Lisbon to Santiago
This itinerary begins in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, which is rich in culture and showcases traditional architecture, cobbled streets, inviting laneways and colourful tiles with gorgeous beaches just a short drive away. The first part of the route follows the Portuguese Camino out of Lisbon along the fertile Tagus river valley through the ‘Garden of Portugal’. It passes through old towns founded by the Romans and occupied by Visigoths, Moors and Galicians following much of the old Roman military road towards Porto, one of the most ancient cities in Europe. After Porto the Camino follows closely along the Portuguese and Galician coastlines using the Portuguese Camino da Costa (Coastal Way), and the Portuguese Camino da Senda Litoral (Seashore Path) until Redondela, where the route converges with the Portuguese Camino Central (Central Way) and continues through to Santiago de Compostela.
Our Portuguese Coastal Camino itinerary takes in many captivating and unique historic towns and cities such as Santarem, Tomar, Coimbra, Viana do Castelo, Baiona and Pontevedra as well as many beautiful beaches along the coastline. This 646km epic adventure is best suited to the experienced and intrepid walker as there are some longer walking days as well as less signage and fewer other walkers than its Spanish counterpart.
get ready for
- Explore atmospheric Lisbon by foot or tram before your walk
- Abundant history, fine cuisine and lively culture
- Fresh cod and grilled sardines the world famous ‘Pastéis de Nata’
- Lush fields, forests, vineyards, olive and citrus groves, beautiful beaches and wild coastlines
- Roman remains, old Knights Templar towns, Moorish bastions, medieval monuments and Romanesque-Gothic churches
Lisbon to Santiago
Today is your arrival day into Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, and a city that is rich in Portuguese culture. The city showcases traditional architecture, cobbled streets, inviting laneways, colourful tiles and gorgeous beaches only a short drive from the city centre. With a year-round Mediterranean climate, Lisbon has one of the warmest winters of any metropolis in Europe! Enjoy exploring this beautiful city by foot and tram and if time permits jump on a train or bus to one of the stunning beaches in the surrounding area.
By night, Lisbon has a real buzz to it, especially in the Bairro Alto district and surrounds. Whether you are after some good food and good wine or a night out dancing, there are many options to suit any taste! We recommend that you do not miss Sao Jorge castle and the two UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Jeronimos Monastery and Belem Tower. Visit the cathedral in Alfama and obtain your first stamp. Opening hours are 9am to 7pm.
Lisbon to Póvoa de Santa Iria 26KM
Start from the Igreja de Santiago church, or from the Lisbon Cathedral, (Se Patriarcal de Lisboa), and follow the yellow arrows from the cathedral through the old streets emerging after 7.5 km on the Rio Tejo Estuary river path at Parque das Nacoes, (Park of Nations), sight of ‘Expo 98’. The major landmarks here are the Vasco de Gama tower, the Myriad by Sana hotel and the Vasco de Gama bridge, one of the longest in Europe. The path passes under the bridge and follows the small Rio Trancao to Sacavem where you cross the river and follow the green valley along a trail on the embankment. This trail then merges into a farm track coming into Alpriate and then to minor roads to the busy town of Povoa de Santa Iria.
Póvoa de Santa Iria to Vila Franca de Xira 16km
Leave Povoa de Santa Iria via the Linear Park river path next to the Rio Tejo, then past the airfield Rio Tejo into Alverca do Ribatejo where you can stop to get refreshments and snacks for your day ahead. Cross over the railroad, through the station, then through an industrial area after which there is some walking on the busy N-10 road before crossing the railway line again and rejoining the riverside path of gravel and boardwalk once more next to the river at Alhandra. This path, the Caminho Pedenal Ribeirinho, leads into the beautiful town of Vila Franca de Xira, home of the famous running of the bulls festival in July and October.
Vila Franca de Xira to Azambuja 20km
Depart Vila Franca de Xira along the pleasant new gravel path near the railway line to Castanheira. The walk to the next town, Carregado, is on paved roads, and leaving here, the Camino follows a walkway that parallels an irrigation canal, with the Ribetjo power station off to the right. There is very little shade on this section of the Camino, so you will need to be well prepared. Turning right onto the Estrada da Central, this 3km section of walking along the paved road to Vila Nova da Rainha is followed by a lengthy stretch on a sandy path alongside the railway line. Just before Azambuja, cross over the railway line where the town is entered by walking on the paved shoulder of the busy N-3 road.
Note: The N-3 road was the official Camino path from Vila Nova da Rainha until recently. Azambuja is a pretty town with an ancient and rich heritage. Bullfighting is very popular in these parts, there is a running-with-the-bulls fiesta in late May and you will pass by the bullring on the way into town.
Azambuja to Porto de Muge 17km
Today is a short day walking across the fertile floodplains of the Rio Tejo. This is a large agricultural area where you will see kilometre after kilometre of fields of tomatoes, crops and vineyards, a nice change to the more industrial scenes of the previous few days. The trail is mostly quiet country roads, farm tracks then some walking on top of the flood barrier – a great vantage point to view the river Tejo on one side and over the fields on the other. There are several cafés in Valada, a nice village to enjoy a break and take in the beach on the River Tejo.
Porto de Muge to Santarém 16km
Continue on to Santarém through the area known as the ‘Garden of Portugal’. There are no opportunities today for drinks or snacks and there will be little shade. You will be walking on sandy farm tracks that meander between vast open fields and endless vineyards. There are many old Quintas, (rural estates), most of these properties are deserted and in danger of tumbling down. A final climb up a short hill takes you to the beautiful historic fortified hilltop city of Santarém.
Rest day in Santarém
Santarém, sitting atop a strategic outcrop above the Rio Tejo and originally founded by the Romans, was occupied by the Visigoths and Moors before being captured in 1147 by Portugal’s first king, Alfonso Henriques. Today, Santarém with a population of 29,000, is a small city containing the largest amount of gothic churches in Portugal. Wander the quaint old cobbled streets, observing the many ceramic tiled facades and balcony railings of the buildings, graceful church portals, museums and fabulous restaurants.
The imposing Portas do Sol, (Gates of the Sun), occupies the site of the original Roman forum and the former Moorish citadel, and now contains beautiful shady gardens behind the ramparts and old city walls. We recommend you visit this beautiful lookout point where you can watch the sunset and soak in the magnificent views over the river and landscape below. One of the important events for Santarém is during the first half of June, when the National Agricultural Fair is held.
Santarém to Golega 31km
Departing from Santarém via the Portas de Santiago, (Gate of Santiago), just to the left of the entrance of Portas do Sol, the Camino leads you out of town on an earthen path that descends going around the old castle walls.
Walking along quiet country roads and endless and farm tracks running parallel to the Rio Tejo, the trail is quite flat so it should be relatively easy walking. These farm tracks can vary from nice soft sand, to uncomfortable stony ground and dried mud that may be deeply rutted by tractor wheels.
This is God’s wine country; enjoy the day soaking up the country scenery whilst navigating between the vineyards and fields of corn and many other vegetables. Shortly after passing through the village of Vale de Figueira, you will encounter a cork tree plantation and eucalyptus trees. Further onwards there is a diversion from the original Camino due to flooding. The trail heads inland towards the N-365 road to Pombalinho, from where you make your way to Azinhaga, a very pretty town with some interesting architecture.
Make your way out of Azinhaga by following the busy N-365 road to Golega, the centre of Portugal’s horse-breeding area and an area well known for its equestrian centre and annual horse shows. We recommend you visit Largo da Imaculada Conceicao, with the 14th-century Igreja Matriz Manueline church.
Golega to Vila Nova Barquina 9km
Departing Golega you will walk to ‘Quinta da Cardiga’ on the Rio Tejo, one of the most beautiful old estates and manor houses in the country, originally established as a grant to the Knights Templar by the first king of Portugal in 1160.
The Quinta feels more like a town than an estate, enjoy walking along the tree lined streets. The buildings, many in complete ruin, cover a huge area and are fascinating in their dilapidated state. The main house seems to be maintained and the surrounding plantings are kept in order. Continue the short distance to Vila Nova Barquina, and if time permits consider a visit to the Castle of Almourol, 4km away near Tancos; this old Knight Templar castle sits on a rocky islet in the Rio Tejo.
Vila Nova Barquina to Tomar 23km
Leaving the Rio Tejo and the flood plains for the last time, follow the road to Atalaia with the Igreja Matriz parish church, a national monument. Now for the first time on the Camino Portuguese, the pilgrim encounters rolling hills. Follow forest tracks and logging roads through almost 5km of eucalypt plantations to Asseiceira – there is a fountain here with a wonderful footbath for cooling the feet.
The final 11km to Tomar is along roads, including several short sections on the busy N-110. Tomar, the last Knights Templar town to be commissioned for construction, is an old medieval pilgrim town, one of Portugal’s historical jewels and a UNESCO World Heritage site. To this day, Tomar retains much of the original layout and architecture of the Templar period. Henry The Navigator planned many of the voyages of discovery from here in the 15th century when Tomar was a centre of Portuguese overseas expansion. The impressive Aqueduct of Pegões is behind the fortress. Also worth visiting is the 15th century synagogue, said to be the oldest in Portugal, and the many important churches. Consider taking a rest day in Tomar where it’s also possible to take a day tour to Fatima.
Tomar to Cortica, just before Alvaiazere 26km
Enjoy a change of landscape as you travel through lovely woodland, eucalyptus logging forests, orange and lemon groves, valleys, ancient Roman roads and farm tracks. You can either leave Tomar by the official route, or on the riverside track, (for the summer months), both paths joining after 3km at Ponte Peniche.
Today’s walk is one of the most challenging with many more ups than downs, however, it is also very rewarding. The path has several marked turns; these may be on electricity poles, rocks or buildings, so please keep your eyes peeled as you walk. Few of the tiny hamlets we pass through have facilities so stock up on water and food before leaving Tomar.
Cortica, just before Alvaiazere to Ansiao 20km
Alvaiazere is a small town with a grocery store, pharmacy, restaurants and bars, so you can stock up here on snacks and drinks for today’s walk. Out of Alvaiazere the trail begins with a sharp climb, followed by a gradual descent. A quiet and peaceful day walking through small hamlets, forested rolling hills, olive groves and stone walled fields to your destination Ansiao, one of the larger towns in this area. About 1.5km before you actually enter Ansiao you will pass a sign saying you are in Ansiao; keep walking and you will soon see the township, which has banks, stores, restaurants and bars.
Ansiao to Condeixa A Nova 30km
Today is one of your longest days on the Camino. On the walk out of Ansiao you will cross the 17th century bridge of Ponte da Cal near where Queen Isabel is believed to have bathed during her pilgrimage to Santiago. You will find pine forests and olive groves along your route today, offering plenty of opportunity to rest in the shade. In the attractive hilltop village of Alvorge you will be able to access refreshments, followed by Rabacal, which is worth a stop to try their well known cheese.
The terrain becomes more gentle now, travelling on an unpaved Roman road through vineyards and olive groves to the Roman ruins in Conimbriga. The site of the largest Roman settlement in Portugal and is well worth a visit if time permits, before walking the last kilometre into Condeixa A Nova.
Condeixa A Nova to Coimbra 20km
Departing Condeixa A Nova, you will walk through beautiful countryside on quiet lanes, dotted with more vineyards, olive groves and forests. Pass through the villages of Cernache and Palheira, cross under the motorway and start the final stage of your walk which takes you climbing up to Cruz dos Morouços before dropping down past the old Roman aqueduct into Santa Clara. Here you must stop and take in the view over Coimbra from the Observatório, and the convent of Santa Clara, an impressive and decorative building that holds the remains of the first queen of Portugal, Santa Isabel. Finally enter Coimbra crossing over the Rio Mondego on the Ponte de Santa Clara. Coimbra, population 145,000, was once the capital of Portugal and home of one of the oldest universities in Europe. It also has many historical buildings classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Rest day in Coimbra
Exploring Coimbra by foot is a treat, with its cathedrals and churches, university, museums, narrow streets of the old town and lively atmosphere. The main square, the Largo da Portagem, is the place to be for outdoor cafes and restaurants.
There are many historic sites to visit. Walk up through Rua do Arco Almedina to the famous old tower of the original Moorish town walls, the Torre da Almedina. Continue on to Sé Velha, the Old Cathedral of Coimbra, built in a very rare Reconquista style of architecture, a Romanesque style with Arabic influences. Further up on top of the hill, the Alta de Coimbra, is the Sé Nova de Coimbra, the New Cathedral. Also up here occupying pride of place are the many historical university buildings.
Back down in the old town is the small Igreja de São Tiago, Church of Santiago, a 12th century Romanesque church. Nearby is Igreja de Santa Cruz, containing the tomb of Alfonso Henriques. Coimbra has a vibrant nightlife, where you can enjoy listening to the sweet sound of Fado, a style of music which was created by the students to woo the women of Coimbra.
Coimbra to Mealhada 23km
The Camino leaves Coimbra next to the river and then alongside a canal to Ademia. Taking you along valleys and through some urban areas, the trail stays relatively flat after your initial climb up to Cioga do Monte. While there are short stretches of the Roman road, much of today is spent on asphalt and there are several stretches of main road. Pass through several villages built in a modern style and after Santa Luzia the Camino follows a forest trail and back roads to Mealhada, located in an area famous for its wine making and month old Leitao (roast suckling pig).
Mealhada to Águeda 25km
Walking through the Certima river valley on a mostly tarmac trail, today’s route will take you to the city of Avelas de Caminho, with a strong historic connection to the Camino de Santiago. Pass through the industrial area around Barro on the way to Águeda, on the river of the same name. Águeda is a large town with many shops and restaurants. If time permits, have a stroll through the Parque da Alta Villa, which is a huge shady park with lots of painted pig statues!
Águeda to Albergaria A Velha 16km
A short and easy walk today, first up passing through the interesting towns of Mourisca do Vouga and São Sebastião with their fabulous old mansions, almost all abandoned and in disrepair. The former glory of these estates is obvious for all to see. This must have been a wealthy area in days gone by.
Following the ancient Roman road known as ‘Via Romana XVI’ through eucalyptus and pine forests, you will pass over the Rio Marnel on the old Roman bridge, Ponte Velha do Marnel. Shortly after this, cross the Rio Vouga using the modern highway bridge from where the walking will be mostly on roads again today, although it is much more interesting.
There is another short section through a eucalyptus plantation before reaching Albergaria A Velha, a pleasant town with a long history of providing hospitality to pilgrims.
Albergaria A Velha to Sao Joao da Madeira 29km
Your day will start with a lovely walk through the eucalyptus and pine forest. After this, however, most of the walking is on asphalt with the terrain becoming more irregular, there are many ascents descents passing through valleys and over hills. In the historic town of Bemposta, step back in time as you ponder the history of the 18th century buildings.
Beyond Travanca there is a short section on the old pilgrim path and over another Roman bridge. The large town of Oliveira de Azemeis is another centre with historical links to the Camino.
Now the Camino becomes progressively more urbanised as you approach Sao Joao da Madeira. Sao Joao da Madeira is an industrial town specialising in the production of shoes and hats. If you want to see something different, check out the old hat-making factory, which is now a museum and has exhibits describing the old hat-making process.
Sao Joao da Madeira to Grijo 19km
Travelling through a mix of paved roads through urban areas and a short section of the original Roman road, today’s walk is relatively short. There will be quite a few crossings over busy main roads.
Out of town, passing an old industrial area, the Camino passes the town of Arrifana with its distinctive blue tiled Igreja Matriz church. Just after Malaposta, where you may catch a glimpse of the Atlantic Ocean off in the distance to the west, there is a short section of the original Roman road followed by the Rua Estrada Romana, a street name that should be intriguing to everyone, as it means the ‘Roman Road Street’.
Upon entering Grijo, you will pass the high stone walls holding loads of greenery behind them and containing the grounds of most famous site in Grijó, the Monastery of St. Salvador (O Mosteiro de Sao Salvador de Grijo), dating back to the 13th century. Enter through the imposing gateway and walk down the shaded driveway. The gardens are shady and inviting, a perfect place to enjoy the silence and to contemplate.
Grijo to Porto 16km
Another short day of walking will have you in Porto for lunch. The way becomes more populated and the roads more congested. After Perozinho there is a short section through the trees on the original Roman road, then make your final push into Porto mostly alongside the busy N1 road.
Enjoy the refreshing breeze of the Atlantic Ocean as you cross the famous Ponte de Dom Luis Bridge over the Douro River. To the left on the south bank is Vila Nova de Gaia where the port wine cellars are located. You will see the old city centre of Porto across the bridge with the towers of the cathedral straight ahead. There is plenty to amaze you in Porto, from the colourful riverfront and the Douro River with its period Port wine boats, to the friendly locals and tasty cuisine.
Rest day in Porto
Before commencing the next stage of your journey towards Camino de Santiago, enjoy today exploring Porto, one of the most ancient cities in Europe. Home to 240,000 people, Porto charms visitors with many architectural highlights, the picturesque Ribeira river front and UNESCO heritage listed colourful historic old town. You can easily spend a few days here. There’s a mix of the old and the new with churches, colourful markets, wine bars, port cellars and a lively atmosphere to soak up and enjoy. Be sure to visit the Porto Cathedral before tomorrow’s walk and obtain your first stamp, (carimbos in Portuguese and sello in Spanish).
Metro from Porto to Matosinhos/ Walk to Póvoa de Varzim 22km
On this next stage of the Camino the route follows the coast. The Coastal Camino from Porto is marked with the blue and yellow or rusty steel signs with the familiar scallop shell and the words Caminho Portugues da Costa, and a variety of yellow arrows and scallop shell signs.
On this section of the Camino you have the option of using a mixture of the Senda Litoral, (Seashore Path), and Coastal Way, the latter often being slightly inland of the Seashore Path (both routes often converge and share the same path). The Seashore Path is less well waymarked, often without any signs.
The day begins by taking the Metro light rail to Matosinhos to avoid the outskirts of Porto and reach the coast to start your walk on the Portuguese Seashore Path (or instead you may prefer to take a 15-minute taxi ride to Matosinhos). If taking the Metro, get off at the ‘Mercado’ stop, 30 minutes from the Trindade Metro station in Porto. Cross the bridge and turn left towards the coast.
Todays’ walking is flat and easy. You will be accompanied by many kilometres of golden sandy Atlantic beach, which will be your guide to the town of Vila Do Conde. The route along the coast from Matosinhos is well marked. Your walk will be close to the coast, on pedestrian pavement, the cycle track and wooden walkways, passing fishing villages, chapels, monuments and beautiful popular sandy beaches. Ignore any yellow Camino arrows directing you to the right to the Coastal Way further inland. Keep to the shore and cross the bridge over the River Ave to enter the medieval shipyard town of Vila doConde with its pretty harbour and imposing Convent of Santa Clara.
Take time to visit the Museum of Naval Construction with a replica Portuguese carrack, the ‘Nau Quinhentista’, floating in the dock. Also, the Igreja Matriz church with the large aqueduct behind it and the Convent of Santa Clara. Leaving Vila do Condo, with the beach once again on your left, walk along the coastal path to Póvoa de Varzim, a popular resort and holiday town.
Note: The alternative Coastal Way travels up to 5km inland after leaving Porto, through soulless stretches of industrial built-up areas, along busy roads and passing the airport runway until after some 20km, finally enters rural areas near Labruge, 10km before Vilado Conde.
Póvoa de Varzim to Esposende 20km
Continue on your way to the old fishing village of Esposende with the Seashore Path and Coastal Way sharing much of the route. Follow the coast passing through the villages of Agucadoura and Areia, then cross through the Coastal Natural Park (Parque Natural do Litoral Norte).
At the church in Apulia you have a choice, the Coastal Way forges straight ahead through the pine and eucalypt forest before Fao, while the Seashore Path turns left to follow the coast with both routes rejoining to cross the River Cavardo on the spectacular bridge before arriving at Esposende, a popular resort and fishing town on the estuary.
Esposende to Viana Do Castelo 26km
Today there is a choice of walking the traditional Coastal Way along quiet roads which continue slightly inland from the coast via the villages of Marinhas, Belinho, Santiago and Chafe to Viana do Castelo, which is reached after crossing the River Lima on Eiffel’s old iron bridge. The alternate route is to take the Seashore Path along the coastal roads, walkways and the beach. Both paths converge at the Ponte Sebastaio Bridge over the River Neiva, about half way between Esposende and Viana do Castelo, before diverging again. So if you prefer, you can mix your day between the quiet rural Seashore Path and the more undulating Coastal Way through the many interesting local communities. While the Coastal Way is well marked, the Seashore Path is not. Classified as a mecca of architecture, Viana do Castelo is famous for its monuments in and around the city, and the surrounding natural beauty of its beaches and seafront. Take the opportunity to visit the 15th century cathedral and take the funicular to the Basilica de Santa Lucia on the hill above the town for some of the best views of the West Atlantic coast.
Viana Do Castelo to Vila Praia De Ancora 20km
Today’s walk will continue along the wild Atlantic coastline following the official route of the Coastal Way, which is a little inland, passing a world of old farms and quaint villages on narrow cobblestone roads offering beautiful views over the hills and coastline. It’s also possible to walk the Seashore Path along quiet roads, the beach and boardwalks above the dunes, but you will not have the benefit of any way marking/signage. Both routes converge at the old fishing village of Vila Praia de Ancora, your stop for the night. The town has a great beach and is popular with tourists.
Vila Praia De Ancora to A Guarda 15km
Today depart Âncora following the Caminho Portugues da Costa waymarks along the wide concrete walkway and cycle path. Pass the small chapel of Santo Isidoro following the concrete path around to the left and continuing along the shore towards Caminha. Remain on the Seashore Path next to the rocky then sandy coastline; ignore the crossing to the right under the railway line and continue past Moleda beach all the way into Caminha by walking along the path along the Minho estuary. Interesting sites to explore in Caminha are the Torre do Relogio clock tower, the
When ready, take the ferry across the river Minho to A Pasaxe in Galicia. There are about 10 crossings per day from Caminha to A Pasaxe (the schedule varies depending on the season). If the ferry is not running due to low tide, maintenance or being a Monday, you can arrange a boat across using Taximar at the ferry terminal (prices will depend on number of passengers). Once across the estuary in Spain, don’t forget to put your watch forward 1 hour. As an option, on leaving the ferry, instead of walking directly to A Guarda, consider the scenic walk around the peninsular to enjoy an alternative way to enter the town; this will add an extra 3km but is worth it for the fine views.
The fishing port of A Guarda with its pretty harbour is home to Galicia’s most impressive ancient Celtic settlements: the Santa Tecla on the hill above the town – an authentic archaeological gem with breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.
A Guarda to Oia 13km
Enjoy a leisurely morning exploring A Guarda before departing by walking past the harbour to the small fort near the breakwater and continue north on the path on the coast. After several kilometres the route joins a wide pedestrian and cycle path above the rocky shoreline along the side of the main road, PO-552, most of the way into Oia. This section is flat with very little shade. As you approach Oia you will be rewarded with the spectacular view of the 12th-century Monastery of Santa Maria de Oia cross the small harbour. Oia is a small pretty town with several restaurants; you may find some locals engaged in an impromptu sing along with bagpipes playing typical Galician tunes.
Oia to Baiona 18km
Start the day by taking the path alongside the dramatic coast where after several kilometres it once again joins alongside the busy PO-552. Just before reaching As Marinos, 11.5km from Oia, the Coastal Way crosses the main road to the right and heads inland and upwards towards Baredo along the old Roman ‘Royal Path’. Look for a small granite Camino sign on the right hand side of the road near some houses where there will also be a large blue sign. Go through a gate and up the hill, and soon you will be rewarded with spectacular views over the coast, the lighthouse and the rocky hill known as Monte de Baredo. Note the prominent wheel ruts worn into the granite rocks as this ancient path goes through the forest and over the pass.
After passing a sports ground, the path enters the village of Baredo and then O’Sinal where you will soon be rewarded with views of the Cies Islands out off the Bay of Vigo. Follow the yellow arrows to Baiona and enter the town making your way to the main esplanade along sea where the imposing walls of the old fortress containing the Parador Hotel can be seen on the small promontory.
Baiona is the most popular seaside tourist town in southern Galicia and has a well preserved old town and numerous important monuments. It was here in 1493 that the Caravel La Pinta returned with news of the discovery of America by Columbus. A replica is moored in the harbour.
Rest day in Baiona
A day to relax and recover in this lovely little coastal town. The medieval fortress Monte Real, was built originally to deter pirates from this stretch of coast, and in 1585 repelled an English raid led by Sir Francis Drake. Baiona itself has many great cafes and restaurants and a wonderful atmosphere. You can use this day to travel to the nearby historic town of Tui with its cathedral which is the highlight of the inland Central Camino, or to take a ferry trip out to the Cies Islands, which are known as the Caribbean of Spain and are a beautiful protected national park (the ferry runs from June – September and on weekends in May). However, visitor numbers to the islands are controlled, so a visit must be booked in advance. The tourist office is located in the Parador with the most amazing views over the Atlantic Ocean and Vigo Bay.
Note: If you prefer, this rest day can be taken earlier in A Guarda or Viano Do Castelo or taken out of your itinerary if you are on a shorter time frame.
Baiona to Vigo 24km
Today the best option out of Baiona is to follow the Senda Litoral Seashore Path and cross the medieval Ponte Ramallosa bridge over the Rio Minor. Alternatively, the Camino leaves Baiona along the Rúa Ventura Misa, the old town road that is set inland from the main road which will lead you out to the coast. It will take you about an hour
to walk out of the old town to Ramallosa. At this point you can decide to either continue along the coast on the Seashore Path, or follow the inland route through the hills on the Coastal Way. The Seashore Path follows coastal roads, promenades, wooden walkways and beaches to where Rio Lagares enters the Bay. Here, either continue along the coast into Vigo Baja past the port and docks, or, take the path alongside the river joining up with the inland Coastal Way and continuing on to Vigo Alto. From Ponte Ramallosa the Coastal Way goes over the hills with the PO-552 to the left, on back-roads and some forest, the path becoming more urbanised closer to the large busy and cosmopolitan city of Vigo. Follow the yellow arrows, and as there are several Camino routes into Vigo, you may also encounter green arrows Vigo is a huge industrial city, so when walking in here expect industrial areas, highways and busy roads. Navigating your way may become difficult and an application such as maps.me may be useful.
Vigo to Redondela 16km
There are two ways to depart Vigo; the Seashore Path leaves the old town along the coast along Rua do Areal and Rua de Garcia Barbon and Sanjurio Badia, (the PO-323), before turning right, (4 km from the railway station), on to Camina Trapa where it joins the Coastal Way. The alternative is to make your way from the old town along Rua de Urzaiz where it intersects with Avenida do Alcalde Gregorio Espino. This is where we pick up the Camino Coastal Way and the yellow arrows. Follow Rua Toledo, before turning onto Rua Cantabria and follow the arrows along the quiet back streets. The Bay of Vigo will be on the left. This is where the British sunk many galleons in the 1702 battle of Vigo Bay.
The Camino to Redondela is a pleasant walk with great views of the Vigo estuary as the walk continues through a string of hillside villages and patches of woodland. Your stop for the night is the town of Redondela, known as the ‘Village of Viaducts’, where the Coastal and Senda Litoral Camino’s join with the inland Central Portuguese Camino to Santiago de Compostela. Follow the Camino into Redondela via Rua Cardosas to Rua Salgueiral, then onto Rua Pai Crespo. Here yellow arrows indicate that the Camino Portugues Central has joined the coastal way.
Redondela to Pontevedra 20km
Follow the Camino out of Redondela by following the arrows along Rua Pai Crespo. Today is a beautiful day of walking. As you walk on the Camino Portuguese you will notice many more pilgrims who have joined from the Central Way from Porto via Tui. Several kilometres out of Redondela the path leads up to the Alto de Lomba through the forest after which there is a short section on the busy N-550 to the village of Arcade famous for the best oysters in Galicia. Cross the long medieval bridge of Ponte Sampaio over the River Verdugo where Napoleon’s army was defeated by the Spanish in 1809 during the War of Independence. Then walk up through the forest and enjoy one of the most beautiful stretches of the Camino following the ancient narrow stone paths as they climb up the slope.
The path widens amongst fields and vineyards, arriving at Pontevedra with its pretty historic centre, 13th-century church of Santa Maria, and the famous Pilgrim Virgin’s church (Santuario da Peregrina), which although appears round, is actually in the shape of a scallop shell. Follow the Camino via Rua De La Peregrina to Praza De La Peregrina, continuing through the ancient quarter via Rua Real. Pontevedra is another good rest day option as it has a wonderful atmosphere to soak up and enjoy with its pedestrianised streets and plazas.
Pontevedra to Caldas De Reis 22km
Walk out from Pontevedra via Rua Real, veering onto Rua Da Ponte, and then by crossing the Puenta Del Burgo. Today the Camino Portuguese will take you through chestnut groves and pine and eucalyptus trees to the village of San Amaro. Emerging from the woods near Valbon, at the Cruceiro de Amonisa, a statue of Saint James with his walking stick points the way to Santiago. You will pass the pretty village of Tivo with its lovely fountain and public washing area. Continue on through rural fields and vineyards to the Roman-influenced town of Caldas de Reis, known otherwise as ‘the hot waters of the Kings’, where you will find the thermal springs after crossing the river Umia around to the left outside the Hotel Davila. You may wish to soak your feet in the hot thermal water upon your arrival into the town. Follow the Camino in from here via Rua real until you reach the Puente Romano.
Caldas De Reis to Padron 19km
To leave Caldas De Reis cross the Puente Romano to Capilla San De San Roque. Today’s walk is one of the most beautiful of the whole route. The path takes you through pine forests and rural areas, through the Bermana and the Valga valleys, and across the Ulla river. The route today is split between natural pathways and quiet country roads. There will be two stretches of main road, one leaving Caldas De Reis and the other entering into Padron. Padron, the starting point for Saint James ministry in the Iberian peninsula, was also said to be where his body first reached land when it returned by boat after being martyred in Jerusalem. The parish church has the legendary Pedron, the stone where St James’ boat was moored. You can find the Pedron under the altar in the Igrexia de Santiago with a replica Pedron over the bridge on the west bank of the Rio Sar. Today follow the Camino into Padron via Rua Castelao which leads to the Plaza Del Espolon and the Igrexa Santiago in Padron
Padron to Santiago De Compostela 26km
Leave Padron from the Plaza Del Espolon in front of the Igrexa Santigo, and follow the Camino arrows from there. Your final walking day on the Camino Portuguese will provide some variety through woodlands and on increasingly busy roads. You will pass through a number of small villages and the suburbs of Santiago de Compostela.
After making your way to the historic sanctuary of A Escravitude, continue to Faramello and the Chapel of San Martino where you can see one of the oldest wayside crosses (cruceiro) in Galicia. After passing through Milladoiro and the tiny town of Agro dos Monteiros, but before passing under the motorway, pilgrims now for the first time will have a view of the spires of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. After crossing the Sar River, take the left way marked option and continue through the streets of the city via Porto Faxeira, the entrance of the Portuguese Way into Santiago de Compostela. Make your way via Rua Franco to Praza do Obradoiro and the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.
Santiago De Compostela at Leisure
Spend the whole day exploring the historical city of Santiago de Compostela. Dine at one of the many cafes or restaurants and reflect on your Portuguese Coastal Camino experience. Attend the pilgrim’s midday mass and spend some time exploring the famous Cathedral or sit and watch the steady flow of pilgrims arriving into the square finishing their epic journey.
Depart Santiago De Compostela
You are free to check out of your hotel any time before 10am. If you would like to
explore Santiago further you are able to leave your bags with reception.
What you get
- Excellent accommodation, including historic hotels and character-filled country houses with private en-suite rooms (twin share/double)
- Daily breakfast
- Luggage transfer each day from hotel to hotel (1 x 15kg bag per person)
- John Brierley’s Portuguese Camino guidebook with maps
- Pilgrim’s passport per person
- Portuguese phrasebook
- Daily luggage tags
- Maps of your hotel locations
- Local and Australian emergency contact numbers
- Pre-trip Camino guidance and planning
- Dedicated local support person in Spain for reassurance
- International or domestic airfares
- Travel insurance
- Arrival or departure transfers
- Single supplement POA
For an extra indulgence, upgrade your hotel in Santiago to a Parador for only $135 per person/per night twin share, when booked 6 months in advance (subject to availability).
Discover inspiration, travel essentials, practical information and more in our free Destination Guide. All you need to know about walking the Camino de Santiago routes through Spain, Portugal and France!
Walking the Camino is an incredible journey that will immerse you not only in Europe’s grand history, food and culture but most importantly the extraordinary camaraderie that exists along these routes. The spirit of the Camino de Santiago is alive and well among people from all over the world. It is a ‘bucket list’ experience you will never forget!
Camino de Santiago
Portuguese Coastal Camino
Baiona to Finisterre – Portuguese Coastal Camino
- Solitude, mindfulness and reflection on the ‘Camino less travelled’
- Fishing villages, beach walks, excellent seafood and wine
- Exceptional walking along the wild Atlantic coast
- 3 nights in magnificent Parador hotels (Baiona and Pontevedra)
Yoga and Hiking
Portuguese Coastal Camino – Yoga and Hiking
- Beautiful coastal scenery on ‘the Friendly Camino’
- Experience solitude, mindfulness and reflection on the ‘Camino less travelled’
- 2 nights in magnificent Paradors (Baiona and Pontevedra)
- Fishing villages, beach walks and excellent seafood and wine on the wild Atlantic coast
Portuguese Coastal Camino
Baiona to Santiago – Portuguese Coastal Camino
- Beautiful Galician scenery; seascapes, vineyards and shady forests
- Walk approx. 130kms enabling you to receive a Compostela
- Local delicacies especially amazing seafood including oysters and pulpo
- Magnificent accommodation with a complimentary upgrade
Portuguese Coastal Camino
Porto to Baiona – Portuguese Coastal Camino
- Soak up spectacular Portuguese coastal scenery
- Walk along this quiet but friendly Camino
- Fishing villages, seaside communities, beachside resorts and historic towns
- Remains of old Roman roads, coastal paths, boardwalks and beaches
Portuguese Coastal Camino
Porto to Santiago – Portuguese Coastal Camino
- Savour the slower pace of this much quieter Camino
- memorable encounters with friendly locals along the way
- Rest or explore with a free day in Porto, a vibrant and fascinating riverside city
- Visit Tui and its cathedral or make a day trip to the Cies Islands
Portuguese Coastal Camino
Porto to Santiago: The Essentials Trip – Portuguese Coastal Camino
- A faster paced trip with coastal and rural scenery with abundant historic relics
- Modest, well located, clean, comfortable hotels with private bathrooms
- Add an extra night or arrange your own additional accommodation
- Luggage transfers, breakfasts, in-country support staff
Camino de Santiago
The Full Camino
- Self-guided walking trip; Set your own pace
- Enjoy Spain’s rich legacy of history, culture, food and art
- Ideal for single travellers who like the details of their trip well planned
- Country roads, forest tracks over old villages, cities born from the Camino trail
Le Puy French Camino
The Full Le Puy Camino
- Discover historic UNESCO World Heritage sites
- Make your way through fairytale villages and beautiful countryside
- Explore and be awed by 8 of the ‘Les plus beaux villages de France’
- Ever-changing local cuisine as you pass through different regions
Camino de Santiago
The Full Camino: Women’s Trip
- Follow in the footsteps of millions of pilgrims
- Walk the full 800km of the French Camino Trail
- 1,000 years of history on the world’s greatest historical trail
- Pamplona; former centre of a fiercely independent kingdom
Camino de Santiago
The Camino Stage 3-5. Leon to Santiago
- Walk the final 300km of the Camino Trail
- This self-guided trip allows you to set your own pace
- Finish in this historic city of Santiago; visit the final end point of your walk at the Cathedral
Camino de Santiago
The Camino Stage 3-5. Leon to Santiago: Women’s Trip
- Walking over 300km of the French Camino Trail
- Visit the final end point of your walk at the Cathedral in Santiago
- Self-guided trip; set your own pace, we look after your accommodation and luggage transfers
TRIP date selection
when would you like to travel?
Please select your preferred dates for on-demand trips or select a scheduled date for group departures. If you have booked a self-guided trip please understand that because your trip date is on demand and we must check availability of all properties on your chosen dates before it can be fully confirmed