Yesterday’s long stage will probably affect us today. The pilgrims who come from the Camino Portugues Central may be better off today, those who started from Oporto will be tired, but not only for the long stage, but because the body needs a few days to get accustomed to the routine of walking.
Let’s continue on the Camino Portugues coastal route!
Today we have a varied day, we will start following the coast from Póvoa de Varzim, and then head inside, towards Fão, passing before through Apúlia. The football fields will be the element that marks the second stage of the Camino Portugues coastal route, no more nor less than four football fields we find on today’s route.
Unlike yesterday’s stage, where a lot of it went along boardwalks, today we will have to walk for some stretches by road. We end today’s stage in Esposende, a lively town where we can enjoy both the sea and places of cultural interest.
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Itinerary stage Póvoa de Varzim – Esposende
20.2 kilometres separate Póvoa de Varzim from Esposende. A much shorter stage than yesterday and without any great unevenness.
Póvoa de Varzim (Km. 0). Beginning of stage
Practical tips for this section: On the Santo André Beach, there is a bar, the Caminho Beach Bar, decorated with scallops on the outside and signs indicating the distances to Santiago, Póvoa and Oporto. Buen Camino!
To take the road from the centre of Póvoa de Varzim we head to the promenade, on Avenida dos Banohos, and follow it in a northerly direction. After 900 metres we pass between the buildings of the municipal swimming pools and the football field. Immediately, without changing the landscape, we enter the locality of A Ver-O-Mar (km. 3.5).
The coastal promenade now has the name of Avenida dos Pescadores. At the end of the Fragosinho Beach, an arrow indicates that we must turn left, to continue on boardwalks over the sand.
We Cross the Santo André Beach and continue until the Parish of Aguaçadoura (km. 7.1), where we find a square with a cross in the centre.
Aguçadoura (Km. 7,1).
Practical tips for this section: Throughout today’s route, both on the beaches, as when we stray to the interior, it is common to see small mountains similar to those made with straw. These are Sargasso, light brown gelatinous algae that are removed from the sea and used for crop fertilisation. Buen Camino!
We continue along boardwalks, passing by an old windmill. A kilometre later, we arrive next to the local football field, to leave from there to continue our walk along the coast.
Next to the parking area in front of the stadium, we find an arrow that invites us to turn right on a cobbled street. This leads to the M-501, a small road, quite narrow, which runs parallel to the coast.
We continue along the tiny hard shoulder heading north, surrounded by fields and greenhouses. We pass a detour to the left in the direction of Orbitur Rio Grande Campsite, which we ignore, and continue for 450 metres until a crossroads where we will turn left, taking a paved track.
Then we will see the bottom of the silhouette of a windmill, but before reaching it the arrows divert us to the right, heading into a wooded area, where we find the facilities of a football field.
Follow the Rua do Pinhal until crossing, 400 metres later, a road, which we reach the first houses in the town of Apúlia and then to its church.
Apúlia (Km. 14).
Practical tips for this section: At the entrance of Fão, a branch that comes from São Pedro de Rates joins the Camino Portugues coastal route, a locality of the Camino Portugues. Buen Camino!
We pass by the church and walk the streets in the centre. We leave the locality by a paved road, which 800 metres later leads us to a small road. We turn to the left, and 30 metres on the right, taking a dirt road surrounded by pines and eucalyptus. A kilometre and a half later, we arrive at the village of Fão.
After passing the football field, turn right onto Rua Santo Antonio da Fonte. In Front of the cemetery, turn left, passing in front of the coloured sculpture of San Antonio. Follow the road N-13 to a pedestrian crossing, which crosses to reach the Church of Bom Jesus (km. 17.7).
After crossing the old town of Fão we arrive in front of the River Cávado, that we cross by the metallic Bridge of the N-13 road, known as Bridge of D. Luís Filipe. After crossing it, we turn left onto an unused road.
Soon we reach a roundabout, we pass over it, we cross the avenue and we take a cobbled street that leads us to Rua Narciso Ferreira. We pass by the cemetery and continue straight to the centre of the town of Esposende.
Esposende (Km. 20,2). End of stage
Practical tips for this section: Do not forget to visit the Chapel of Senhor dos Mareantes, the jewel of the locality. See you tomorrow!
In Esposende you can spend an entertaining afternoon, walking as much for its urban centre as for its promenade or its beaches and in all of them, you will find places of interest to visit.
If you go to the promenade, which runs parallel to the estuary of the River Cávado, you can find the Foz de Cávado pools, located at one end of the promenade, the Fort of São João Baptista and the Esposende lighthouse, located at the other end. At the back of the promenade you can also visit the Chapel of San Juan Bautista.
If you choose to walk in the town, it has two squares that concentrate much of its places of interest: the Central Plaza Largo Rodrigues Sampaio and the Town Hall Square.
In the Plaza Largo Rodrigues Sampaio, you can visit the Main Church and the monuments to the sailors and Antonio Rodrigues Sampaio, who gives the name to the square.
In the Town Hall square, you will find one of the jewels of the city, the Chapel Senhor dos Mareantes, inside the Church of Mercy. In this square, you can also visit the building of the Paços do Conselho and the monument to the poet Antonio Correa de Oliveira.
In the city, you can also visit a Pelourinho (Pillory), the Municipal Museum, the Praça Frei Bartolomeu dos Martyres, the Chapel of Nossa Senhora de Saúde and the sculpture of King Sebastian, which allowed Esposende to establish itself as a town.
Comments stage Póvoa de Varzim – Esposende
Here are some recommendations for you to complete the stage today without difficulty and to enjoy the local cuisine.
Precautions stage Póvoa de Varzim – Esposende
A stage without much difficulty. The terrain on the route is simple and the route is not very long. It should be noted that the indications of the Camino Portugues coastal route in this section are small pictograms, whether they are coined on plates of oxidized steel or on a material of resin that combines blue and yellow.
Throughout today’s stage, we will find boardwalks where bicycles are allowed to circulate. If you decide to use them, you should go very carefully and slowly, as pedestrians have preference.
Gastronomy stage Póvoa de Varzim – Esposende
On today’s route, you can enjoy the exquisite gastronomy of the coast. Here are some recommendations.
- Fish stew
- Rabanada à Poveira (Fried sweet bread)
- Sea bass, oven-roasted or with Rice
- Young wines from Quinta
- Las claritas y los folhaditos de Fão ( Bread desserts)
Services stage Póvoa de Varzim – Esposende
Meet the main health care services, cafes, ATMs, restaurants and are in this stage of the Portuguese Coastal Way.
Map stage Póvoa de Varzim – Esposende
Consult the map with the route, points and towns along the stage.
Profile stage Póvoa de Varzim – Esposende
Consult the profile of the stage: altitude and degree of difficulty of each section.
What to do stage Póvoa de Varzim – Esposende
During today’s stage, you will pass through some urban centres with tourist and cultural interest. Below we provide you with information so you can enjoy them.
Iglesia de San Miguel
The Church of San Miguel is located in the town of Apúlia. It is a temple of recent construction, in 1945, which was raised on a primitive construction from the 17th century. The building is the work of the architect José María de Viana and was extended, in 2000, by Luis Cunha.
The temple has a neoclassic architectural style. Two belfry towers are located on the sides of the main body, in which the image of the patron of the church is located. The interior of the temple is made up of three naves.
Capilla de Nuestra Señora de la Caridad
The Chapel of Nuestra Senhora De la Caridad (Capela de Nuestra Sra da Caridade) is located in the street of Esposende that bears the same name. It Is a temple from 1881 and in a Portuguese Baroque style. Its façade is simple, combining white with granite.
Fão is a Parish in the municipality of Esposende that has an area of almost six square kilometres and a population of 3,000 inhabitants. The locality is known in the region by its Ofir Beach, as well as by the discotheque Pacha Ofir.
The name of the beach is believed to come from the testament, in which the word Ofir is used to designate the distant lands of Israel where gold was collected. In this sense, it is considered that perhaps the beach received that name by the Phoenicians, referring to a new Ofir.
In the town, you can visit a medieval necropolis, the Church of Bom Jesus and the bridge over the River Cávado.
The Medieval necropolis in Fão is also known as the medieval Cemetery of Las Barreiras, as this is the name of the area where it is located. It Is considered the largest medieval cemetery on the Iberian Peninsula.
The Necropolis is a testament to the strong impact of the Black Death on the region during the Middle Ages. In the Cemetery, the bodies are buried with their heads to the west, as was customary at the time, and it shows impressive mausoleums and tombs, from the 9th to the 17th centuries.
The cemetery was discovered in 1989, during some excavations, because for many years it remained buried by the dunes. During the recovery work, pieces of ceramics and coins of the time were also found.
Iglesia do Bom Jesús de Fão
The Church of Bom Jesús de Fão is located next to the N13 National road. It Is a Renaissance-style temple from the early 18th century.
It has the main façade, facing north, which is topped by a pediment where you can see the real weapons painted in beige, blue and white. Attached to the south end, is a tower decorated with gargoyles and crowned with pinnacles.
Inside, the church has tile-lined walls. The main altar is dedicated to the Lord of the Steps, better known by the inhabitants of the locality like the Lord of Fão.
Ponte Luís Filipe
The Ponte Luís Filipe is a metallic bridge that crosses the River Cávado, in the Parish of Fão. It was inaugurated in 1892, as it received the name of Ponte Luís Filipe in honour of the then Crown Prince.
The construction is 267 metres long, divided into 8 sections, which are supported on 7 pillars, 15 metres deep. As for the design, it is said that it has the influence of Gustave Eiffel, like all iron architecture in Portugal. From The bridge, you have fantastic views over the River Cávado estuary.
Esposende is a municipality of 95 square kilometres and has slightly more than 34,000 inhabitants, belonging to the district of Braga. The town has a lively promenade, which runs parallel to the estuary of the River Cávado, from the pools of Foz de Cávado to the Forte de São João Baptista, next to the lighthouse. In the back part of the promenade, you can visit the Chapel of San Juan Bautista.
The town has several squares that house cultural attractions, such as the Central Plaza de Largo Rodrigues Sampaio, where you can visit the Main Church and the monuments to the sailors and Antonio Rodrigues Sampaio, who gives the name to the square.
The Town Hall Square houses one of the jewels of the city, the Chapel of the Senhor dos Mareantes, located in the Church of Mercy. In this square, you can also contemplate the building of the Paços do Conselho, where the municipal offices are currently located, and the monument to the poet Antonio Correa de Oliveira.
In the city you can also visit a Pelourinho, which constitutes the only military-style monument of the municipality, the Municipal Museum, with an interesting archaeological and ethnographic exhibition, as well as the Praça Frei Bartolomeu dos Martyres, the Chapel of Nossa Senhora de Saúde and the sculpture of King Sebastian, who gave Esposende the autonomy of Barcelos.
Forte de São João Baptista
The Forte de São João Baptista (Fort of San Juan Bautista) is also known as the Castillo de San Juan Bautista or the Fort of Esposende. The building is located in the district of Marinhas, at the end of the promenade of Esposende and is declared a property of Public Interest.
The Fortress dates from the 17th century and was built with the aim of defending the mouth of the River Cávado. Its structure is shaped like a five-pointed star and has a bastion a each of its vertices, as well as an hexagonal-shaped gatehouse.
Next to the fort, you can visit the Esposende Lighthouse, installed there in 1866.
Pelourinho de Esposende
The Pelourinho (or pillory) of Esposende is located, since 1925, in a small square located at one end of the First of December Street. Originally the pillory was in front of the building which houses Paços do Concelho.
The Monument symbolizes the power of the local council. The construction is made of granite and consists of a column of shaft in The shape of a hexagon, located on a quadrangular base and topped with a capital ornamented with floral motifs. The whole piece is topped with a sphere on which a cross is raised.
La plaza del Ayuntamiento
The Praça do Municipio (or Town Square) is located in the heart of Esposende. It is a small square but has a great atmosphere, with offers in both in hospitality and outdoor shows.
In this square, the Paços do Concelho is located (Town Hall) and the Church of Mercy, as well as the monument to Antonio Correa de Oliveira.
Monumento a Antonio Corrêa d’Oliveira
The Monument to Antonio Corrêa d’Oliveira is located in a corner of the town square. It is a bronze bust of a famous Portuguese poet from the late 19th century, who married a natural woman from Esposende, spending much of his life in the municipality.
Paços do Concelho
The Paços do Concelho are located in the square of the municipality of Esposende, making a corner with the First of December Street. The building dates back to the 17th century, although it has undergone several renovations throughout history. It currently houses the town’s municipal offices.
The building stands out for its elegant and sober lines, with stone finishings on the pillars and lintels. On the main balcony, you can see the coat of arms of Esposende. The building also has a small tower, topped by a bell, which supports a clock.
Iglesia de la Misericordia y capilla del Senhor dos Mareantes
The Church of Mercy is located in the Praça do Municipio (Town Square) of Esposende. The Temple was erected in 1595, although its current aspect is due to a reconstruction carried out in 1893.
The temple is formed by a single longitudinal plant, its exterior is simple lines and does not draw much attention. The real treasure of this church is in the interior, especially the Chapel of the Senhor dos Mareantes, considered the jewel of the city.
It is located next to the Gospel and was built in the 16th century. It has a mannerist style and its walls are completely covered, in the lower area, by tiles, and in the upper part by oil paintings in which the Passion of Christ is represented. The chapel has various carvings from the 16th and 17th centuries and a vault with polychromatic representations of the Apostles.
The main chapel of the church is accessed through a triumphal arch of Baroque style, where you can see a huge oil on canvas in which is represented the patron saint of the church, flanked by spiral columns.
Piscinas Foz do Cávado
The Foz do Cávado Swimming Pools are located on the Esposende promenade. The building contains three zones, one dedicated to swimming pools, for both children and adults. Among them, one located on the outside is of seawater, which only works during the summer season.
Another area is the Health Club, where there are services such as wave pool, Jacuzzi, etc. and finally, on the upper floor of the building, is located a shopping centre with a restaurant with panoramic views over the estuary of the River Cávado.
Museo Municipal de Esposende
The Municipal Museum of Esposende was projected in 1908, by the architect Miguel Ventura Tierra to house the Theatre-Club of Esposende, which finished its construction in 1911.
Subsequently, works were carried out by the architect Bernardo Ferrán to adapt the construction to the needs of a museum space, being inaugurated as such in 1993.
The Museum has several collections from different historical moments. The most outstanding is the archaeology, which contains a selection of materials obtained in various excavations carried out in the municipality. On the ground floor is the Tile Room, with a collection of primitive tiles from 1908, on this floor are also made temporary exhibitions.
Admission is free.
Capilla San Juan Bautista
The Chapel of San Juan Bautista is located at the back of the Esposende Promenade. The Temple dates from the second half of the 18th century and is Baroque in style.
In its simple façade is located the image of San Juan Bautista, placed after the works executed between 1975 and 1976. This is topped by a volute pediment. On the south side, stands a small bell from 1964.
The chapel has a rectangular floor and is made up of a single nave. Inside, its walls are lined with tiles and in them are the images of Saint Amaro, St. Vincent de Paula and a polychrome medallion in Renaissance carving, representing Our Lady of the Assumption. You can also visit a baroque-style altarpiece.
Largo Rodrigues Sampaio
Largo Rodrigues Sampaio is the most central square in the city of Esposende, located in the space between the historical and the commercial areas and the recreational space of the promenade. In this square, you can visit the Main Church and two monuments: the bust of Antonio Rodrigues Sampaio and the sculpture of the sailors.
The Main Church of Esposende is located in Largo Rodrigues Sampaio. The temple dates from the mid-16th century, although throughout history, it has undergone several renovations. Its exterior has a neoclassic architectural style, with three bodies. The central body houses the main gate, which is escorted by two twin belfry towers.
The interior is made up of three naves, separated by half-point arches. The Central nave is the widest. In the church, there are multiple altars with Baroque altarpieces.
Monumento a Rodrigues Sampaio
The Rodrigues Sampaio Monument is located in the central Plaza Largo Rodrigues Sampaio, opposite the local church’s headquarters. Antonio Rodrigues Sampaio, a native of the locality and who gives the name to the square, was a great character of Portuguese liberalism of the 19th century. The monument is formed by a bust, surrounded by a small garden.
Monumento a los marineros
The Sailor’s Monument is located in the central square of Esposende, Largo Rodrigues Sampaio, in front of the promenade. The Monument was made in 1997 and is made up of five large real-size sculptures, made in bronze. The work symbolizes the effort of the local seafaring population.
Estatua del rey Sebastián
The statue of King Sebastian is situated in Largo D. Sebastiao and ordered for the 4th centenary of Esposende. The sculpture pays homage to King Sebastian, who, in 1572 awarded the Royal Charter to the locality, giving it the status of a Town and allowing it to be autonomous from Barcelos.
Praça Frei Bartolomeu dos Mártires
The Praça Frei Bartolomeu dos Martires is located behind the Main Church of Esposende. Its name pays homage to the Archbishop Frei Bartolomeu dos Martires, who separated ecclesiastically Esposende from Marinhas, in 1560.
The most remarkable thing about the square is its fountain, surrounded by small gardens. It dates from the 18th century and is built in granite and topped with a large vase.
Capela de Nossa Senhora da Saúde
La Capela de Nossa Senhora da Saúde (Chapel of Our Lady of Health) is located on the urban boundary of Esposende, at the intersection with the EN-103 road, next to a petrol station. The temple was built in the 18th century over an earlier 16th-century chapel. In its origins, it was dedicated to San Sebastián.
The architectural style of its façade is a combination of Baroque and neoclassical. On The south wall of the church you can see the image of Our Lady of Health, made with tiles. Its interior is made up of a single nave, with main chapel, choir, and sacristy.