Comfort Camino from Porto to Santiago de Compostela

29 September 2020 – 13 October 2020

1085€ *** single room supplement 348€ ***

The Camino Portuguese starts in Lisbon following the Atlantic coast of Portugal and Spain to Santiago de Compostela; although most modern-day pilgrims choose to start at either Porto or Tui.

There are many pilgrim paths that lead to Santiago but perhaps none more significant than the Portuguese. This is the path that is most connected with the life and ministry of James. It was along this route that he first preached and later, where his body made its final journey.

Our adventure will start in Porto and we’ll follow the Senda Litteral out of the city and along the coast for two days before moving forward to the Central Camino at Ponte de Lima.  We’ll walk across the border from Portugal to Spain and at Pontevedra we’ll divert to the beautiful Variente Espiritual.  We’ll re-join the camino at Padron and walk along this ancient path into Santiago de Compostela; a journey of almost 250 kilometres.

Over the years I’ve met and talked with many people who would love to make a pilgrimage to Santiago but, for a number of reasons, would prefer to stay in private (ensuite) accommodation.  I designed this walk with this in mind.  Let’s call it a comfort camino.  All of your accommodation is pre-booked.  Your luggage will be transported for you and you will have the services of an experienced guide (me) on site, walking the route with you every day.  All you need to do is walk.

This 15 day trip includes :

  • 14 nights accommodation in comfortable hotels with private bedrooms & bathrooms
  • Luggage transfer for the duration of the journey
  • Breakfast each day
  • Transfers by private transport as shown in the itinerary
  • Ferry to Padron
  • Wine Tasting in Ponte de Lima
  • A small group of 8 pilgrims
  • An escorted pilgrimage with two guides, including myself, walking with the group
  • Pre-walk information and guidance
  • Pilgrim credentials

1085€ per person – based on two people sharing a room
* allow an additional 348€ for a single room

Day 1 – Meet in Porto

Overnight accommodation in Porto included

We’ll meet in Porto and check into our hotel.  We’ll have time to settle and explore the city before meeting again for dinner to celebrate the start our Camino Portuguese adventure.

Porto is a fabulous city and, if you have the time, it’s worth spending a day or two exploring.   If you wish to do this please let me know and we can adjust your accommodation choices.

Day 2 : Porto to Matosinhos (13.1 km)

breakfast, luggage transfer, on-site guide & overnight accommodation in Matosinhos included

We can afford to make a leisurely start to our camino; today we don’t need to leave with the lark.  After breakfast we’ll wander back to the magnificent cathedral in Porto.  This will be our starting point and we’ll get our credential stamped in the cathedral office before we leave.

We’ll follow the mighty Douro river out of the city, following its path as it turns from river to estuary and eventually meets the ocean at Foz do Douro.   We’ll have plenty of time to stop for a coffee before continuing to our destination of Matosinhos.

Day 3 : Matosinhos to Póvoa de Varzim (26.6 km)

breakfast, luggage transfer, on-site guide & overnight accommodation in Póvoa de Varzim included

We have a wonderful walk planned today, wandering along the boardwalks beside the Atlantic Ocean for most of the day.  The trail weaves gently along the coast, eventually leading us through the lovely old town of Vila de Condo and then onto the charming sea-side town of Póvoa de Varzim.

We have all day so we can stop for lunch and refreshments as required; our rooms are booked so  we can simply walk and enjoy the views.

Day 4 : Póvoa de Varzim to Ponte de Lima

breakfast, private transfer, on-site guide, wine tasting & overnight accommodation in Ponte de Lima included

There’s no camino walking for us today as we’ll be leaving the coastal path to journey inland and join the central camino. 

After a leisurely breakfast our private transport will take us from our hotel onwards to the historical town of Ponte de Lima.  We can leave our luggage at our hotel and we’ll have a few hours to explore Portugal’s oldest town.   After lunch you can join me for a wine tasting visit at one of the largest Vinho Verde wineries in the area.

Day 5 : Ponte de Lima to Rubiães (18.6 km)

breakfast, luggage transfer, on-site guide & overnight accommodation in Rubiães included

Today’s we’ll walk for the first time through rural Portugal, along country roads and forest trails.  We’ll climb Alto da Portela Grande de Labruja, one of the highest peaks on this path; but don’t worry it’s not too high and it’s a gentle walk. 

Our day ends near the small village of Rubiães where we have rooms booked in a beautiful rustic Quinta, typical of country houses in this area of Portugal. 

Day 6 : Rubiães to Valença do Minho  (18.4 km)

breakfast, luggage transfer, on-site guide & overnight accommodation in Valença do Minho included

Another gentle day through this beautiful region of northern Portugal.  We’ll wander through rural villages with a few opportunities to stop for refreshments before reaching our stage end of the magnificent fortified border town of Valença do Minho.

We’ll spend the night in a small boutique hotel in the old town and have plenty of time to wander the city walls and meander the narrow streets before bedtime. 

Day 7 : Valença do Minho to O Porriño (20.4 km)

breakfast, luggage transfer, on-site guide, taxi & overnight accommodation in Tui included

We’ll have breakfast in the old town before weaving our way through the narrow streets, following the arrows until we exit through the city walls and find ourselves at the Portuguese border.  We’ll walk out of Portugal and into Spain across the Minho river. 

Our first stop in Spain is Tui, an historically important border town, even before the Jacobean pilgrimage. This morning we’ll walk through Tui but we return later, so there will be time to visit the cathedral and the old town in the afternoon.

Our walk is gentle through typical Galician landscapes and woodland paths that follow the Rio Louro valley.  The stage ends in O Porriño but we’ll be returning (by taxi) to Tui where our rooms are booked in the old town.  

Day 8 : O Porriño to Arcade (23.4 km)

breakfast, luggage transfer, on-site guide, taxi & overnight accommodation in Arcade included

After breakfast our transport will return us to O Porriño and we’ll continue our journey.  It’s a pretty walk today although we do have a few climbs, but we are rewarded with far reaching views over the Vigo Estuary.  We can pause for coffee in the little town of Mos before continuing upwards. 

We’ll reach Redondella in time for lunch and a little sight-seeing before continuing on to the estuary town of Arcarde.  Arcade’s natural oyster banks make it one of the best places to eat shellfish in Galicia, which is best sampled with a glass of Rías Baixas, the local wine.

Day 9 : Arcade to Pontevedra (14.1 km)

breakfast, luggage transfer, on-site guide & overnight accommodation in Pontevedra included

We leave Arcade over the historic Ponte Sampaio bridge. During the War of Independence, Napoleon’s army suffered one of its’ greatest defeats at this bridge. We’ll start an uphill stretch, climbing the ancient stone paths of the Verea Vella da Canicouva before descending to the provincial capital of Pontevedra.

The old town of Pontevedra is considered the second most important old town in Galicia after Compostela. We’ll have time to check into our hotel before we explore the churches and streets and the many small and lively squares, where locals and pilgrims alike meet.

Day 10 : Pontevedra to Combarro (19.8 km)

breakfast, luggage transfer, on-site guide & overnight accommodation in Combarro included

Today we divert away from the traditional camino to follow the beautiful Spiritual Variant; officially recognised by the cathedral of Santiago as an alternative route.

The trail is said to follow the same journey as the Apostle’s body when it was brought back to the peninsula from Palestine.  The variant passes through the monasteries of Poio and Armenteira before turning to Vilanova de Arousa on the coast.  It re-joins the traditional camino at Padron; reached by a ferry that sails through the Ría de Arousa.  This variant is said to be one of the most beautiful sections of the entire camino.

After visiting the Monastery of Poio we’ll end our day in the beautiful coastal town of Combarro; considered one of Spain’s most beautiful villages.  We’ll have time to explore the town and perhaps even paddle on one of its sandy beaches.

Day 11 : Combarro – Armenteira (12.7 km)

breakfast, luggage transfer, on-site guide & overnight accommodation in the Mosteiro de Armenteira included

What we lack in kilometres today we make up for in elevation; there is a hill, part of which is quite steep.  However, we have plenty of time and we can take it slowly; and we’ll want to savour the amazing coastal views as we climb higher.

We’re walking to the ancient Mosteiro de Santa María da Armenteira, a building steeped in history since 1162, and one that has a hospedaria where we will spend our evening; consider this your very own quiet rural enclave in the Galician hills. 

The Hospedaria is neither a hotel or an albergue; it offers us a glimpse into the life of this order and a chance to pause and reflect on our journey.  Of all the caminos I have walked, some of my most treasured memories have been at locations such as this. 

Day 12 : Armenteira to Vilanova de Arousa (24.5 km)

breakfast, luggage transfer, on-site guide & overnight accommodation in Vilanova de Arousa included

After our evening retreat at Armenteira we have yet another fabulous day in store.  The camino sends us back to the coast by way of the “Ruta de la Piedra y del Agua” (Route of Water and Stone) often called the most beautiful part of all this way.

As we approach Vilanova de Arousa, we are afforded more wonderful views of the coast and we end our day just a stone’s throw from the sea. 

Day 13 : Vilanova de Arousa to A Escravitude (5.4 km)

breakfast, luggage transfer, on-site guide, ferry & overnight accommodation in A Escravitude included

A unique feature of the variante is the ferry to Padrón, where it is said the Apostle’s remains arrived 2000 years ago; the route is the world’s only fluvial Way of the Cross.  At Padrón we’ll have time to explore the town and perhaps have time to enjoy a plate of the famous Padrón peppers.

Day 14 : A Escravitude to Santiago de Compostela (23.8 km)

breakfast, luggage transfer, on-site guide & overnight accommodation in Santiago de Compostela included

Today we set off on our final walk into Santiago.  We’ll meander through a few small towns and villages on quiet country roads and trails across fabulous Galician countryside.   The walk into the city leads at first through modern suburbs until finally we reach the old town with its ancient streets, following in the footsteps of millions of pilgrims before us.  Onwards and onwards, looking up at those most famous spires; arriving at the Cathedral de Santiago is always a very special moment. 

Once we’ve savoured our achievements, greeted the pilgrims we met along the way and taken a few obligatory photos, we’ll visit the cathedral and the tomb of the apostle.  Later we can visit the pilgrim’s office and collect our Compostela.  We’ll have time to explore this most ancient city before meeting for dinner and toasting the end of our incredibly beautiful journey.

Day 15 : Santiago de Compostela

breakfast included

If you wish you can spend an extra day in Santiago.  You can take your time visiting her buildings and parks and plazas.  The entire old town was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985 and there is plenty to see and do. 

Our Camino ends after breakfast but this doesn’t mean that your trip should end; let me know if you’d like to extend your stay… we might even enjoy one last café con leche together with a slice of tarte de Santiago.

Buen Camino Pilgrims.


IMPORTANT INFORMATION

Long distance trail walking is a physically active sport. You should seek advice from your doctor before embarking on this kind of adventure.  Those walking with me will receive a comprehensive training plan to help ensure that you’re ready for your Camino. If you are in good health and you train well then this walk is a must!

You should have full and adequate travel and health insurance before you start.

I am not a holiday company.  I am a pilgrim helping other pilgrims.  When you book with me you are accepting that you do so at your own risk and that it is your responsibility to ensure that you are fit and able to participate.  I reserve beds along the route on your behalf; whilst some of these beds can be cancelled not all can; therefore I cannot guarantee any refunds.

Our group will be 8 people (with 2 guides), including myself.  Whilst we start and end our days as a group, pilgrims walk at their own pace and you should walk at a speed that is comfortable for you. 

The cost includes private accommodation in comfortable hotels with private bathrooms.  When meals are included it is shown in the description.  You should allow for additional food and drink as required throughout the day.

We have arranged for one peice of luggage to be transported each day; you will not need to carry a rucksack.

Transfers to and from the start and end points of the walk are not included but I can offer advice and assistance with your travel planning. Transfer as shown in the description are included.

Contact me if you’re interested in walking this route…