El Portuguese Way It has the added attraction of walking between Spain and Portugal. The main starting points are the cities Porto and Tui / Valença do Minho. We are facing the second Camino de Santiago with the largest influx of pilgrims, after the French Way.
This route became relevant, as a result of the independence of Portugal in the XNUMXth century, and denotes the international relevance of the Way, as a backbone at the European level. Gaining strength in recent years is the variant of the Portuguese Way along the coast.
Origin and evolution of the Portuguese Way
The Portuguese Camino de Santiago has a great historical tradition, fostered by the support received from the former Portuguese crown, which documents pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela from the XNUMXth century and the XNUMXth century. This route becomes relevant as a result of the independence of Portugal in the XNUMXth century, and denotes the international relevance of the Way, as a backbone at European level.
Throughout the stages of the Portuguese side, we can “notice” that the cult of the Apostle Santiago is present in the essence of the towns we visit.
This route that grows, year after year in an unstoppable way, stands out for its beautiful landscapes, for the incentive that the proximity of the sea supposes and for its scenic beauty. Regarding the influx of pilgrims, it is just behind the Camino de Santiago from Sarria to Santiago.
In Portuguese territory, the elements that identify the Jacobean itineraries are manifested in the parishes dedicated to Santiago, his establishment in the pilgrimage routes and the chapels built in his honor, as well as bridges, fountains, cruises, images of the Apostle, devotional brotherhoods, Monasteries, heraldry, festivals, etc.
Whether we start it in Portugal or in Spain, the pilgrim will feel “at home”, as you will notice the kindness of its people and the desire to help in whatever is necessary.
My first Camino Portugues
If you are going to do your first Camino with any of the organizing agencies of the Camino de Santiago, and you want to have a first contact with the route, not having much time, there is a great majority of pilgrims who finish in Santiago de Compostela, start their journey in Tui (Last 100 Kms of the Portuguese Way) o Baiona. In these initiatory Paths, their duration is approximately one week.
After a first experience, it is very likely that the Camino will "hook you" as well as thousands and thousands of people from all over the world who, year after year, are waiting for the date to return, since it is already part of their way of life.
We believe that one of the most important factors to take into account when facing this exciting experience that, without a doubt, we will not forget, is that each person has to follow "their own Way", not that of others and at the rhythm and that you think appropriate, because remember that, We believe that the most important thing about the Camino is not the destination, but the Camino itself, therefore, enjoy it minute by minute, or as the old “CARPE DIEM” would say.
If you carry out, on foot, any of the Paths mentioned above, you will obtain "The Compostela”, which is the Certificate that will be given to you at the Pilgrim Service Office in Santiago de Compostela and that certifies that you have carried out, at least, the last 100 km of the Camino de Santiago. If you do the Bike path, you will have to have traveled, at least, the last 200 km of any Camino de Santiago that would coincide, on this route, with the city of Port.
The most usual thing, after this first experience and depending on the time you have available, is to start other Paths or start them from the beginning to gradually complete the entire route. If you opt for the Portuguese Way, the start would be in Port.
Best time to do the Camino
Any date from the month of May to October is appropriate to do the Portuguese Way.
Itineraries of the Portuguese Camino De Santiago
These routes are not demanding, as they do not pass through mountainous terrain. The immensity of the Ocean and its sandbanks, in the Portuguese part, will be our main travel companions, which contrast with the mountains that delimit the Way, creating a mixture of impressive emotions.
> From Porto, the Central Portuguese Way It is the most relevant of the roads, following the layout of the Porto – Barcelos -Valença do Minho royal road, passing through Ponte de Lima and connecting in Tui with the Portuguese road from Spain, once past the Hispanic-Lusa border, through the international bridge that crosses the Miño river, to continue through Redondela, Pontevedra, Caldas de Rei and Padrón, before ending in Santiago de Compostela.
Already used since the Middle Ages, it has always been one of the most important routes to Santiago and, currently, it is the second route in number of pilgrims, only surpassed by the French Way.
Predominant in this route, the vineyards, cornfields, orchards, pine and eucalyptus trees, as well as the great influx of rivers and streams that we will find on our way.
> The Camino Portugues along the Coast It was an unusual path, frequented by pilgrims, many of them foreigners, who used the commercial maritime routes that reached Lisbon, Aveiro, Porto, Viana do Conde and Viana do Castelo. In Caminha we cross, by boat, towards Spain through the mouth of the river Miño, to the city of A Guarda, bearing witness to Mount Santa Tecla, to continue our Camino to Santiago, passing through Baiona, Vigo and Redondela, where we will connect with the Central Portuguese Way.
How many kilometers do you walk on average on the Camino Portugues?
The "usual" stages that most pilgrims usually travel on foot, are usually about 20-22 km, although it will depend on multiple factors, such as physical preparation, accommodation that can be found in each location, and how you want to face your Way, with more or less tranquility.
Main cities through which the Portuguese Way passes
You can start the Camino anywhere you decide on the route. The sections outlined below are for informational purposes only, and any stage or section can be modified as you wish, adapting them to your personal needs or requests.
Section Porto – Santiago (Portuguese Central Way) 231 Kms
Port: Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1966.
Barcelona: Beautiful city, famous for the Legend of the Rooster of Barcelos
Bridge of Lima: One of the most charming cities in the North of Portugal, on the banks of the Limia River.
Valenca do Minho: medieval walled city, border with Spain.
You: On the banks of the river Miño, famous for its Cathedral of Santa Maria.
Pontevedra: One of the main cities of Galicia, from which we access the main Rias Baixas.
Caldas de Rey: City famous for its thermal waters, since Roman times.
Census: City, where the Christian tradition indicates the pedron where I know moored the boat that transported the remains of the Apostle Santiago from Palestine.
Section A Guarda – Baiona – Santiago de Compostela (Portuguese Way, along the coast) 160 Kms
To Guard: Beautiful border city with Portugal, separated by the estuary of the Rio Miño, surrounded by a privileged environment
Baiona: Historical city where the Montereal Castle.
Vigo: The most populous city in the Galician Community, from which CAN visit the Cies Island.
Pontevedra: One of the main cities of Galicia, from which we access the Rias Baixas.
Caldas de Rey: City famous for its thermal waters, since Roman times.
Census: City, where the Christian tradition indicates el pedron where I know moored the boat that transported the remains of the Apostle Santiago from Palestine.