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Camino Portugues: Coastal Way

Overview

The Coastal Way (Caminho da Costa) is a quieter but equally impressive alternative route to the traditional central way of the Portuguese Camino. Starting from beautiful Porto, you will follow the rugged Atlantic coastline and the sandy beaches of Northern Portugal and Galicia, taste delicious seafood and wine, and stay in tiny fishing villages.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Porto

Arrive in Porto and make sure you have set aside time to explore this beautiful city (extra nights can be booked on request). A member of our team will meet you at the hotel to welcome you and provide a detailed briefing and all the documentation you will need.

Day 2: Matosinhos – Vila do Conde

In the early morning, you will have a short car transfer to Matosinhos to avoid the urban sprawl of Porto and begin your first walking stage of the Coastal Camino de Santiago. Wooden boardwalks and pavements will lead you along the coastline via a series of wide sandy beaches, nature reserves and fishing villages to the historical coastal town of Vila do Conde.

  • Walking for the day: 21 km, 4-5 hours
  • Accommodation: Hotel Brazão or similar

Day 3: Vila do Conde – Esposende

Cross the residential areas that connect Vila do Conde with the seaside resort town of Povoa de Varzim. Spend a significant portion of the day walking alongside the coast between flower meadows and sand dunes and across beaches, then head inland towards Esposende via market gardens, forests and villages and over a bridge across the wide Cávado estuary.

  • Walking for the day: 25 km, 5-6 hours
  • Accommodation: Hotel Suave Mar or similar

Day 4: Esposende – Viana do Castelo

After leaving the coast behind, you’ll pass through various villages and some delightful sections of woodland and rivers. Arriving at the mouth of the Neiva River, head inland briefly before returning to the coast and then walking along a forest path to the small port of Cabedelo. The Eiffel bridge into Viana do Castelo, famous for its architecture, offers magnificent views over the Lima estuary and the distant mountain ranges.

  • Walking for the day: 24 km, 5-6 hours
  • Accommodation: Hotel Laranjeira or similar

Day 5: Viana do Castelo – Vila Praia de Âncora

Today’s journey is mainly inland, with occasional coastal views from a string of hillside villages. Before leaving Viana do Castelo, take time to climb the funicular to the eucalyptus-clad hill of Monte de Santa Luzia or visit the neo-Byzantine Temple to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for panoramic views. Heading out of the city, cross many beaches via wooden footbridges over the dunes and walk along sea promenades. Enjoy the shade of the eucalyptus forest as you make your way uphill before descending to the secluded beachside resort town of Vila Praia de Âncora.

  • Walking for the day: 19 km, 4-5 hours
  • Accommodation: Hotel Meira or similar

Day 6: Vila Praia de Âncora – A Guarda

A nice coastal path connects Âncora with Moleda and then continues to the charming town of Caminha. If there’s time, take a detour through the pine forest beside the beach before catching the ferry across the River Minho to the peaceful fishing town of A Guarda in Spain, a great place to taste some fresh seafood.

Day 7: A Guarda – Oia

Try to set aside some time for a detour to the Santa Tegra Celtic settlement before leaving A Guarda – the views are spectacular. Follow the Camino through the town centre and out towards the rugged coastline. Use coastal paths, forest tracks and tarmac roads to reach the small beachfront village of Oia, dominated by its 12th century monastery. Enjoy some grilled fish and a glass of Vinho Verde as you take in the sea views.

  • Walking for the day: 14 km, 3-4 hours
  • Accommodation: Casa Puertas or similar

Day 8: Oia – Baiona

Walk across fields and among scattered houses at the foot of impressive cliffs until reaching the Lighthouse of Cabo Silleiro, then cut across the mountains. A final descent through the countryside brings you into the medieval centre of Baiona, passing by two ancient churches. Baiona was the first port in Europe to receive the news of the discovery of America.

Day 9: Baiona – Vigo

Once you leave the residential areas around Baiona, the terrain becomes even more rural with villages and patches of woodland. There is a brief section along a busy road after which you’ll be back among villages on the approach to Vigo. The Camino takes you through Castrelos Park to avoid walking through the city.

Day 10: Vigo – Arcade

Walk along Vigo’s main shopping street and out of the city onto a long road that connects a string of peaceful hillside villages with views across the city, estuary and port. Around halfway into the journey you’ll exchange houses for trees before the steep descent towards Redondela. Climb through the woods before heading down to Arcade, a riverside town famous for its oysters. Here the routes of the Traditional (Central) Way and the Coastal Way of Camino Portugues merge.

  • Walking for the day: 22 km, 5-6 hours
  • Accommodation: Hotel Duarte or similar

Day 11: Arcade – Pontevedra

This stage is one of the shortest and most beautiful of the Camino Portugues. Climb the ancient stone paths of the Verea Vella da Canicouva and explore the 13th century church. When you arrive at Pontevedra, don’t miss the historical city centre and its numerous tapas bars.

  • Walking for the day: 12 km, 3-4 hours
  • Accommodation: Hotel Avenida or similar

Day 12: Pontevedra – Caldas de Reis

Leave Pontevedra through pleasant countryside. This stage to Caldas de Reis is fairly long but not demanding and you will have the opportunity to rest your tired feet in Caldas de Reis’ thermal springs.

  • Walking for the day: 22 km, 5-6 hours
  • Accommodation: Balneario Acuna or similar

Day 13: Caldas de Reis – Padrón

Today’s route leaves Caldas de Reis and takes you on a soft climb to the charming woodlands of Valga. You’ll see many churches and stone crosses on the way to Padrón and take in the Bermana and Valga river valleys. Padrón is the place where St James remains were brought to following his martyrdom in Jerusalem.

Day 14: Padrón – Santiago de Compostela

Your final stage! You will walk mostly through rural settings but there are still pleasant sections through oak, pine and eucalyptus woodland. Enter the ancient city of Santiago de Compostela and relish the end of your journey at the Cathedral.

Day 15: Departure

Arrange extra nights in Santiago or enjoy breakfast then make your way to Santiago Airport. If you have time, explore the old city of Santiago de Compostela before you leave.

Hotels

Accommodation is mainly on a bed and breakfast basis using nice, mainly 3-star hotels. All of them have private en-suite rooms and offer a warm welcome to walkers, traditional hospitality and delicious local food. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour. Please note that many rooms with en-suite/private facilities have a shower rather than a bath, usually because of limited space.

Sample hotels* : Hotel Moov Porto Centro, Hotel Brazão, Hotel Suave Mar, Hotel Laranjeira, Hotel Meira, Hotel Villa da Guarda, Casa Puertas, Hotel Tres Carabelas, Hotel Tryp Los Galeones, Hotel Duarte, Hotel Avenida, Balneario Acuna, Casa Antiga do Monte, Hotel Lux Santiago

*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal or higher value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Breakfast is included (usually buffet breakfast / coffee and toast/bread/croissant). When no restaurant location is available on route, lunches and snacks should either be bought from local shops, or packed lunch can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before.

Travel

You are best to fly in and out of Porto. On the return you can also fly out of Santiago de Compostela.

Please note that flight information can change rapidly, and not all flights run daily. Please do check directly with the airlines’ websites or Skyscanner before finalising any booking with us. Please do not book your flights before we have confirmed your booking.

Transfers to/from Airports

Check public transfer options

Private Transfers

Airport transfers by public transport are recommended for this trip, however private transfers can be arranged at an additional cost, including a transfer back to Porto after you finish your holiday.

Baggage Transfers

All hotel to hotel luggage transfers on walking days are included (maximum one piece of 15 kg per person). When arriving at hotels, sometimes your luggage will have been taken to your room awaiting your arrival. However don’t be surprised if in some places your luggage is waiting for you at the reception desk. Please politely ask someone from the staff if you need assistance to bring it to your room.

Country Info

Up-to-date travel advice on Portugal is available here. Up-to-date travel advice on Spain is available here.

Trip Info

Difficulty Grade: Moderate

This walk is graded moderate and includes daily walks of 12-25 km (19 km per day on average); the terrain is mostly flat (read more about difficulty grades). You will follow a mixture of coastal paths, wooden walkways, dirt tracks and some busier roads close to the bigger towns and cities.

Route Navigation

The routes are not as well-marked as the Central Way, but we will provide detailed road notes and maps. We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. You can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.

When to Go

This trip is available from mid March till early November. Best months to visit are April – June and September – October as in summer months it may become too hot. The flexibility of self-guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates and you can start your trip on any date during the season.

Compostela/Pilgrims Passport

You can obtain one at the start of your walk in the pilgrim’s office or the local church in town. You need to get the passport stamped in churches, restaurants or hotels along the way. At the end of the walk in Santiago de Compostela, you can obtain your Compostela Certificate (only if you have walked the last 100 km finishing in Santiago).

Important: Due to the large influx of pilgrims during summer, and to avoid long waiting times, the Pilgrim Office in Santiago has installed a numbered ticket system for issuing pilgrim certificates (the Compostela). This new system allows pilgrims to collect their ticket and, using a QR Code, to check the status of the queue and estimated waiting time to obtain the Compostela. However, the number of tickets per day is limited so on days with high numbers of pilgrims arriving, there is a possibility that not all pilgrims will be able to collect their certificate on the day of arrival and will have to return for it on the following morning.

Therefore, if obtaining a pilgrim certificate is important to you, and if you plan to undertake the Camino between April 15th and October 15th, we recommend that you arrange the return travel in such a way that you will be in Santiago de Compostela during the morning after your arrival. Better still, we encourage you to book a second night in Santiago so that you can collect the certificate without rush and enjoy the charms of the city!

What to Bring

We recommend that you travel as light as possible – airlines might charge you an extra fee, and during ground transfers, the place might be limited. Ideally, you should bring one piece of luggage weighing not more than 15 kg (to be checked in) and a daily pack (15 – 20 l rucksack) for your everyday essentials (snacks, drinking water, camera, etc.). Below is a non-exclusive list of what you should bring to this trip. More detailed info will be included in your holiday information pack. If you need further advice, please contact a reputable outdoor retailer or us.

  • Good hiking boots
  • Hiking socks
  • Several t-shirts (preferably breathable/fast drying)
  • Packable waterproof and windproof jacket with hood
  • Synthetic mid layer or warm fleece
  • Trainers and/or sandals – to relax and wear inside accommodation
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip salve
  • Hat/Baseball cap
  • Personal First Aid kit (wet wipes, flu remedies, stomach remedies)

Included

  • Arrival meeting with a member of our team
  • 14 nights in hotels in private en-suite rooms (mostly 3-star)
  • 14 breakfasts
  • Pilgrim Kit: Credencial (passport) and Vieira (shell)
  • Roadbook explaining the highlights of the Camino de Santiago
  • Detailed journey documentation and practical information
  • Short car transfer on Day 2 to the start of the walk to avoid the urban maze of Porto
  • Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel on all walking days (up to 15 kg per person)
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office / representative

Single Room & Solo Traveller Supplements

  • Single room supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; as costs are not shared, there is a solo traveller supplement to the standard price.

To see the price of the holiday for your desired dates, including the cost of different options and supplements, please click the CHECK AVAILABILITY button above.

Other Trip-Related Costs

  • Entrance fees for attractions and museums

Excluded

  • Flights and airport transfers
  • Travel insurance
  • Lunches and dinners
  • Personal expenses such as snacks, drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
  • Any items not specifically mentioned as ‘included’ in the programme

Extensions and Optional Extras

  • Extra nights along the trail bookable upon request
  • Airport transfers

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Camino Portugues: Coastal Way
Average rating:  
 1 reviews
by Rob L on Camino Portugues: Coastal Way

We had a fabulous holiday overall and would definitely consider using you again in the future. Please pass on our thanks to everyone in London/Portugal/Spain involved in the arrangements.

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