After yesterday’s short stage, today we will be full of energy to begin to walk and cope with today’s long stage.

Let’s go on the Camino Portugues!

From today’s stage stand out two moments, the hike through the eucalyptus between Albergaria a Velha and Albergaria a Nova; And the beautiful walk through the old centre of Bemposta. Then we go into a much more industrial region, albeit with exquisite cuisine.

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    Itinerary stage Albergaria a Velha – São João da Madeira

    Today’s stage is long, almost 30 kilometres in length, but it has no major difficulties.

    Albergaria a Velha (Km. 0). Beginning of stage

    Practical tips for this section: the first section between Albergaria a Velha and Albergaria a Nova makes up the most pleasant natural environment of the day. Enjoy the walk! Buen Camino!

    Today’s day begins in the Town Hall Square. We follow the main street that leads us next to the Bõa Vista Palace, with an octagonal tower, follow the arrows to a road junction which we should overcome cautiously.

    By a dirt road, behind the walls of the houses, we enter a forest of ferns and eucalyptus. We cross several crossroads and arrive at a roundabout where the statue of the Virgin of Socorro is located, at this point, we take a small local road that begins on the left. 800 metres later, we abandon it onto a dirt track that also starts on the left-hand side.

    We go back into a wooded section, heading northwest. To do this, it will be important to pay attention to the indications of the Camino de Santiago at each crossroads. After 1.7 kilometres we find some houses and then the railway tracks of the Vouga line.

    We cross the railway by a level crossing without barriers and take the road EN-1, to the right, passing by the private hostel in Albergaria a Nova. By Rua Velha, we turn right, and continue advancing parallel to the road.

    Albergaria a Nova (Km. 6,5)

    Practical tips for this section: In this small town you will find bars and restaurants where you can make a stop. Buen Camino!

    We continue down the street until we reach a stop sign, where we incorporate again onto the EN-1 road. We pass by the parish church of the locality and 400 metres later, we leave the road by a detour to the left.

    We go through various urbanizations until we reach Estrada dos Reis, where we turn left, before crossing the train tracks. We continue along a dirt trail that runs parallel to the railway, but soon we re-incorporate onto the asphalt.

    For several kilometres, we advance through a collection of streets and crossroads, until we reach the train station of Pinheiro de Bemposta (km. 12). We pass by a coffee and bakery and head to the centre of the town. At Rua da Banda de Musica, we turn left to go up the stairs and over a pedestrian bridge that crosses the road.

    At the bridge exit, we find a stone cross and start a climb, passing by a covered sports track, where they practice Jogo da Malha (a typical game that consists of throwing discs against balls). 500 metres later, we arrive at Largo do Pelourinho, a small square that once was the centre of Bemposta and in where a pillory stands.

    Bemposta (Km. 13,8)

    Practical tips for this section: The journey through the town of Bemposta is very interesting, look along the side of the route and appreciate its centuries-old houses. Buen Camino!

    We continue along Rua dos Paços do Concelho, flanked by centuries-old houses and stone portals. A beautiful walk with a medieval air. Then, we descend again to the road, we cross it and we begin an ascent from the right, which leads us to Caniços and then to Besteiros (km. 15.1).

    After traversing the level crossing with barriers, we continue straight ahead. We leave the village and cross the bridge over the A-1 motorway. After several neighbourhoods, in Rua da Póvoa, located on a slope, an arrow in front of stone steps, indicates that we must turn sharply to the right.

    We pass under a bridge and follow a path that runs along the railway track. The pilgrim path descends surrounded by trees, towards a broad valley. By a cobblestone walkway, we reached the stone Bridge of the River Ul. At the exit, we encounter a strong climb.

    After the ascent along the cobblestones, we turn right and cross an old train track. We continue on the asphalt, surpassing various climbs, to the town of Oliveira de Azémeis, where we will find a stone cross.

    Oliveira de Azeméis (Km. 19,7)

    Practical tips for this section: Near the city of Oliveira de Azeméis There is an interesting banking office built by a young Portuguese architect, Álvaro Siza Vieira. Although it is in operation you can visit it although you are not allowed to take pictures of the interior. Buen Camino!

    The Pilgrim’s Way crosses the village, passing by the Town Hall, a Roman millionaire ( a distance indicator) from the time of the emperor Tiberius, during the 1st century, and finally in front of the stairs of the Church of São Miguel. We then leave the locality in a descent, advancing along pavements and cobblestones, until we enter an area with factories and then, into an urbanization.

    Again the railway tracks cross our path. We cross them and start a pronounced descent, and then face a steep slope on a narrow and interesting street.

    We go along a stretch of cobblestones surrounded by stone walls and houses. Soon, we are forced to traverse a level crossing without barriers and, after this, we arrive at the beautiful medieval Bridge of Salgueiro, next to which stands a barn. We continue on the right, following an asphalt trail and we enter Vila de Cucujães.

    Vila de Cucujães (Km. 24,7)

    Practical tips for this section: It is very probable that, if you have not already done so, on the route you will find vans with all kinds of businesses (bread, newspapers, food, meat, etc.). Buen Camino!

    We tour the village following the indications of the Camino de Santiago, which lead us in continuous ups and downs. On the left, along a woody walk, we will enter our destination today, São João da Madeira.

    The first thing that appears before our eyes is a huge shopping centre. Without crossing the pavement, we continue to a huge roundabout, with a pond in the centre.

    We take it on the right-hand side and then take Rua Padre António Maria Pinto, passing by the Main Church. After travelling 300 metres by Rua Visconde de São João we arrive at Largo Luís Ribeiro, a circular square that indicates the centre of the population.

    São João da Madeira (Km. 28,8). End of stage

    Practical tips for this section: Do not forget to try the famous Francesinhas, they can be a large snack to refresh you, or an energetic breakfast and if you think well, you can always look for another pilgrim to share it with. See you tomorrow!

    After today’s long day, you can relax in your accommodation or go out to visit the different industries that take place in São João da Madeira. These are relaxed visits, which basically consist of museum routes. Among the most famous are the Hat and Footwear Museum.

    Comments stage Albergaria a Velha – São João da Madeira

    Here are some tips to complete the stage today and some culinary recommendations for you to go replenishing energy during the route.

    Precautions stage Albergaria a Velha – São João da Madeira

    Today’s stage is considerably longer, except for those who have decided on yesterday’s journey to continue 6.5 kilometres, to Albergaria a Nova. Today’s stage

    runs along with frequent ups and downs, but none of them poses a great challenge. It is, therefore, a stage that people in any physical condition will be able to complete without difficulty.

    Given the length of the stage it is recommended to get up early and leave earlier to take advantage of the freshest hours of the day. On the other hand, it should also be noted that throughout the day we cross railway tracks on several occasions, almost always level crossings without barriers, so it is advisable to cross them with caution, despite the fact that the frequency of trains is not very high.

    Finally, it is important to bear in mind that the Jacobean path crosses several very neglected and weed-filled sections of woods. This makes the fire risk very high in this area, therefore, avoid smoking or igniting fire in this type of environment.

    Gastronomy stage Albergaria a Velha – São João da Madeira

    Today we go through a locality with an old and long gastronomic tradition, Oliveira de Azeméis. The town is famous for the quality of its wheat flour and the dishes made with it, some of its most famous dishes are:

    • Peixe Assadono, (oven-roast fish accompanied by rice prepared in a clay pot).
    • Ul Pão, (local bread).
    • Vellum assada em forno de Lenha, (Roast Beef)
    • Lamb “à Moda de Fajões” ( Roast Lamb and vegetables)
    • Nacão de Porco (Grilled Pork)
    • São Miguel potatoes.
    • Sweets: Regueida de Ul, os beijinhos de Azeméis, os zamacóisos corações dos namorados y queijadinhas. ( Various local sweets and pastries)

    In São João da Madeira, we will hear about Francesinhas, a perfect dish for those who want to recover the lost calories during the tour. It is a convincing sandwich, very popular with local youngsters, stuffed with sausages or meat, baked with cheese and covered with hot sauce. Usually accompanied with fried egg and chips.

    Services stage Albergaria a Velha – São João da Madeira

    Meet the main health care services, cafes, ATMs, restaurants and are in this stage of the Portuguese Way of St. James.

    Map stage Albergaria a Velha – São João da Madeira

    Consult the map with the route, points and towns along the stage.

    Profile stage Albergaria a Velha – São João da Madeira

    Consult the profile of the stage: altitude and degree of difficulty of each section.

    What to do stage Albergaria a Velha – São João da Madeira

    Oliveira de Azeméis

    Oliveira de Azeméis is a locality, of the same municipality, in the District of Aveiro. The locality has 20,000 inhabitants.

    In the town, stands the Church of São Miguel, the House dos Côrte-Real, the Town Hall and the Regional House Museum.

    Casa dos Côrte-Real

    La Casa dos Corte Real is located in the centre of the city of Oliveira de Azeméis. Its construction dates back to the second half of the 17th century and stands out for its Mannerist style. This is expressed by its great dimensions, in its austerity, and above all, in the coat of arms located in its façade showing the power and the richness of the owners of the house.

    The building also has a simple cover, located on the upper floor, flanked by pilasters topped with pyramidal structures. From the pilasters is born the great staircase of 14 steps, which goes up to the house. On the sides of the staircase are located windows, that stand out by the presence of balconies in each one.

    Next to the house, there is an adjoining chapel, in a Mannerist style. It is made up of a longitudinal plant, with hardly any ornamentation.

    São Miguel Church

    The São Miguel Church is located in the town of Oliveira de Azeméis. Its construction took place at the beginning of the 18th century and, although it has undergone several renovations throughout history, it continues to retain its 17th-century aspect.

    On the exterior, its façade stands out, decorated with tiles. In the centre of this, you can see a sculpture of San Miguel overthrowing the spirit of evil. From inside the temple, the atrium, where the choir loft is located, draws your attention.

    On the sides of the church, you can see various chapels. The main altarpiece is in Joanino style and is flanked by two crooked columns.

    Practical information:

    Opening hours: open every day.

    Regional House Museum

    The Regional House Museum of Oliveira de Azeméis is located in the heart of the town. Its purpose is to collect and disseminate customs and traditions of the region. Inside, there are pieces of ceramics made with black clay, extracted from the Parish of Ossela, as well as architectural remains discovered in this parish and in Santiago de Riba-Ui.

    The building was in ancient times the home of João Marques de Almeida Carvalho, who asked that, after his death, the house would be used as a museum.

    Practical information:

    Timetable: Closed on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. Open from Monday to Friday (from 9:00 to 12:30 and from 14:00 to 18:00).

    Town Hall

    The Town Hall in Oliveira de Azeméis is located in the centre of the town. The building dates from the year 1844 and its construction was financed with an old tax that was paid for the purchase of meat and wine.

    São João da Madeira

    São João da Madeira is a city in the Aveiro district. The locality is notable for the introduction, in 2011, of industrial tourism. The circuits showing industrial heritage allow us to visit some of the most emblematic factories of the municipality, such as that of footwear, hats, pencils, etc.

    Chapelaria Museum

    The Chapelaria Museum is one of the largest cultural symbols of São João da Madeira. It was inaugurated in 2005 and contains valuable patrimonial assets of the innumerable factories of hats installed in the locality during the middle of the 20th century. In the museum, you can also visit temporary exhibitions, which sometimes receive material from other hat museums.

    Footwear Museum

    The Footwear Museum was opened in São João da Madeira in 2016. In 2017, it received an honourable mention from the Portuguese Museology Association in the Best Museum of the year contest.

    In this space, we learn about the footwear industry that moulded several generations of families in the locality. The museum recreates two historical moments: artisanal production and industrial production through a manufacturing unit of the 1980s and a traditional workshop of the early 20th century.

    The museum presents a time tunnel that tells the evolution of footwear with 20 replicas of pairs of shoes, from prehistory to the 20th century, and the trends in shoes and designs of the 20th and 21st centuries.

    In the museum you can also visit collections of famous brands such as Melissa, Miguel Vieira and Havaianas. As well as a collection of famous shoes such as, for example, a pair loaned by the current UN Secretary general, Antonio Guterres, the red shoes worn by Dorothy in the movie Wizard of Oz and the tennis shoes of David Santos.