length

11 Days

difficulty

Moderate

trip cost

From $3520 pp

Icons / stylised / time Created with Sketch.

length

11 Days

Icons / stylised / difficulty Created with Sketch.

difficulty

Moderate

Icons / stylised /cost Created with Sketch.

trip cost

From $3520 pp

Nature Immersion

Cultural Interest

Self-Guided Trip

our walk expert

  • Overview
  • Highlights
  • Itinerary
  • Route Map
  • Inclusions
  • Exclusive Guide
  • SIMILAR RIDES & WALKS

Overview

Porto to Santiago

Get ready to embark on a cycling journey along the stunning Portuguese Coastal from Porto to Santiago!

As you pedal through Portugal and into Spain you’ll encounter many fine beaches, fishing ports, seaside communities, rural landscapes and historic towns with a wealth of architectural sites to explore and amazing seafood to sample. You’ll finish your pilgrimage in the magnificent Santiago de Compostela.

You’ll have a high quality mountain bike delivered to your hotel along with panniers, tool kit, lock, small handlebar bag and pump – everything you need to get you on the road. Each day your main luggage will be transferred to the next hotel so you can keep your weight in the bike light and just take what you need for the day. Each evening you’ll come into excellent accommodation, hand picked for its character and location.

For an extra fee (see inclusions below), you can choose an e-bike option for this trip. Read more about cycling the Camino and the answers to the most frequently asked questions.

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Portuguese Coastal Camino

Highlights

get ready for

    • Cycle from Porto to Santiago on this quieter Camino route
  • Enjoy memorable encounters with friendly locals along the way
  • Discover historic towns with a wealth of architectural sites and surprises
  • Rest or explore with free days in Porto and Santiago de Compostela

Itinerary

Daily Details

Day 1: Arrive Porto

Porto, one of the most ancient cities in Europe, never fails to charm visitors with many architectural highlights including 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 your Camino cycling adventure commences to obtain your first stamp (carimbos in Portuguese and sello in Spanish).

Meals: None

Day 2: Free day in Porto

Wake up in Porto with a full day to explore the culinary and architectural delights of this colourful city with its many port cellars and riverside cafes. Your bike will be delivered to your hotel today, so you can prepare it for your first day cycling tomorrow

Meals: B

Day 3: Cycle Porto to Póvoa de Varzim (38km)

The Coastal Camino from Porto is well 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.

Today start your journey towards Camino de Santiago by cycling out of Porto following along the banks of Rio Douro towards the sea. The route along the coast from Matosinhos is well marked and once out of the busy city is mostly flat and relatively easy. You will be accompanied by many kilometres of golden sandy Atlantic beach, which will lead you to the town of Vila do Conde, a few kilometres before Povoa de Varzim.  The route is close to the coast, on the pedestrian pavement, the cycle track and wooden walkways, passing fishing villages, chapels, monuments and 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.

You may like 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 Conde, with the beach once again on your left, cycle 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 entering rural areas near Labruge, 10km before Vila do Conde.

Meals: B

Day 4: Cycle Póvoa de Varzim to Viana do Castelo (46km)

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-join to cross the River Cavardo on the spectacular bridge before arriving at Esposende, a popular resort and fishing town on the estuary.

Leaving Esposende behind follow 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 along 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. 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: Cycle Viana do Castelo to A Guarda (35km)

Today’s cycling adventure 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 follow the Seashore Path along quiet roads, the beach and boardwalks above the dunes, but you will not have the benefit of way marking and the terrain will not be as conducive to cycling. Both routes converge at the old fishing village of Vila Praia de Âncora, with its great beach that is popular with tourists.

Departing Âncora along the coast following the Caminho Portuguese 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 continue along the shore towards Caminha. Remain on the Seashore Path next to the rocky than sandy coastline and continue past Moleda beach all the way into Caminha. 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.

When ready, take the ferry across the river Minho to A Pasaxe in Galicia. There are normally numerous 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 from 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 cycling directly to A Guarda, consider the scenic route around the peninsula to enjoy an alternative way to enter the town – this will add an extra 3km but the scenery makes it worthwhile.

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.

Day 6: Cycle A Guarda to Baiona (31km)

Enjoy some time this morning exploring A Guarda before departing by cycling 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.

Leaving Oia behind, take the path alongside the dramatic coast where after several kilometres it once again joins alongside the busy PO-552. 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.

Meals: B

Day 7: Cycle Baiona to Redondela (40km)

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. 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 the Rio Lagares where it 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 becomes more urbanised closer to the large busy and cosmopolitan city of Vigo. Follow the yellow arrows. There are several Camino routes into Vigo, so you may also encounter green arrows. Vigo is a huge industrial city, so when cycling in here expect industrial areas, highways and busy roads; navigating your way may become difficult.

There is an option to add a rest day in Vigo and from here you could take a ferry trip out to the Cíes Islands, which are known as the Caribbean of Spain and are a beautiful protected national park (the ferry runs from June to September and on weekends in May). However, visitor numbers to the islands are controlled, so a visit must be booked in advance.

There are two ways to depart Vigo: the Seashore Path leaves the old town along the coast past the Vigo Guixar railway station along Rua do Areal and Rua de Garcia Barbon and Sanjurio Badia (the PO-323), before turning right (4km 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 the Rua do Principe mall continuing along the Rua de Urzaiz where it intersects with Avenida do Alcalde Gregorio Espino. This is where you pick up the Camino Coastal Way and the yellow arrows. Follow the pedestrian mall then turn to the left just before the ends on Rua Toledo, then along quiet back streets with the Bay of Vigo on the left where the British sunk many galleons in the 1702 battle of Vigo Bay.

The Camino to Redondela is a pleasant cycle with great views of the Vigo estuary as it 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 Caminos join with the inland Central Portuguese Camino to Santiago de Compostela.

Meals: B

Day 8: Cycle Redondela to Caldas de Reis (42km)

As you cycle on the Camino Portuguese from Redondela 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 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, the 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. Pontevedra is a great place to stop for a lunch and to take a rest as it has a wonderful atmosphere to soak up while you enjoy with its pedestrianised streets and plazas

After Pontevedra, the Camino Portuguese will take you over the Rio Lerez via the pretty stone Ponte do Burgo bridge decorated with scallop shells and through chestnut groves and pine and eucalyptus trees to the village of San Amaro. 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 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 – you may wish to soak your feet in the hot thermal water upon your arrival into the town.

Meals: B

Day 9: Cycle Caldas de Reis to Santiago (45km)

Today the path once again takes you through forests and rural areas as you cycle through the Bermana and Verga valleys, then cross the Ulla River, to the town of Padron. Padron, the starting point for Saint James ministry in the Iberian peninsular, 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.

After leaving Padron the path will take you through a variety of woodland trails and increasingly busier roads. 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. Continuing on you will arrive in Milladoiro, Santiago’s largest suburb. After leaving Milladoiro, before passing under the motorway, for the first time you will have a view of the spires of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Cross the Sar River, then continue through the streets of the city via Rua de Porto Faxeira, the old entrance of the Portuguese Way into Santiago de Compostela. Make your way via Rua Franco to Praza do Obradoiro and your final destination – the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

Meals: B

Day 10: Free day in Santiago de Compostela 

Today you have the whole day to enjoy and explore historic Santiago de Compostela, with its historic sites and many enticing tapas bars and restaurants. You can attend the midday pilgrims mass and look around the famous Cathedral of St James which forms the city’s heart, and soak up the atmosphere as you watch the steady stream of pilgrims arriving into the square as they finish their epic journey.

Meals: B

Day 11: 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.

Meals: B

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Route 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.

 

Vigo

Vigo is a busy, cosmopolitan industrial city. The Old Town (Casco Vello) is the city’s heart, packed with lively bars and restaurants serving delicious Galician dishes.

Redondela

The town of Redondela is known as the ‘Village of Viaducts’. It’s where the Coastal and Senda Litoral Camino’s join with the inland Central Portuguese Camino to Santiago de Compostela.

Pontevedra

Pontevedra has a pretty historic centre, pedestrianised streets, plazas and a wonderful atmosphere to soak up. The famous Pilgrim Virgin’s church (Santuario da Peregrina) appears round but is actually in the shape of a scallop shell.

Caldas de Reis

The Roman-influenced town of Caldas de Reis, known as ‘the hot waters of the Kings’. You’ll find the thermal springs after crossing the River Umia.

Padrón

Padrón was said to be where the body of St James 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.

Santiago de Compostela

The wonderful and historic city of Santiago is the end of the Camino journey for most pilgrims. Praza do Obradoiro and the wonderful ancient Cathedral form the city’s heart. Attend the midday pilgrims mass and watch the steady stream of pilgrims arriving into the square as they finish their epic journey. There are many enticing tapas bars and restaurants in which to celebrate your journey.

 

Inclusions

What's included?

Included
  • Accommodation with private en-suite bathrooms on a double/twin share basis
  • 1 night accommodation at the Parador in Baiona (subject to availability)
  • Daily breakfastLuggage transfer each day from hotel to hotel (1 x <20kg bag per person) on days when cycling
  • Use of RAW Travel navigation APP during trip with maps of hotel locations and local emergency contact numbers
  • Dedicated RAW Travel local support person in Spain
  • ‘Hard-tail’ mountain bike for the cycling days (Cannondale Trail SL 2 mountain bike or similar)
  • Waterproof saddle bags and rack
  • Toolkit, lock and pump
  • Gel Saddle cover
  • Drop off and collection of bike
Excluded
  • Supplement for an e-bike for the cycling days (add $420 per person) – Mondraker ‘hard-tail’ e-bike or similar with 750wh Bosch battery
  • Single supplement (add $925 per person)
  • International airfares
  • Travel insurance
  • Cycling helmet – please bring your own
  • Upgrade accommodation in Santiago to the Parador
  • Lunches and dinners
  • Train tickets or bus fares if needed
  • Taxi or bus fares if required
  • Extra bag transfers if required
  • Arrival or departure transfers
Added Extras

For an extra indulgence, upgrade your hotel in Santiago to a Parador from $170 per person/per night twin share and $250 per person/per night single occupancy, when booked at least 6 months in advance (subject to availability).

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.

For e-bikers only: Supplement to upgrade to Cannondale dual suspension e-bike or similar (with 750wh Bosch battery) – add AUD$200 per person.

Speak to us if you would like to tailor the itinerary with the addition of extra rest days.

Camino De Santiago destination guide

Exclusive Guide

GET INSPIRED

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!

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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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