The Portuguese Coastal Route is becoming more and more popular as an alternative to the Central Route, especially in the summer months and it’s easy to understand why.
Officially beginning in the beautiful city of Porto, the route hugs the Atlantic Ocean which tempers the summer heat with a cool breeze. Think clear, blue skies, small villages that feel like you´re stepping back in time against a backdrop of wild, white-sand beaches for over 100kms of this route.
Yet, walking the Portuguese Coastal Camino de Santiago route doesn’t mean you’ll have to sacrifice the cultural aspect of walking the Camino de Santiago. If you decide to walk the Coastal Route from Porto to Santiago, heading inland at Caminha, you’ll experience these seven jewels of the Portuguese Camino de Santiago among the many towns along the way.
The beautiful city of Porto is the perfect place to start your Portuguese Coastal Camino de Santiago. On the banks of Rio Douro, Porto is well-known for its historical and cultural background. Visit the Clerigos Tower for stunning 360-degree views over the city, enjoy lunch on the Ribeiro by the Rio Douro or take a walk across the Ponte Dom Luis bridge to visit Vila Nova de Gaia and the historical Port Caves.
Don´t forget to visit the Cathedral to purchase your Pilgrim Passport and receive your first Camino de Santiago stamp.
Check out our post 24 hours in Porto on the Portuguese Camino de Santiago.
Viana Do Castelo, Portugal
Viana Do Castelo is the next major city on the Portuguese Coastal Camino de Santiago. On the banks of the Rio Limia with a compact historical centre boasting an impressive square – the Plaza de Republica – Viana has a little of everything including the regal Santuario Santa Luzia which overlooks the city. Cafes, restaurants and bars line peaceful plazas, and there are many narrow shopping lanes to explore. Viana also has a beach a small walk from the centre.
Caminha is one of my favourite places – not just on the Camino – but in Northern Portugal in general. Caminha has a little of everything; white, sandy beaches, a quaint medieval town surrounded by a backdrop of lush, green hills, not forgetting the Minho Estuary that begins at Caminha.
Valenca do Minho takes its name from the Rio Minho that runs through this natural and lush region of Northern Portugal. A border town, Valenca lies on the banks of the Rio Minho opposite Tui in Spain.
Valenca is one of the major starting points of the last 100km of the Portuguese Camino de Santiago, and will you give a little taste of Portugal before heading onwards to Santiago through Northwestern Spain.
Tui belongs to the Pontevedra region of Galicia, Spain and is the official starting point of the last 100kms of the Portuguese Camino de Santiago. Nestled on the banks of the Rio Minho, Tui is a border town, across the river from Valenca in Portugal.
Notwithstanding its small size, Tui is a Cathedral City, designated as an Historic-Artistic Area and has played a long role in Spanish history.
Pontevedra is the provincial capital of the Pontevedra region of Galicia, Spain. With strong links to the Camino de Santiago, Pontevedra is known for its beautiful historical centre which was declared of historic and artistic importance. The city is full of interesting places to visit and is famed for its lively shopping and nightlife.
Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Santiago de Compostela, the endpoint of every Camino and the prized destination for every Pilgrim
This is a beautiful city with a great history and culture to match. You can check out our post The History of Santiago de Compostela to learn how the city was founded and its growth until the current day.
There is so much to see and do in Santiago and many Pilgrims choose to spend an extra few days to soak up the atmosphere before saying goodbye to the Camino.
Check out our post 24 hours in Santiago de Compostela on the Portuguese Camino de Santiago
If you would like to walk the Portuguese Coastal Camino de Santiago, you will need a minimum of 11 days to walk from Porto to Santiago. Running short on time? You can walk the last 100km of the Portuguese Camino de Santiago in 5 days from Valenca/Tui to Santiago.
Need help arranging your Portuguese Camino de Santiago? Let us take care of the mundane leaving you to enjoy the magic on one of our Wild Camino Self-Guided Journeys. Click the link below for further information to start your Camino.
(c) Samantha Wilson 2019. All Rights Reserved.