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Starting in A Guarda but how to get there?

MaxHelado

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Portugués via Variante Espiritual 2022
I am planning a walk starting in A Guarda and following the Portugues Coastal but getting to A Guarda does not look easy.

I will be flying out from the UK which gives me options of flying into Santiago or Porto (both of which offer frequent flights) or into Vigo which is geographically closer to A Guarda but flights are less frequent and arrive later in the day.

All 3 airports seem to offer reasonably good connections to A Guarda (train & bus from Santiago, train from Porto or bus from Vigo) but what seems to make the journeys harder and longer is adding on the bit from the airport to the relevant bus or train station. Rome to Rio seems to suggest that I need to get a bus from the airport and then get to a different bus station, or a metro then a walk and another metro to a train station.

If that's what it takes then so be it. But I just wondered if anyone who has made the trip to A Guarda has advice to offer?
 
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Rome to Rio seems to suggest that I need to get a bus from the airport and then get to a different bus station, or a metro then a walk and another metro to a train station.
I haven't taken the train to A Guarda, but have done other travel using the internodal station, Campanha, in Porto. I would think about this in three basic stages:

a. get to Campanha from the airport - bus is an option, but I expect that using the metro would be a better option. There is a metro service every 30 minutes during the day, and it takes a little over half an hour.
b. take the train from Campanha to Caminha. Rome2Rio suggests there is a train every four hours, and that leg will take a little under two hours.
c. Get from the Caminha station to A Guarda. Rome2Rio suggests the ferry departs every hour, and is a 10 minute journey. Use taxi to do the connexions here if you don't want to walk.

I doubt that you can buy tickets for the whole journey in one place. There are ticket machines at the metro station at the airport where you can buy a single fare ticket to Campanha. There are ticket machines and a ticket office at Campanha, and I presume there will be an option to buy a ticket at the ferry terminal. Someone else might confirm the details there.
 
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I would agree with Doug that Porto to A Guarda is your best bet. I don't have any experience with the Campanha station in Porto but have taken the train from São Bento station (that's the one with the gorgeous blue tilework) to Caminha and understand that you can reach São Bento from Campanha in four minutes by train. Once you cross the Minho at Caminha, you can reach A Guarda in a 2 km walk that follows a paved road, the Camino del Palomar, over a fairly steep hill. My recollection is that walk takes about half an hour.
 
I would agree with Doug that Porto to A Guarda is your best bet. I don't have any experience with the Campanha station in Porto but have taken the train from São Bento station (that's the one with the gorgeous blue tilework) to Caminha and understand that you can reach São Bento from Campanha in four minutes by train. Once you cross the Minho at Caminha, you can reach A Guarda in a 2 km walk that follows a paved road, the Camino del Palomar, over a fairly steep hill. My recollection is that walk takes about half an hour.
I did a quick check on the CP app, and all the services that go from Sao Bento to Caminha go through Campanha. It wouldn't make sense to me to go to Campanha on the metro, then return to Sao Bento and catch a train to Caminha there.

What might make sense would be to take the metro to Sao Bento from the airport if one wanted to do some very quick sight seeing around the Se Porto, then get the train there rather than taking the metro into Campanha. This would reduce the number of changes one would need.

I did note that there were some services on the CP app where there appeared to be two or three trains, one from Sao Bento to Campanha, and then another from Campanha to Caminha. It appears that you might need to change trains at Campanha. There are others where there might be another change required, eg at Nine.

There is a possibility with some of these that the same train will operate the service, and you won't need to change trains. This was the pattern travelling from Coimbra to Porto, where at some point closer to Porto, the service number changed from a rural service number to an urban service number, but it was on the same train. Each leg is ticketed separately, but there is no need to get off the train at the point the number changes. When I booked the ticket, this was explained to me by the ticket agent, and then when I was on the train, the conductor also made sure I knew that I didn't have to leave the train.
 
I did a quick check on the CP app, and all the services that go from Sao Bento to Caminha go through Campanha. It wouldn't make sense to me to go to Campanha on the metro, then return to Sao Bento and catch a train to Caminha there.

What might make sense would be to take the metro to Sao Bento from the airport if one wanted to do some very quick sight seeing around the Se Porto, then get the train there rather than taking the metro into Campanha. This would reduce the number of changes one would need.

I did note that there were some services on the CP app where there appeared to be two or three trains, one from Sao Bento to Campanha, and then another from Campanha to Caminha. It appears that you might need to change trains at Campanha. There are others where there might be another change required, eg at Nine.

There is a possibility with some of these that the same train will operate the service, and you won't need to change trains. This was the pattern travelling from Coimbra to Porto, where at some point closer to Porto, the service number changed from a rural service number to an urban service number, but it was on the same train. Each leg is ticketed separately, but there is no need to get off the train at the point the number changes. When I booked the ticket, this was explained to me by the ticket agent, and then when I was on the train, the conductor also made sure I knew that I didn't have to leave the train.
Doug, this is super-helpful. Thank you so much for taking the time to dig around and find this information.
This distinction between Sao Bento and Campanha helps clarify things. When I looked at Rome2Rio it was suggesting Campanha and then change and on to Sao Bento which was when I started to get a headache. Strange that when I looked again just now it seems to have dropped the Sao Bento leg which I think means it is making the same recommendation as you?

I did not know about the CP App but I'm guessing that I can book trains in Portugal using that? My Spanish is pretty good buy my Portuguese is non-existent!
 

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Just a comment, we did the CP the last two years. The municipal ferry is no longer in operation. You need to use one of the small boat services or Xacobeo transfer (https://xacobeotransfer.com/es/home_es/) to get across. Where you disembark from Xacobeo is a bit of a walk into A Guarda but defiitely doable. We were told that due to the depth of the Minho and no plan to dredge the river, the ferry was kaput. Not sure if that is true, but no ferry for the last two years.
 
I am planning a walk starting in A Guarda and following the Portugues Coastal but getting to A Guarda does not look easy.

I will be flying out from the UK which gives me options of flying into Santiago or Porto (both of which offer frequent flights) or into Vigo which is geographically closer to A Guarda but flights are less frequent and arrive later in the day.

All 3 airports seem to offer reasonably good connections to A Guarda (train & bus from Santiago, train from Porto or bus from Vigo) but what seems to make the journeys harder and longer is adding on the bit from the airport to the relevant bus or train station. Rome to Rio seems to suggest that I need to get a bus from the airport and then get to a different bus station, or a metro then a walk and another metro to a train station.

If that's what it takes then so be it. But I just wondered if anyone who has made the trip to A Guarda has advice to offer?
If you fly into Porto its very easy. Take the Metro within Airport straight to Campanha then take train to Caminha. Take the boat over which is part of the coastal camino anyway and its only 3.6 km to A Guarda from there. I did this last year and arrived Caminha about 6pm. Was in A Guarda for 7.30pm walking. Pretty much similar to what Doug said. Daniel
 
Doug, this is super-helpful. Thank you so much for taking the time to dig around and find this information.
This distinction between Sao Bento and Campanha helps clarify things. When I looked at Rome2Rio it was suggesting Campanha and then change and on to Sao Bento which was when I started to get a headache. Strange that when I looked again just now it seems to have dropped the Sao Bento leg which I think means it is making the same recommendation as you?

I did not know about the CP App but I'm guessing that I can book trains in Portugal using that? My Spanish is pretty good buy my Portuguese is non-existent!
I've used the CP App multiple times without any problem and you can set the language to English in settings. The only thing to watch is that one can't book a train too far in the future - one has to wait for the date to become bookable.
 
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I am planning a walk starting in A Guarda and following the Portugues Coastal but getting to A Guarda does not look easy.

I will be flying out from the UK which gives me options of flying into Santiago or Porto (both of which offer frequent flights) or into Vigo which is geographically closer to A Guarda but flights are less frequent and arrive later in the day.

All 3 airports seem to offer reasonably good connections to A Guarda (train & bus from Santiago, train from Porto or bus from Vigo) but what seems to make the journeys harder and longer is adding on the bit from the airport to the relevant bus or train station. Rome to Rio seems to suggest that I need to get a bus from the airport and then get to a different bus station, or a metro then a walk and another metro to a train station.

If that's what it takes then so be it. But I just wondered if anyone who has made the trip to A Guarda has advice to offer?
We took a bus from Santiago de Compostela to A Guarda.
 
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The way I’ve done it is you fly to OPO buy a ticket for the bus (AuTna) which picks you up at the airport and takes you to Villa Nova de Cerveira for about 10 Euros and 1 hour trip. Once there you cross the Bridge toward Spain which has Camino bronze shell and Yellow arrows and walk through Goian and walk west to A Guarda.
 
The way I’ve done it is you fly to OPO buy a ticket for the bus (AuTna) which picks you up at the airport and takes you to Villa Nova de Cerveira for about 10 Euros and 1 hour trip. Once there you cross the Bridge toward Spain which has Camino bronze shell and Yellow arrows and walk through Goian and walk west to A Guarda.
This sounds like a good option. I especially like that the bus ride starts from the airport!
It looks like the walk from Vila Nova de Cerveira into A Guarda is more than an evenings stroll. 14km? I'm not sure I will want to do that after a day of travel. Were there options for a bus or a taxi?
 
This sounds like a good option. I especially like that the bus ride starts from the airport!
It looks like the walk from Vila Nova de Cerveira into A Guarda is more than an evenings stroll. 14km? I'm not sure I will want to do that after a day of travel. Were there options for a bus or a taxi?
Taxi from airport to AGuarda is like 100 Euros you can also get a taxi at Vila nova de cerveira to cross you to Spain which is like 10 Euros here a service I’ve used. It’s next to the bus stop at Vila Nova de cerveira. +351 964 010 389. You can spend the night and walk the next day. If you don’t mind me asking when are you doing it ?
 
The one from Galicia (the round) and the one from Castilla & Leon. Individually numbered and made by the same people that make the ones you see on your walk.
Taxi is like 100 Euros you can also spend the night and walk the next day. That’s what I did. If you don’t mind me asking when are you doing it ?
100€? Staying a night and starting the next day sounds like a better and cheaper option!
And I don't ming you asking at all about my plans. Always good to have someone take an interest!
I have some flexibility on dates. I was thinking of walking middle of next month (April) but may push it to early May. My main concern is the weather at that time of year.
 
100 euro from airport to Vila Nova de Cerveria or A Guarda not bad for 1 hour drive. But the bus (10€) from airport to Vila Nova de Cerveira and then taxi to A Guarda (10-12€) is doable.
 
I was there this week and may go back to walk Santiago to Finisteer end of March. Weather is amazing- I see you are coming from London so you’ll appreciate the sun :)
 
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100 euro from airport to Vila Nova de Cerveria or A Guarda not bad for 1 hour drive. But the bus (10€) from airport to Vila Nova de Cerveira and then taxi to A Guarda (10-12€) is doable.
Ah, I think we were talking at cross purposes!
I was asking if there was a bus from Vila Nova de Cerveira into A Guarda.
Your last post suggests that yes, it is possible to take a cab.
So bus from airport to Vila Nova de Cerveira and then taxi into A Guarda?
 
I was there this week and may go back to walk Santiago to Finisteer end of March. Weather is amazing- I see you are coming from London so you’ll appreciate the sun :)
You must have a magic wand! I've been tracking the weather around Vigo for the last couple of weeks and it's always looked very mixed, in other words typical Galician weather!
And yes, I would like some sun. I have never known weather like this in the UK. I watch the rain pour down and read about water restrictions in southern Spain. More than a little concerning.
 
Exactly. There is a bus but to be honest not so easy to take. You can check once you are there in google maps/ public transport. If your schedule allows to take the bus from airport to Villa Nova de Cerveria and then walk/taxi to A Guarda is best. For the bus you can buy your ticket on line before you get there. As you cannot buy it in the bus and sometimes they run out of room. By the way a very hidden but one of the best restaurants I’ve been too is in your way if you had time and could figure out transportation- called Tabera O Lagar
 
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Exactly. There is a bus but to be honest not so easy to take. You can check once you are there in google maps/ public transport. If your schedule allows to take the bus from airport to Villa Nova de Cerveria and then walk/taxi to A Guarda is best. For the bus you can buy your ticket on line before you get there. As you cannot buy it in the bus and sometimes they run out of room. By the way a very hidden but one of the best restaurants I’ve been too is in your way if you had time and could figure out transportation- called Tabera O Lagar
The restaurant looks amazing! Definitely make a walk into A Guarda much more enjoyable!
 
My partner owns a rural house on that street of the restaurant and an apt in Baiona. Coincidentally we were thinking today the house near A Guarda may be helpful for pilgrims starting their journey and the apt in Baiona for those wanting to stay a few days during or after their camino. Have a Buen Camino!
 
Just a comment, we did the CP the last two years. The municipal ferry is no longer in operation. You need to use one of the small boat services or Xacobeo transfer (https://xacobeotransfer.com/es/home_es/) to get across. Where you disembark from Xacobeo is a bit of a walk into A Guarda but defiitely doable. We were told that due to the depth of the Minho and no plan to dredge the river, the ferry was kaput. Not sure if that is true, but no ferry for the last two years.
Thank you 🥰
 
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Exactly. There is a bus but to be honest not so easy to take. You can check once you are there in google maps/ public transport. If your schedule allows to take the bus from airport to Villa Nova de Cerveria and then walk/taxi to A Guarda is best. For the bus you can buy your ticket on line before you get there. As you cannot buy it in the bus and sometimes they run out of room. By the way a very hidden but one of the best restaurants I’ve been too is in your way if you had time and could figure out transportation- called Tabera O Lagar
We "walk" the waters of the Minho River, so that pilgrims can follow the Portuguese Coastal Way xacobeotransfer.com
 

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