The smoothness of yesterday’s stage and the tranquillity of Esposende will have allowed us to recover forces for today’s stage on the Camino de Santiago. Our body begins to become accustomed to the routine of walking, although we still lack one or two days for our body to get up well in the morning at 100%.
Let’s go on the Camino Portugues coastal route!
On this stage we will leave the beaches and sea views and make the journey through the interior, touring one of the most beautiful landscapes of the Camino Portugues coastal route, that is the descent to the River Neiva. However, sea lovers should not suffer, that will be only during today’s route, tomorrow they can return to the coast if they wish.
During today’s route, we will visit localities with great historical interest, such as Castelo do Neiva, and its Church of Santiago with more than eleven centuries of history, or the beautiful city of Viana do Castelo.
If you are thinking about walking the Camino de Santiago from Porto tell us what your plans are for the Camino de Santiago and we will contact you to advise you on everything you need.
Itinerary stage Esposende – Viana do Castelo
Esposende (Km. 0). Beginning of stage
Practical tips for this section: In this section, you will see how the pilgrims’ path leads you to the interior. Do not worry, tomorrow you can return to the coast if you wish, and during the day, if you miss a lot, you can always add a couple of kilometres and get closer to take a dip. Buen Camino!
From the centre of Esposende, take the Avenida Dr Henrique Barros Lima to the Valentim Ribeiro Hospital, installed in an elegant historical building. Here we turn left into Rocha Gonçalves Avenue to access the River Cádavo estuary.
800 metres later, we pass by the fort of São João Baptista and follow Avenida dos Banhos parallel to the ocean. In short, the pilgrim path deviates inwards. On Rua da Agrela, flanked by trees and fields, we arrive at the town of Marinhas (km. 4.3).
Turn right on Rua da Praia and cross the N-13 road. On the other side, we find the Chapel of São Sebastião and a Red Cross building. We follow the street to the end, where the São Miguel Church is located and turn right.
After the Environmental Education Centre, turn left on Rua de São João and shortly, we pass by the Chapel of São João do Monte. Following the Rua da Ponte Nova, the Rua da Estrada Velha and the Estrada Real we arrive at the building of the Civic Centre of Mar (km. 7).
Mar (Km. 7).
Practical tips for this section: Enjoy everything you can from the passage over the River Neiva, the place is beautiful and be sure to leave a wonderful image engraved in your memory. Buen Camino!
In the locality, we find the Church of San Bartolomé de Mar. Following the arrows down the street from the town to Rua Padre Almeida, where we pass by a school and shortly thereafter next to the Church of Belinho, with a cross (km. 8.2).
We continue straight along through the same Rua Padre Almeida and we go around on the left the Quinta do Paraíso. The Rua Barão de Maracanã, cobblestoned, is transformed into a dirt track, with stone walls on both sides, which leads us to a small road, where we find a chapel.
We continue along the sidewalk of the road to the left for 200 metres, passing by a stone cross, and leave on the right to enter the Parish of Antas (km. 10.1).
Antas (Km. 10,1).
Practical tips for this section: The path that goes down to the River Neiva runs through one of the most beautiful landscapes of the Camino Portugues coastal route, especially in autumn, when it is full of ochre and reddish colours. Buen Camino!
Then we reach the crossroads with the EN-13 road, which we cross with care. We continue straight along the narrow Rua da Carvalha, bordered by houses and stone walls. The street is transformed into a dirt track that runs down into the forest.
After a crossroads with a large Jacobean monolith in stone, on the left a narrow, but beautiful, the path starts that descends to the riverbed of the River Neiva, next to an old mill or Azenha of Guilheta, transformed today into a country house. We cross the river by a platform of granite slabs without a handrail, as it was done in the Middle Ages (km. 11.3).
On the other side of the platform, we continue to the right, taking a paved track on a steep climb. We walk through the neighbourhood of Rua da Cima and arrive at the Chapel of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
We continue to the right until we find the EN-13-3 road, where the Travessa de Santiago begins, a paved shortcut with a hard climb that will lead us to the São Tiago Church (km 13).
Castelo do Neiva (Km. 13).
Practical tips for this section: In the São Tiago Church of Castelo do Neiva they give a very nice seal, which reproduces on the inscription of the year of Construction of the Church (862). Buen Camino!
The pilgrims’ path continues towards the car park area, where we turn right to take a dirt track that begins with a steep ascent, bordering the cemetery. By a beautiful stretch in the middle of the forest, with paved hills, we cross the district of Monte, in the Parish of Neiva.
From here we continue on another wooded stretch to the Monastery of São Romão de Neiva (km. 16.2).
We pass in front of the church and the cemetery; and we take a street that begins on the left, on a slight ascent. A few minutes later we enter the town of Chafé (km. 17.6). Upon reaching the cemetery of this locality, turn left and we walk through the streets of the Parish of Vila Nova de Anha, where we find the Parish Church of São Tiago and a small chapel (km. 19.9).
Leaving the town, we move onto a small paved road, surrounded by fields and forest, which leads us to an industrial estate. We continue along a sandy stretch down to Darque (km. 22.6).
We follow the route of the N-13 road, along the sidewalk, to a roundabout. We go straight on to the Eiffel Bridge, on the River Lima. On the other side, turn left to enter the historic centre of Viana do Castelo.
Viana do Castelo (Km. 25,1). End of stage
Practical tips for this section: The sunsets on Mount Santa Luzía are breathtaking. See you tomorrow!
We arrive at the central Praça da República, where we will finish the route on this stage. In it we will find some of the main points of interest of the locality, but it is best to go to our lodging to unload the backpack and then to return to visit them.
In this square, you will find the old Paços do Concelho, the Casa das Varandas, in a Mannerist style. Near to it is located the city’s cathedral and the house and the Das Malheriras Chapel.
You can enjoy the afternoon to take the Santa Luzía funicular and visit the Basilica of Santa Luzía, with beautiful views of the surrounding area. The town has a cocoa and chocolate Museum located in the luxurious Fabrica do Chocolate Hotel, where you can enjoy a thematic restaurant and chocolate therapy treatments.
Comments stage Esposende – Viana do Castelo
Below you will find some recommendations for you to complete the stage today without any difficulty and to enjoy some delicacies from this region.
Precautions stage Esposende – Viana do Castelo
The most complicated point of the day will be the passage over the River Neiva, which is made over a slab platform, without a handrail. To some people, it may seem a complicated step, but the width of the platform is enough to be able to cross it safely.
On rainy days, the crossing should be done more carefully because it could be slippery; the best thing is to use the walking sticks and cross with decisively, looking straight ahead.
The day faces some pronounced climbs, but none will be a great difficulty for the pilgrim. Those who suffer because they see that we move away from the sea, should not worry, tomorrow we will return to the coast.
Food stage Esposende – Viana do Castelo
On today’s route, you will find many of the dishes that we recommend yesterday. As a speciality of this stage, we recommend the following sweets that will help you to replenish the energies after so many ascents.
- Manjericos (cream cakes) from the Ze Natário Bakery in Viana do Castelo (Avenida dos Combatentes, Nº. 23).
- Las bolas de Berlim (doughnuts) from the Manuel Natário Cake Shop (Rua Manuel Espregueira, Nº. 37).
Services stage Esposende – Viana do Castelo
Meet the main health care services, cafes, ATMs, restaurants and are in this stage of the Portuguese Coastal Way.
Map stage Esposende – Viana do Castelo
Consult the map with the route, points and towns along the stage.
Profile stage Esposende – Viana do Castelo
Consult the profile of the stage: altitude and degree of difficulty of each section.
What to do stage Esposende – Viana do Castelo
Below you will find information on places of interest that will be on your way during today’s stage.
São Bartolomeu do Mar
São Bartolomeu do Mar is a town in the municipality of Esposende, which has less than 3 square kilometres and a population of almost 1,200 inhabitants. At present, after the national administrative reform, this locality forms a parish with Belinho, where the seat is located. In the town, you can visit the parish church and a standing granite stone.
Menir de San Bartolomé del Mar
The Menir of San Bartolomé del Mar is a monolith of granite from the 3rd or 2nd millennium BC. It Is 2.10 metres high and has strangulation at the top, which gives it an anthropomorphic appearance.
It is one of the few monuments of this type in the north of the Duero. On the monolith, there are some legends, like the one that says that if someone buries the stone, the sea will cover our feet.
Iglesia de San Bartolomé do Mar
The Church of San Bartolomé de Mar is baroque, from the 18th century. Its structure is characterized by its simplicity and formality. The temple is of a longitudinal floor and its façade is finished in a small courtyard with balustrade and bordered by two quadrangular towers. The temple is famous for the popular pilgrimage that is celebrated in it.
Iglesia de San Pedro de Belinho
The Church of San Pedro de Belinho is a temple of recent construction that follows the architectural line of many churches in northern Portugal. The façade is white with granite mouldings and features a tower topped with a bulbous dome.
Santuario de la Señora de la Guía
The Sanctuary of La señora de la Guia is located on a peak, 150 metres high, in the Parish of Belinho. The sanctuary is made up of several terraces and the Chapel. This chapel was built in 1970, at the request of Mr Manuel Abreu, to replace an older one.
The place has beautiful views of the sea and houses numerous monuments, such as the statue of D. Nuno Álvares, who according to the legend asked here for divine help for his battles, the monument to the Shepherds of Fatima, and the Fountain of St. John the Baptist, among many others.
Iglesia de Santiago de Castelo do Neiva
The Church of Santiago de Castelo do Neiva dates from the 9th century; It may be the first church dedicated to the apostle throughout the Iberian Peninsula, after the primitive temple that was raised in Santiago de Compostela. Inside the church, we can find a carved tombstone, where the consecration of the temple to the saint is found, in 862.
Castillo de Castelo do Neiva
Neiva Castle is located in the Parish of Castelo do Neiva. It is a classic Romanesque castle that constitutes an example of military architecture of the Iron Age and the Middle Ages.
The Castro where the castle sits was made up of five lines of walls, reinforced by nascent towers arranged in accordance with other terrain features or where the need for defence forced it. In the urban part, you can see houses with round floors, some with vestibule and separated by streets of flagstones.
Monasterio de São Romão
The Monastery of São Romão dates back to the 11th century, although it was completely rebuilt in the 17th century. From the primitive period, the church is preserved, with a Baroque façade and ornamented with volutes, pinnacles and vegetal forms.
Its interior is formed by a unique nave, in which stands out the main altarpiece, from 1665, when it was moved from another monastery in Braga. It also has a neoclassical cloister.
Iglesia de Santiago de Anha
The Church of Santiago de la Villa de Anha dates from the 18th century and has a baroque outline. The pediment of its façade is presided by a carving of the apostle.
The Eiffel Bridge is located on the River Lima, giving entrance to Viana do Castelo. The bridge was built in 1878, ten years before the Eiffel Tower, and is the work of the French engineer. The building is 560 metres in length and has two levels, one dedicated to pedestrians and cars, and another one for trains.
Viana do Castelo
Viana do Castelo is the capital of the municipality and district bearing the same name. The municipality has an area of 300 square kilometres and in it resides 91,000 inhabitants, although in the locality only about 8,000 people.
In the centre of the village is located the Praça da República where some of the most interesting elements of the locality are located, like the old Paços, do Concelho and the House das Varandas, in a Mannerist style. Nearby are the town’s cathedral and the house and Chapel Das Malheriras.
Using the Santa Luzía Funicular Railway, you can visit the Basilica of Santa Luzía, with beautiful views over the surrounding area. It can also be interesting to visit the Cocoa and Chocolate Museum located in the luxurious Fabrica do Chocolate Hotel, which has a thematic restaurant and chocolate therapy treatments.
Praça da República
Praça da República (or Plaza de la República) is located in the heart of Viana do Castelo. It is a rectangular-floored space and its entire perimeter is surrounded by two-or three-storey houses, with tiled façades and large windows.
In the square are some of the most emblematic places of the city are located like the Old Paços do Concelho, the House of Mercy or the Museum of Costume, as well as the Fountains of Chafariz, from the 18th century and the Monument to Caramuru. The Cathedral is located nearby.
Antiguo Paços do Concelho
The old Paços do Concelho (or Old Town hall) is located in the historic centre of Viana do Castelo, in the Plaza de la República. The building dates from the 16th century and is considered a National Monument.
The building is made up of two floors, on the ground floor, it has pointed arches, and in the upper one, windows with balconies and iron rails. In the central part you can appreciate the city crest.
Casa y Capela das Malheiras
The Casa and the das Malheiras Chapel are located in the historic centre of Viana do Castelo, very close to the cathedral. The chapel is named as such because it is attached to the House of Malheiro Reimão, Bishop of Rio de Janeiro, who ordered it to be built. It Is consecrated to St. Francis of Paul.
The chapel was designed by Nicolau Nasoni in the 18th century and is considered one of the best examples of Portuguese Baroque architecture. Its façade is decorated with granite, carved with vegetable motifs. Inside you can see a polychrome wood altarpiece with a rococo carving.
The House of Malheiro stands out for its horizontality and symmetry. On the central front you can see the family crest.
Congregação Nossa Senhora da Caridade
The Congregação Nossa Senhora da Caridade is located very close to the Viana do Castelo train station. It is a small church that is part of the Old Town residence. Its Baroque-style interior has high ceilings, an admirable altarpiece and a high chancel.
Basílica de Santa Luzía
The Basilica of Santa Luzía is located on the mount of the same name, at an altitude of 228 metres. It is one of the most significant monuments in the north of the country and reminds us considerably of the Parisian Sacred Heart. The temple is quite recent, from the 20th century, and in a Byzantine style.
The building stands out for its roof, decorated with paintings. It can be accessed from the museum located on the ground floor, taking an elevator and then climbing a narrow staircase. From its façade, the enormous rosettes attract attention.
On the outside, it has a viewpoint and a picnic area with magnificent views of the river estuary, the Eiffel Bridge, the immense yellow sandy beaches, as well as the green hills and the city.
To access the basilica, you can take the Santa Luzía Funicular, which you can access from the back and is located on Avenida Abril 25, near the hospital. The funicular was built in 1923, is 650 metres long; it is the longest in Portugal and takes approximately 7 minutes to make the tour.
Timetable of the funicular: from 1 June to 30 September (from 8:00 to 20:00). The rest of the year (from 8:00 to 18:00). It goes up and down every 15 minutes.
Admission: 3 euros for the round trip.
Access to the roof lift: 0.80€.
Sé catedral de Viana do Castelo
Viana do Castelo Cathedral, or Cathedral of Santa Maria de la Concepción is located in the heart of the historic quarter, a few steps from the Plaza de la República. The temple dates from the 15th century and features a Romanesque-style façade of transition, with some Gothic influences.
The main façade is made of stone and flanked by two huge battled towers. The façade is composed of a pointed arch with three very ornate archivolts and supported by six sculptures representing the apostles.
The temple presents a floor in a Latin cross style and its interior is made up of three naves divided by arcs. Inside you can visit several chapels, among which are the most important of the Blessed Sacrament, in which you can admire a gilded altarpiece, that of Mareantes, in Rococo style, and the Counts of Camarido in the Manueline style. The sacristy is covered with tiles.
The dos Velhos House, the Cathedral Museum and the Traditional Goldsmith Museum are located on the street that opens next to the left façade of the cathedral.
Visiting Hours: In hours of worship. Monday to Saturday (18:00) and Sundays (9:30, 11:00 and 18:00).