazed out at me like a giant Cyclops from under the crenellated arch between the two towers. It was as if I were drawn toward the entrance of the cathedral by a magnetic force.

While the admission to the Sé Cathedral was free, there was a two euro fee to get into the Sacred Art Museum and the magnificent Gothic cloisters attached to the church.
 

Theatregal

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
So far...
2012 ~ 2019
For me personally - Absolutely yes, it was worth it. That first morning at sunrise walking through the quiet streets of Porto from the Cathedral down to the river and following it along, was a beautiful first day and really set the tone for the whole camino. I was happy to have the day before to explore Porto - it's a lovely city. I loved the Variante Espirtual as well. Wishing you Bom Caminho!
 

Vacajoe

Traded in my work boots for hiking ones
Camino(s) past & future
2019 Biarritz-Pamplona-Lourdes
2018 Aragon/Frances/Finis
2018 Operation Sabre
2018 Marin Ramble
Sounds like a demanding walking schedule and one that is already creating undue stress. You need to dig deep and decide what your priority is for this Camino - long days? Cultural immersion? Getting the Compostela? and so on.

Trying to rush to see everything usually results in one feeling like they never truly experienced anything.

Porto is spectacular and I highly recommend a day there IF you value cityscapes over more time in the countryside. Muxia is fabulous IF you value that site over a more leisurely walk. Life (and the Camino) is full of choices wherein you cannot always have everything.

Whatever you choose will still be wonderful. Buen Camino
 

William Krueger

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Porto (2018)
I fly into Porto late at night and was planning on staying at a hostel near the airport. I only have 11 days set aside to walk Porto to SdC.

Is it worth it to go into Porto and start at the cathedral? I’m hoping to have long enough walking days that I have plenty of time on the variant and (now I’m dreaming) walk to Muxia.

What do you guys think? (By the way, I know I am over thinking this, but I’m just super excited)
You can jump start your trip by taking the train to Maia from the Cathedral area. Only miss some urban hiking.
 

David Tallan

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (1989 and 2016), Portugues - from Porto (2018)
I fly into Porto late at night and was planning on staying at a hostel near the airport. I only have 11 days set aside to walk Porto to SdC.

Is it worth it to go into Porto and start at the cathedral? I’m hoping to have long enough walking days that I have plenty of time on the variant and (now I’m dreaming) walk to Muxia.

What do you guys think? (By the way, I know I am over thinking this, but I’m just super excited)
It was worth it to me to start at the cathedral, but I wasn't short of time. I spent 13 days getting from Porto to Santiago, and I wasn't taking the spiritual variant. It would have taken me another 4 to go to Muxia. So you are hoping to do in 11 more than I would have accomplished in 17.

As Kiwi-family says, Porto is definitely worth seeing. But I fear something has to give. I hope it isn't your poor feet.
 

Casserole

Member
Camino(s) past & future
2009 - Solo, SJPdP to Finisterre
2018 - Daughter (2) and Hubby, Sarria to SdC
After I hit post, I knew the answer in my heart. I like starting from the "beginning" and walking all the steps. I know Muxia is a pipe dream, I'm not over attached to it. I really enjoyed the walk to Finisterre and regretted not going to Muxia during my first one.

Thank you all for sharing your experiences!
 

RJM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
A few times
Porto is a beautiful town and highly recommend exploring it...when you have time to. Time to explore it leisurely and not tight scheduled.
That being said, with your schedule skip exploring Porto for now and commence your Camino Portuguese from your hostel.
and quite honest, no bad choices here...everyone in the world should have such dilemmas lol
 

MarkN

Mark
Camino(s) past & future
Leon to Santiago Oct 2016
Porto to Santiago Oct 2017
Porto to Santiago May 2019
I'll add my yes to the group, and also add that I think you might have a 6 hour time difference (MN to Porto?) and travel fatigue that a calm day of visiting a truly great city might cure?
 

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