After yesterday's long journey and the beautiful visit to Santarém, today we expect another long stage that will definitely put our resistance to the test. To make up for our effort, the landscapes become much more enjoyable.
Many pilgrims from the Camino Portugues choose to join the Jacobean route from Santarém to avoid the urban part of the Lisbon exit and the previous stages, which are practically lacking in interest. To them: Welcome!
Today we also expect a long, but more attractive stage. Following the River Tejo, we will pass by Pombalinho, to link to the road that goes to Golega, the birthplace of the famous writer José Saramago.
We'll go through landscapes surrounded by vineyards and cornfields until the end of the stage, passing the last kilometres along a dangerous road that barely has a hard shoulder.
In today's stage, we will lose sight of the arrows that lead to the Sanctuary of Fatima. We will see them again in a few days, but at this time they will go in the opposite direction.
Itinerary Santarém - Golegã
The fifth day on theCamino Portugues runs through fundamentally flat terrain. In addition to endurance and patience, the pilgrim will not need more skills to complete it.
Santarém (Km. 0). Beginning of stage
Practical tips for this section: it is important that before leaving you should ensure that you have enough water and food to complete the stage. On today's route you will not find many services. If it has rained, the descent down São Tiago can be slippery, so, we recommend that in that case, use the sticks or the staff to avoid falls. Buen Camino!
We leave Santarém on Rua Serpa Pinto, followed by São Martinho and Avenida 5 de Outubro until the entrance to the Portas do Sol gardens. At 40 metres from the entrance, in front of the Church of Santa Maria da Alcáçova, we turn left and we enter a street towards the Largo de São Tiago, as the pilgrims did in the Middle Ages.
Behind the medieval wall, through the São Tiago Gate, you start a descent along a narrow and stony path. Following the arrows, we walk through the streets of the Ribeira district of Santarém.
At kilometre 1.6, we cross the train tracks and continue along cobbled streets to the medieval bridge of Alcôrse. After crossing it, we take a dirt track that quickly transforms into asphalt.
700 metres after reaching the asphalt track we find an isolated, white and red house with a weeping willow, called Freixo Grande. At this point, we must turn abruptly by a dirt track. The path runs between vineyards and fields of peppers, with hardly any trees. In this section, we must be very attentive to the arrows.
In the right turn (km. 6.5) we stumble upon a local road, following this, we pass by Dos Quintas and arrive in the town of Vale de Figueira.
Vale de Figueira (Km. 10,4)
Practical tips for this section: In this section, we will pass through various locations with services. We'll also find a shortcut, if we take it we will dodge some of them, but we will save 3.5 kilometres of travel. Buen Camino!
In the town, take a right turn onto Rua do Sobral, which becomes a downslope. Following a dirt track, for two kilometres, with slight ups and downs, we reach the bridge that crosses the River Alviela. On a path that runs flat, we arrive at a farm, and at its entrance, we turn to the left. We'll pass by a warehouse and some solar panels.
700 metres later we pass another solar panel installation and we reach a fork, where the electric pole number 17 is located, there we turn to the right. Shortly thereafter, after post number 4, we pass by a small house in ruins.
At 650 metres, we reach the crossroads with the road of Porto das Pereiras, surrounded by canes and trees that warn us of the proximity of the River Tejo. At this point, we are next to the electricity pole number 9, on whose base there is a pillar that warns us to turn to the left.
After the turn, 90 metres later, we can take a possible shortcut to the right (eastward). The arrows (the official road) indicate that we continue towards the north, towards Reguengo de Alviela.
If we take the shortcut, we'll save 3.5 kilometres of travel. If it has rained a lot, it is better not to take this shortcut as the area could be flooded. In that case, it is best to follow the arrows of the Camino de Santiago and continue north.
We take a shortcut by a little drawn path, which runs between cornfields, and where we will hardly find signs. The trail runs about 400 metres from the river bank. We will advance for 3.5 kilometres in the direction of some agricultural warehouses that are seen in the distance.
After a sandy stretch with some trees, we pass by solar plate facilities and the dirt track begins to transform itself into a well-defined path, where we find the yellow arrows again.
If we follow the official road, that is, following the arrows of the Camino de Santiago, in 1.2 kilometres we will reach Reguengo de Alviela, a small village that does not have services (km. 17.4). There we turn to the right, to reach the N365 road, which we follow until the locality of Pombalinho, where we will find bars and shops (km. 20.4).
Arriving at the Church of Pombalinho, turn right on Rua Manuel Monteiro Barbosa, which is transformed into a track and that will lead us to Azinhaga, which has a small square with trees and banks and a statue of writer and playwright José Saramago.
Azinhaga (Km. 25)
Practical tips for this section: There are still enough kilometres to complete the stage and in between, you will not find any more places to stop. Remember to stop in the town that saw the birth of the famous writer, José Saramago. Buen Camino!
Following the main street of Azinhaga, we pass in front of the local church. We will go over the roundabout and follow the national EN-365 road, flanked at the beginning by yew trees. We must walk very carefully, as the cars pass by and at high speed.
We enter the village of Golega, and on the Rua do Campo we arrive immediately at the Church Square (Largo da Imaculada Conceição). In the immediate vicinity we will find the main services: cafes, restaurants, shops and lodgings.
Golegã (Km. 32,3). End of stage
Practical tips for this section: Today's stage has been long, take advantage of the afternoon to rest your legs and enjoy a pleasant conversation beside the River Tejo. See you tomorrow!
This town is famous for hosting the National Horse Fair and everything in it reminds us of the equestrian world. In its streets, you can visit the 16th century Main Church, the Carlos Relvas Museum and the Quinta da Carliga.
Comments Santarém - Golegã
Here's what precautions you should take during today's route and we suggest some traditional dishes for you to replace the energy needed to cope with today's long stage.
How to get to Santarém
To get to Santarém from the north of Portugal, the easiest way is to take the E-1 or the A-23, if you have your own transport.
The location does not have an airport, so it is best to fly to Lisbon and from there, move to Santarém. By train, Santarém is less than an hour away, but the train station is somewhat remote from the town itself. The best option is to take a bus from Lisbon station to Santarém.
If you do not want to worry about transfers, accommodation and other logistical details, remember that we can organize everything for you.
Precautions stage Santarém - Golegã
The greatest difficulty of the stage today is the distance that it runs and the few places that come across our path during the day. Therefore, it is important to stock up with abundant water and food in Santarém before starting the stage.
On the other hand, the pilgrim´s path runs through a place totally deprived of shade, so it is recommended to wear a hat and sunscreen, as well as leave early. Much of the day runs through the Lezíria do Tejo, a very fertile plain formed by river deposits. In summer this area can be a real oven.
In the rest, the layout does not have great difficulties, mainly because it does not have big climbs and the floor is in good condition. This means that the stage can be completed, without further difficulty, by cyclists and people with reduced mobility.
The last 7 kilometres of the stage run on a road without a hard shoulder. Pay special attention to traffic. In this section, it is very likely that some vehicles will stop and offer to take you to Golega, even if you do not hitchhike.
We advise you not to go in the vehicle of strangers. It is also very likely that after the offer of free travel, other intentions are hidden, such as staying at home or visiting certain bars or restaurants.
Gastronomy stage Santarém - Golegã
Here are some recommendations for recovering energy after today's gruelling stage.
Velhoses Azinhaga (Local pastries)
What to do Santarém - Golegã
In this space, we now give you details about localities and places of interest that are located in the fifth stage of the Camino Portugués.
Pombalinho is a Parish in the Council of Golega. The locality has an area of almost eight square kilometres and in it resides 450 people. The town was an ancient Roman villa, called Santa Cruz de Pombal. In the 18th century, it became known by its present name to be able to differentiate it from other towns with the same name, like the town of Pombal.
Azinhaga is a Parish in the Council of Golega, and has an area of 38 square kilometres with a population of 1,800 inhabitants. The town is known for being the birthplace of the famous writer José Saramago (1922-2010).
Strolling through the village, we will find a small square where a sculpture of the writer sits, sitting on a bench, reading a book.
We can also visit religious architecture such as the Church of Nossa Senhora de Conceição and the Capilla do Espírito Santo.
Church of Nossa Senhora de Conceição
The Church of Nossa Senhora de Conceição de Azinhaga dates from the 17th century. The temple consists of three naves of five sections and combines architectural elements of Baroque and Mannerist style. It has a main chapel and a bell tower.
Capilla do Espírito Santo
The Capilla do Espírito Santo is located in Azinhaga and its construction dates back to the 16th century. The temple is known among the inhabitants of the locality as a Capelinha (the Chapel), due to its small dimensions and its architectural simplicity.
Its’ simple façade features a baroque-style frieze with elements of Indo-Portuguese inspiration. Inside, stands an 18th-century painting, located behind the main altar, which represents the adoration of the Holy Spirit.
Golega is a Council of the district of Santarém. The locality, located on the banks of the River Tejo, has almost 6,000 inhabitants. The villa is considered the capital of the horse and everything in the locality refers to the equine world. It celebrates the famous National Horse Fair, with both national and international reputation.
In the town, you can visit its 16th-century main church, the Carlos Relvas Museum and the Quinta da Carliga.
Casa Museo Carlos Relvas
La Casa Museo Carlos Relvas de de Golegã tiene una amplia exposición que recoge la obra fotográfica del artista, Carlos Relvas. La Casa Museo se construyó en el año 1872, a petición del propio fotógrafo.
The House-Museum Carlos Relvas de Golega has a wide exhibition that includes the photographic work of the artist, Carlos Relvas. The House-Museum was built in 1872, at the request of the photographer himself.
Carlos Relvas was the greatest exponent of photography studies that took place in Europe during the second half of the 19th century. Even today, his work is the subject of study in Europe as well as in America.
The building is made up of two floors and looks romantic, giving a monumental aspect. On the second floor of the House-Museum, you can visit an exhibition of photographic furniture, as well as canvases with various landscapes.
The Main Church in the locality of Golega dates from the 15th and 16th centuries, its construction was carried out by order of Manuel I. The temple has a large rectangular body and declared a national monument.
We should highlight its richly decorated façade, typical of the Manueline style. The interior of the temple is covered with blue and white tiles; on some of them, scenes of the life of Christ are depicted.
Quinta da Carliga
The Quinta da Carliga is located in Golega and was owned by King Afonso Henriques, who donated the estate to the Order of the Templars at the end of the 12th century. Until the 19th century, the estate was part of the River Tejo's defensive line, until it was later re-owned by religious institutions.
Later it was acquired by the Sommer family. Today it belongs to their descendants, Andrade and the Mellos.
The family ensemble is of great architectural interest since it combines different styles. All this shows the great power that this estate had throughout history.