After the last few stages and at the turning point for our body, from here we begin to feel stronger every day, the Camino de Santiago today gives us a breather and a shorter stage.
Let’s go on the Camino Portugues coastal route!
On this stage, you will have to make the decision whether to follow the official route, indicated by the yellow arrows, that runs inside or divert to the coast to continue walking accompanied by the sea, but without indications, but with little chance of getting lost.
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 Viana do Castelo – Ancora
The way of the official route presents some steep ascents and descents, while the alternative path is much flatter, following the coast. Both paths are approximately 18 kilometres long.
Viana do Castelo (Km. 0). Beginning of stage
Practical tips for this section: The decision whether to follow the official route or to follow the alternative path, along the coastline, is a personal matter. Do you prefer the interior or the sea? Think about it and you’ll know what path to follow. Buen Camino!
Again today we start the day having to decide between the official route, which goes through the interior, or the route that goes along the coast, where we will not find arrows, but beaches. Both routes converge at the end of the stage today, in Vila Praia de Âncora, and the distance of one route and the other is similar, so the choice depends on our preferences.
Below we describe the route by the official layout, those people who wish to follow the alternative route along the coast, can see a small description of the route, in the “Remarks” section of this stage.
To follow the official route we start from Praça da República, taking the Passeio das Mordomas and turn left on Rua Cándido dos Reis, following the street by Rua General Luís do Rego. In the Largo 9 de Abril, we take Rua de São Tiago.
We pass under the railway tracks and we see the Estação Viana Shopping Centre, before arriving here, we deviate along Rua Portela da Cima, with a pronounced slope. By an underpass, we cross the Avenida 25 de Abril and turn left at the exit. Constantly on the rise, we arrive at the church of the Santos Martires, by Rua D. Moisés Alves Pinho.
Straight ahead, along the same street, and then by Rua dos Sobreiros, we go around Monte de Santa Luzia. At Rua Pedreira da Areosa, we turn left and follow the route through small streets between stone walls, to a very small roundabout with a rusty iron sculpture.
Continue along Rua Entre Quintas, Rua da Saudade and Travessa das Pereiras. After crossing a small stone bridge over a stream we arrive at the entrance of the Quinta da Boa Viagem mansion, with a chapel opposite.
Areosa (Km. 4,9).
Practical tips for this section: On this section, you will find a level crossing without barriers, you must be cautious when crossing it. Buen Camino!
We advance 100 metres along a stretch paved surrounded by olive trees and turn right, on the rise, to reach a small urbanization. We continue on asphalt, first between pines and then between modern houses; And we drift down a path that begins on the right-hand side.
We continue between houses, stone walls and narrow streets, sometimes with a great view over the coastline, to a bridge over the railway. Here, we turn right to take Rua do Moreno, passing by the Casa do Nato, and we cross the railway line again, in this case over a level crossing without barriers.
Shortly thereafter, we pass by the cemetery and the Church of Carreço (km. 8.4). Behind the church, we continue parallel to the train track up to a bridge that allows us to cross it. We continue along the Avenida of Paço, made of paving stones, passing by the Casa do Sardao Hostel, which enjoys good views over the Montedor Lighthouse and the ocean.
Then the road runs into a forest of eucalyptus, after which we reach a crossroads where we find a stone fountain. By paved walkways, we enter the district of Armada, in the locality of Afife (km. 11.5).
Armada (Afife) (Km. 11,5).
Practical tips for this section: In this section, you will pass various stone crosses, some of them of considerable antiquity. Buen Camino!
Moving along a paved road that runs through a wooded environment, we arrive at the Convent of São João de Cabanas (km. 12). After the bridge, the pilgrims’ path turns right along the edge of the river, transforming itself at times into sections of cobblestones and stairways.
A path, steep, and with stones, leads to another cobblestone path that descends, and then back up a dirt road and stone slabs, through a wooded area. After about 20 minutes of walking, we find a stone cross and shortly after, another, where we start a descent through a stony terrain.
We return to the cobblestones and crossing them, we enter the village of A Barreiros (km. 14.8), where we find a very old laundry and another stone-cross, from the 18th century. 800 metres later, another stone cross comes into view, this one with a flowerbed and grass and we continue by a small paved road.
We reach a stone platform on the River Âncora, cross it and turn to the left by a track that leads us to the N-305 road. We cross it and by Rua da Barrosa, we turn left to take a shortcut that, between pines, leads us to a school and to the municipal swimming pool.
Shortly after, we arrive at an underpass that makes it easier to cross the N-13 and continue to the Praça da Revolução, already in the urban centre of our destination today, Vila Praia de Âncora.
Ancora (Km. 18). End of stage
Practical tips for this section: Whoever climbs the Mount Calvary will get a pleasant reward for the extra effort: a magnificent view of Vila Praia de Âncora surrounded by the sea and the Serra de Arga. See you tomorrow!
After two days of touring the interior, the tranquillity of this villa will be ideal to enjoy an afternoon by the ocean. A walk from the city centre and we can get close to the famous beach in town and take advantage of the tour to visit Forte da Lagarteira and Anta da Barrosa.
Those who prefer to spend the night in a larger town can continue to the council capital, Caminho, located 8.5 kilometres further on.
Comments stage Viana do Castelo – Ancora
Here are some recommendations for you to successfully complete today’s stage. We also provide a description of the alternative route to this stage, on which you won’t get lost.
Precautions Viana do Castelo – Ancora
The official route faces continuous climbs and descents. This layout, although it runs through the interior, makes it an environment with spectacular views.
The alternative route follows the coastline, lacks arrows but it is impossible to get lost on it. Those who wish to follow this route should find the Avenida do Atlântico in Viana do Castelo, passing the North Beach and the Fortin da Areosa.
From here, you must follow the coast to the Montedor Lighthouse, in Carreço. Crossing beaches, mills and boardwalks, which follow the GR-1 road and the Ecovia North Coast, you arrive at Vila Praia de Âncora, either by the very edge of the beach or by the hard shoulder of the N-13 road.
Gastronomy Viana do Castelo – Ancora
Next, we suggest some dishes that you can taste on today’s route.
- Fish: Salmon, Sole, Trout, or Sardines
- Fisherman’s Stew
- Lamb Stew
- Roast meats
- Snails prepared in different ways: fried, in omelettes, in a stew, etc.
Services stage Viana do Castelo – Ancora
Meet the main health care services, cafes, ATMs, restaurants and are in this stage of the Portuguese Coastal Way.
Map stage Viana do Castelo – Ancora
Consult the map with the route, points and towns along the stage.
Profile stage Viana do Castelo – Ancora
Consult the profile of the stage: altitude and degree of difficulty of each section.
What to do stage Viana do Castelo – Ancora
Next, we provide you with information about the places of interest you will find on today’s stage, following the official route.
Quinta do Boa Viagem
Quinta do Boa Viagem is a 16th-century manor house with gardens from the 18th, decorated with statues and baroque fountains. At the door of the building, a 16th-century chapel is located, in honour of the Nossa Senhora da Boa Viagem, visited by both sailors and pilgrims from the Camino de Santiago.
Iglesia de Santa María
The Church of Santa Maria is located in the town of Carreço. The Temple dates back to the late 16th century and combines late and Renaissance Manueline styles. The church tower is much later from 1758.
Convento de São João de Cabanas
The Convent of São João de Cabanas is a Benedictine male monastery, situated in an idyllic spot and considered to be of Public Interest. Since its construction, in 564, the convent has prospered economically, for centuries, achieving an important influence in the area.
In 1382, the property passed into the hands of the Order of Benito, becoming a house of convalescence and rest for the sick. In the 17th century, the convent underwent a great renovation that endowed it with its present appearance.
Within the complex is located a small church of longitudinal plant and a single nave. The left façade is attached to a bell tower and to the right, the convent dependences.
From 1834, with the extinction of the religious orders, the convent went into decline and the property was sold in an auction, passing throughout history through the hands of several owners.
Faro de Montedor
The Montedor Lighthouse is located on a promontory of Montedor, in the Parish of Carreço. The lighthouse was inaugurated in 1910 and is the northernmost in the country. It has a quadrangular tower in granite, with a height of 28 metres (103 metres above sea level).
Capela de Nossa Senhora da Bonança
La Capela de Nossa Senhora da Bonança is located in Vila Praia de Ancora in the central square of the town, Praça da Revolução. The temple dates back to the 19th century and rose above the old Chapel of Nossa Senhora das Necessidades, from 1360.
The Neoclassic-style church has a longitudinal plant and consists of three naves and a rectangular chancel. Inside, the main altar stands out, in neoclassical style, which houses the images of Saint Peter and Our Lady of the Assumption.
In the left nave is another altar of Baroque style, where you can see the images of the Virgin with the Child and Our Lady of the Rosary.
Forte da Lagarteira
The Forte da Lagarteira is located at the north end of the beach of Vila Praia de Âncora and dates from the late 17th century. It Is a fortification with bastions that had a purpose to protect the port from the possible sea invasions.
In 1978, after the fortress passed over to belong to the Captaincy of Vila Praia de Âncora, the construction was restored, maintaining its original structure. The door of the fortress is topped with the stone of real weapons.
Dolmen da Barrosa
The Dolmen da Barrosa, also known as Lapa dos Urosa, is one of the main examples of megalithic constructions in the northwestern peninsula. The structure is dated from the 3rd millennium BC and was declared a National Monument in 1910.
The dolmen stands out due to its large dimensions and its good state of conservation. The construction consists of eight overlapping stones that hold the huge slab of the deck, with an access at the entrance of a metre and a half wide and six metres long.
The structure was used for burial purposes, as a burial site. It is for this reason that some historians assume that Barrosa welcomed the remains of the famous people of the time. Successive studies have shown that the area and its vicinity were later occupied by the Romans.
Capilla de Nuestra Señora de Lourdes
The Chapel of Our Lady of Lourdes is located on the top of Mount Calvary, in the vicinity of the town Vila Praia de Âncora, from where you can access through a landscaped route that culminates in the stone staircase that gives access to it.
The temple has a longitudinal, single-body rectangular plant. The façades are made of irregular granite masonry.
The South-facing main façade is crowned by a bell and a cross. The side façade, west facing, looks like a rectangular window and the east has a straight-gate portal. The back façade is blind. The interior of the temple recreates the atmosphere of the cave where the Virgin of Lourdes appeared in France.