length

9 Days

difficulty

Moderate - Challenging

trip cost

From $1895 pp

Icons / stylised / time Created with Sketch.

length

9 Days

Icons / stylised / difficulty Created with Sketch.

difficulty

Moderate - Challenging

Icons / stylised /cost Created with Sketch.

trip cost

From $1895 pp

Nature Immersion

Cultural Interest

Self-Guided Trip

our walk expert

  • Overview
  • Highlights
  • Itinerary
  • Map
  • Inclusions
  • Exclusive Guide
  • Similar Walks

Overview

Porto to Baiona

Our 9-day itinerary from Porto to Baiona on the Portuguese Coastal Camino begins in vibrant Porto, Portugal’s second largest city with its many port cellars situated on the river Douro. The route precedes north from Porto hugging the coast through a mixture of the coastal and seashore paths. Along the way explore Viana do Castelo with its wealth of historic architecture, harbour side A Guarda, and pretty Oia before finishing in Baiona with its well preserved old town and impressive fortress.

As you travel north from Portugal towards Spain you will be walking past fishing villages and seaside towns with stunning views of the mighty Atlantic Ocean before crossing the border from Portugal to Spain on a ferry. Be prepared for a quieter, more solitary journey compared to many of the other more well known Camino routes, which adds to the enjoyment of this Camino and contributes to its very special feel.

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Highlights

get ready for

  • Spectacular Portuguese coastal scenery
  • A quiet but friendly Camino
  • Fishing villages, seaside communities, beachside resorts and historic towns
  • The remains of old Roman roads, coastal paths, boardwalks and beaches 
  • Option to add on additional accommodation in Porto and Baiona to allow time for further exploration

Itinerary

Daily Details

Day 1: Arrive Porto

Start your journey towards Camino de Santiago in Porto, one of the most ancient cities in Europe. Home to 240,000 people, Porto charms visitors with many architectural highlights, the picturesque Ribeira riverfront 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).

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 Camino you have the option of using a mixture of the Senda Litoral (Seashore Path) and Coastal Way; the latter is often 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.

Day 2: METRO FROM PORTO TO MATOSINHOS. WALK TO PÓVOA DE VARZIM (25KM)

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.

Today’s 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 the 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 do Conde 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 Vila do Conde.

Meals: B

Day 3: 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. Both routes re-joining to cross the River Cavardo on the spectacular bridge before arriving at Esposende, a popular resort and fishing town on the estuary.

Meals: B

DAY 4: ESPOSENDE TO VIANA DO CASTELO (26KM)

Today there is a choice of walking the traditional Coastal Way along quiet roads that 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.

Meals: B

Day 5: VIANA DO CASTELO TO VILA PRAIA DE ÂNCORA (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. Both routes converge at the old fishing village of Vila Praia de Âncora, your stop for the night. The town has a great beach and is popular with tourists.

Meals: B

Day 6: VILA PRAIA DE ÂNCORA TO CAMINHA (9.5KM)

Today is a short walking day allowing plenty of time to enjoy Caminha. Depart Âncora along the coast 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 gothic Igreja Matriz church and the Praça do Conselheiro Silva Torres main square.

Meals: B

DAY 7: CAMINHA TO OIA (18KM)

Today you will farewell Portugal and cross over to Spain on the ferry. The ferry travels across the river Minho to A Pasaxe in Galicia. There are usually 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 at the ferry terminal using Taximar to take you across – prices will depend on number of passengers. Once you have crossed the estuary and arrived in Spain don’t forget to put your watch forward 1 hour.

When leaving the ferry as an option, instead of walking directly to A Guarda, consider the scenic walk around the peninsula to enjoy an alternative way to enter the town – this will add an extra 3km but is worth it for the 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. We recommend taking some time to explore 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 across the small harbour. Oia is a small but pretty town with several restaurants; you may find some locals engaged in an impromptu sing along with bagpipes playing typical Galician tunes.

Meals: B

DAY 8: 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; 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 Cíes 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 the 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. This lovely little coastal town is home to a medieval fortress, Monte Real, originally intended to deter pirates from this stretch of coast; in 1585 it repelled an English raid led by Sir Francis Drake. The tourist office is located inside the Baiona Parador, which also has the most amazing views over the Atlantic Ocean and Vigo Bay. Baiona itself has many great cafes and restaurants and a wonderful atmosphere to relax and enjoy.

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. Make your way through the gates of the fort walls along the driveway to the Parador.

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.

Meals: B

DAY 9: DEPART BAIONA

You are free to check out of your hotel any time before 10am. If you would like to explore Baiona further you are able to leave your bags with reception.

Meals: B

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Map

Explore

Porto

Porto is one of the most ancient cities in Europe. It has many architectural highlights, the picturesque Ribeira riverfront and UNESCO heritage listed colourful historic old town. No visit to Porto is complete without a river cruise to the port wine sellers of the Douro Valley, a UNESCO world heritage wine region. While you’re in Porto, seek out the city’s namesake dish, Tripas à Moda do Porto, and its most popular sandwich, the Francesinha. You’ll easily burn off the calories if you are starting your pilgrimage from this beautiful seaside port.

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Póvoa de Varzim

This is a modern resort and holiday town. The town’s main appeal is the beach. There is also a historic centre and shopping streets.

Esposende

Esposende is a popular resort and fishing town. Along the riverside runs a wide palm-lined boulevard. The broad beach at the mouth of the Cávado River is known for its quality surf. Backed by low dunes the beach is overlooked by the 17th century Forte de São João Baptista and the red metal tower of Esposende lighthouse.

Viana do Castelo

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. You can 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.

Vila Praia de Ancora

The old fishing village of Vila Praia de Ancora has a great beach and is popular with tourists. The town has an excellent reputation for gastronomy. The festival of the Sea and Sardines is held in early July.

A Guarda

The fishing port of A Guarda has a pretty harbour and Galicia’s most impressive ancient Celtic settlement – the Santa Tecla on the hill above the town is an authentic archaeological gem with breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Oia

As you approach the small town of Oia you will see the spectacular 12th-century Monastery of Santa Maria de Oia across the small harbour. The pretty town has several restaurants, and you may find some locals engaged in an impromptu sing along with bagpipes playing typical Galician tunes.

Baiona

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. From Baiona you can travel to the nearby historic town of Tui with its cathedral (a highlight of the inland Central Camino) or to take a ferry trip to the heavenly Cies Islands, which are known as the Caribbean of Spain.

 

Inclusions

What's included?

Included
  • Twin ensuite room in excellent accommodation, including historic hotels and country house, located centrally to the route
  • 1 night in Parador Baiona
  • Daily breakfast
  • Luggage transfer each day from hotel to hotel (1 x 20kg bag per person)
  • RAW Travel navigation app with maps of your hotel locations and emergency contact numbers
  • Local and Australian emergency contact numbers
  • Pre-trip Camino guidance and planning
  • Dedicated local support person in Spain for reassurance
Excluded
  • Single supplement $720
  • Flights
  • Travel insurance
Added extras

For any part of your trip that falls between 31 October and 31 March there is an ‘out of season’ luggage transfer surcharge cost of $30 per person per day.

Porto, Portugal

Customer Star Rating of 5

Customer Testimonials

Thank you! Amazing experience. It was the best. Hotels all great; the final Parador in Baiona incredible!

Ruth Carr, Paddington (NSW) - July 2023

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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!

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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

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