About the Camino Portugues Coastal Route
The Camino Portugues coastal route is one of the most popular routes on the Camino de Santiago. It is the one that is experiencing more growth thanks to the beauty of its unique natural environment.
We would like to talk to you about one of the most beautiful routes on the Camino de Santiago. In particular, we refer to the Camino Portugues coastal route: a route that crosses its pilgrimage to Santiago through an incomparably beautiful environment.
By the way, we’ll also tell you about their stages are and what specific indications to follow to enjoy the experience to the fullest. We hope to be of help and remind you that the easiest way to complete the Camino de Santiago is called Santiago Ways.
The Camino Portugues coastal route is an ideal route for pilgrims who want to enjoy a rural experience whilst enjoying the beautiful Atlantic coast along the Camino de Santiago.
We will walk through spectacular landscapes, between cliffs, mountains and estuaries.
We will leave the city of Oporto and pass through Viana do Castelo and Caminho. Then, we will cross the mouth of the River Miño and continue to La Guardia, Bayonne and Vigo until you reach Redondela. In Redondela, the Camino Portuguese coastal route joins the inner Camino to reach our destination, Santiago de Compostela.
Throughout the Camino Portugues coastal route, we will relish a natural environment unique in the world.
Why choose the Camino Portugues coastal route?
1.- Unparalleled landscape environments: one of the most noteworthy aspects of the Camino Portugues coastal route is its landscapes. They are of enormous beauty and perfectly reflect the influence of an ocean such as the Atlantic. Among other points, the mouth of the River Miño and the numerous cliffs and peaks give evidence of this.
2.- Bestowed with great patrimonial richness: One of the great advantages that the Camino Portugues coastal route has compared to other alternatives is the great number of patrimonial treasures with which it counts. In fact, in addition to Roman and medieval constructions (which we will with detail later), throughout the route, we can also enjoy the unique beauty of cities like Oporto.
3.-Contrast of cultures: when travelling through two different nations, we can appreciate the cultural nuances of both territories. It is a very good opportunity to learn more about culture, customs and history, while we enjoy a unique adventure.
4.-The climate: one of the biggest advantages of the Camino Portugues coastal route is the climate. Especially if we do it during the summer, we will benefit from the freshness of the local climate and proximity to the ocean that we find during our journey. It will give us, in fact, fresh winds that contribute to making our pilgrimage much more enjoyable.
5.-It is not so crowded: Certainly, the Camino Portugues coastal route is nowhere near as crowded as other alternatives offered by the Camino de Santiago. That means that most of the surroundings will be just for us and that at the same time we will have no problems with accommodation or restaurant reservations.
We want to remind you that, in spite of everything, if you travel with Santiago Ways this is not a problem: we take care of everything.
Information about the Camino Portugues to Santiago coastal route
The Camino Portugues coastal route is the best route for those who want to enjoy a rural experience. At the same time, the Atlantic coast offers an incomparable setting throughout our pilgrimage to Santiago.
In it, we can find not only authentic natural and landscape gems but the best of Portuguese gastronomy and, of course, Galician.
The Camino Portugues coastal route to Santiago, which has a total distance of 150km, begins in the city of Oporto and ends, as it could not be otherwise, in the city of Santiago de Compostela, passing through such unparalleled places as the mouth of the River Miño.
The quietest routes on the Camino Portugues coastal route
We would now like to talk now about what are the options available when completing the Camino Portugues coastal route. They are two very interesting routes and that, in fact, will give you more freedom when it comes to planning a route and an alternative to your own taste. Take careful note, because I’m sure you will want to know more about them.
The Camino de Santiago from Oporto by the coastal route
The Camino de Santiago from Oporto along the coastal route is part of the first section of the route we are talking about. It starts in Oporto, a city declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO, and it continues to Santiago offering on the way landscapes and unforgettable experiences. It has a length of 105 kilometres, spread over 7 nights and 8 days.
With Santiago Ways, there is the possibility to book all year round including breakfast or half board in the plan. Of course, accommodation will always be in hotels of great quality and attention. More information on the Camino Portugues coastal route from Oporto.
The Camino de Santiago from Baiona by the coastal route
This second and final part of the Camino Portugues coastal route starts from the charming village of Baiona. Indeed, it is a fishing history village endowed with the Castle of Monte Real and a spectacular seafront promenade.
At the same time, seafood gastronomy is highly specialized and recommended. However, if you prefer local products, we must add that on this route we pass through Padron, the home of the famous peppers.
Either way, this route has a length of 120km that is divided into a total of 7 nights and 8 days next to the beautiful settings of the Atlantic. More information about the Camino Portugues coastal route.
The route of the Camino Portugues coastal route
On its complete route, the Camino Portugues coastal route runs through both Portuguese and Galician (Spanish) towns. In Portugal, it crosses 3 districts: Oporto, Braga and Viana do Castelo. In Spain, it crosses 2 Galician provinces: Pontevedra and A Coruña.
The Camino Portugues coastal route is a smooth one, without great difficulties on the ground. This fact makes it worthy of being considered one of the best itineraries for cycling.
This route of the Camino de Santiago offers two variants on arrival in Galicia. One is that which arrives in Redondela and links with the interior Camino Portugues, much more popular and well- travelled. The other, continues via Pontevedra, linking with Caldas.
All the itineraries that lead to Santiago de Compostela are a unique experience. But the Camino Portugues coastal route offers the possibility of doing it surrounded by an extraordinary landscape and away from overcrowding. This route allows the pilgrim to move forward on a good part of the journey enjoying beautiful white sandy beaches.
You can’t miss the enchanting monasteries and extraordinary panoramic views of the estuaries. In addition, and since most of the tour is taken through Pontevedra, the Pilgrim will have the possibility to get to know in this magnificent province of Galicia in depth.
Map of the Camino Portugues coastal route to Santiago
So that you have all possible information, we want to provide you with the maps of the Camino Portugues coastal route. With this, you can get a visual idea of all the stages it includes, as well as the wonderful places you can pass through. It is a piece of very important information that we must always take into account for the correct planning and anticipation of our adventure.
Profile of the Camino Portugues coastal route
We will now talk about the profile of the Camino Portugues coastal route. In it, we will refer to its average altitude, its difficulty and its greater or lesser adaptation to the different pilgrims according to their age, fitness and their own plans that they may have.
So, we must say that the Camino Portugues coastal route is not a difficult route. It is quite straightforward for those who want to start the challenge of the Camino de Santiago because it does not have many complicated slopes or climbs and, in general, all of the route can be completed without too many complications given by the terrain.
The infrastructure and signposting of the Camino Portugues improve from Oporto. The diversity of routes within the Portuguese country has greatly hindered the consolidation of crossings. A reason why the pilgrim should expect to see a signposted route, but not as many as those you will find in other options such as the Camino Frances, for example.
Something similar happens with the accommodation options. However, the succession of small villages that appear along the pilgrim’s path will allow them to satisfy their needs. If you prefer, you can contact us and we will take care of the entire logistical organization of this adventure.
Stages on foot of The Camino Portugues coastal route
Oporto – Póvoa de Varzim
Póvoa de Varzim – Esposende
Esposende – Viana Do Castelo
Viana Do Castelo – Ancora
Ancora – Guarda
Guarda – Baiona
Baiona – Vigo
Vigo – Redondela
Redondela – Pontevedra
Pontevedra – Caldas de Reis
Caldas de Reis – Padrón
Padrón – Santiago de Compostela
¿How long does the Camino Portugues coastal route take?
All the routes of the Camino de Santiago take different amounts of time. Depending on which of the two possible routes we choose, the Camino Portugues coastal route may take longer than another.
This means that the approximate duration of the road that starts in Oporto is 7 nights and 8 days with a distance of 105km until you reach Baiona.
The Camino Portugues coastal route, which starts in Baiona has a length of 120km distributed, equally, in 8 days and 7 nights. As we always say in Santiago Ways, everything depends on what are your own personal preferences.
If, for example, you want to go walking more slowly, you can take a few more days. There are also other factors such as climate or, simply, those that have to do with wanting to enjoy a particular spot for a longer time.
Best time of the year to do the Camino Portugues coastal route to Santiago de Compostela
It is always advisable to say that, in reality, the most beneficial time to complete the Camino de Santiago in general and the Camino Portugues coastal route in particular, depends on each person’s individual tastes.
It is true that each season has its advantages and that sometimes it is better to choose one in particular according to criteria such as possible climatological predictions or the amount of assistance that we can find at the end of a particular season.
However, and in order to contemplate all the options we are going to pick each season and look at what are their strengths and weaknesses.
Spring has the disadvantage of unstable weather. Indeed, it is difficult to predict when we will be met by rain. However, we can ensure that the temperatures will be mild thanks to the beneficial influence of the Atlantic Ocean.
At the same time, we must add that spring has the outburst of colour that brings flowers and life to the landscape. Taking into account that most of the Camino Portugues coastal route to Santiago passes through natural environments, this is a big point in its favour.
Summer is the most popular time to do the Camino de Santiago in general. In this sense, the Camino Portugues coastal route is no exception: the hostels will have more people and the restaurants will be more crowded.
However, we want to remind you that this is not a problem with Santiago Ways, because you will not have to worry about anything. Anyway, and as we have said previously, this route is not particularly crowded.
Autumn can contribute significantly to make the entire environment even more beautiful on the Camino Portugues coastal route to Santiago. In fact, we will be going through environments that are mostly deciduous. This means that the landscape will be dressed in rich shades like green, yellow and brown, in contrast to the blue infinity of the ocean.
On the other hand, the only bad thing that it has (like springtime) is the possible unstable climate conditions. Nothing that can’t be solved with good planning.
As you walk near the Atlantic Ocean, you will feel that temperatures are milder. It is true that there is a risk of increased rainfall, but we can be prepared for it.
Guide to the places you cannot miss on the Camino Portugues coastal route
Also, the Camino de Santiago in general and the Camino Portugues coastal route, in particular, offer us the possibility of enjoying wonderful enclaves which will delight our senses. For this reason, we would like to recommend some places of interest that you should visit to enjoy the best of your experience and give you some unforgettable memories.
Places of interest
We would like to tell you what are the most important places of interest in the two alternatives along the route of the Camino Portugues coastal route.
The Camino Portugues coastal route from Baiona
Baiona: The municipality of Baiona is a spectacular coastal area that you should not miss. You can take advantage of that is the starting point of the route to give you a walk through its historic centre. Its seafront promenade is a real gem. We also recommend you to visit Monterreal Castle.
Padron: Throughout our journey, we will arrive in Padron, the hometown of the immense poet Rosalía de Castro and also the cradle of the famous Padron peppers. Take advantage of them to recuperate your strength!
The Camino Portugues coastal route from Oporto
Oporto: The city of Oporto is of cultural interest declared by UNESCO. The Don Luis I Bridge or its Stock Exchange Palace are obligatory stops. Otherwise, we recommend that you let yourself be carried away and enjoy the natural surroundings that will surround you until you reach Baiona.
Where to sleep – The best lodgings
Thanks to Santiago Ways you can have the peace of mind that you will be staying in hostels, hotels and rural houses with all the charm and the attention that you deserve. We look after the smallest detail both in service quality and in other important aspects such as the surroundings of the chosen sites.
Where to eat – The best restaurants
If you are going to spend time in the city of Oporto we recommend that you visit the restaurant of Portuguese gastronomy, O Paparico, and enjoy its specialities. For example, fish and shellfish are some of them, with all the genuine taste of Portuguese gastronomy.
In Baiona we recommend you to visit Casa Rita, home cooking at its best, with the most popular and classic dishes of Galicia where the best thing you can do is to let them take care of you and add another delightful experience to all that the Camino Portugues coastal route can offer you.
The history of the Camino Portugues coastal route
The discovery of the remains of the Apostle James the Elder was the origin of the pilgrim routes. However, the awakening of these pilgrimage paths in the Portuguese country was somewhat belated.
Although, during the 10th century, some of the most devout pilgrims began their journey to Galician lands. The true awakening of the Jacobean tradition in Portugal came after the independence of the country, by the hand of King Alfonso I.
During the later centuries, the pilgrims who crossed Portugal to the Northern part of the Peninsula did so for different reasons, not only religious ones.
The proximity between the Portuguese nation and Spain and the newly-released independence of Portugal generated cultural and economic links that fuelled the Camino de Santiago.
The landmark that finished consolidating the Jacobean tradition in Portuguese lands was the pilgrimage of Queen Elisabeth of Portugal in the 14th century, one in the year 1325, a visit in which she offered her crown to the Apostle’s tomb, and another in 1335.
However, the route followed by the monarch is the one that is currently known as the Camino Portugues (Central).
If the Queen had chosen the interior or the coast, we will never know. Since, in the past, to cross the Miño and access Galician lands, it was essential to do so through the historic town of Tui, as it was the only place where there was a bridge.
Subsequently, other infrastructures were built that allowed to save the river, in places like Guardia and Goian.
At that time, both populations formed the path of the Camino de Santiago. Therefore, it is at this time that we begin to consolidate the way of the Camino Portugues coastal route.
The origin of the Camino Portugues coastal route
There are testimonies of pilgrims, pre-dating the construction of the new infrastructure in Guardia, who toured this route, making the crossing by boat. This, together with the presence of hospitals built in previous times, demonstrate the operation of this route since the dawn of the Jacobean tradition in Portugal in the 12th century.
The first testimonies of the Camino Portugues coastal route date back to the 12th century and relate the pilgrimage of the Archbishop of Canterbury, Saint Thomas Becket. According to the available accounts, the monk used the Monastery of Oia as a shelter, while making his pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.
There are also writings that situate the origin of the emblematic Shell of the Camino de Santiago, on the coast between Porto and Vigo. A fact that also points to the Camino Portugues coastal route, which gives a much greater tradition than could be pre-supposed.
The origin of the Shell of the Camino de Santiago
Legend has it that when the Apostle’s body was moved from Jerusalem to Galicia by his disciples, a surprising fact happened. When the ship that transported the remains of Santiago reached the area of the Cies Islands, the pilgrims observed that a wedding was taking place on the shore.
In it they were playing a peculiar game, which consisted of horse riders, throwing a spear in the air and having to pick it up before it fell to the ground. When the bridegroom’s turn came, he threw the rod into the air and it went towards the sea. The groom, in an attempt to reach it, bolted into the sea with his horse.
In the eyes of all present, the bridegroom, the horse and the spear sank into the water, but suddenly reappeared along with the boat carrying the remains of the apostle. The amazing thing about the story is that when the groom reappeared next to the boat, he was completely covered with scallop shells, from head to toe.
The disciples of Santiago interpreted what happened as a miracle and the young man was taken to the ship to transport him to the shore. On the way, according to legend, the men commented on the miracle that happened.
Both the groom and many of the wedding guests, who had seen the facts were stupefied and decided to convert to Christianity.
The boat with the remains of the funeral continued towards the Estuary of Aurosa. There they landed to bury James the Apostle and this unusual event gave rise to the well-known tradition of the Shell on the Camino de Santiago.
The decline and present-day situation of the Camino Portugues coastal route
The appearance of the Virgin of Fatima to three pastors in the twentieth century had an important impact on the importance that was given in Portugal to the Camino de Santiago. From that moment on, the Camino Portugues coastal route, as well as the other Portuguese routes, began a slow decline.
The revival of the Jacobean tradition that came in the 20th century, with the declaration of the Camino Frances as a UNESCO World Heritage site, did not affect this route. It is not until the 21st century, when rehabilitation began on this pilgrim path, being formalized by the Xunta, in the year 2016.
Still, it continues to be a very little known route, both for the pilgrim community and for the residents who live in the localities through which the Camino Portugues coastal route runs.
The Camino Portugues coastal route with Santiago Ways
Book your next Camino with Santiago Ways. We take care of organizing all the details of your chosen route. Accommodation in hotels, rural houses, Galician stately homes and charming hostels. In addition, we move your baggage between the different stages of the Camino Portugues coastal route.
We also have a 24-hour hotline and emergency vehicle for urgent situations.
Ideal footwear for the Camino Portugues coastal route
Sections of the Camino Portugues coastal route
Opinions of other users on the Camino Portugues coastal route
And so that you can know what other users think, some have already completed the route of the Camino Portugues coastal route to Santiago with us, so here we leave some of their comments. We hope they will serve to help you know everything good that is waiting for you if you finally persuade yourself to experience this pilgrimage with Santiago Ways. You won’t regret it!
Photos and videos of the Camino Portugues coastal route
The Camino de Santiago with Santiago Ways
Other Caminos de Santiago
- Camino de Santiago Frances
- Camino de Santiago Portugues
- Camino de Santiago Portugues coastal route
- Camino de Santiago del Norte
- Camino de Santiago de Finisterre
- Camino de Santiago Ingles
- Camino de Santiago Primitivo
- Camino Lebaniego
- The Way of Lighthouses
- The Via de la Plata
Here you can see all the stages of the Camino de Santiago.
In Santiago Ways, we will advise you on which route of the Camino de Santiago is the best fit for you.
Other ways to complete The Camino de Santiago
- The Camino de Santiago in an organized group
- The Camino de Santiago with a dog
- The Camino de Santiago on bike
- The Camino de Santiago as a couple
- The Camino de Santiago at Easter