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The many ways of the Camino Portugese

taigirl

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances 2019
Hi all, I am thinking about CP and am a bit confused about the various paths to SDC. I understand the coastal and central routes from Porto, but what is the Litoral route or the Spiritual variant? Some routes include a quick river crossing and others require a 28 km boat ride.
Has anyone done the coastal route to the meeting point and then caught a bus back to Porto and walked the central? Is it feasible? Thanks. dee
 
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trecile

Moderator
Staff member
Time of past OR future Camino
PAST - Francés, Norte, Salvador, Portuguese

jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Time of past OR future Camino
A few in the past; more in the future!
Hi all, I am thinking about CP and am a bit confused about the various paths to SDC. I understand the coastal and central routes from Porto, but what is the Litoral route or the Spiritual variant?
In short:

- The coastal route heads inland sometimes and the Litoral is an alternative that allows you to stay on the coast. It's usually unmarked but wayfinding is straightforward as you're just following the shoreline.

- The Variante Espiritual is an alternative route starting after Pontevedra (and therefore accessible to those who do both coastal and central, as those two routes have rejoined by then). It involves two days of walking and then a boat ride or a third day of walking before rejoining the main route at Pontecesures, near Padrón.

Some routes include a quick river crossing and others require a 28 km boat ride.
The quick river crossing is on the Minho/Miño river, which serves as the Portugal-Spain border in these parts. The coastal route requires a short boat trip over the Minho from Caminha while the central is a bridge crossing on foot between Valença and Tui. The 28km boat ride is on the Variante Espiritual, from Vilanova de Arousa to Pontecesures.

Has anyone done the coastal route to the meeting point and then caught a bus back to Porto and walked the central? Is it feasible? Thanks. dee
It's very feasible. There are several places where you can rejoin the central from the coastal (so not just one 'meeting point') but if you take the coastal as far as you can, it rejoins the central in Redondela. From here you could make your way back to Porto by bus, or you could do it from the larger city of Vigo, 13km before Redondela. There are trains from Vigo to Porto (I took one yesterday).

Here are links to some of my content on these routes, which may be of help:

Daily Musings from the Portuguese Coastal
Portuguese Way Highlights (Central from Lisbon)
Variante Espiritual Highlights
The Camino de Santiago in Portugal (Overview of Various Routes)
Podcast Season 1 - The Portuguese Way
 

Anthony Rocco

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
Frances, Ignaciano, Aragones, Arle, Tolosana, Salvador, Primitivo, Madrid, Olvidado/Invierno (2020)
Hi all, I am thinking about CP and am a bit confused about the various paths to SDC. I understand the coastal and central routes from Porto, but what is the Litoral route or the Spiritual variant? Some routes include a quick river crossing and others require a 28 km boat ride.
Has anyone done the coastal route to the meeting point and then caught a bus back to Porto and walked the central? Is it feasible? Thanks. dee
You received many useful comments. I just finished my Porto-Santiago. All the options makes it a veritable Chinese menu: choose from column A or column B, etc. In the end, we are walking some distance in all four ways: Central (from Porto), so many cultural sights we don't want to miss, then Coastal, then Senda Litoral, then Variante, hoping to catch the boat and walk into Santiago that day. All of our caminos have been based on detailed itineraries. We find we learn so much via detailed planning. None of our caminos, I must add, have ever followed the itinerary from start to finish. The Camino provides, but some of what it provides are unexpected curves.
 
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