After yesterday's drab stage, the Camino de Santiago today retests us with another bland and monotonous stage. On our fourth day on the road, our body may have started experiencing some minor ailments (blisters, joint discomfort, etc.). Don't worry, it is quite normal, from now on your body will begin to improve.
Many people choose Azambuja as the starting point of the Camino Portugues, thus avoiding the three previous days that are somewhat monotonous. If that's your case, welcome aboard!
The fourth stage of the Camino Portugues continues with the faithful company of the River Tejo. Today's stage is characterized by the presence of few populations, so it will be a stage where we will hardly find points to rest, until reaching Santarém.
Itinerary Azambuja - Santarém
Azambuja (Km. 0). Beginning of stage
Practical tips for this section: The arrows on the road in Azambuja are few and confusing, so it is best to go to the train station, cross the footbridge and start the day from there, where signposting improves. Buen Camino!
We start the day by heading to the train station. There we cross the footbridge over the platforms and follow a few metres towards the left to take a road that runs parallel to a canal.
We continue to a bridge over the canal (km. 1.9) and there we turn left, taking a path in descent. The next section is a pleasant walk between farmland and bulrushes.
After arriving at the Azambuja aerodrome, we return to the asphalt until reaching Reguengo.
Reguengo (Km. 11)
Practical tips for this section: from Quinta da Burro you will no longer find any more services until Santarém. It's important to bring enough water. Buen Camino!
From Reguengo, we continue parallel to the River Tejo dam and half an hour later we arrive at Valat (km. 10.8), where we will find a beautiful river beach.
If we want, we can go up to the dyke and walk over for a good stretch, to enjoy the views of the river bank. We leave the riverbanks to enter a locality of scattered houses, Porto de Muge (km. 16.8).
At the end of the village, following the road, we arrive in front of the Quinta da Burro a rural area. From here we advance, the first kilometres by a track surrounded by canes, passing in front of Quinta das Varandas.
Right away, the road becomes more dusty, between creeping crops and with no shade. After nine kilometres of walking, in the background, on a hill, we should spot Santarém.
We return to the asphalt (km. 28.6) and pass the viaduct of the A-13, leaving to our right the large bridge over the river.
Soon we arrive at the facilities of Santarém Airport and we start the slight climb to Omnias (km. 30.2). There we turn to the left to cross the narrow passage under the railways and continue ascending by a hard asphalted slope to the urban centre of Santarém.
Santarém (Km. 33). End of stage
Practical tips for this section: Enjoy Santarém, it is considered the Gothic capital of Portugal. See you tomorrow!
We pass by a large roundabout where the Santa Casa de Misericórdia is to be found, continue straight and after passing the Post Office, we take the Rua Dr. Teixeira Guedes to the historic centre of the city.
Santarém is known for its Gothic architecture and the Mirador del Ribatejo. It is therefore an ideal place to walk quietly during the afternoon.
The city has different places to visit like the cathedral, the Convent of San Francisco, the Church of Nossa Senhora de Marvila, the Church of S. João do Alporão or the Torre das Carbaças.
A perfect plan to finish the afternoon is to see the sunset from the viewpoint of the Portas do Sol gardens, from there you can see also where the route continues tomorrow.
Comments Azambuja - Santarém
On today's long stage it is advisable to take some precautions to avoid unpleasant experiences. We also recommend some regional dishes for today's day.
How to get to Azambuja
Azambuja is located less than an hour by train from Lisbon. It is therefore relatively easy to access from the Portuguese capital.
Remember that if you do not want to worry about transfers, accommodation and other logistical details, we can arrange everything for you.
Precautions stage Azambuja - Santarém
The greatest difficulty of this stage is its length, it is a rather long stage so it is good to get out early. Apart from this, the day has no added difficulties for people with reduced mobility or for cyclists.
The ascent to Santarém can be a problem for more than one of us, but it is rather because of its location at the end of a long stage, which, for its height, does not exceed 100 metres.
If the stage seems excessively long, in Porto de Muge you have the option of splitting it in two. After this locality there are 16 kilometres to Santarém without any kind of service. Therefore, if you arrive in Porto de Muge late or very tired the best thing is to complete the stage the next day.
There are some sections that run along the road, you have to pay close attention to the traffic. If it is circulated at night or in very cloudy days, combine wearing reflective elements.
Today the yellow arrows of the Camino de Santiago coincide with the blue ones that lead the sanctuary of Fatima, located 150 kilometres north of Lisbon. Tomorrow the arrows of Fatima will disappear.
Gastronomy stage Azambuja - Santarém
To cope with today's long stage, it is best to eat well, so here we give some recommendations.
Fish from the River Tejo
Ribs with rice
Cod with Magusta ( Chestnuts and wine)
Fried Mullet (served on a tile)
Ox meat in wine
Cow's hoof with chickpeas
Migas ribatejanas (breadcrumbs)
Wines from Almeirim, Santarém, Cartaxo, Chamusca and Coruche
What to do Azambuja - Santarém
Below we give details on the places of interest that you will be able to visit throughout today's' stage.
Church of Nossa Senhora da Conceição
The Church of Nossa Senhora da Conceição is the most well-known cathedral in Santarém. The temple dates from the 17th century and is the work of the architect Mateus do Couto. The church was erected where the royal palace of the Alcazaba Nova was, which had been abandoned at the time of King John II.
In its origins, the temple was home to the Jesuits' order. After his expulsion from the country, and by command of the Marquis of Pombal, the building hosted the Patriarchal Seminary, until the 20th century.
The façade of the church is in a Mannerist style and is divided into five bodies divided by windows and ornamentation used, which highlights the use of niches with images of saints. In the upper part of the façade, there is a pediment with huge scrolls and pinnacles.
Inside the temple, there is a strong Baroque style influence, with decoration in marbles and paintings arranged in the roof of the nave and in the main chapel. The chapel features two marble sculptures, by architect Carlos Baptista Garvo, representing San Francisco de Javier and San Ignácio de Loiola.
Opening hours: open every day. From Monday to Friday (from 10:00 to 13:00 and from 14:00 to 18:00), Saturdays (from 10:00 to 13:00 and from 14:00 to 19:00), Sundays and public holidays (from 14:00 to 19:00). From October to May, it always closes at 18:00, including weekends.
Entry: General (€4), over 65 years (€3), between 10 and 17 years (€2), under 10 years (free).
Convento de San Francisco
The Convent of San Francisco, in Santarém, dates back to the 13th century and is Gothic in style. Its construction was carried out under the command of King Sancho II.
In the 14th century, King Ferdinand decided to renovate the building, adding a chorus and building a huge cloister, in order to be buried himself there. However, his remains are currently preserved in the Archaeological Museum of Carmo, Lisbon.
It is recorded that the façade had a 15th-century portico, which witnessed the oath of João II as monarch of Portugal. In the mid-19th century, the building was used as a barracks for the Cavalry Regiment of Santarém. Since 1999, conservation work has been carried out in the convent to recover all its architectural splendour and its rich history.
Timetable: Closes Mondays, Tuesdays and public holidays. From Wednesday to Sunday (from 9:00 to 12:30 and from 14:00 to 17:30).
Church of Nossa Senhora de Marvila
The Church of Nossa Senhora de Marvila is located in the historical centre of Santarém and is in Manueline style. The temple is also known as the Cathedral of the tile since its walls are covered with 17th-century tiles, in various colours, especially blue and white shades.
In the first half of the 20th century, the church was declared a national monument. Today, Our Lady of Marvila is the patron saint of the temple.
Church of S. João do Alporão
The church of S. João do Alporão dates from the 12th century and is the only temple in Santarém that retains Romanesque remains. From the Romanesque period, you can see the walls, the external buttresses and the decoration of the capitals with vegetal motifs. However, the temple also presents elements of ornamentation typical of the gothic style.
The church also houses the Municipal Museum of Santarém.
Portas do Sol garden
The Portas do Sol garden is located in the town of Santarém. It constitutes a great natural space where diverse tree species grow. In its gardens, you can visit the remains of two huge doors from the Middle Ages, which were part of the old wall.
In addition, the garden has different viewpoints, from where you have spectacular views of the River Tejo, and the Interpretation Centre Urbi Scallabis, which explains the chronological stages of the Roman ruins of the city.
Torre das Cabaças
Torre das Cabaças, in Santarém, dates from the 15th century. Its construction was carried out by the mandate of Manuel I of Portugal and its main function was defensive. In 1928, it was declared a national monument.
The tower is in a Mannerist style and has a square floor. The building has almost twenty-seven metres high and culminates in a bell tower, which sounds every hour. Its name comes from the 18th century when eight ceramic pumpkins were placed on a steel base.