Itinerary Santa Iría de Azoia - Vila Franca de Xira
The second stage of the Camino Portugues runs for 19.3 kilometres and has a fairly flat terrain, with ascents of no more than 100 metres.
Santa Iría de Azoia (Km. 0). Beginning of stage
Practical tips for this section: Throughout today's stage we will pass by towns that have train stations. If you did not have the option to visit Lisbon, one option is to take a train, return to the city of Lisbon, complete some of the visits and return the following morning. There are trains every 30 minutes. Buen Camino!
We retake the track between almond trees, olive trees and canes. Starting out on our right, a huge house with palm trees, visibly in a state of abandonment, known as the Quinta do Brasileiro, the track becomes a paved road. 600 metres after the roundabout, we arrive at Casal do Freixo and Alpriate (km. 3.2)
In Alpriate, we cross the square opposite the hostel and continue along Rua da Vinha. At the exit of the village, we follow a dirt road that runs on the right, between canes and fields. We arrive at a road and continue along the hard shoulder on the right.
Before entering the tunnel, we cross by the hard shoulder on the left and take the dirt track that runs parallel to the power line towers. We go over two ditches and we get back to the road, which we then follow on the right.
The A-1 motorway cuts us off and we cross under it. At the foot of the road, we cross a few blocks of houses and car repairers. We pass two roundabouts and head to Póvoa de Santa Íria.
Póvoa de Santa Iría (Km. 6,4)
Practical tips for this section: Enjoy this stretch and take advantage to take photos, it's one of the most beautiful parts of the route today. Buen Camino!
In Póvoa de Santa Iria, we can visit the Quinta Municipal da Piedade, as well as other historical points of interest.
In Póvoa de Santa Iria you have to pay attention to the arrows that indicate that we must pass around the roundabout on the right and continue for 150 metres along the N-10 road and then turn left and cross the train tracks over a bridge.
Through an area of open land, we find a boardwalk on our left that allows us to cross a canal to enter the Parque del Estuário do Tejo. In short, we arrive at the modern facilities of Praia dos Pescadores, in front of the river.
At this point begins a very pleasant stretch over wooden footbridges that run parallel to the river and that lead to a dirt road. Then by an asphalt road, and parallel to the railway tracks, we reach a military facility and the Museo del Aire of Alverca do Ribatejo, where you can see various planes on display in the yard.
Practical tips for this section: This section is not very well signposted, you stay attentive and follow the routes that we give you so not to deviate from the pilgrim path. Buen Camino!
In Alverca de Ribatejo we can visit the old Casa de la Cámara, la Marca IV de Légua, a pillory and the Church of San Pedro.
Using the station escalator, we climb up and cross the bridge over the tracks. We go down and continue straight down the Avenida Infante Dom Pedro until reaching a tall block of flats, which we can access by a square on the right. We continue 100 metres ahead along Rua 20 de Maio.
Then we must turn right onto Rua Catarina Eufémia until the end and take a narrow path next to the school fence, which continues on the right bank of the Club Alverca football stadium. The football club is a good visual reference for this section of the road, because until recently, this piece of the path was not very well signposted.
After 500 metres by the dirt track, we reach an industrial estate and continue along a kilometre along sidewalks and asphalt, until we reach the roundabout of the national road N-10. We continue along the hard shoulder of the road for 2.4 kilometres.
After the facilities of an industrial complex, we leave the road on the right and enter the next town: Alhandra.
Alverca do Ribatejo Iría (Km. 11,7)
Consejos prácticos para este tramo: Este tramo no está muy bien señalizado, debes estar atento y seguir las pistas que te damos para no desviarte de la senda jacobea. ¡Buen Camino!
En Alverca de Ribatejo podemos visitar la antigua casa de la Cámara, la Marca IV de Légua, una picota y la iglesia de San Pedro.
Por unas escaleras mecánicas de la estación, subimos y cruzamos el paso elevado sobre las vías. Bajamos y seguimos recto por la Avenida Infante Dom Pedro hasta alcanzar unos altos bloques de viviendas, a los que accedemos por una plaza a la derecha. Continuamos 100 metros de frente por Rua 20 de Maio.
A continuación, debemos girar a la derecha por la Rua Catarina Eufémia hasta el final y tomar un estrecho sendero junto a la valla de una escuela, que continúa por el margen derecho del estadio de fútbol Club Alverca. El club de fútbol es una buena referencia visual para este tramo del camino, ya que hasta hace muy poco, este trozo de la senda no se hallaba muy bien señalizado.
Después de 500 metros por la pista de tierra llegamos a un polígono industrial y continuamos a lo largo de un kilómetro por aceras y asfalto, hasta llegar a la rotonda de la carretera nacional N-10. Continuamos por el arcén de la carretera durante 2,4 kilómetros.
Tras las instalaciones de un complejo industrial, abandonamos la carretera por la derecha y entramos en la próxima localidad: Alhandra.
Alhandra (Km. 16)
Practical tips for this section: Enjoy the river promenade in this quiet town, Buen Camino!
In the streets of Alhandra, we can visit the Chapel of Nuestra Señora de la Concepción Portal, the Casa-Museo Dr Sousa Martins, the Chapel de Nuestra Señora de Guía and a pillory. We leave Alhandra on a pleasant bike lane that is impossible to miss because on one side we have the river and on the other the fence of the railroad tracks.
At the first footbridge which comes in our path, we cross the railroad tracks. We pass by the bullring and go into the town.
If you pass the first elevated footbridge, you can continue one kilometre further down the lane until you reach the park. At the train station, we will find another footbridge, but we'll enter Vila Franca de Xira by the end of this locality.
Vila Franca de Xira (Km. 19,7). End of stage
Practical tips for this section: In this locality, you will be able to relax or dedicate the afternoon to visit various tourist and cultural points of interest. See you tomorrow!
If you intend to keep walking, and do not wish to enter Vila Franca de Xira, it is not necessary to cross the train tracks. You can go straight ahead to a park and at the end of it, you will follow the arrows of the Jacobean path.
In Vila Franca de Xira, you can discover the bullfighting culture of Portugal, in fact, it is known as the Pamplona of Portugal. In the locality, you can visit the altar of the Lord of Good Death, the Municipal Museum and the Churches of Misericordia and the Saint and Martyr Saint Sebastian, the municipal cemetery, as well as Marca IV Légua and a patriarchal barn.
What to do Santa Iría de Azoia - Vila Franca de Xira
Now we will give you details about the localities and places of tourist and cultural interest during today's stage.
Póvoa de Santa Iría
Póvoa de Santa Iria is a is a Parish in the Council of Vila Franca de Xira. It has an area of 4 square kilometres in which more than 24,000 people live.
In the locality, you can visit the Quinta Municipal da Piedade and the Quinta da Fervença. The latter is mainly agricultural and belonged to Varzim Morgano and the Marquis of Abrantes.
In the garden of the town's bus station, you can contemplate the Marca Morgado da Povoa, erected in the 18th century. It is a block of limestone with an epigraph. In the same place, the source Morgado da Póvoa is located with similar characteristics and of the same epoch.
Near the riverside is located Sierra Pareja, an archaeological site, and the Pier da Póvoa de Santa Iria, a platform, built in the 19th century, which is currently used mainly by fishermen.
Quinta Municipal da Piedade
The Quinta Municipal da Piedade is located in the Rua Padre Manuel Duarte de Póvoa Santa Iria. This space is declared as a place of public interest and heritage.
The collection is made up of an 18th-century building, whose interior is lined with tiles, a recreation area with lakes, fountains, a church and various chapels.
The Church of Our Lady of Mercy dates from the 18th century. The rest of the chapels, that of Our Lady of Mercy, that of the Dead Lord and the Oratory of St. Jerome, date back to the 16th century.
Alverca do Ribatejo
Alverca do Ribatejo is a Parish of the Council of Vila Franca de Xira. It has an area of 18 square kilometres and in its streets some 29,000 people live.
In the locality, you can visit the old Chamber House, La Marca IV de Légua, a pillory and the Church of San Pedro.
Antigua Casa de la Cámara de Alverca do Ribatejo
The old Chamber House in Alterca do Ribatejo is located in the Plaza João Mantas. It is a space of great archaeological interest and represents the first moment of the urban expansion of the locality.
The origin of the building is not known exactly, but it can be thought that the Old Chamber House of Alverca dates from the same time of the Pelourinho (pillory) installed in the place, which was used to mark the jurisdiction of the Crown.
The building has been restored and remodelled within the works of the Museum Centre. At present the facilities have a reception, a documentation centre, an educational workshop, an exhibition hall and an auditorium.
In the Museum Centre, an ethnographic sample of traditional agriculture and the archaeological finds carried out during the works has been collected.
Church of San Pedro
The Church of San Pedro is located in the historical centre of the town of Alverca do Ribatejo, located in the upper part of the city. It is a temple made up of three naves.
Inside you can see various mosaics, from the 17th century, representing the life of Saint Peter and the liberation of the saint by the angel. You can also see an altarpiece and various paintings, from the 18th century. The plaster ceiling of the church also dates from this period.
Marca IV Légua
The Marca IV Légua is currently located at Rua Joao Mantas de Alverca do Ribatejo, in front of the old municipal market. However, this is not its original site.
The structure was built in 1788, by the command of Queen Maria I. It was subsequently removed from its place of origin and part of it was installed in the garden area, where it is currently located.
The structure that is preserved is made up of several square and concave faces topped with a pyramid culminating in a carved sundial.
The Alverca pillory is located in the Plaza Joao Mantas de Alverca do Ribatejo. The pillory constitutes a sample of civil architecture of Manueline style and dates from the year 1530.
The structure has an octagonal base, four-leaved flowers and rich ornamentation laden with symbolism. In the year 1933, it was declared of public interest.
Alhandra is a Parish in the Council of Vila Franca de Xira. The locality has an area of 2 square kilometres and 7,200 people reside there.
The tranquil village has a beautiful riverside promenade and a pier. On its streets, you can visit the Chapel of Our Lady of Conception Portal, the House-Museum Dr Sousa Martins, The Church of Our Lady the Guide and a pillory.
The Alhandra Pier is the second largest of the Vila Franca de Xira Council. The place was an important point of entry for access to the places of the interior of the country.
The pier is still in use today. It passes much of the straw, wine and cereals that are distributed in the region and in a part of the Spanish Autonomous community
Casa-Museo Dr. Sousa Martins
The Dr Sousa Martins House-Museum is located in the Rua Largo do Cais in Alhandra. This space was inaugurated in the year 1985.
Its heritage is limited to the parish of the locality, transmitting its history through an exhibition of documents, books, photographs, paintings, tools and objects of daily use, as well as some private collections.
Throughout the visit, we will understand the social, economic and industrial changes that the region has experienced. Also shown are the figures of Sousa Martins, Soeiro Pereira Gomes, Salvador Marques and Filipe Francisco dos Reis.
In addition to this exhibition, the House Museum has temporary exhibitions and conferences, as well as a space that pays homage to the local swimmer, Baptista Pereira.
Chapel of Our Lady of Conception Portal
The Chapel of Our Lady of Conception Portal is located at the north end of the town of Alhandra, on Rua D. Tomás de Almeida. in the temple, a carved wooden altarpiece embellished in gold stands out, in which stands an image the patron saint of the chapel. The structure is crowned by two carvings of angels.
Church of Our Lady the Guide
The Church of Our Lady the Guide is located in Rua Marques Salvador de Alhandra. It is a rectangular-based temple that houses two carved canopies and embellished in gold that shelters the figures of the Virgin of the Conception and the Crucified Christ. In the area of the main chapel, you can see walls covered with 17th century tiles.
Church of San Juan Bautista
The Church of San Juan Bautista is located in the historical centre of Alhambra. The Primitive temple was founded in 1558 by Cardinal Don Henrique. The original construction was considered majestic because of its artistic quality and its prominence, located at 200 metres above the town.
In 1887, the church suffered a devastating fire and had to be completely rebuilt. At present, the temple has extremely simple architectural lines, with few decorative elements.
Inside, you can visit sacred art from the 17th and 18th centuries, of high artistic quality. Some of the works come from the original church and others from other Lisbon temples.
The Alhandra pillory was declared the property of public interest in 1933. It is a pillory of Manueline style, both for its ornamentation and its profile.
Given the architectural simplicity of the column and its complements, the structure is considered to have been erected during the reign of Joan III. In 1893 it was dismantled and deposited in the Quinta dos Bichos, in S. João dos Montes.
Vila Franca de Xira
Vila Franca de Xira is a municipality in the district of Lisbon. It has a population of almost 140,000 inhabitants and extends over an area of almost 300 square kilometres. To the municipality belong several parishes (localities) that we go through today, like Póvoa de Santa Iria, Alhandra and its own locality of Vila Franca de Xira.
The town stands out for being the place with the greatest bullfighting culture of all the Portuguese way. Bullfights are held in the bullring with the main horsemen and right-handers, as well as bull-leaping contests. In its October festivities, a similar closure is made to that of San Fermin, hence the place is known as the Portuguese Pamplona.
In the locality, you can visit the altar of the Lord of the Good Death, the Municipal Museum and the Churches of Mercy and the Saint Martyr Saint Sebastian, the municipal cemetery, as well as the Mark IV Légua and a patriarchal barn.
The altar of the Lord of Good Death
The altar of the Lord of Good Death is located at the top of the hill that dominates Vila Franca de Xira. The place is an old medieval village and a necropolis. In it, there is a sanctuary, where there is a chapel that dates from the 16th and 17th centuries.
Today, this space is to be found being classified.
The Patriarchal Barn is located at Rua Luis Camoes de Vila Franca de Xira. It is a building of sober lines, the work of José Custodio de Sá y Faria.
The construction dates from the 18th century and is currently in process of classification. In the building, the entrance portal stands out, which frames a padded wooden door, and the triangular pediment on its main façade. For some years, it has functioned as a place for conducting thematic exhibitions.
The Municipal Cemetery of Vila Franca de Xira dates from the 19th century, is a necropolis located in the southernmost part of the city, along a slope facing the east. The main entrance is located on Rua Luís de Camões, converging north with the Calzada Costa Blanca.
This cemetery is not seen as a cold and gloomy place, because it is actually a true open-air museum, due to the beautiful sculptures of tombstones and deposits and its privileged location with a magnificent view towards the River Tejo.
The cemetery has an approximate area of 10,500 square metres, divided into various plots. There are the graves of various illustrious personalities of the region, belonging to the nobility, politics, bullfighting and the arts.
Church of Mercy
The Church of Mercy is located in the Rua Largo da Misericordia de Vila Franca de Xira. The temple was founded in the 16th century. Inside it houses important works of sacred art, in particular, an important set of tiles, from the year 1760, which represents works of mercy.
Church of Saint Martyr San Sebastián
The Church of Saint Martyr San Sebastián is located at the entrance of Vila Franca de Xira, on Rua Dr. Miguel Bombarda. The temple was built in 1576, by order of King D. Sebastián, as a result of the " Peste Grande" (Epidemic") of 1569.
In the main chapel, the most prominent decorative elements are the Rocaille altarpiece, in gilt and polychrome carving, and the vaulted ceiling with painted stucco.
In 2001, the Museum of Sacred Art was installed in an exhibition space. It hosts the exhibition 'Vila Franca de Xira-Formas de Devoción' which, among other objects, shows a collection of Dr Vidal Baptista Antonian, various records of devotion and materials of archaeology.