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Walking Camino Portugues in November/December

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juliagabrielle

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese (2019)
Hello everyone
I am wondering if it is possible to walk this route in winter, both in terms of weather and places to stay. And what I should expect to encounter in terms of weather conditions. Would you suggest this route or another route during this time of year? It's my first camino.
Thank you for your help!
Julia
 

roving_rufus

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2013-2015) Camino Portugues from Lisbon (2017-2019) Via Francigena (2018-??)
Are you planning to walk from Lisbon or porto?
I split my route in 2 for time reasons but walked Porto to SdeC in January. That was very do able. Not every albergue is open but in the major stops they were, and most were warm. The weather could be the issue and if a nasty weather front came in it can be useful to be able to change schedule rather than walk in gale force winds and rain if you happen to get a storm. There were other pilgrims but the most I saw in one day was 5 getting closer to SdeC. It can get cold with frost but normally is pleasant enough to walk in day. Pilgrims also rely on existing cafes so these were more often open. And much 9f the route is semi urban through villages. Lisbon to porto may be a little trickier for accommodation but possible if you can have some extra money for a cheap b&b some nights.
I also walked parts of Frances route in winter and there were probably a few more pilgrims but not many more. Availability of bars in some rural places that people have opened pilgrim type businesses on the CF meant they were closed in off season.
 

surya8

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues Central and Coastal 2017 & 2019; Portugues Interior, Sanabres, Fisterra & Muxia 2018
We walked the Coastal + Variante Espiritaul in the second half of Jan this year. Was expecting much worse, was pleasantly surpised about the open and warm albergues and relatively good weather. Temperature range between +3 to +12C, some rains, mostly drizzle, one day walking in a downpour, plenty of sunshine as well. Take a normal sleeping bag, rain gear and some warm clothes for the albergues. All the municipal albergeues are open, some private as well. We cooked every day but there were options to eat out. Not so many bars are open on the way in Jan, so plan accordingly. Some people on the way, we even managed to form a Camino family and walk together, and later met more when we joined the Central way in Redondela, some walking from Lisbon. Loved this Camino a lot! Will walk in winter in the future if I have a chance. My blog on Coastal from Porto in Jan, later day by day account, could google transate, pics are internationa :) https://anna-camino.livejournal.com/5371.html
 
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juliagabrielle

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portuguese (2019)
Thank you that's helpful- how long did it take you to walk the Coastal and Variante Espiritaul? Was it much nature along this route? Where did you start?
I have about 3-4 weeks to walk
Thank you
 

CatPhillips

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2016, Norte 2017, Primitivo 2017, Norte 2019, Primitivo 2019.
I'm planning to walk the Portuguese in November, too, starting in Porto. This is my first time in Portugal so I'm not here to give advice; just here to listen in on the answers. Thanks for asking the question!

Of course, we can't predict the weather, so I'm willing to make adjustments if the weather is just awful. I don't mind a little rain, but I have my limits. Not sure what I'll do if the weather forecast is non-stop rain for a week.

From what I understand, the Central route might be more social, so I'm inclined to mostly do that route. Maybe the first day out of Porto along the coast? to Vila do Conde, right, and then there's a way to cut over to Arcos and the Central? How well marked is that route, does anyone know?

Sorry to high-jack your thread; I can start my own if necessary.
 

CatPhillips

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2016, Norte 2017, Primitivo 2017, Norte 2019, Primitivo 2019.
to Vila do Conde, right, and then there's a way to cut over to Arcos and the Central? How well marked is that route, does anyone know?
I just discovered a post from Saturday with a maps.me link for the this route. Thanks to trecile. I'm still trying to figure out how to download it to my cellphone. Ugh! I can do this!
 

wes

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2006) VdlP to Carceres (2010) Frances (2013) Portugues (2016) Meseta planned for March 2020
Hello everyone
I am wondering if it is possible to walk this route in winter, both in terms of weather and places to stay. And what I should expect to encounter in terms of weather conditions. Would you suggest this route or another route during this time of year? It's my first camino.
Thank you for your help!
Julia
Hello Julia,
I went from Porto to Santiago via the inland route in late-November/early-December 2016 and the weather was ideal for walking - sunny, clear, and around 16 degrees C every day except one. And as it happened, on the one day that it did rain, I'd planned a rest to go to the wonderful market in Barcelos, so no problem. I'd expected a fair bit of rain, especially in Galicia, but it didn't happen. Is this the new norm? Was it luck? Climate change? Obviously we can't know, all I can say is that the conditions were consistently the best for any of the Caminos I've walked.
The route itself is beautiful, a terrific walk, not very difficult but with enough reasonable climbs to provide the occasional heart-starter, great and varied scenery. The people and the cafes couldn't have been nicer. Unlike the Frances there were very few peregrinos, only a handful each day.
You might want to have a look at accommodation availability because places were starting to close for the winter. I stayed in pensiones, rural casas, small hotels, etc, which were all excellent and very good value.
Overall it was a wonderful experience.
Bom caminho,
Wes
 
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surya8

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues Central and Coastal 2017 & 2019; Portugues Interior, Sanabres, Fisterra & Muxia 2018
Thank you that's helpful- how long did it take you to walk the Coastal and Variante Espiritaul? Was it much nature along this route? Where did you start?
I have about 3-4 weeks to walk
Thank you
12 days walking the Coastal + Espiritual. We walked the 3rd day there on the Espiritual, although most people take a boat there and save a day. Yes, Espiriatual is very scenic, even the 3rd day as well. We started in Matosinhos in Porto because we previously walked the from Se/Cathedral to there - nice walk along the river, no industrial zones. You can also start from Lisbon if you have 3-4 weeks athough it would have a solitary feel about it till Porto in this time of the year. Make sure you are ok about walking on your own if you decide on it, you might still meet pilgrims in the albergues at the end of the day though - I walked between Santarem and Porto at the end of Oct, met some people and we walked together till Porto. From Porto onwards there always people on the route, the Central usually has more. If you prefer some company then start from Porto, the Central way would have more infrastrucure and more pilgrims, the Coastal is more scenic. On my first Camino I walked the first day to Vila do Conde along the coast then swtched to the central way, so enjoyed both. Also if you have so much time on your hands, then you could also walk to Finisterra and Muxia after Santiago - that would take you 4-5 days, or Ingles. Both routes are operational at this time of the year and have pilgrims. Or do the whole/part of Frances. For the first timer that is definitely the easiest option.
 
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