After yesterday’s long stage, our legs may feel somewhat tired out first thing this morning. However, as soon as we begin to walk, these niggles should disappear.
In Ponte da Lima we’ll meet with those companions who decided to take the alternative route through Braga. They also join us today, the Pilgrims of Camino Torres, which links Salamanca and Santiago, passing through Braga.
After yesterday's long day, we are expecting a short stage today. However, on today's route, we face the most fearsome ascent of the Camino Portugues, the ascent to Alto da Portela Grande de Labruja.
By saving the effort that we will need for this ascent, the rest of the route is highly gratifying for the pilgrim, who will advance through natural environments, in the company of the River Labruja.
Itinerary Ponte da Lima - Rubiães
The 17.4 kilometres on today's stage are surrounded by beautiful mountains and forests. The greatest difficulty of the day will be the ascent to the Alto da Portela Grande de Labruja, in which we gain 315 metres of altitude in just 4.2 kilometres.
Ponte de Lima (Km. 0). Beginning of stage
Practical tips for this section: During this stretch, you will pass through one of the most beautiful surroundings of the Camino Portugués, Buen Camino!
We start the day by turning right on the first street that lies behind the Pilgrim's Hostel, which soon becomes a dirt track. We travel approximately one kilometre, along it, until crossing the N202.
A kilometre later, we cross the A27 motorway (km 2), by an underpass and shortly after we pass by the Church of Santa Marinha de Arcozelo (km. 2.8). We then continue in the same direction, interspersing asphalt tracks and dirt roads for almost a kilometre.
We cross the Ponte do Arco da Geia, on the River Labruja (km. 3.7) and pass by the Bar Palacio das Trutas (km. 5.1), located on the edge of the river. Shortly after, we cross under the A3 motorway three times, and then we go back across the River Labruja, by a footbridge.
At kilometre 6.3 a turn to the right away from the highway, entering in one of the most beautiful stretches of the Camino Portugues, with the River Labruja on our right. After the pleasant walk, we return to the asphalt (M522 Road) and continue on the left of the road, until Codeçal and its beautiful Chapel of Nossa Senhora das Neves.
Condeçal (Km. 8,2)
Practical tips for this section: Until we reach Codeçal we will pass by various bars but then we wait for 9.2 kilometres more to Rubiães, where we will not find any services. Make sure you have enough water to make the ascent to Alto da Portela Grande. Buen Camino!
From here we begin the ascent to Alto da Portela Grande de Labruja, taking a street on the rise, which is located between the Chapel and a bar. The street leads to the road M522 (km. 9.9), on which we continue to the left for 120 metres, to leave it on the right.
We pass by the Church of the Misericórdia and the Fonte das Três Bica; And we cross the M522 again to continue ascending. 800 metres later, we leave the asphalt on the right to take a quiet path that runs through a wooded section.
The trail flows into a dirt track that we follow to the right. 500 metres later, we go along a path to the left, to cross, shortly after, another track. On a hard climb, we pass by the Cruz dos Franceses (km. 11.9), where there is a plaque in homage to a pilgrim who died in plane crash.
Soon after, we cross another track and continue along a rocky stretch with a steep slope. Almost out of breath, we arrive at Alto da Portela Grande de Labruja, located at an altitude of 400 metres (km. 12.4).
Alto da Portela Grande de Labruja (Km. 12,4)
Practical tips for this section: All that remains until the end of the stage is downhill, take a moment to enjoy the pure air of the Alto da Portela Grande de Labruja, before continuing to walk. You've earned it! Buen Camino!
We continue, on the left, a dirt track for 50 metres, and then start the descent from the right that leads us to Agualonga (km. 14.4). We cross the local road and continue on a stretch full of vineyards.
Two more asphalted tracks cross our paths and finally, we end up on the N301 road. We cross it and 300 metres later we arrive at the N201road, at San Roque (km. 16.1).
We follow the national road on the right for 270 metres to abandon it by a road that starts on our right and that runs, in descent, through a beautiful forest. Soon we will find an asphalted track, which passes at 100 metres from the Romanesque Church of São Pedro de Rubiães. That's how we arrive at our destination today.
Rubiães (Km. 17,4). End of stage
Practical tips for this section: Today we are expecting a quiet afternoon in the town of Rubiães, however, you will find points of interest to visit in this small town. See you tomorrow!
Rubiães is a scattered rural village, where services are located at the foot of the national road. In the village, you can visit the bridge, the Church of São Pedro and the Solar das Antas.
Some pilgrims lengthen the stage until Valença do Minho, but that implies walking 34.1 kilometres and after yesterday's long stage, it would require a lot of effort. It's your choice, we will stay here today.
Comments Ponte da Lima - Rubiães
Below you will find some recommendations for today's stage and some suggestions for you to enjoy the gastronomy in Rubiães.
Precautions stage Ponte da Lima - Rubiães
Today's stage is well signposted and relatively short but faces the biggest ascent on all the Camino Portugues, the ascent to Alto da Portela. Cyclists and people with reduced mobility are advised to follow the M-522 road and link to the N-201.
Those cyclists who opt to follow the traditional route will have to carry the bicycle on their shoulders in some rocky stretches of the ascent.
On the other hand, it is a stage with few services and very scattered locations. Therefore, the pilgrim must face this day with enough water in the backpack, especially in the section that runs between Codeçal and Rubiães (9.2 kilometres without services).
Gastronomy stage Ponte da Lima - Rubiães
Here, we recommend two typical dishes from Rubiães.
Enchido Porco (Pork sausages)
Cabidela Rice (Chicken Giblet Rice)
What to do Ponte da Lima - Rubiães
Here is some information about some of the places you can visit today.
Iglesia de Santa Marinha
The Church of Santa Marinha is located in the hamlet of Arcozelo and dates back to the late 12th century, although it has undergone several renovations over the centuries. Between the 17th and 17th centuries, important remodelling of both the façade and the main chapel was carried out.
The chancel has recently been renovated. Therefore, of its original Romanesque style, the church only retains its original floor.
Iglesia da Misericórdia
The Church of Da Misericórdia is located in Viseu, in the vicinity of the Cathedral of Viseu. This temple dates from the late 18th century and consists of only one nave. The church is notable for its rococo-style main façade.
Timetable: Closes on Mondays. From Tuesday to Sunday (from 10:00 to 12:30 and from 14:00 to 17:30).
Fuente das Três Bicas
The Fuente Das Três Bicas is located in Viseu, next to the Da Misericórdia Church. It is a baroque-style 18th-century construction. The fountain was placed in its current location at the beginning of the 19th century, its original location was the Quinta das Bicas, as can be seen in the inscription that can be read in it.
The fountain has three bodies, divided by pilasters with Corinthian-style capitals. At the bottom, three shell-shaped spouts are opened and the upper part is topped with a pediment with three pinnacles.
Cruz dos Franceses
The Cruz dos Franceses, or also called Cruz dos Mortos, is a small cross that rises in the Alto da Portela, on the Camino Portugues. This small cross has a great historical value, as it indicates the place where the local inhabitants hid the French troops of Napoléon's army to perpetrate an ambush.
Rubiães is a small town in the municipality that bears the same name and is in the Paredes de Coura District. The town has a population of approximately 500 inhabitants and bases its economy on livestock, agriculture and small businesses.
The village is surrounded by mountains and has an excellent cultural heritage such as its bridge, the Church of São Pedro and the Solar das Antas.
Puente de Rubiães
The Rubiães Bridge stands on the important Roman Road that linked Braga with Astorga. The construction is made of ashlars and consists of three semicircular arches, the central being the largest.
Iglesia de São Pedro
The Church of São Pedro is located in Rubiães. From it you can see the chapel, the side walls and the portico. Particularly noteworthy is the latter being formed by three concentric arches, linked together.
The temple capitals feature decorations with grotesque figures. On the left side, you can see the body of two animals that converge on a single head. On the right, two similar animals fight each other, in what could be an allegory of the battle between good and evil.
The atrium depicts an image of the Roman military route linking Braga with Astorga.
Solar das Antas
The Solar das Antas is located in Rubiães and dates from the 18th century. The building has two floors and one U-shaped. A large patio borders the construction by a door with steeples.
The stone door and the remains of paintings from the walls of the rooms on the first floor stand out. At present, the construction is in a bad state of repair.