For a thousand year, millions of people have walked the Camino de Santiago routes, a network of trails found all over Europe. One of these routes is the Portuguese Camino de Santiago.
Here are ten things you need to know about the Portuguese Camino de Santiago before starting your Camino.
1. The Camino de Santiago is a pilgrimage to the resting place of St James in Santiago de Compostela. Yet, St James had links to Padron on the Portuguese Camino before his death. He was known to preach at “Santiaguino del Monte,” also known as San Gregorio’s mount, just outside of Padron during his time on the Iberian Peninsula. You can visit this spot when walking the Portuguese Camino de Santiago.
2. Following St James’ execution in Judea, his body was believed to have been brought back to the Iberian Peninsula by boat.The boat landed on the northwestern coast of Spain. His remains were carried up the Ulla River to Padron (although it was then called Iria Faliva) on the way to his alleged burial on the spot where Santiago Cathedral now stands.
3. The Portuguese Camino de Santiago officially begins in Lisbon and ends in Santiago. The original route followed ancient roads that were established in Roman times. Many pilgrims choose to begin their Camino in the beautiful cities of Porto, Valenca, or Tui.
4. The Portuguese Camino de Santiago is the second most popular Camino route and considered to be an easier alternative to the Camino routes that traverse the mountain ranges of Spain and France.
5. There are three main Portuguese Camino de Santiago routes. These are the Central route, the Coastal route, and the Variante Espiritual route.
6. The Portuguese Camino de Santiago was firmly established when King Alfonso I made his pilgrimage from Lisbon in the 13th century. Queen Isobella followed in his footsteps in the 14th century, further increasing the Portuguese Camino de Santiago´s popularity during medieval times.
7. The Portuguese Camino de Santiago is a tale of two countries which gives every pilgrim the opportunity to experience both the Portuguese and Spanish culture and cuisine. In Portugal, The Camino is known as Caminho de Santiago.
8. The Portuguese Camino de Santiago can be walked all year round. Northern Portugal and Galicia experience less extreme weather than the inland parts of Spain and temperatures rarely drop below 10 degrees during the winter months. The Coastal Camino is perfect to walk during the summer months because of the Atlantic breeze.
9. Even in peak season, the Portuguese Camino de Santiago is less crowded than the traditional way. Perfect for the pilgrim looking for a quieter pilgrimage.
10. Many pilgrims decide to start their Portuguese Camino de Santiago in Lisbon to visit the shrine of The Lady of Fatima.
f you plan to walk the Camino de Santiago, check out my book, A Wild Woman’s Guide To The Camino de Santiago. I share everything you need to know before you begin your Camino. Read at A Wild Woman’s Guide To The Camino De Santiago or click the link below.
(c) Samantha Wilson 2019. All Rights Reserved.