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What to do with my 5 extra days after Porto to Santiago?

2020 Camino Guides

CatPhillips

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2016, Norte 2017, Primitivo 2017, Norte 2019, Primitivo 2019.
I have 17 walking days (not counting travel) in November, flying in and out of Madrid. I'm planning to take 12 days to walk from Porto, but then I have 5 days leftover. Should I start farther out, south of Porto? or should I walk to Finnisterre or Muxia? (I've been to both; walked to Finnisterre in 2016 after the Frances) or the Ingles?

What I don't want to do is get in a car or bus anytime during those 17 days, but a train would work. (Car sickness.) I also don't really want to be completely alone the whole time. I know it's a risk, going in November, but one night I decided I couldn't wait until spring so I bought a ticket, squeezing it in between my partner's 50th birthday party and Thanksgiving. Yes, I'm addicted.

We can't predict the weather, but if I get to Madrid and the weather forecast says rain for a week in Portugal, I suppose I could scrap that whole thing and head south and walk the Mozarabe. Would anyone else be there this time of year?

This will be my 4th Camino; the first one (Frances) in May of 2016. This forum has been the best resource. Thanks to all of you for the abundance of info. It's made all the difference.

Yours,

Cat
 
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
Oh, that looks good! I love train rides! Thanks!

Do a tour of the port lodges - free samples abound - I lost a good three or four days there one afternoon.

Go the the port-wine institute?

Have an extra couple of days in Santiago?

Get the bus to Ferrol or A Coruña and walk ( quickly) the Camino Ingles?

Have a couple of days in Madrid, bury yourself in the Museo Del Prado?
 
Camino(s) past & future
None yet; perhaps the Portugese (2021?)
I would "second" spending a bit of that time down near/in Porto. As you get farther north in November, it's likely to get wetter! Remember that Galicia is kind of like the Pacific Northwest of the Iberian peninsula.

As well as spending more time in Porto itself, you could also head south on the train for a bit, and visit either Aveiro, which is off the Caminho track but actually within the "suburban Porto" rail system, or Coimbra, which is a bit further south but also easy to access by rail. Both have lots of accommodation, easily accessed in November, and a lot to see and do! Coimbra is a university town, so very lively.

Also definitely another vote for the train trip up the Douro. Spectacular!
 
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Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
Another vote for the extra day in Porto. Such an amazing place to explore!

That still leaves 4 days left... If you go to Madrid, I'd suggest taking the train for a day visit to Toledo (they preserved the city walls, the cathedral is breathtaking). Also heard Segovia is another train day trip worth doing :)
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
I have taken the train up the Douro, and I think that the most spectacular part comes after Pinhao (which is along the Douro, more than 100 km east of Porto). From Pinhao to Pocinho, the little rickety train goes where no car can pass. It is spectacular. I believe this little train starts in Regua, but the really pretty part comes from Pinhao to Pocinho. At the end of the line in Pocinho, the driver gets off and has a coffee at the bar and then starts the trip back.
 

surya8

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Portugues Central and Coastal 2017 & 2019; Portugues Interior, Sanabres, Fisterra & Muxia 2018
I walked between Santarem and Porto in late Oct and quite enjoyed that stretch there as well, as the way from Porto onwards either on the Central or Coastal Camino. It won't be busy there in Nov in terms of numbers that you see walking each day, but there might be some people at the albergues at the end of the day to talk to if you fancy company. In late Oct I saw between 3 and 9 people on the stage there before Porto on a given day, so it's not deserted. I liked the small little town on the way: Santarem, Golega, Tomar, Coimbra, Agueda. The most picturesque scenery for me was between Santerem and Coimbra. You can have a look at my day to day blog here, pics are international: https://anna-camino.livejournal.com/1580.html Maybe you can walk for some days there, see how it feels before Porto. Or head to walk the Ingles after Santiago - could be a comfortable walk there for 5 days. My friend walked it in 3 days but that was a push walking 40km a day. Strangely I've found for myself that I dont really enjoy the usual lasy touristic activities after the Camino, my perspeptive changes so now I tend to do most/all the sightseeing before, not after the Camino. Bom Caminho! :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Spring 2016: Camino Frances, Finisterre and Muxia
April 2019: Frances, Salvador, Primitivo
Go Cat!!! So happy to hear you are going back in November. I'll never forget your kindness to me this past spring in Oviedo.

You have gotten some good advice. I hope you post about your adventure as you walk along.

Have a really Buen Camino!
Edited to add: Happy Birthday to Tom!
 
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t2andreo

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
C/F: 2013, 2014
C/M: 2016
C/P: 2015, 2017
C/I: 2018
Voluntario: 2014 - 2019
I also recommend allowing two nights at Santiago. This ensures you can be seen at the Pilgrim office if that is your intent. It also gives you time to take in some of this marvelous, historic city.

Any time remaining might be placed in the front, at Porto, or on your way home, in Madrid. November is a great time to visit, as the crowds are mostly gone and the weather is more temperate.

I always work backwards from Santiago to determine my starting date, place and off-days, enroute. Ensuring that 'business' is taken care of in my planning first, just makes sense to me. Then again, I am an analyst by professional trade.

Hope this helps.
 
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TatiLie

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Portugues Variante Espiritual July 2019
Finisterre next!
I'd definitely spend a couple of extra days in Porto. It's a gorgeous small city with everything within walking distance. We did the tour to the Vale D'Ouro and I loved it (I don't even drink) and the memory of the pastéis de nata from the Manteigaria makes me dream of returning.

There are trails to D'Ouro from Porto, but also you can take some time off your Camino to enjoy the view. There's Cíen Islands off Vigo's coast, but you can also stretch your Camino Portugues through the Variante Espiritual (I highly recommend).
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
CF2012,Le Puy/CF 2015 Portugues 2017 Norte 2018, CF 2019
You could go back to Porto, or Vigo, or Madrid, or Barcelona, or Paris, or or or. When you are walking up a hill that is hard or rain is drenching you maybe you can think about it to take your mind off things!!!
 

David61

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
(2017)(2018)
I have 17 walking days (not counting travel) in November, flying in and out of Madrid. I'm planning to take 12 days to walk from Porto, but then I have 5 days leftover. Should I start farther out, south of Porto? or should I walk to Finnisterre or Muxia? (I've been to both; walked to Finnisterre in 2016 after the Frances) or the Ingles?

What I don't want to do is get in a car or bus anytime during those 17 days, but a train would work. (Car sickness.) I also don't really want to be completely alone the whole time. I know it's a risk, going in November, but one night I decided I couldn't wait until spring so I bought a ticket, squeezing it in between my partner's 50th birthday party and Thanksgiving. Yes, I'm addicted.

We can't predict the weather, but if I get to Madrid and the weather forecast says rain for a week in Portugal, I suppose I could scrap that whole thing and head south and walk the Mozarabe. Would anyone else be there this time of year?

This will be my 4th Camino; the first one (Frances) in May of 2016. This forum has been the best resource. Thanks to all of you for the abundance of info. It's made all the difference.

Yours,

Cat
Do your walk and then jump a train to Sarria and enjoy what is a great walk but when it is quieter. I know you have probably done it before but many have and it is lovely!
 

Lisa HS

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (SJPdP - Santiago) Spring (2016)
Portuguese (Porto - Santiago - Finisterre) Spring (2018)
As well as spending more time in Porto itself, you could also head south on the train for a bit, and visit either Aveiro, which is off the Caminho track but actually within the "suburban Porto" rail system, or Coimbra, which is a bit further south but also easy to access by rail. Both have lots of accommodation, easily accessed in November, and a lot to see and do! Coimbra is a university town, so very lively.
100% vote here for 1) spending more time in lovely Porto....take one of the excellent city tours led by donativo guides, and 2) side trip to Coimbra. University there said to be the inspiration for Hogwarts (if you care for such things). Make sure you take the tour of the University library... gem amongst other stunning European Uni libraries. Side Note: We arrived at the University of Coimbra plaza on graduation day, and I caught this moment...students fling their long-worn robes into the air in celebration. Could be the best pic I've ever taken.
 

Attachments

Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2017), Primitivo (2019)
I also recommend allowing two nights at Santiago. This ensures you can be seen at the Pilgrim office if that is your intent. It also gives you time to take in some of this marvelous, historic city.

Any time remaining might be placed in the front, at Porto, or on your way home, in Madrid. November is a great time to visit, as the crowds are mostly gone and the weather is more temperate.

I always work backwards from Santiago to determine my starting date, place and off-days, enroute. Ensuring that 'business' is taken care of in my planning first, just makes sense to me. Then again, I am an analyst by professional trade.

Hope this helps.
Yes, 2 days in Santiago will ensure a happy result and allow for a walking tour of the city, (well worth it).
 

Dinah Shaw

Volcano Climber
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Norte and Frances Sept 6 - Oct 11, 2016
I have 17 walking days (not counting travel) in November, flying in and out of Madrid. I'm planning to take 12 days to walk from Porto, but then I have 5 days leftover. Should I start farther out, south of Porto? or should I walk to Finnisterre or Muxia? (I've been to both; walked to Finnisterre in 2016 after the Frances) or the Ingles?

What I don't want to do is get in a car or bus anytime during those 17 days, but a train would work. (Car sickness.) I also don't really want to be completely alone the whole time. I know it's a risk, going in November, but one night I decided I couldn't wait until spring so I bought a ticket, squeezing it in between my partner's 50th birthday party and Thanksgiving. Yes, I'm addicted.

We can't predict the weather, but if I get to Madrid and the weather forecast says rain for a week in Portugal, I suppose I could scrap that whole thing and head south and walk the Mozarabe. Would anyone else be there this time of year?

This will be my 4th Camino; the first one (Frances) in May of 2016. This forum has been the best resource. Thanks to all of you for the abundance of info. It's made all the difference.

Yours,

Cat
Lots of great things to do in Santiago including the Pilgrims museum
 

CatPhillips

Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances 2016, Norte 2017, Primitivo 2017, Norte 2019, Primitivo 2019.
All great ideas! Depending on the weather, I might 1) spend more time in Porto, and probably take the Linha do Douro; 2) check out Coimbra; or 3) spend time in Madrid.

Or if I still feel like walking and have time, walk the Ingles.

Thanks to everyone!
 

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