The third stage of the Camino Portugues is somewhat longer than yesterday, but without being considered a long stage. 20.6 kilometres of travel. The route has no particular difficulty.
Vila Franca de Xira (Km. 0). Beginning of stage
Practical tips for this section: The next town, Castanheira do Ribatejo, is an hour's walk. We recommend you to have breakfast in Vila Franca de Xira, before starting the day. Buen Camino!
If you came to Vila Franca de Xira, you will leave the village crossing the footbridge at the train station again and enter the park. Inside the park, continue on the left to the exit door and continue along a street that runs parallel to the river.
We crossed a huge bridge that crosses the River Tejo. A kilometre later, the arrows indicate that we should pass over to the right by a dirt track that runs between openings, and becomes an asphalt road. This asphalted road advances in parallel to the railway tracks, on our left, will appear the Castanheira do Ribatejo station (km. 4.6).
Without deviating from the asphalt road and after passing a roundabout we reach some industrial buildings, we then turn left and left to the station of Carregado (km. 6.9). We cross the pedestrian footbridge at the station and turn right to take a paved walkway. Advancing parallel to a canal, and we take a glance at the chimneys of the thermal power plant.
On the right there is a bridge, we cross it and pass in front of the power plant entrance. Continue along the Estrada do Carril, a road without a hard shoulder, until we reach Vila Nova da Rainha. We enter the village across the national road, next to a small park with tables and toilets.
Vila Nova da Rainha (Km. 12,9)
Practical tips for this section: Good luck with this stretch, it is perhaps the ugliest of today's route, but almost completes the stage. Buen Camino!
We cross the village until the arrows divert us to the right, towards the train station. We cross the footbridge and take a dirt track that moves to the left and runs parallel to the train tracks.
We pass by Espadanal de Azambuja train station (km. 16.7). Then, we turn left to cross the railroads under a platform. We end up on the road on which we pass by a gas station and a hotel.
At the roundabout, we cross the road and continue to the bullring and the Bombeiros Voluntários building. We continue along the main street of Azambuja.
Azambuja (Km. 20,6). End of stage
Practical tips for this section: In this quiet town you will find all kinds of services. See you tomorrow!
In Praça do Município we will find the Town Hall and the parish church. You can also see an old Pelourinho (pillory column) where criminals were punished in public.
Wine lovers can visit Vila Museo do Vinho or Vila Quinta de Vale de Fornos. You can also visit its Municipal Museum Sebastião Mateus.
Azambuja is a good stage finish for those who want to take a break to Lisbon (trains leave every 30 minutes in both directions), as for those who want to relax and enjoy the exquisite cuisine that this locality has to offer, closely linked to the river and to the land.
Comments Vila Franca de Xira - Azambuja
Although today's route lacks difficulties, there are always some precautions you should take. Then we will talk about them, as well as some culinary recommendations.
Precautions stage Vila Franca de Xira - Azambuja
Caution should be taken when walking along the roadside, cars pass very close and at high speed. Avoid advancing in parallel and invading the roadway.
If you arrive at a crossroads that lacks signalling (no yellow marks), the usual thing to do is that you have to continue straight. Do not deviate unless you find arrows that indicate so.
The stage can be completed without difficulty by people in any physical condition. The good surface conditions and the absence of unevenness,
allow both cyclists and people with reduced mobility to be able to complete this stage without any added difficulty.
Gastronomy stage Vila Franca de Xira - Azambuja
Here, we make some gastronomic recommendations for the route today, although, given the path of the Pilgrim's path at this stage, we almost have to wait to get to Azambuja to enjoy it.
Bread, oil, garlic and pulses are the basic ingredients of gastronomy in Azambuja.
Freshwater fish from Azambuja: Eels, lamprey or mullet
Lapardana (Fish and vegetables)
Mana (local cakes)
Sweet Potato Soup
Acordade Sável (Fried Shad fish)
Roast Cod on toast
Caldeirada á fragateiro (Fish Stew)
Queijadinhas (Coconut muffins)
What to do Vila Franca de Xira - Azambuja
Below we give details on the places of interest that you will be able to visit throughout today's route.
Castanheira do Ribatejo
Castanheira do Ribatejo is a Parish in the Council of Vila Franca de Xira. It has an area of 15 square kilometres and has 7,200 inhabitants.
In the locality, you can visit the old Convent of Nossa Senhora de Subserra. A Convent of Franciscan nuns whose building was ordered by by D. Fernando de Ataíde and his wife, D. Leonor.
The Main Church of São Bartolomeu, declared of public interest. This temple is one of the most important in the region. It was built in 1534, by the 1st Count of Castanheira, D. António de Ataíde, whose shield can be seen in the portal.
The temple is made up of a single, large and tall nave, which looks like 17th-century tiles. Of its architecture, on the outside, the Renaissance portal of the main facade should be highlighted.
You can also visit the remains of an incineration necropolis in the Gulbenkian district. As well as the Quinta da Areias, located south of the town, and the Quinta de São José do Marco, in the far north.
The Quinta da Areias, located near the fire brigade building, dates back to the 19th century and is owned by the Paja family. It has a monumental neo-Gothic style palace, workshops, hangars and spaces for agricultural machinery, presses, barns, round and stables.
The Quinta de São José do Marco stands out for the panels of 17th-century tiles, originating from the disappeared Convent of Our Lady of Subserra, in particular, the great panel representing San Bernardino of Siena.
Vila Nova da Rainha
Vila Nova da Rainha is a Parish in the Council of Azambuja. The locality has an area of 24 square kilometres of and 710 people reside there.
In the town, you can visit Santa Marta's main church, located on the top of a hill. A place that gives a dazzling viewpoint over the banks of the River Tejo.
The temple is made up of a nave with a belfry and has a set of figurative tile panels, from the 17th century. These have a colour of a white background and blue with encircling, alluding to the life of Santa Marta, patron of those who are at the service of the needy, and is known in the Gospels as "the one who struggled with the very service she had ".
The church stands out for being the place where the historic marriage of D. Leonor de Alvim was held with the Contestável D. Nuno Álvares Pereira, in 1376.
Azambuja is the seat of the municipality that bears the same name. The municipality belongs to the District of Lisbon and to the region of Ribatejo. Several historians point out that this locality, of some 6,500 inhabitants, already existed in Roman times.
In 711, it was invaded by the Arabs, who called it Azanbujâ, which means Olivera Brava. Years later, it was referred to as Villa Franca, until the 12th century.
Church of Nossa Senhora da Assunção
The Church of Nossa Senhora de Assunçao is the main church of Azambuja and is also known as the Main Church of Azambuja. The temple dates back to the 16th century, although it has been reformed on several occasions throughout history.
The church is made up of three naves and is covered with 18th-century tiles. Inside you can see various paintings depicting Jesse's tree. The baroque-style main chapel stands out. Although remodelled in the 17th century, it preserves its original 16th-century roof.
Municipal Museum Sebastião Mateus
The Municipal Museum Sebastião Mateus Arenque is located in Azambuja and has operated since 2004. Inside, it houses a permanent exhibition, called "Everyday: Remember, know and learn". It also has temporary exhibitions on ethnographic resources in the region.
Vila Museu do Vinho
The Vila Museu do Vinho is located in the village of Azambuja. The aim of this museum is to promote local wine among visitors, especially the small producers.
Inside it has several interactive spaces in which are exhibited pieces related to wine production. It also has an interpretation centre that welcomes visitors.
Villa Quinta de Vale de Fornos
The Vila Quinta de Vale de Fornos is located in Azambuja. This is the oldest winery in the Tejo wine region and its wines are the ones most sold in the region. Among the most notable are: Vale de Fornos Rosé, Cabernet Sauvignon, Vinha do General and Vale de Fornos.
The winery is located in an old 18th-century manor house which has witnessed important historical events, such as when Christopher Columbus crossed its vineyards to communicate to the king he had discovered America.