• For 2024 Pilgrims: €50,- donation = 1 year with no ads on the forum + 90% off any 2024 Guide. More here.
    (Discount code sent to you by Private Message after your donation)
  • ⚠️ Emergency contact in Spain - Dial 112 and AlertCops app. More on this here.

Search 69,459 Camino Questions

Where to start? Tomar? Porto?

Marla in CA

Active Member
Time of past OR future Camino
2019
Question for all those who have done the Camino Portugues before. I definitely want to begin walking well before Porto, but probably well after Lisbon too. I would be interested in opinions as to where to start or what towns not to miss. Tentatively, I planned on starting in Coimbra and walking to Santiago. However, I know of someone who is starting in Tomar, but then when he arrives in Coimbra, after he is finished looking around, he is taking the train to Porto. Any opinions on these 2 different options? I can recalculate the stages and see if I can start in Tomar and keep walking all the way through to Santiago, but in case I can only do one or the other, I am interested in people's experiences and opinions.

THank you in advance for any comments.
 
Get a spanish phone number with Airalo. eSim, so no physical SIM card. Easy to use app to add more funds if needed.
Tomar is a beautiful town and it's a beautiful walk from there to Coimbra.
From Coimbra to Porto there is some tramping through industrial suburbs, it's not so pretty.

But it's all Portuguese camino, good or bad, I would walk it all again in a heartbeat.
This helps me tremendously. I really appreciate it. I like the fact that you informed me about industrial suburbs, not being so pretty, yet you would walk it again. This is exactly the type of honesty and first hand experience I was looking for in response to my question.
 
Ideal sleeping bag liner whether we want to add a thermal plus to our bag, or if we want to use it alone to sleep in shelters or hostels. Thanks to its mummy shape, it adapts perfectly to our body.

€46,-
€2,-/day will present your project to thousands of visitors each day. All interested in the Camino de Santiago.
Another vote for starting in Tomar. Spend a day or so there as well as Coimbra. They are both very nice towns with a lot of history to see. As others have said, the Coimbra to Porto is a lot of industry but I still liked the walk. If you need the time, skip that section.
 
I agree. I found the Tomar to Coimbra stretch much nicer than the Coimbra to Porto stretch.
I’m starting from Tomar March 22 with several “off stage” stops to visit Templar sites. I hate to book ahead, thoughts on that between Tomar and Coimbra. Thank you!
 
Tomar is a beautiful town and it's a beautiful walk from there to Coimbra.
From Coimbra to Porto there is some tramping through industrial suburbs, it's not so pretty.

But it's all Portuguese camino, good or bad, I would walk it all again in a heartbeat.
Hi. I walked from Coimbra to Santiago. Have also walked the coastal another time from Porto. I had a major issue with one of my eyes a day after leaving Coimbra( needing to visit a hospital), walked two days in torrential rain and one bizarre experience in a weird accommodation. Like someone else said I too would walk again in a heartbeat. If I'd time would love to have left from Lisbon. The magic of the Way is hard to explain but I will never forget walking across the Dom Luis Bridge into Porto with my eye patch and that inexplicable feeling of freedom. Buen Camino
 

Attachments

  • 20210915_090316.mp4
    27.3 MB
  • 20210917_101836.jpg
    20210917_101836.jpg
    855.6 KB · Views: 8
  • 20210918_113750.jpg
    20210918_113750.jpg
    4.2 MB · Views: 8
Technical backpack for day trips with backpack cover and internal compartment for the hydration bladder. Ideal daypack for excursions where we need a medium capacity backpack. The back with Air Flow System creates large air channels that will keep our back as cool as possible.

€83,-
I’m starting from Tomar March 22 with several “off stage” stops to visit Templar sites. I hate to book ahead, thoughts on that between Tomar and Coimbra. Thank you!
My view is that booking ahead isn’t necessary as there’s not going to be any kind of bed race on this part of the CP.

On the other hand, there isn’t a ton of pilgrim accommodation either so it would be good to do a bit of research in advance to look into the options in various towns for each stage, even if you don’t book any of them. It’s not a matter of just arriving in a town and seeing signs for five (or however many) different albergues to easily choose from like the CF.
 
Keep the info coming...We loved Tomar and spent a couple days there. We will leave Fatima March 31 going to Coimbra (backwards on the Camino de Fatima). Accommodations are a bit hard until Coimbra and we may migrate to the Central route around Cortica. From Coimbra either the central or interior route. If we take the interior we may head off on the Camino Torres at Lamego. We only plan to make it to the Spanish border, but could always change flight plans and continue to Santiago. Who know?? And if the weather looks bad, we may look to take transportation south and find another walking trail. We have done the Fisherman's trail and over it.
 
The magic of the Way is hard to explain but I will never forget walking across the Dom Luis Bridge into Porto with my eye patch and that inexplicable feeling of freedom. Buen Camino
Even though I recommended skipping Coimbra-Porto, I agree that the Porto entrance is spectacular (with or without an eye patch!). I am on the record as saying that it must be the most amazing city view-entrance on any camino, because you approach it from the perfect direction but it’s completely hidden from you until at a certain point the entire city is suddenly revealed in front of your eyes and then it stays that way as you cross the bridge.
 
Ideal pocket guides for during and after your Camino. Each weighs just 40g (1.4 oz).
Another vote for starting in Tomar. Spend a day or so there as well as Coimbra. They are both very nice towns with a lot of history to see. As others have said, the Coimbra to Porto is a lot of industry but I still liked the walk. If you need the time, skip that section.
Thank you, very helpful. I am going to study the stages today, and recalculate. Appreciate your vote.
 
When deciding on whether to skip less appealing sections of a Camino I’m reminded of a statement from a poster, maybe on here, who said “I’m not just choosing the cherry and icing, I’m eating the whole cake”.
Interesting perspective but I’m not sure it really applies here. The OP isn’t going for the whole cake and will be skipping stages no matter what. The question is which stages to skip.
 
Very light, comfortable and compressible poncho. Specially designed for protection against water for any activity.

Our Atmospheric H30 poncho offers lightness and waterproofness. Easily compressible and made with our Waterproof fabric, its heat-sealed interior seams guarantee its waterproofness. Includes carrying bag.

€60,-
Even though I recommended skipping Coimbra-Porto, I agree that the Porto entrance is spectacular (with or without an eye patch!). I am on the record as saying that it must be the most amazing city view-entrance on any camino, because you approach it from the perfect direction but it’s completely hidden from you until at a certain point the entire city is suddenly revealed in front of your eyes and then it stays that way as you cross the bridge.
Interesting to know this as I am planning to walk up the coast from Espinho into Porto so I wonder how that coastal approach to the bridge and city will compare. And will walk Tomar to Coimbra before that.
 
Even though I recommended skipping Coimbra-Porto, I agree that the Porto entrance is spectacular (with or without an eye patch!). I am on the record as saying that it must be the most amazing city view-entrance on any camino, because you approach it from the perfect direction but it’s completely hidden from you until at a certain point the entire city is suddenly revealed in front of your eyes and then it stays that way as you cross the bridge.
Given your comments about the remarkable entrance to Porto, wouldn't it be simple for me to just hop off the train a bit before Porto so I can experience what you and others have described? Or maybe the train to Porto from Tomar is direct without stops?
 
Last edited by a moderator:
A guide to speaking Spanish on the Camino - enrich your pilgrim experience.
Given your comments about the remarkable entrance to Porto, wouldn't it be simple for me to just hop off the train a bit before Porto so I can experience what you and others have described? Or maybe the train to Porto from Tomar is direct without stops?
General Torres would be the closest train station to the viewpoint/bridge but that may require going to Porto Campanha and then getting a local train back, which may defeat the purpose a bit. Alternatively you could get off the train before Torres at Vila Nova da Gaia (which trains from Coimbra should stop at) and walk about 25 minutes to the viewpoint and then into Porto. So that could be worth considering!
 
General Torres would be the closest train station to the viewpoint/bridge but that may require going to Porto Campanha and then getting a local train back, which may defeat the purpose a bit. Alternatively you could get off the train before Torres at Vila Nova da Gaia (which trains from Coimbra should stop at) and walk about 25 minutes to the viewpoint and then into Porto. So that could be worth considering!
Thank you!!
 
Interesting to know this as I am planning to walk up the coast from Espinho into Porto so I wonder how that coastal approach to the bridge and city will compare. And will walk Tomar to Coimbra before that.
I’m not sure but since that’s a DIY-type route anyway you could probably make it work. There’s one bridge further west (i.e. closer to the coast) than the Don Luís I bridge (the Arrábida bridge) so that might be the more direct way to cross the Douro but even so, you’d have to head back east after crossing it to reach the centre of Porto anyway, so it might be worth making that eastward move on the south side of the river.

Also worth doing before the Don Luís I bridge is going up to the Miradouro (viewpoint) da Serra do Pilar, which is near the bridge but higher up and it looks down upon the bridge, the river, and Porto.
 
The focus is on reducing the risk of failure through being well prepared. 2nd ed.
I’m not sure but since that’s a DIY-type route anyway you could probably make it work. There’s one bridge further west (i.e. closer to the coast) than the Don Luís I bridge (the Arrábida bridge) so that might be the more direct way to cross the Douro but even so, you’d have to head back east after crossing it to reach the centre of Porto anyway, so it might be worth making that eastward move on the south side of the river.

Also worth doing before the Don Luís I bridge is going up to the Miradouro (viewpoint) da Serra do Pilar, which is near the bridge but higher up and it looks down upon the bridge, the river, and Porto.
Thank you Nick. Good advice as I had not studied the route closely. Just inspired by another walker's post to walk via Lavadores and Alfurada but see now to continue eastward as you suggest to cross the Don Luis 1 bridge. And that Miradouro is a great idea too.
 
Interesting to know this as I am planning to walk up the coast from Espinho into Porto so I wonder how that coastal approach to the bridge and city will compare. And will walk Tomar to Coimbra before that.
That walk, if you follow the coast all the way, will take you around through Lavadores and the fishing village of Afurada before continuing (under the Arrábida bridge) along the Gaia shoreline as Porto comes into view, as you continue past the port warehouses to the Luis Bridge to cross it on the lower level. Its a lovely walk in itself, it's just that you'll see it for a while beforehand, and you won't be hit with the sudden spectacular view from the higher level as you are when you walk in by Avinida da Republica.
 
That walk, if you follow the coast all the way, will take you around through Lavadores and the fishing village of Afurada before continuing (under the Arrábida bridge) along the Gaia shoreline as Porto comes into view, as you continue past the port warehouses to the Luis Bridge to cross it on the lower level. Its a lovely walk in itself, it's just that you'll see it for a while beforehand, and you won't be hit with the sudden spectacular view from the higher level as you are when you walk in by Avinida da Republica.
Thank you Flog for your detailed reply. I now have a clearer idea of this approach to Porto. Am still deciding which way to go. I have not walked the higher level by Avinda de Republica before which is appealing too.
 
Join our full-service guided tour of the Basque Country and let us pamper you!

Most read last week in this forum

A piece from La Voz de Galicia commenting on the remarkable growth in numbers walking the Camino Portugues and especially the Coastal variant. The president of the local Amigos association...
Dear all, looking forward to walk the CP (Central and Spiritual Variant) starting soon :)! I have a few questions. Because walking with three friends this time in stead of alone I'm focussing...
Hi, my husband and I want to stay at this monastery but we had to change our plans and are now only able to walk from Tui to Santiago, the minimum to get the Compostela. Does anyone know if this...
Greetings fellow pilgrims! I'm planning our journey from Porto to Vigo, beginning on Senda Litoral and eventually merging into the coastal route. Does anyone have recommendations a good place to...

❓How to ask a question

How to post a new question on the Camino Forum.

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Updates on YouTube

Camino Conversations

Most downloaded Resources

This site is run by Ivar at

in Santiago de Compostela.
This site participates in the Amazon Affiliate program, designed to provide a means for Ivar to earn fees by linking to Amazon
Official Camino Passport (Credential) | 2024 Camino Guides
Back
Top