We hope you have taken advantage of Rubiães and yesterday's stage to rest because today we expect a very interesting day, both the places we will go through and the fact that, at last, we enter the lands of Santiago the Apostle.
Today's stage is somewhat more urban than the previous ones, but it has a high cultural interest, as it crosses Valença do Minho, with its magnificent fortress, and culminates in the historic town of Tui. In the middle, the International Bridge, on the River Miño, will allow us to leave Portugal to enter Spain.
Itinerary Rubiães - Tui
Today we face a placid route, of urban character, with moderate climbs. From Rubiães, we are less than 20 kilometres from our destination today, Tui.
Rubiães (Km. 0). Beginning of stage
Practical tips for this section: Today's short stage allows us to enjoy the cultural richness of the tour. We know that entering Spain is exciting, but as we always say, don't hurry to arrive. Buen Camino!
We leave Rubiães by the N201 Road, advancing along it 300 metres and then turn left, almost 180 º. We cross the Roman-Medieval Ponte de Rubiães, which crosses the River Coura (km. 0.9).
Shortly thereafter, at a bar, we cross the N201 road to avoid a curve and return quickly to it. We move along the road for 230 metres and take a local road, which begins on the right.
At kilometre 2.2, we turn left onto a paved road, which we leave shortly after on the right, to pass through Pecene and the Chapel of Nossa Senhora do Alivio. Following in the same direction we arrive at the Sanctuary of São Bento da Porta Aberta (km. 4.4).
São Bento da Porta Aberta (Km. 4,4)
Practical tips for this section: These are the last kilometres on Portuguese soil, enjoy your last steps through the Portuguese countryside and take your time to say goodbye. Buen Camino!
We deviate to the left of the N201 road, advancing along a beautiful wooded section that descends to Gotomil (km. 5.7). We cross the place and at the exit we deviate along a paved road that starts on the right, to return, shortly after to the asphalt.
Shortly before arriving at Fontoura, we take a paved road, to the right, which leads us back to the road, by passing in front of the Central bar, we arrive at Fontoura (km. 7.5), finding a park, the church and a cemetery, on the left-hand side.
Following the M512 road, we reach the diversion of the bar restaurant Fonte D'Ouro (km. 8.3) and take the road to the left. We cross the N201 (km. 9.1) and pass through Paços. Always keeping in the same direction, we reach Ponte Pedreiras (km. 10.7), then cross it and, 250 metres later, we cross a small road, ascending to Pedreira.
Practical tips for this section: You can go directly to the international bridge without going through Valençá do Minho and its magnificent fortress, but we believe that would be a monumental mistake. The visit only adds half a kilometre to the tour and the place deserves it. Buen Camino!
We cross Pedreira and without changing direction, we end up on the N13 road, at a restaurant (km. 12.9). We move on the right to a roundabout, where we turn left on a street that goes parallel to the national road.
Shortly thereafter, we pass by the Chapel do Senhor de Bomfim (km. 13.6). Here, we turn left and, through the streets, we cross the village of Arão (Valença do Minho).
We end up on the road, which we cross by an underpass, and turn right to return to the N13, on which we continue to the left.
By the N13, we arrive at the main roundabout of Valença do Minho, with a large fountain in the centre (km. 16.3). At this roundabout, those who wish to visit the fortress must turn left. Those who do not wish to take the view must continue straight, along Avenida de España.
Valença do Minho (Km. 16,3)
Practical tips for this section: Only a very short distance separates Valença do Minho from Tui. The town deserves a visit, beyond its magnificent fortress. It is also the last time to taste Portuguese cuisine before entering Spain, so a long stop to say goodbye to the country that has accompanied us all these days, is not a bad plan. Buen Camino!
Continuing straight through Avenida de España, we arrive at the entrance of the International Bridge, on the N13 road. We go through the pedestrian walkway and enter Spain. At the exit of the bridge, we turn to the right by the Paseo de Miño, by which we ascend until the old town of Tui, following Calle Obispo Maceira.
At the national road, we take Calle Piñeira and Sanz. At the end of the last one, we turn right to enter Plaza del Concello, where the Cathedral of Santa Maria is located and where today's stage concludes.
Tui (Km. 19,1). End of stage
Practical tips for this section: Get ready to enjoy Galician seafood, this has just started... See you tomorrow!
Some pilgrims continue to O Porriño to gain kilometres, in that case, we would be talking about a stage of more than 35 kilometres. We take it easy and we will arrive at O Porriño tomorrow, today we will enjoy the wonderful medieval town of Tui and the Cathedral of Santa Maria.
In the town, you can visit some other temples, such as San Bartolomeu de Rebordans, the Convent of Santo Domingo or the Clarissas, the Chapel of San Telmo or the Church of San Francisco.
You can also stroll through the medieval town, visiting the wall and the Troncoso Gardens, or visit the Diocesan Museum or the cathedral. Or you can also approach the viewpoint at the end of Paseo da Corredoira.
Comments Rubiães - Tui
Here are some recommendations for today's stage and we suggest some dishes to taste the recently encountered Spanish cuisine.
Precautions stage Rubiães - Tui
It is an easy stage, less than 20 kilometres without too many climbs and with frequent services on the route, it is also well signposted. Therefore, the pilgrim should not find any kind of difficulty in completing it.
Gastronomy stage Rubiães - Tui
Now in Galicia, gastronomy is transformed considerably. This is very marked by the proximity of the Rías Baixas and the River Miño.
They are, therefore, the Galician shellfish (eels and mussels) are the protagonists on the restaurant menus. Now, we recommend some dishes for today's stage.
Bacalhau a São Teotónio ( Cod with potatoes, Valença style)
Cabrito a Sanfins ( Roast Goat )
Year no Forno ( Roast Lamb)
Green Broth and Galician stew
Fish-shaped almond sweets, made by the nuns of the convent of Santa Clara
Roscón (Sweet Bread)
Wine Albariño from the Rias Baixas
What to do Rubiães - Tui
Today's route has many cultural attractions. Fortunately, this is a short stage that allows us to stop to visit them, now we will talk about each of them.
Sanctuary of São Bento da Porta
The construction of the Sanctuary of São Bento da Porta Aberta began in 1880 and ended in 1895. However, the construction of the present sanctuary is recent, since in 1994, due to its small dimension, it was decided to expand it, completing the works in 2002.
Of the temple, the main chapel with tiled panels stands out, which depicts the life of St. Benedict, as well as a carved gold-plated altarpiece. In 2015, to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the sanctuary, the temple was elevated to the level of Basilica.
Capilla de Nossa Senhora do Alivio
The Chapel of Nossa Senhora do Alivio is located in the village of Pecene. It is a small temple in which the image of Nossa Senhora do Alivio is venerated. The building has a simple façade, topped with a cross in the central part and two pinnacles on the sides.
Valença do Minho
Valença do Minho, or Valença is a Parish of the municipality that shares the same name, in the District of Viana do Castelo. It is the last locality of the Camino Portugues, before entering Spain. The town has 8,000 residents in its town centre.
The fame of this town is due to its fortress, which is located a few metres from its town centre. Nevertheless, the locality has a rich cultural patrimony, such as the Misericórdia Church, the Military Chapel do Bom Xesús, the Polvoreira do Açoigue or the exhibition of weights and measures, located in the market and the Museum Municipal Centre or Museum of the Fireman.
In the vicinity of the town, you can also visit the Convent of Mosteiró, the Convent of Ganfei, the Convent of Sanfins or the Mirador do Monte do Faro.
Polvoreira do Açoigue
Polvoreira do Açoigue is located in Valença do Minho. It is a former military store with a rectangular shape from the 18th century. The building is surrounded by a high wall with a portal of enormous dimensions, flanked by pilasters.
Museo Centro Municipal
The Museo Centro Municipal de Valença do Minho is dedicated to disseminating some of the most significant times in the history of the town. The visitor can discover moments linked to the prehistory of the location, as well as its medieval surroundings.
Within this space, the Railway Museum is located in the Miño line station, where various collections of locomotives are exhibited.
Opening hours: Open daily (from 9:00 to 16:00).
Museo del Bombero
The Museum of the Fireman in Valença do Minho was founded by a firefighter and all the collections in this space are destined to the Fire Department in the locality.
The museum is made up of three floors. At the entrance of the first floor, the visitor finds a restored switchboard from the beginning of the 20th century.
In the main room on the same floor, you can visit a fire engine, as well as different tools and instruments used by the Fire Brigade team. On this floor, there is also a collection of fire helmets from different eras and different countries, as well as extinguishers of all kinds.
On the second floor, a collection of miniature figures of trucks and fire-engines is exhibited, as well as various prizes obtained by the local Volunteer Fire Brigade.
Opening hours: open every day. From Monday to Friday (from 10:00 to 12:30 and from 14:00 to 18:00), Saturdays and Sundays (from 14:00 to 18:00).
Admission: 1 euro.
Mirador do monte do Faro
Mirador do Monte do Faro is located to the east of the village of Valença do Miño, about six kilometres away. From El Mirador, visitors can enjoy magnificent views of the village of Valença do Minho, Tui and much of the River Miño.
Several chapels are located in the vicinity of the Mirador. The most notable is the Chapel of San Pedro de Rates, a saint who, according to the medieval tradition, protected the area from plagues of rodents.
La Fortaleza de Valença
The Fortress of Valença do Miño is located on the left bank of the River Miño, bordering Galicia. The construction was carried out with the aim of defending the passage on the River Miño, moving the city away from the river by several ramparts placed at various levels and linked to each other by steps and channels on the same level.
Its construction ended between the 17th and 18th centuries and is considered one of the greatest examples in the world of the Vauban model. It is one of the most important fortifications of the Alto Miño and has been declared a national monument.
The fortress has undergone various restoration and conservation projects, which has allowed it to be considered one of the best preserved historical areas in Europe.
Within the convoluted walled area is located the stronghold, with moats and ravelins. It is separated into two spaces that, through Porta do Meio, joined the northern sector, where the medieval city was located, and the southern sector, a smaller and more open area, known as La Coroada.
In the heart of the historic centre of the fortress is located the Church of Santa Maria dos Anjos, built in the 13th century.
Although given the subsequent renovations affected by the construction, nowadays you can also see Romanesque elements, typical of the 16th century, along with Renaissance and Neoclassical.
The temple has a longitudinal floor, composed of a nave and a larger chapel. The nave is topped with a rectangular apse, a bell tower with a square structure and a portico with a half point arch.
The church portal has a large number of revivalist Romanesque style elements and is formed by semi-circular arches, with three archivolts resting on columns topped by capitals.
Within the fortress is also the Main Church of Santo Estevão, from the 13th century. It is an originally Romanesque temple, although later renovations have endowed it with a neoclassical aspect.
The church is made up of three naves and three sections, separated by large pillars. Of the temple, the verticality of its facade stands out and a 15th-century episcopal chair, located inside, in a Gothic-Mudejar style.
Iglesia y Convento de Ganfei
The Convent of Ganfei is located approximately two kilometres from the exit of Valença do Minho, towards Monçao. It is a former convent belonging to the Benedictine Order, which preserves Romanesque architectural elements. The Church of the Convent of Ganfei is made up of three naves and has a large cloister.
Iglesia da Misericórdia
The Church da Misericórdia de Valença do Minho was built between the 16th and 18th centuries and is Baroque in style, although due to repairs carried out, its current appearance dates from the 19th century, combining elements of Baroque and Neoclassical style.
The temple has a transverse floor composed of the main nave and a chapel. Inside the church is preserved the sculpture of "Señor Morto (Mr. Dead)", the work of Maestro Teixeira Lopes.
Convento de Sanfins
The Convent of Sanfins is located to approximately 10 kilometres from the locality of Valença do Miño. It can be reached from the Monçao road or from Mount Faro.
If the visitor opts for the second way, before arriving at the top of the hill, they need to turn right and follow the signs, although sometimes they are not completely visible.
It is a convent of the medieval period, built in the 12th century, which belonged to the Benedictine Order. Of the building, only the Romanesque style church is preserved. The temple has a single nave, characterized by its slenderness: high and narrow. The intense architectural decoration based on animal and vegetable motifs stands out.
Convento de Monasteiró
The Convent of Mosteiró is located in an environment of abundant vegetation and waterfalls, within the route of Mosteiró. It is a 14th-century construction that belonged to the Franciscan Order, being founded in 1392 by seven Asturian and Galician monks.
The convent is considered a monument of public interest and every first Sunday of the month of September, a popular festival is held.
Colección de pesos e medidas
The collection of weights and measures is an exhibition located on the top of the Municipal Market of Valença do Minho. Here, one can contemplate various weights and measures used by ancient civilizations, like for example the Padrão de Vara and Côvado of Valença, from 1833.
Capilla Militar do Bom Xesús
The Military Chapel do Bom Xesús is located in the town of Valença. The temple was founded in 1700 and presents a Baroque and neoclassical architecture.
Initially, it was administered by the Collegiate of Valença, but in 1767, the canons gave it to the Brotherhood of Nossa Senhora do Carmo, to which only the military from the infantry regiment of Valença could belong.
The building consists of a rectangular nave, arranged in longitudinal form. On the northeast side, there is a staircase that leads to the high chancel and a small square space where sacristy is located.
The main façade, oriented to the east, stands out for its access door, formed by a complete arch over it and flanked by Ionic pilasters. From inside, stands the altar of Nossa Senhora do Carmo and a polychrome altarpiece.
The Tui International Bridge was inaugurated in the year 1886, thanks to the Royal Order of Isabel II. The bridge was built with the purpose of communicating the train lines between Spain and Portugal.
The construction is the work of engineer Pelayo Mancebo and the Belgian company Braine le Compte. Its design has influences from Eiffel, very present in metal constructions around the world at the end of the 19th century.
Tui is a town belonging to the municipality of the same name, in the province of Pontevedra. It is a medieval village, bathed by the River Miño, and which has almost 17,000 inhabitants.
Given its location, on the border between Portugal and Spain, the town shares a multitude of facilities and services with its Portuguese neighbour, Valença do Minho. In fact, it is the first village on the Central Camino Portugues, towards Santiago de Compostela.
The town has one of the most impressive cathedrals in Galicia, the Cathedral of Santa Maria, located on top of a promontory. Another element that makes this cathedral unique is that it can be presumed to have been surrounded by the most extensive wall of the Galician community.
Catedral de Santa María
The Cathedral de Santa Maria de Tui was built between 1120 and 1225, by mandate of Bishop Egea. The building is of Romanesque style, although it has gothic elements, added later, like the top of the portico, considered the first Gothic work that was completed in Spain.
The temple is located in the highest area of the town, next to an architectural ensemble with an aspect of strength, as it is composed of defensive towers, passageways and walkways.
Inside the cathedral, the most noteworthy element is the chancel. However, they are also worthy of admiring the Chapel of the Sacrament, the Main Chapel, and the Chapel of San Telmo. The museum is currently located in the old Chapel of Santa Catalina.
Mass times: Every day. Monday to Friday (10:00), Sundays and Public Holidays (13:00).
San Bartolomeu de Rebordans
San Bartolomeu de Rebordans is located in the town of Tui. It is an old monastery that once was the Episcopal site. Of the construction, today only the church, built in the 11th century, is preserved on Roman and Swabian remains.
The church has a basilica plant, endowed with capitals decorated with a understated primitiveness. Inside the temple you can see mural paintings, from the 16th century.
Jardines de Troncoso
The Troncoso Gardens of Tui stand on the crossing of the old wall (17th and 18th century), descending the stairs of the Glorieta de Vigo. The gardens have a fountain decorated with a pergola and a large aviary.
Paseo da Corredoira
The Paseo da Corredoira covers from the centre of the of city Tui to a viewpoint from where you have magnificent views over the river Miño and the Portuguese neighbour, Valença do Minho.
At the end of the promenade, you can see a statue of a wild horse, in real dimensions, the work of the sculptor Juan José Oliveira.
The monument pays homage to the wild fauna, specifically to the wild horses that have always inhabited the mountains along the coasts of the Rías Baixas.
Playa Fluvial de Areneras
The Areneras River Beach is located on the road that runs between Tui and Salvaterra. It is a space of small dimensions, 100 metres long and 50 wide.
The Diocesan Museum is located inside the old Hospital of the Poor and Pilgrims of Tui. The building, built in 1756, stands out for its impressive central courtyard. In the museum you can visit interesting collections of sacred art and local archaeology.
Timetable: Closes on Mondays. From Tuesday to Sunday (from 10:00 to 13:30 and from 16:00 to 20:00).
Admission: 0.50 cents.
The Tui Cathedral Museum is located inside the Santa Catarina Chapel of Tui. In this museum space, we can visit various pieces used in religious ceremonies, such as chalices, sacred ornaments, processions and religious images such as the polychrome wood carving of the Virgen con el Niño or la Custodia del Asiento.
In the cloister and the chapter house, you can also visit a funeral collection composed of medieval coffins or tombstones of Visigoth origin, as well as various coats of arms of the Tui gate, among other archaeological elements.
Timetable: Closes on Mondays. Open from Tuesday to Sunday (from 10:00 to 13:30 and from 16:00 to 20:00).
Admission: General (€1.80), reduced rate for groups.
Muralla de Tui
The municipality of Tui currently preserves vestiges of two walls, built in order to defend the population from possible attacks. One of them was built during the medieval period.
It had several access doors, although only the Porta da Pia is currently preserved since the rest of the accesses were destroyed during the war with Portugal. After these events, it was considered necessary to construct a second wall, much broader and safer.
Iglesia de San Francisco
The Church of San Francisco is located within the old monumental complex of the Convent of San Antonio de Tui, built between 1682 and 1728. The church has a remarkable baroque altarpiece, from the mid-18th century.
Since 1850, the convent has housed the Diocesan Minor Seminary, consisting of two cloisters, one of them in Baroque style.
Mass times: Open every day. From 1 July to 31 August, Monday to Friday and Eves (20:30), Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays (10:00, 12:00 and 20:30).
From September 1 to June 30, Monday to Friday and eves of Holidays (19:30), Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays (10:00, 12:00 and 20:30).
Convento de Santo Domingo
The Convent of Santo Domingo is located in the town of Tui. Of the ensemble stands out the Gothic-style church, where two valuable Baroque altarpieces are guarded.
The largest is the work of Antonio del Villar and stands out for its exaggerated proportions. The smallest, it accomodates the Virgin of the Rosary and a particular reproduction of the Battle of Lepanto.
Convento de las Clarisas
The convent of Clarisas of Tui dates from the 17th and 18th centuries and was erected in the space occupied by the former Episcopal palaces of La Oliveira. Inside the convent is a church of great proportions, constructed in the 17th century.
Mass times: Monday to Friday (8:00), Sundays and Public Holidays (9:00).
Capilla de San Telmo
The Chapel of San Telmo is located in the town of Tui. The temple was built between 1769 and 1803, in the house where San Telmo died in the 13th century. The building is Baroque in style and stands out for its circular floor, the bulging dome and the frescoes, from the 19th century.