Portuguese Camino Coastal Route : From Porto to Santiago

Created by Colleen Sims | Updated : 1 March 2024 | ,

Are you interested in walking the Portuguese Camino Coast Route to Santiago de Compostela?

If you’re looking to explore the beauty of Portugal and Spain, you love stunning beaches, seaside towns and fishing villages then the Portuguese Coastal Camino is for you!

I’ve walked from Porto to Santiago 5 times and led several groups along this stunning coastal route. I’ll share what I’ve learned and offer tips on how to manage the stages from Porto to Santiago de Compostela.

Be warned this is a long read, so get yourself a coffee and dive in!

Colleen walking the Portuguese Camino Coastal Route on the beach in Ancora, the last stop in Portugal before crossing to Spain

Table of Contents

Portuguese Camino : Porto to Santiago de Compostela

For most pilgrims, the Portuguese Coastal Camino starts in the historic and vibrant city of Porto in Portugal and follows the Douro River to the sea.

You walk along the Atlantic coast, joining the Portuguese Central Camino route at Redondela in Spain and continue walking onwards to the iconic city of Santiago de Compostela.

The route from Porto to Santiago is about 280km (170 miles) long and can be walked in two weeks, although there are options to walk longer or shorter stages depending on your own preferences, fitness and time constraints.

En Route from Porto and Matosinhos along the Portuguese Camino Coastal route, a bicycle resting on the boardwalks beside the sea

What is the Portuguese Camino Coastal Route?

Traditionally, the Portuguese Camino started in Lisbon, travelling through Portugal, sharing part of the pilgrim route to Fatima, until reaching the fabulous city of Porto, where the Camino splits.

Most modern-day pilgrims choose to start their Camino in Porto, and from there follow either the inland Central Camino, through Tui and onwards to Santiago de Compostela. Growing in popularity though, is the Portuguese Coastal Camino route, which follows the coast from Porto.

The Portuguese Coastal Route was made an official Camino route in 2016 and is growing in popularity as more pilgrims discover this stunning trail. Over 53,000 people walked the Coastal route in 2023; I walked it twice too in 2023 with two different groups.

The coastal route hugs the shoreline through northern Portugal and crosses the Minho estuary into Spain. You continue along the coast through Vigo until you reach Redondela in Galicia, where both Portuguese routes merge and share the same trail to Santiago de Compostela.

Fishing Pots beside the sea seen whilst walking along the northern Portuguese Coast from Porto

Portuguese Camino Coastal Route Walking Stages

I have escorted groups along the Portuguese Camino Coastal route and walked alone. Each time I have chosen different stages. A lot of that decision making is down to budget or time-scales. It’s worth remember though that this is a glorious walk and, more than any other route, I am easily distracted and my days are longer walking as a result.

These days for my groups, I’ve settled on a 14-day walking plan from Porto to Santiago but you can vary this to make longer or shorter days if you prefer.

Stages from Porto to Santiago de Compostela

If you are planning to start this glorious trail in Porto I do recommend that you allow at least a day or two to explore the city first. There is so much to see and do, you’ll not be lost for things to occupy you and you’ll recover from travelling too.

Porto

I’ve spent so long in Porto over the years that we even considered living here; it’s an amazing city! I’ve stayed in a range of locations across town but if you are walking the Coastal Camino, here are a few that I book for my groups and that I would absolutely book again.

  • Santa Catarina FLH Suites : If you are looking for a a touch of comfort then seriously look no further. My groups love this hotel, I love this hotel too! It’s a great location too, not far from the Cathedral. The rooms are very comfortable, they serve tea and cake in the afternoons and breakfast is delivered to your room. This is just a wonderful place to start your Camino.
  • The Poets Inn : This is a cross between a hostel and a hotel. They offer rooms with private bathrooms or private rooms with a shared bathroom (shared bathrooms are almost outside the bedroom but shared). There is also a shared kitchen and lounge for residents. I’ve stayed here with my walking club and it’s a really great little hotel and perfect if you have a smaller budget.
  • Being Porto : I first walked the Camino Portuguese in 2017 and we stayed here. It’s a wonderful hostel and offers shared rooms as well as bunk beds. There’s something for everyone and they offer a really good breakfast. If you’re looking for pilgrim accommodation close to the Cathedral, this is one of the best choices in the city.
  • Pilgrim Albergue Porto : Porto does have an albergue which is perfect if you are walking the Central route. But it’s 2 kilometres from the Cathedral, so not ideal if you’re walking the Coastal Route. I have stayed here and it is perfect for the Central Camino. It’s not far from a large supermarket too so you can cook in the kitchen. It’s a nice albergue but not the right location for the Coastal Camino.

Porto to Matosinhos : 11.5 kilometres

I like to start my Camino from the steps of Porto Cathedral and head to the waterfront. There are confusing arrows at the Cathedral, taking you away from the river and into town. You can safely ignore these as they are for the Central route.

If you are walking the Coastal Camino from Porto then walk down through the narrow streets of the old town to the river. Keep the river on your left as you walk away from the city, for the most part you’ll be walking beside the water.

The river turns to estuary and the estuary becomes the sea at Foz de Douro. From here you follow the coast all the way to Matosinhos and beyond.

Top Tip : Many people skip this stage and take the metro to the Foz or Matosinhos; it’s a shame as it’s a lovely walk but if time is short this would be an option.

Day 1 stage is confusing. The first time I walked I did a 28 kilometre day to Labruge and it felt rushed. On subsequent visits I like to take my time and I’ve broken this stage. There are a few options, so have a look at my more detailed post on the stage from Porto to Matosinhos where I offer different choices.

  • Fishtail Sea House – Fishtail offer private rooms and bunk beds. I don’t recommend the breakfast as it’s expensive and pre-packed. There is a small kitchen to make your own breakfast.
  • O Valentim Hotel – A Very nice hotel but books quickly so book early to avoid disappointment.
  • MyStay Matosinhos Centro – Another great choice if you’re looking for a private room. It’s a little set back from the coast but not a big issue and a very lovely place to spend the night.
modern sculpture on the beach at Matosinhos a stage on the Camino Portuguese Coastal Route

Matosinhos to Povoa de Varzim :  27 kilometres

Today is a long day but there are a few things that you can do to shorten it. With my last group we walked after lunch on day 1, from Matosinhos to the Boa Nova lighthouse. Using a taxi (uber) we returned here on day 2 and saved a good 4 kilometres.

I liked this option as there is a lot to see and explore; this choice gives you plenty of time without worrying about today’s long hike. Read more about walking from Porto to Matosinhos to help to shorten this day.

Matosinhos to Povoa de Varzim is all about walking along boardwalks and through little seaside fishing villages. Depending on the season there can be plenty of places to pause for refreshments but be aware that the little beach bars can close out of the main tourist/holiday season. My advice, if you see a café or bar then stop and make the most of the break.

Most pilgrims end this stage at Povoa de Varzim, where there are several great hostels and hotels. You can also opt to end at Vila do Conde which is a wonderful place to stay with lots of history.

  • Naval Guest House & Bistro : This is a fabulous little Cafe, right on the Camino as you enter the town and the perfect place for an overnight stop.
  • Pousada de Juventude : This is an excellent choice if you plan to stay on the coast walking into Povoa. They offer bunk beds and private rooms and is a good option for groups travelling together too.
  • Santa Clara Pilgrim Hostel : A nice choice and a popular stop for pilgrims. It’s not large so it is advisable to call ahead to book your bed for the night. (call : +351 252 104 717 or email : hostelsantaclara@cm-viladoconde.pt

These days I prefer to stop for a long pause, a cold drink and a rest at the Naval Guest House in Vila de Conde (right off the bridge and on the Camino) and then continue on to Povoa de Varzim.

There are two options for walking on; you can keep walking along the coast or follow the arrows inland through the suburbs of Vila de Conde and on to Povoa de Varzim. The coast road will add a kilometre.

Top Tip : The arrows here can be confusing. Vila de Conde is where some folks cut across from the Coastal Route to the Central route. As you walk over the bridge into Vila de Conde follow the Coastal Camino arrows. They will lead you past a few cafes (good pausing point) and into the town . You’ll cross the main road and walk on by the town’s ancient church. From here you just keep following the arrows into Povoa.

I love the little seaside town of Povoa de Varzim town but be aware that it’s long and spread out along the coast. I once made the mistake of staying on the ‘other’ end of town and added 3 kilometres to my day (Gerry was not happy!). These choices are all ideal AND on the right side of town!

  • Siglas & Runas II: if you can book a room here then grab it! This is a wonderful little stop, very popular with pilgrims and perfect if you are looking for a private room.
  • Sardines : There are two Sardine Hostels in Town (number 4 and number 6). Sardines are a good budget choice and offer private rooms and bunk beds.
  • THE Grand Hotel da Póvoa : This is a more expensive choice but I’ve stayed here a couple of times and always been happy. The location is great, right on the beach and the Camino. There’s a great on-site Asian restaurant and the breakfast choices are excellent.
  • São José de Ribamar pilgrim hostel : I’ve also stayed in the Pilgrim Albergue, it’s large with lots of space and in a good location. Call ahead to check if there are beds but you can’t reserve : +351 252 622 314
beautiful brightly coloured flower beds on the camino just as you cross the bridge into Vila de Conde on the Portuguese Camino

Povoa de Varzim to Esposende : 22 kilometres

Today you have choices on two route variations. Partway through the day you can choose to divert off to the coast or continue inland. The inland option is well marked and a very nice walk, also offering a little shade.

I’ve taken both routes and found it very easy to find my way back to the Camino from the coast but on balance I’d recommend that you follow the arrows inland. And there’s an excellent restaurant in Fao just after the church on the left which is well worth a lunch stop.

Top Tip : I really like the Wise Pilgrim App. For just a few euros you can see the route options and your own location which is a great way of ensuring you always find your way.

Esposende is another delightful little town with pilgrim hostels and several hotels. This is another long town; I would recommend staying in the centre or at the lovely Suave hotel, just on the outskirts of town.

  • Hostel Eleven: I’ve stayed at Eleven a few times, both in bunk beds and a private room. It’s a lovely little albergue with a nice kitchen, great location in the old town and perfect for those on a budget.
  • Esposende Guesthouse : The ideal choice if you would like a little more comfort without breaking the bank and in a great location for all services.
  • Hotel Suave Mar : This hotel is on the edge of town as you leave Esposende but oh my it’s a glorious little place. I’ve stayed here alone and with my groups and I do love the comfort and the pool. If you do plan to stop here, I recommend that you visit Esposende en route. Walk into the old town centre, stop for a drink and have a little look around before checking in; you will not walk back later in the day.
old windmill, beside the boardwalk on the beach enroute from Esposende to Vila do Conde

Esposende to Viana do Castelo : 26 kilometres

We leave the coast today and walk inland. First through a residential area with great views of the coast, and then onwards through more rural areas, over streams and through forests. It’s a lovely change from the boardwalks and you get to glimpse rural Portuguese life.

Today also brings the first real elevation that you’ve seen so far so expect to get a little out of breath.

Top Tip : There is a cafe in Belhino called Bar Lampiao. You have to walk maybe 100 metres off the Camino and cross the N13 but it is worth the diversion. I love this little cafe. It’s full of memorabilia and ‘stuff’. The owner is quite a character and always brings free biscuits and peanuts.

There are services today but they are well spaced so if you spot somewhere then I recommend having a break. Today is a long day and finding a few coffees always helps.

Chafe : There is a bar as you walk into town. It’s the first stop in a while and it is always VERY busy. Expect a LONG wait here or keep walking for 200 metres and go to the second bar which is always quieter.

Viana do Castelo is a wonderful destination. There are lots of restaurants and accommodation choices and all services. This is quite a good town for a rest day; with lots of history and plenty of sight seeing opportunities if you would like a longer stay.

There is a pilgrim albergue in town; São João da Cruz dos Caminhos pilgrim hostel. I stayed here many years ago and honestly I wasn’t impressed and wouldn’t recommend this. It may have been improved but recent reviews are mixed.

  • Hotel Jardim Viana do Castelo : I’ve stayed here many times. It’s a good hotel and offers a good standard of comfort. And a great location on the Camino, easy to walk out of town following the river. Do tell them in advance about special diets for breakfast.
  • AP Dona Aninhas : If you’re looking for a very nice treat then this hotel is perfect. It is a little expensive but if you have the budget I can strongly recommend a stay here.
  • Pousada de Juventude : This is a youth hostel. It’s a little way off the Camino but it is still used by pilgrims and travellers and is a great alternative to the pilgrim albergue.
bar Lampiao on the camino portuguese.  the bar is full of football and music memorabilia and odd collections hanging from the walls.

Viana do Castelo to Vila Praia de Âncora : 19 kilometres

As with most of this coastal Camino there are choices today. Having walked all of them, I tend to recommend that you start the day on the coast and then join camino at Carreco.

I love the walk along the seaside out of Viana and there is no doubt that the coastal walk into Vila Praia de Ancora is spectacular, but to walk all the way on the beach you need to plot your own path and be prepared to walk on the sand which is tiring.

When leading groups I recommend following the river out of Viana, past the Fort and onto the coastal promenade to Carreco. There is a beachside cafe in Carreco. From there walk inland away from the beach into town; the road is straight until you meet the N13. Cross the road and you’ll pick up the arrows.

Top Tip : When I walked this last a car stopped us and told us to go back to the coast. He said the route was better on the coast and that inland the trail was not marked. This is not true. I suspect he is a cafe owner looking for passing pilgrim business. Ignore him and follow the arrows out of Carreco. And if in doubt use the Wise Pilgrim App.

The Camino from Carreco is slightly inland; but is well marked. You get to walk through little villages, enjoy shady forest, get spectacular coastal views and you can stop at one of my favourite little cafes on this route; Cafe de Cabanas.

The beach at Vila Praia de Ancora is maybe the best so far. I love this little town. Stay as close to the beach and have dinner overlooking the water to catch the sunset.

  • Albergaria Quim Barreiros : This is right on the beach close to many cafes and bars. The rooms are simple but clean and comfortable and I have stayed here with my groups.
  • Hotel Meira : This is a little gem of a hotel. I’ve stayed here a few times and some of my groups have booked the spa treatments here also. They do cater for special diets so make sure you mention when you book.
  • Hostel D’Avenida : I have not personally stayed here but I know folks who have and they recommended the bunk beds. If you’re looking for a budget option then book this quickly as the bunk-beds are reserved well in advance.
the glorious beach walking into Ancora on the Camino Portuguese Coastal

Vila Praia de Âncora to A Guarda : 17 kilometres

Today is an important stage; you cross from Portugal to Spain and you change time zones! Don’t forget that Spain is an hour forward! The following few days in my plan are shorter because they are too glorious to rush.

Top Tip : Remember the hour time difference when you cross the border!

And today you get to make use the ferry service to take you from Caminha to A Guarda; both very special little seaside towns that are worth exploring.

The walk out of Ancora is straightforward; keep the coast to your left and keep walking. There is a confusing section just before Caminha. The guidebooks will lead you under a railway (via a small pedestrian tunnel) but there is a path that keeps going straight and now has an arrow too.

Follow this arrow and keep going straight, through a residential street. At the end of the street, follow the arrows into a wooded area on your left. The trail through the wood will bring you right out beside the Minho Estuary. From here just keep the estuary on your left until you reach town.

There are a choice of ferries between Caminha and A Guarda in Spain. When you come out from the forest trail there is a chap here offering a ferry; I’ve never used this service. Keep walking into the town ‘proper’ and you’ll see a cafe on the harbour. There are toilets here and the cafe also offers a ferry service. This is also where you meet the official Xacobeo Transfer ferry. Both of these ferries are good.

Once you land in Spain you’ll be walking up and up but the views are wonderful. Pay attention to arrows when you reach A Guarda if you’re staying in town (Do spend the night here!). The Camino skirts the town and you could miss the stunning little harbour and your bed for the night.

  • Hotel Monumento Convento de San Benito : I cannot stress how much I love this hotel. They do offer a triple room which makes it affordable if you’re sharing rooms but it’s a living museum and a fabulous setting (and they offer gluten free breakfast).
  • Albergue O Peirao : This albergue is a little out of town but only a few minutes walk back to the harbour. This is the perfect choice if you’re looking for budget accommodation that’s very pilgrim friendly. It books fast so I don’t recommend arriving without checking in advance.
stunning harbour and beach at A Gaurda in Galicia Spain on the Portuguese Camino

A Guarda to Oia : 14 kilometres

This is where my choices differ from many guide books. You can opt to walk a longer day and continue to Baiona but my first question would be why?

The next few days are stunning and I choose to break the stage, staying one night at Oia. For one, you’ve been walking for a while and it’s good to have an easier day but also because of the Monastery of Santa María de Oia, which is an ancient beautiful building that deserves a visit.

Linger a while over breakfast at A Guarda. Walk the coastal path down to the beach and to the harbour; there is no need to go back up into town as you’ll meet the arrows as you walk. The beach will be beside you today and it’s wild and glorious.

Part way along there is a roman fishery; so many folks walk by without investigating. Walk off the trail down to the shoreline and go take a look. It’s a pretty impressive sight.

There is a café about halfway today and it’s main client is pilgrim traffic so it’s generally open; certainly from mid-April to Mid-October when I’ve walked.

Oia has only a few services. I do recommend you reserve a table and the fabulous Taperia A Camboa Restaurant overlooking the sea for lunch; the food is excellent and view incredible. Accommodation is also limited so if you wish to say in Oia I do suggest that you book ahead.

  • La Cala – A Pilgrim’s Inn : Tanya was a pilgrim and created a glorious little albergue here. You can book a private room (with shared bathroom) or you can book a single bed in the mixed room. Also ask her about massage; she knows a fabulous physiotherapist!
  • Casa Puertas : A beautiful little Casa Rural offering boutique rooms in the heart of the village; you could happily stay here a few days and relax!
The anceint mosteiro de oia at sunset.  A stunning old monastery beside the sea in Oia, Galicia in Spain

Oia to Baiona : 19 kilometres

Onwards we go towards Baiona. More glorious coast and another gem of a town. There is a Parador here too if you’d like to treat yourself.

Have breakfast at your Oia accommodation as there are limited choices today and make sure you carry water and perhaps a snack for the road. However, what the trail lacks in bars it more than makes up for in coastal views.

Top Tip : The trail from Oia and for the next few days follows what I’ve nick-named ‘the yellow brick road‘. You will often be brought up to walk on the wide shoulder of the PO-552 and it is painted yellow. It’s perfectly safe and wide but 2 things 1) cyclists often use this rather than the road and can come towards you at speed; so keep your eyes peeled. 2) there is a camber which slopes to the left. If you’re like me and have one leg shorter than the other this can irritate so make sure you choose the flattest part of the road to walk on.

You will face some elevation today, walking up away from the coast and into the hills as you cross a headland to take you down into Baiona. I love this little stretch of trail but be prepared to get a little puffed. However, the views from the top are just glorious so take your time and take lots of photos.

Top Tip : The stretch of coast along ‘the yellow brick road’ offers little deviations. They take you left, down from the main road to walk beside the sea. Whilst they are pretty and get you off the road for a few hundred metres, you do also need to climb back up the hill to the road every time. My advice is maybe skip these if you wish to avoid extra elevation. Again look at the Wise Pilgrim App as it clearly marks these little deviations.

Walking down into Baiona I use google maps to take me to my accommodation. The Camino can skirt the town a little and you could end up walking too far, so do take a look and divert off the trail to your hotel if needed. The Parador is right on the headland and hard to miss.

  • Hotel Tres Carabelas : This is a wonderful little hotel, in the heart of the old town and only a stones throw from the sea front. It’s a great inexpensive choice if you are looking for a private room in what is quite an upmarket resort.
  • Parador de Baiona : My groups stay here. It’s a treat. How often do you get to spend the night in such an historically important building? Built within the remains of a fortress and on the harbour where the famous ship Pinta landed and proclaimed to Europe the existence of America. The views are pretty impressive here too.
  • Hostel Estela do Mar : If you’d rather stay in a more traditional pilgrim albergue the Estela is the perfect spot. Again it’s a great location, the bunks are good, with your own locker and light and there’s a great kitchen. This is a good choice.
sunrise from the fortress walls of the Parador in Biaona Galicia, looking out to see and the distant hills

Baiona to Vigo : 29 kilometres

This is one of the longest days on the Camino Portuguese. You have options for today, either follow the traditional Coastal Camino route but you will spend a large part of the day beside a busy road. Alternatively, I recommend that you follow the coastal alternative. It is a little longer but the views are worth it and it’s well marked. Oddly, the arrows are a shade of green leaving A Ramallosa, to show the variant coastal route into Vigo.

Two things about today. Walking into Vigo is difficult and long.

1) You will walk for a good hour just to reach the centre.

2) I recommend using a guide book and map today (or the Wise Pilgrim App… I honestly don’t have shares but I do like the app). There are a few confusing arrows and the map will help keep you on course.

The walk to Playa de Samil along the coast is stunning. This is a beautiful walk. Wide sandy bays and small coves and little towns and lots of residential areas. I love this walk up to Playa de Samil.

After Playa de Samil it’s honestly a bit of a slog. I’ve walked every step, many times, and this is a long day. I do recommend using google maps to get you to your accommodation. And if you wish to miss the urban sprawl then jump on a bus to the city centre or even call an Uber.

Vigo is a very important port and the biggest city in Galicia. It’s loud and busy and urban and not the easiest place to navigate. With Google Maps it just makes life easier. And on this stage you really want to make life easier!

Wherever you choose to stay I would recommend that you find somewhere close to the Camino. You do not want to walk any extra kilometres looking for your bed. My suggestions are all very well placed.

There are a couple of pilgrim hostels, but one doesn’t have good reviews so I’ve not included it. There is an alternative though which is excellent.

  • Hotel Exe Vigo : A really lovely little hotel, offering very comfortable rooms and a fabulous shower!. It’s a good location, right on the Camino and bit of a distance from the water but well placed for getting out of town the next day. And for the comfort not too pricey (which Vigo can be).
  • Zenit Vigo : a lovely hotel, again right on the Camino so you can follow the arrows in and out of town. If budget is tight but you’d like a nice hotel for the night, they do offer budget singles so grab one if you can! This is a really nice hotel, in a good location and I’d stay again for sure.
  • R4Hostel : Everything you need from an albergue, including a curtain on your bunk! This is in a good location near the water front but it books quickly so make sure you have a bed and not just turn up. You can always ring ahead to be sure they keep your place.
one of the many beautiful little sandy coves and beaches on the walk between Baiona and Vigo

Portuguese Camino : Stages from Vigo to Santiago de Compostela

The last 100 kilometres of the Camino Portuguese Coastal Route start from Vigo. If you are walking from Porto to Santiago then you will notice more pilgrims walking today. If you wish to obtain a Compostela from the Cathedral at Santiago de Compostela then you must start your Portuguese Camino here; 100 kilometres from Santiago.

Top Tip : You must obtain at least two sello every day from Vigo if you wish to obtain a Compostela. I like to collect at least two every day when I am walking the Camino but that is my choice. From Vigo this is mandatory. Two sello every day.

Vigo to Redondela : 18 kilometres

We walk away from the busy city of Vigo and today the Portuguese Coastal Camino route merges with the Central route at Redondela. Pilgrims will notice the trail is busier but you will also notice that there are more services too.

Walking out of Vigo isn’t the easiest. Use an app or google maps to get you out of the city. The two hotels I have picked above are well placed higher in the city, making the exit easier. But I recommend that you have a look at a map before leaving or ask your accommodation for tips. Once you find the arrows they are plentiful.

Top Tip : Don’t be afraid to ask for help. On my last walk out of Vigo, a couple of ladies from Singapore asked if they could tag along as I seemed to know the way. I ended up with about a dozen people following me out of town and we enjoyed their company on and off all the way to Santiago. Don’t be afraid to join forces with other pilgrims if you are feeling unsure.

And expect hills today as you leave Vigo. We’re walking away from the coast and up into the glorious green Galician countryside. And Galicia is hilly.

There aren’t a lot of services in the first part of the day; but it is a short day. Make sure you have breakfast in Vigo and make sure you carry water. You’ll spend the first few hours walking through little villages or suburbs of Vigo, looking down at the sea you walked beside yesterday.

Part way along today you’ll find a wonderful little café. It’s a few metres off the Camino on the right. Up a short hill. Stop here as the coffee is great as is the cake.

You’ll have some more forest walk before dropping down into Redondela. A busy popular town with all services and lots of pilgrim accommodation. There is a wide range of restaurants and bars but I will give a quick mention to DeCalle in Redondela. We’ve eaten here a few times and always been happy with the food.

  • Albergue A ROTONDA : I love the beds here and the way they have been arranged for privacy. There is a great kitchen and lots of communal space. It’s on the roundabout just as you enter town and perfect for those looking for pilgrim accommodation
  • Adro Redondela : When leading groups I’ve booked all beds in small albergues or I’ve booked large apartments as finding hotels in Redondela isn’t easy. This apartment is a great choice as there are 4 beds; perfect when sharing with other pilgrims.
  • Casa D’Mina : Finding hotels in Redondela isn’t easy. This is an exceptional little place but it’s out of town; adding a few more kilometres to your day. I would recommend that you eat lunch in Redondela before heading here but its a gem of a hotel and right on the camino.
Gerry with his colourful wings. He's standing in front of the artwork on the wall of DeCalle restaurant in Redondela

Redondela to Pontevedra : 22 kilometres

Today you walk through the Galician town of Arcade; spend some time exploring the waterfront of this little town as it’s beautiful. And Arcade is famous throughout Spain for it’s seafood and Oysters. The only problem is that the diversion takes you away from the Camino. If you can spare the time and the extra kilometre it’s worth the walk.

As you leave Arcade also take a few minutes to explore the famous Pontesampaio bridge; this little bridge changed the course of the Napoleonic wars in the Iberian Peninsula. I’ve stayed overnight twice in Arcade and it’s a nice little town with a couple of good hotels and an albergue but I’ve only every seen a few other pilgrims.

As you continue onwards you’ll travel through glorious forests and Galician countryside and follow in the footsteps of the Romans and Napoleon’s army too. This is a truly delightful stage with lots and lots of history and a fair few hills too.

There are two route choices today as you near Pontevedra; take the river route. It’s much easier under foot and brings you right into the city.

Pontevedra is a wonderful city with so much history; particularly Roman. Allow time to wander the old town, visit the churches and soak up the atmosphere of this really wonderful old town. And you’ll find lots and lots of accommodation and buzzing restaurants.

Top Tip : If you arrive in time, do eat a good lunch. A lot of the restaurants in town are on Spanish time and dinner is often not served until 8:30 or 9:00pm.

  • Acolá Hostel : There are lots of wonderful hostels in Pontevedra. I like this for the location and the attention to detail. The bunks remind me a little of the Pilgrim Albergue at Roncesvalles. You’ll also find all the pilgrim services you’d need including a small kitchen area.
  • Parador de Pontevedra : This was renovated in 2023 and closed when I last walked. I cannot wait to see what improvements have been made. It’s a Parador so expect a touch of luxury and of course it’s in an iconic building in the heart of the old town. Paradors are a must when I’m walking the Camino… at least once!
  • Pensión A Xanela : The perfect choice if you’d like some privacy but you have smaller pockets. It’s in the old town, and offers exceptional comfort for a small price. This is a lovely little hotel in a beautiful old building. It’s small and fills quickly so you need to book it fast!
Pontesampaio bridge with the estuary running under and the blue skies above

Pontevedra to Caldas de Reis : 25 kilometres

You can feel the atmosphere is changing as folks get closer to Santiago.

You have a nice walk out of town, albeit often very busy. Part-way along the promenade, shortly after leaving town you are faced with a decision. Do you continue on the Portuguese Camino or do you turn left and take the Espiritual Variente?

The Spiritual path is glorious but it will add a day or two to your schedule and I do recommend booking accommodation for this trail in advance as it is limited; as is the ferry taking you to Padron. I’ve walked this path and would love to walk it again and at some point I hope to write about it too. But this guide continues on to Caldas (feel free to reach out to me if you’d like to know more).

Our path continues through rural splendour and more Roman history and more fabulous views. There is a point today where you can divert off to see a waterfall. Honestly I did this and I wasn’t so impressed and unless things have improved over recent years I didn’t feel it was worth the extra kilometres.

There aren’t many bars today so make sure you have enough water. If you’re lucky you’ll see a lady selling fruit and cold drinks and an ice cream van along the trail. There are a few bars but they do get busy.

Top Tip : A few kilometres from Caldas there is an excellent albergue restaurant that is the perfect spot for a long relaxing lunch. Albergue Vintecatro offers beds but I’ve only stayed for the shade and the pilgrim menu; which was excellent. It’s on the Camino (on your left). There are a few other earlier options but Vintecatro is excellent.

Caldas de Reis is known for its hot spas, indeed you can bathe your feet in a communal ourdoor hot spa near the church in the centre of town. Or if you prefer you can book a proper hot spa in one of the hotels in town.

Caldas is a wonderful Galician town with lots of history and a great church; go at sunset and listen to the cacophony of birds nesting in the palm trees.

My Favourite Places to stay in Caldas de Reis : click the green text to book your bed

  • Albergue As Pozas Termais : I really like this albergue as they really have thought of everything a pilgrim needs, including the best steps to a bunk bed! There are great communal areas and it’s in a good location in town; the perfect pilgrim albergue.
  • Pension de Peregrinos La Moderna : If you’re looking for a private room that’s not too expensive this pension is ideal. I stayed here many years ago and it’s still getting good reviews. I like that they provide single beds so it’s great for sharing too; the room for 3 offers excellent value.
  • Casa Herreria : this is a wonderful little guesthouse offering a great level of comfort and the rooms have twin beds which is great for sharing. It’s on the Camino and popular with pilgrims; there’s a great outdoor area for meeting others too.
the large church in the centre of Caldas de Reis surrounded by huge palm trees.  At sunset the birds are very noisy as they prepare to nest in the trees

Caldas de Reis to Padron (Iria Flavia) : 22 kilometres

Pilgrims who walk the Variente Espiritual rejoin the Camino just before Padron. For the rest of us we have another wonderful walk through forests and rural splendour.

You can also make a diversion today to visit the ancient monastery at Herbon just before Padron. Indeed there is an albergue here and whilst I have never stayed, I am told it’s a wonderful experiences but I 100% recommend contacting in advance to ensure it is open. A few years ago Herbon closed but recently a few monks returned and the monastery reopened.

There are a number of good rest stops today, my favourite is in the village of San Miguel de Valga. As you enter the village it’s the first bar, just before the church. They offer wonderful food and a good selection of items on the menu.

From San Miguel it’s a short walk into the suburbs of Pontecesures, where the Variante boat docks and where you can divert to Herbon. This is the entrance to Padron, although you’ll have a few kilometres to go before reaching the town. It’s not the prettiest walk on the Portuguese, but not all of the Camino is pretty.

As you approach the old town, after the large market car park, you’ll see Restuarante Mundos ahead. There are several places to eat in town but this tends to be my favourite. It’s always busy with locals and pilgrims, the menu is great and not too expensive and they have gluten free beer and Padron peppers!

Caldas to Padron is around 19 kilometres and Padron to Santiago around 25 kilometres. Personally I prefer to walk a longer day on this stage and keep my walk into Santiago shorter. So I only stop and eat in Padron.

I have spent the night in Padron but it makes for a long day into Santiago so these days I walk on for another hour to Hotel Scala. If you prefer something closer I recommend Hector’s albergue in Iria Flavia; he’ll offer a history lesson too if he has time.

Top Tip : If you stay in Iria Flavia or Padron then do make sure you make time to collect your Pedronia; a special certificate issued in town to represent your stay in this historically important town.

Padron was an important Roman port and the town is very closely linked to the ministry of St James. Do try to visit the famous church at Padron, often it’s closed so timing is everything but the views from the top are good too.

As you leave Padron be sure to stop and visit the Church of Iria Flavia. So many pilgrims walk by but the church was incredibly important; one of the oldest Christian Churches dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Iria Flavia is said to be where James lived and preached during his time in Galicia.

The church is often sadly locked but if you’re lucky there will be someone there to let you look around. If not just explore the outside, it is a fascinating and incredibly important historical site. Regardless of your faith, history says that St James the Apostle lived here. That’s very special.

My Favourite Places to stay in Padron: click the green text to book your bed

  • Cruces de Iria Hostel : I stayed here first in 2017 when Hector had just opened and we had the entire albergue to ourselves. It’s a wonderful place and right next to the church at Iria Flavia. We bought supplies in a supermarket as we left Padron (it’s on the Camino) and we cooked supper in the kitchen. You can contact Hector via facebook or call +34 649 60 20 92
  • O Lagar de Jesús : This is just a special albergue, if you want to walk a little further out of Padron. It will be worth it as the owners go out of their way to make your stay wonderful. The building feels ancient but it offers every comfort a pilgrim needs and the communal meal is wonderful. And it is only 18 kilometres from Santiago.
  • Hotel Scala : This is about an hours walk from Padron but it does mean the walk into Santiago is shorter and it’s a great place to stop. It’s a straightforward motel but the beds are clean and comfortable, the showers are great, the breakfast is good and the cafe/bar has a good selection. I have stayed here with a few of my groups and it works well if you’re looking for a good private hotel. (I’ve never understood the low booking . com score… its simple, perhaps it doesn’t have lots of character but it is good)
Padron Peppers and gluten free beer in the restaurant in Padron, Spain

Padron (Iria Flavia) to Santiago de Compostela : 22 kilometres

Today will be very different from any other day on the Camino. It’s your last day on the Camino Portuguese and when you leave your accommodation, you know that you are just a few hours walk away from the cathedral at Santiago de Compostela

You may be tempted to rush today but I always tell my groups to try not to do this. There are many interesting places to pause today and the countryside is wonderful. The cathedral will still be there even if you take your time and enjoy this walk.

Stop for coffee, visit the churches, talk to other pilgrims. This is your last day, so make the most of it.

As the day progresses you’ll reach the suburbs of Santiago and catch your first glimpse of the spires of the famous Cathedral. I love watching my groups as they reach this point, often a little teary eyed!

Follow the arrows into the city, it is quite a few kilometres into the cathedral so make sure you stay hydrated, stop for a drink and carry water. There are a few hills today too so conserve your energy.

Just before the old town you can walk along a busy road on the pavement or cross into one of the city’s famous parks; visit the park. Both places end up at a pedestrian crossing taking you into the old town.

Top Tip : Santiago de Compostela is a destination for visitors from around the globe, not just pilgrims. It is extremely busy. Many of my groups are surprised by the crowds but take comfort from knowing that as it gets dark the day visitors go home and the streets are beautifully quiet.

Whatever you do, savour the moment of your arrival; it’s very special.

My Favourite Places to stay in Santiago de Compostela: click the green text to book your bed

  • Hospedería San Martín Pinario : This is my first choice for a bed when staying in Santiago. They offer hotel standard rooms which book so quickly they’re impossible to reserve but they also have pilgrim rooms. These are basic, simple, very clean and you can book a single room or a double; both have a private bathroom, for just 26€. For this you have breakfast and stay in one of the most iconic buildings in Santiago, right opposite the Cathedral! Contact the Hospederia direct to book; I had more success with an email.
  • Hostel Parador de Santiago : If you really want to treat yourself then book a room at the 5* Parador, pictured below. It’s iconic location has to be the best address in town which means that it is very popular with tourists. Regardless of the cost of the room, it does book quickly. If you would like to treat yourself to a night in this very special hotel, and sit and eat breakfast overlooking the square, then make your reservation sooner rather than later! I have stayed here and it is a special place; the restaurant is also excellent.
  • Libredon : My room here had views of the cathedral roof. This hotel is just a few hundred metres from the main square, which is perfect for me! If the Parador is a bit pricey then this is the hotel I recommend. The rooms are simple but beautifully furnished, the bed very comfortable and the shower was spotlessly clean with lashings of hot water.
  • Santiago KM-0 albergue : If you can’t find a bed at San Martin then the ever popular Santiago KM-0 albergue is a good choice. It’s a great location and a popular choice for pilgrims so you will have plenty of company. Do book ahead. This albergue is always full.
Arriving in Santiago in December after walking the Camino Portuguese Coastal

Santiago de Compostela : The End of the Portuguese Camino

After 14 days and 280 kilometres, your journey along the Portuguese Camino Coastal Route will be over and you will reach the iconic cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. It’s always a joyous moment. I’ve walked into Praza do Obradoiro and gazed up at the cathedral towers countless times and the moment never loses its magic.

If you end your Camino in Santiago de Compostela I do recommend that you allow a few extra days to explore this beautiful ancient city. Not only will you want to allow time to visit the Cathedral and the Pilgrims Office, but also you can take the roof-top tour and visit the many other impressive sights within the town. Some of my groups have also decided to add a day to visit Fisterra and Muxia on the coast too; there are day trips or you can hire a car from the train station.

What Is It Like to Walk the Portuguese Camino Coastal Route?

Walking the Coastal Camino is a different experience than other routes. The terrain is more gentle than say the Camino Norte on the coast of Northern Spain but nonetheless spectacular. The route lacks the elevation and mountain stages that you’ll find on the Camino Frances or Camino Primitivo but the route is no less glorious for that. The gentle terrain also makes the Portuguese Coastal Camino a more accessible option for many pilgrims.

I have found walking any coastal route a different experience than the more traditional interior routes and I feel this is perhaps because coastal towns have grown into seaside resorts and attract tourists as well as pilgrims.

In more rural areas, the majority of visitors will likely be pilgrims but in coastal towns, this isn’t the case and as a result, there is less emphasis on pilgrimage. But that aside, the coastal route is still stunning and littered with medieval history and worthy of its place as one of the most popular pilgrimage routes to Santiago.

If you decide to walk the Portuguese Camino Coastal route then you will have further choices within the route. On some days there are options to follow the Senda Literal, walking on boardwalks along the dunes. On other days you can follow a more inland path, and wander through rural coastal villages and forests. One of the things that I love about the coastal route is the variety of terrain and landscapes that you can enjoy each day.

Another reason pilgrims opt to walk the Camino Portuguese from Porto is that it feels like a complete Camino. For most people, it’s a manageable timeframe, with pilgrims being able to walk to Santiago de Compostela in around 14 days. And Porto is a great starting destination with good rail and bus services and its own international airport.

For pilgrims, there is a range of services available along the route. There are plenty of hostels and good value private accommodations, there are options to break longer stages and there are plenty of cafes and bars each day for breaks. Also, luggage transport services are available.

Gerry taking a break along the Coastal camino

Useful Apps, Books and Websites for the Portuguese Camino Coastal Route

Whilst it’s difficult to get lost on the Camino Portuguese, having a guidebook or an app to help you is not a bad thing. Of course, I hope that my stage guides will also be of use but if you’re like me you’ll like a few reference points. So here are some of the tools I use to ensure that I make the very most of my Camino.

A Pilgrim’s Guide to the Camino Portugués Lisbon – Porto – Santiago: including Camino Central, Variente Espiritual, Camino da Costa, & Senda Litoral

John Brierley is seen as the expert on the Camino de Santiago; he has a comprehensive guide of the Portuguese Camino Coastal Route from Lisbon and Porto

John Brierley is perhaps the most well-known author of Camino Guide Books. This guide is updated frequently and includes information about all the variations of this trail. If you only ever buy one guidebook, this would probably be a good choice.

The Camino Portugués – Kat Davis and Cicerone Press

I loved reading Kat Davis's blog about her journey to Santiago from Lisbon.  Her guide covers the coastal route from Porto too

I loved following Kat Davis and her hiking adventures and I was so sad to hear of her passing but her knowledge of the Camino Portuguese lives on through this book (and her blogs). This is a detailed account of the walk from Lisbon but does cover the Coastal variant with maps in information. And as it has a Kindle edition it’s a good addition to your guidebook armoury.

Camino Portugués Coastal and Seaside Route Guidebook: Part 2: Porto to Santiago Coastal Route

Johnny Walker is well known in Camino circles and his Camino portuguese guide, whilst older, still has great maps and route information

This book by Johnny Walker is a little old now but I have this on my Kindle and find it a good reference. Whilst the accommodation and services may change the maps and references remain.

The Camino Portugués – A Wise Pilgrim

The Wise Pilgrim Camino Portuguese guide.  I use this book and the app and find both excellent value for the Camino Portuguese

I’m a fan of Wise Pilgrim. I love their app and I also buy the guidebooks. As with the Brierly Guides Wise Pilgrim is regularly assessed and updated and I reference the app every day when I’m walking.

The Portuguese Pilgrim Association

The Via Lusitana is a very active pilgrim community and they are always very happy to help pilgrims walking the Camino Portuguese. Their website lists municipal and local pilgrim hostels, along with contact information. They are also available to help pilgrims if they need urgent assistance.

Camino de Santiago Forum

Ivar’s Camino de Santiago forum is perhaps one of the busiest, international forums for the Camino de Santiago. There is an active community of very knowledgeable pilgrims who can help with your planning and answer questions,

When is the Best Time To Walk the Portuguese Camino Coastal Route?

I have walked in Portugal in April and May and from September through to December. I’ve walked twice in November and the first time the weather was chilly but dry however, the second time it rained every day, but having said this I would still walk again in November. Another issue of walking in winter is that some accommodations and services may be closed and this can mean longer days and no breakfast!

Most folks agree that the best time to walk the Camino Portuguese Coastal Route is from April to October, but I would add a caveat that during the summer months in July and August, pilgrims are competing with tourists for accommodation and services and this would perhaps be considered peak season for both the Camino and the Seaside resorts.

My preferred time to walk is April into May (and early June) and September and October. I think during these periods there will be services and other pilgrims without the summer crowds (or heat).

A rainy day on the Camino Portuguese Coastal

How Much Does it Cost to Walk the Coastal Way?

I am often asked how much would it cost to walk the Camino, Portuguese or other routes, and the answer really is dependent on your needs, however as a guide :

  • Hostel accommodation in a bunk bed allow : 16€
  • Simple pilgrim breakfast allow : 5€
  • Simple lunch with a drink allow : 10€
  • Pilgrim dinner with drink allow : 17€
  • Luggage transfer daily allow : 8€
  • Private rooms allow at least : 60€

Walking the Camino de Santiago does not have to be expensive. Staying in pilgrim accommodation, eating simply and carrying your own pack will keep the costs down. If you stay in Albergue with a shared kitchen you can further reduce costs by preparing your own food. There are always ways to save money but equally, there will additional costs that you’ve not considered such as entrances to Cathedrals or Museums, and even your credential.

Equally, there are plenty of very really amazing accommodation choices and Parador hotels along the Coastal Route, and a plentiful supply of excellent restaurants where you can easily push your budget if you’re looking for a treat!

Iria Flavia Church close to Santiago de Compostela on the Camino Portuguese

What is the Accommodation Like on the Portuguese Coastal Camino?

For the most part, there are choices for every style and budget. I’ve walked with groups looking for comfort and their own space and I’ve taken groups looking for a more simple pilgrimage experience. Both groups are well served on the Camino Portuguese.

The first time that I walked the Coastal Route was in early November, the weather was cool and dry and we stayed in pilgrim albergues for the entire Camino. When I walked with Gerry in 2021, he wanted simple private rooms and we managed this every day. My group in April 2023 wanted comfortable rooms in comfortable hotels; again no problem.

In short, there are options to suit all budgets and preferred styles.

Like the Camino Frances, there are options along the way to make your day longer or shorter. At each stage there are accommodation choices for those pilgrims who prefer to walk 20 kilometres or less each day; I know that this is an important consideration for many walkers. My route is for 14 days but you can walk the Portuguese Camino Coastal route comfortably in 12 days and equally, you can take your time and walk it in 16 days or more!

What To Pack for the Coastal Camino

Your Camino Portuguese Coastal packing list would be pretty much the same as any packing list. The only addition I would add is that you will be walking on the beach and you may wish to pack a swimming costume and perhaps a pair of sandals that will be happy on the sand.

Modern Buildings along the Camino  Portuguese in Portugal

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Difference between the Portuguese Camino Coastal Route and the Central Route?

The biggest difference is the sea and the coast. Inland you walk through beautiful rural Portuguese landscapes and it’s a wonderful walk but there is no coast. The central route is also a little shorter.

I enjoyed my Central Camino, even though it rained every day; I will walk this route again. I didn’t love the first day out of Porto. Many pilgrims choose to avoid this stage and opt to walk to Vila do Conde on the Coastal Route and then cut across. It is a good choice; although the next time I walk this route I will walk the Central Way out of Porto. (but I have the advantage of being able to walk often).

Can you Combine the Portuguese Coastal Route and the Central Route?

Yes. Many people choose to walk from Porto along the estuary and the coast to Vila do Conde. From here you can follow the river to São Pedro de Rates. This route is well marked.

If you wish to walk further on the coast you can follow the coastal route to Caminha and then go inland to Valenca on the Portuguese border. From there you walk across a bridge to Spain and Tui on the Central route.

I’ve also walked the coast to Ancora and taken the train and bus back to Pont de Lima on the Central route, It means backtracking for a few stages but I love Pont de Lima and it was easy using public transport and allowed us to enjoy both Portuguese routes.

How Difficult is the Portuguese Camino Coastal Route?

The Coastal route has little elevation. That’s not to say there are no hills (there are a few) but in comparison to other routes, it is less strenuous.

A few years ago I planned a short Camino for a couple using a wheelchair. Whilst not an easy option, the elevations on the Portuguese Coastal did make this a potential option.

The terrain underfoot is also good, although many pilgrims say they didn’t like the cobbled tiles that Portugal is famous for.

Sunset at Perafita on the Portuguese Camino Coastal

How long does it take to walk the Camino Portuguese Coastal Route?

It is possible to walk this route in ten days, although it is more usual to walk in twelve days. I have walked in eleven and twelve but I do feel that for most people, allowing an extra day is more comfortable. And having more time each day in your destination leaves you more time to explore.

The main factor is how long you have and how comfortable you are walking longer stages. If time is short, another option is to start closer to Santiago de Compostela rather than rush your Camino.

How long is the Camino Portuguese Coastal?

The official figure suggests 280 kilometres or 173 miles. I have seen a few variations in these figures and have walked a little further myself but feel that if you stick solely to the Coastal Camino without any variant then this figure should be accurate.

How many people walk the Camino Portuguese Coastal Route?

In 2019, the last ‘normal’ year before COVID, almost 23,000 people walked the Coastal route to claim their Compostela.

This figure can only reflect the numbers who arrive in Santiago and who collect their Compostela as there is no other method of recording pilgrims. It is thought the numbers could be at least 10% higher than this.

Numbers were lower in 2020 – 2022 but 2023 does look to be a much busier year and as the Coastal Camino gains in popularity, I anticipate those numbers to rise.

If you have walked the Camino Frances, the route will feel less busy but we have never felt alone or lonely whilst walking this route. Even arriving in Santiago in December, there were other pilgrims in the albergue in Padron.

Camino marker en route to Santiago de Compostela

Is Luggage Transfer Services on the Coastal Route?

Yes. Tuitrans and Caminofacil operate along the Portuguese routes. Once in Spain, Correos, the Spanish Post Office also offers a backpack collection service. I’ve used Caminofacil and Correos several times and have always been very happy.

What is it like Doing the Portuguese Camino Coastal Route in Reverse?

I have never walked either of the Portuguese Camino in reverse but I have met a few pilgrims who have.

One lady had walked the Central Route, reached Santiago and turned around and walked the Coastal Route in reverse. She said it was straightforward because she just kept the sea to her side and she never lost her way!

What is the Most Scenic Section of the Portuguese Camino?

Gosh. That’s impossible to answer. I have loved walking along the coast and the sunsets are wow! But I also loved staying in Arcade and following the Roman path through the ancient forests in autumn.

I like that there is a variety, each day bringing something new. There is something for everyone on this trail.

Which is the Best; the Camino Frances or the Camino Portuguese?

Neither. They are both so different. During my Camino Planning Workshop, I do an exercise and it’s one that I recommend for all would-be pilgrims.

Close your eyes and imagine yourself walking the Camino. Imagine yourself taking your first steps, walking each day. How does it feel? What do you see? Are you walking in mountains? In the city or the countryside? Do you see the coast?

Do this exercise and let your imagination tell you what you feel your Camino looks like. Once you have determined how it looks you can decide which Camino is best for you. Whichever choice you make you will not be disappointed.

Why is it Bom Caminho and not Buen Camino?

The Spanish say Buen Camino but in Portugal they say Bom Caminho!

Sign on the Camino Portuguese; Bom Caminho

History of the Portuguese Camino Coastal Route

Perhaps of all the Camino routes, Padron, Ira Flavia and the Camino Portuguese are most closely associated with St James. It was after all, in Padron and Iral Flavia on the Portuguese Camino that James the Apostle preached and lived.

Whilst the history of the Central route is well documented, there is less written about the Caminho Português da Costa. However, this doesn’t mean that the coastal way doesn’t have a strong medieval history or strong links with medieval pilgrimage.

In the Middle Ages, pilgrims walking to Santiago through Portugal would often arrive by boat, at one of the seaports along the coast. Lisbon or Porto were the most popular ports of the time but other areas also had strong pilgrim connections. There are clear traces of pilgrimage along the coastal route, with small pilgrim hospitals and refuges, and monasteries, such as the ancient Monastery of Santa María de Oia. which would have certainly welcomed pilgrims on their journey to Santiago.

With the resurgence of the modern Camino at the end of the 20th century, and with more and more pilgrims choosing to start their Camino in Portugal, the coastal route became a regular choice. Local councils, aware of the lack of adequate signage, came together to create the Portuguese Camino Coastal Route and in 2016, the route was officially recognised by the Cathedral in Santiago as an historical route and pilgrims walking this path would be able to obtain their Compostela.

The coastal area councils of Porto, Matosinhos, Vila do Conde, Póvoa de Varzim, Esposende, Viana do Castelo and Caminha now working together to protect the Coastal Camino and its history, and to gain official recognition as a European Cultural pilgrimage to Santiago and as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Camino Portuguese Coastal route down travel inland through forests and crossing rivers

The Last Word : Portuguese Camino Coastal Route

The Camino Portuguese was never my first choice for a Camino pilgrimage. But, I had a friend who wanted to walk a Camino, she had 2 weeks and we could only walk in November. So we decided on the Camino Portuguese.

The Portuguese Camino Coastal Route is a glorious trail. The coast of Northern Portugal is stunning. There are times when you just can’t take your eyes away from the sea and the light and the views. And I love that you can alternate your path, some days along the shoreline and others in rural splendour.

At the end of your walk, you are rewarded with your arrival at the Cathedral de Santiago and if you have walked the last 100 kilometres from Vigo you can also claim your Compostela.

Walking the Camino Portuguese is a life-changing experience. It offers pilgrims the chance to connect with nature and immerse themselves in the history and traditions of both Portugal and Spain. It’s a beautiful walk. You won’t be disappointed with your choice.

Camino  Portuguese Coastal Route leaving Porto along the River Douro

Don’t Forget Travel Insurance

Whenever you travel, you should have a great travel and medical insurance policy.  None of us expect anything bad to happen, but in the event of an incident, you want to be sure that your insurance will be there for you.

I’ve ended up in hospital in Peru, Indonesia, Portugal, Japan and Ireland! Every time my insurance took care of everything. I would never leave home without full and comprehensive insurance.

TrueTraveller : We have this policy and we are very happy with the cover, especially considering our ages and pre-existing conditions.

Globelink : We have used and recommended Globelink for years and we’ve not heard of any issues. They are a great choice for European and UK Residents.

Safety Wing : Many of my travelling buddies from the USA have recommended this company to me, although we’ve not used them personally.

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Colleen in Salamanca on the Via de la Plata

Hey I’m Colleen. I’m married to Gerry, we’ve three fabulous kids and been living in France for almost two decades. I fell in love with Spain in the 1980s and I’ve walked 1000s of miles along the Camino de Santiago. Now we’re exploring and walking the world and I can’t wait to share what we’ve learned!

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