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Route

Technical Characteristics:

Route Profile: Hard. With potentially longer walking days and/or several steep climbs and descents, this tour is designed for experienced, regular walkers and can be enjoyed by anyone in good health who has prepared sufficiently in advance. Elevation gain maximum 700 meters.

Total Distance: 259km

Travel Season: Departures daily March 1–October 31, 2022

Accommodation:

Category: 3* and 4*hotels, lovely 2** hotel on Day 12

Before you begin your Portuguese Coastal Way to Santiago, pay a visit to the 12thcentury Porto Cathedral and take time to explore the city. Transfer to Matosinhos and walk alongside the ocean towards the pretty old town of Vila do Conde, with a lace making tradition and strong naval history. The coastal towns of Povoa da Varzim, Esposende and Vila Praia de Ancora offer particularly fresh seafood. Viana do Castelo gives you the chance to explore its medieval history and detour to visit Santa Luzia basilica for magnificent views. Then weave your way through the Portuguese countryside and back to the Atlantic Portuguese coast near Caminha, just across the river from Spain.A scenic ferry ride takes you to A Guarda for a beautiful stretch of unspoiled coastline towards the attractive town of Baiona and its tapas bars. Between Vigo and Redondela, you’ll be able to see the Ria de Vigo lagoon, dotted with the Cies islands and floating mussel farms. Meet fellow pilgrims as you merge with the Portuguese Central Way of St. James in Redondela. Take time to enjoy Pontevedra’s charming historical center and relax in one of its attractive squares. More forests, fields, rivers, villages and valleys lie between here and the spa town of Caldas de Reis. Explore Padron, its peppers and its links to the St. James before the final journey to Santiago de Compostela.

Itineraries

Day 1

Date : September 27, 2022

Porto

One member of our team will meet you at the hotel and welcome you and provide a full briefing and all the documentation you will need.

Day 2

Porto (Matosinhos) – Vila do Conde 20 km

Start the Portuguese Coastal Camino de Santiago in Matosinhos after transferring from Porto. Wooden boardwalks and pavements will lead you along the coastline via a series of wide sandy beaches, nature reserves and fishing villages in the historical coastal town of Vila do Conde. *Note: After breakfast on your second day in Porto you will meet a member of our team who will drive you to Matosinhos to start your Portuguese Coastal Way of St. James. By doing this, you avoid the busy, noisy roads through urban areas of Porto and its suburbs. If you wish you can start walking in Porto – contact us for more information.

Day 3

Vila do Conde – Esposende 25 km

Cross the residential areas that connect Vila do Conde with the seaside resort town of Povoa de Varzim. Spend a significant portion of the day walking along the coast between flowers and sand dunes and across beaches then head inland towards Esposende via market gardens, forests and villages and a bridge across the wide Cavado estuary.

Day 4

Esposende – Viana do Castelo 23.5 km

After leaving the coast behind, you’ll pass through various villages and some delightful sections of woodland and rivers. The exceedingly long Eiffel Bridge into Viana do Castelo, an attractive town famous for its ancient and contemporary architecture offers magnificent views over the Lima valley and estuary with views of distant mountain ranges.

Day 5

Viana do Castelo – Vila Praia de Ancora 19 km

Today’s journey is largely inland, with occasional coastal views from a string of hillside villages. Enjoy the shade of the eucalyptus forest as you make your way uphill before descending to the low key beachside resort town of Vila Praia de Ancora.

Day 6

Vila Praia de Ancora – A Guarda 15 km

A level coastal path connects Ancora with Moleda and then continues to the charming town of Caminha. If there’s time, take a detour through the pine forest beside the beach before catching the ferry across the River Minho to the peaceful fishing town of A Guarda in Spain, a great place to tuck into fresh seafood.

Day 7

A Guarda – Oia 13 km

Try to make time for a detour to the Santa Tegra Celtic settlement before leaving A Guarda – the views are spectacular. Follow the Camino through the town center and out towards the rugged coastline. Use the coastal paths, forest tracks and tarmac roads to reach the small beachfront village of Oia, dominated by its 12th century monastery.

Day 8

Oia – Baiona 17.5 km

The day begins with tiny fields, scattered houses and a few villages along the coast before a change of scenery and terrain as you cut across the mountains. A final descent through the countryside and outlying villages bring you into the medieval center of Baiona via two ancient churches.

Day 9

Baiona – Vigo 25 km

Once you leave the residential areas around Baiona, the terrain becomes ever more rural with villages and patches of woodland. There is a brief section along a busy road after which you’ll be back among villages on the approach to Vigo. The Camino takes you through Castrelos Park to avoid walking through the city.

Day 10

Vigo – Arcade 22 km

Walk along Vigo’s main shopping street and out of the city onto a long road that connects a string of peaceful hillside villages with views across the city, estuary and port. Around halfway into the journey you’ll exchange houses for trees before the steep descent towards Redondela. Climb through the woods before heading down to Arcade, a riverside town famous for its oysters.

Day 11

Arcade – Pontevedra 13 km

Leave Arcade via its iconic bridge. Follow ancient stone paths up through another forest then take a scenic detours along the River Tomeza to approach Pontevedra surrounded by birdsong and greenery instead of traffic. Explore the historical city center, its atmospheric squares and tapas bars.

Day 12

Pontevedra – Caldas de Reis 22 km

Today’s walk to Caldas de Reis takes you through attractive countryside and a section of forest to the riverside spa town of Caldas de Reis. Bathe your weary feet in the thermal spring when you reach the main square.

Day 13

Caldas de Reis – Padron 19 km

Begin the day with an easy ascent through a series of small villages and the delightful Valga forest. Several impressive churches and stone crosses line the route to Padron, the riverside town where St. James’s body is said to have been laid to rest by his faithful followers.

Day 14

Padron – Santiago de Compostela 25 km

The final stage of the Camino is largely through the countryside with a pretty area of woodland. Only the final few kilometers are in busy urban areas and once you enter the ancient narrow streets of the narrow medieval center of Santiago, the atmosphere changes on your approach to the cathedral square.

Day 15

Leave Santiago de Compostela

After breakfast, prepare for your onward journey. If you have time, explore the old city of Santiago de Compostela before you leave.

Prices

    Included:

    • 14 nights of accommodation with breakfast
    • Luggage transfers between hotels (1 bag per person, maximum 15 kg/bag)
    • Private transfer from Porto to Matosinhos on day 2
    • Pilgrim kit: passport (credential) and shell (vieira)
    • In person welcome briefing
    • Journey documentation
    • Road book of the Way with tips and information (in English)
    • 24/7 emergency support

    Not Included:

    • Lunches and dinners
    • Optional additional tours or activities during free time
    • Tips and items of a personal nature
    • Private transfer Porto airport to Porto hotel: 1-3 people EUR 39, 4-7 people EUR 59; Santiago – Porto: 1-3 people EUR 295, 4-7 people EUR 330

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