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Winter Portugues Camino

Gumba

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
I cant help myself! If I am not walking the camino. I need to plan the next one ha ha

We are thinking of starting from Porto around 1st January 2022, maybe a couple of days later.

I would love to hear experiences of walking the CP in January in terms of weather and amenities.

At that time of year would you recommend the coastal or inland route? Which is better in general?

Ideally we would prefer to stay in hotels and the like - is there much available? I would normally just look at booking.com but not sure it would be very accurate at the moment.

Yes, I asked the weather question!!!! I know right! it cant really be answered but would love to know what it is like in general. We walked the CF over Dec/January of this year and had the most amazing sunny days - two days of rain from SJPdP to SDC; the year before it was snowing and bitterly cold - cant really tell....

Finally, flying from Australia, what is the best way to end up in Porto? Fly to Madrid and bus/train/plane to Lisbon or fly directly in and out of Lisbon?

Any more words of wisdom?
 
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jungleboy

Spirit of the Camino (Nick)
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés 2017
Primitivo 2018
Madrid 2019
Kumano Kodo 2019
Português 2020
Finally, flying from Australia, what is the best way to end up in Porto? Fly to Madrid and bus/train/plane to Lisbon or fly directly in and out of Lisbon?
To take just this part: even in pre-Pandemic times, you couldn't fly from Lisbon to Australia or vice-versa without making another stop in Europe in addition to the halfway layover in the Gulf States or Singapore or wherever, so you're not going to have fewer layovers by booking directly to Lisbon. Actually it's possible you'll have more. It depends on whether you value the convenience of a single booking or value for money. If the former, just book in and out of Lisbon, but then you still have to get to Porto (or just book directly to Porto). If the latter, I imagine it would be a fair bit cheaper to fly to London (or Paris or Amsterdam or one of the other big European hubs) and then take a budget airline flight to Lisbon or even directly to Porto if seeing Lisbon is not part of your plans. But then you have to deal with multiple bookings in terms of delays/cancellations, a longer layover in London to guard against that, etc. Personally I would just figure out the cheapest way and do that, but maybe that's just me. I once took an 81-hour bus ride in West Africa so I see economy air travel and airport layovers as more luxurious than most!
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Portuguese Coastal (2018)
Portuguese Coastal, with Spiritual Variant (2019)
Finally, flying from Australia, what is the best way to end up in Porto? Fly to Madrid and bus/train/plane to Lisbon or fly directly in and out of Lisbon?
I can't speak to the best routing (Madrid or Lisbon) from Australia. Jungleboy does a good job explaining the complexity of that decision. I can add that it's an easy train ride from Lisbon to Porto. All you have to do is download the Portuguese rail app (Comboios de Portugal) and book right on your phone. The high speed train takes under three hours and is quite comfortable.
 

Swillbos

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Camino Portuguese Jan 2020
We walked from Porto, setting out on 7th January this year along the Coastal route. The first day's route out of Porto sounds the more enjoyable, walking along the Douro rather than walking through residential and industrial areas pretty much back to the airport. There is a fair amount of boardwalk walking on the Coastal (though less than on the Littoral) and not everyone enjoys that. Some people do the first 1/2 days along the Coastal and then cut in from Vila do Conde to join the Central at Rates. I am sure someone who has done both routes will reply to you with more information, or alternatively search the archives, I found a wealth of information when we were planning

One of the reasons some people chose the Central in the winter is to avoid the worst of the Atlantic weather. All I can say was that we were generally quite lucky on that front. It was generally dry, and frequently bright and sunny (by UK standards anyway!). Having said which, we came unstuck when we arrived at Caminha; due to fog the ferry to a Guarda was not running. We had the dilemma of waiting 4hours to see if the fog would lift and the afternoon boat would run, or walking up the Rio Minho to join the Central. We opted for the latter, and were rewarded with the luxury of being the sole inhabitants of the 200 bed Youth hostel in Vila Nova de Cerveira!

We only had one day of utterly dreadful Galician rain, stairods on the route out of Pontevedra, which obliged us to cut short the day and stop in Caldas Das Reis (a very pleasant private hostel, newly opened in what was formerly the maternity hospital - can't remember the name at the moment). On such days I was pleased I had worn my old school leather boots as I had the only dry feet in our small waterlogged group, although my 'waterproof' over trousers were found wanting.....

Whatever you decide, I am sure you will have a wonderful time, Bom Caminho!
 

roving_rufus

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (2013-2015) Portugues (2017-2019) Via Francigena (2018-??) Camino from Ireland (2020-??)
I walked in January 2019 on CP. I got very cold weather but dry...equally storms could an issue too as it is Atlantic driven weather systems. I did part of the coastal route then cut over to Valencia and inland one. Accommodation in 2019 was a bit of a mixed bag (though I mainly stayed in albergues). In general most towns had some accommodation open but January is often a month many small hotels, guest houses and restaurants close. And who knows the effect of covid! There were very few pilgrims on the coastal route looking at various books in churches and albergues, and I didnt see or meet any pilgrims until I switched over at Tui when there were probably at least 10 others I came across.
I love walking in January! It takes a little more planning with accommodation but I think its worth it!
 
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camino.ninja

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 5 6,16,17,18,19,20
Primiti+Salvador 19
Portug. 17,18,20
Catalan 17
Norte 17
Plata 18
Hi,

I'm making a collaboration with Albergue de Peregrinos do Porto in Portugal and Ideas Peregrinas in Tui, Spain. We made a list of open accomodations between Porto and Santiago de Compostela for off-season / winter / covid etc.

Porto to the spanish border:
https://albergueperegrinosporto.pt/theway

Tui to Santiago de Compostela:
https://ideas-peregrinas.com/en/camino/

The Camino Ninja App have the same information. But the lists can be useful to give you an overview or if you prefer to use a guidebook.

Weather on the coast can be rough in winter. I would book just one day in advance so I would have the option to switch route.

Best
Andy
 
Last edited:

verose

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2014
I can't speak to the best routing (Madrid or Lisbon) from Australia. Jungleboy does a good job explaining the complexity of that decision. I can add that it's an easy train ride from Lisbon to Porto. All you have to do is download the Portuguese rail app (Comboios de Portugal) and book right on your phone. The high speed train takes under three hours and is quite comfortable.
Very easy and cheap to take a bus from Lisbon to Porto.
 

Gumba

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
Thanks everyone. Doughnut, we are waling in the school holidays so time poor. On this occasion we would rather take a few days to play tourist in Lisbon and Porto. Plus we need to get back a week before school starts to allow for jet-lag.

Thanks Ken and Verose. I figured this leg would be pretty easy! How long is the trip?

Ninja, that looks like an excellent resource, many thanks.

Thanks for the recount Swilbos and Roving Rufus. Yes, I like walking in the winter too! 2 winter CFs now.

Jungles, yep, we usually stop in the Gulf states before going to Europe. When doing the CF we usually go to Paris the train to sjpdo
 
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