Walking tour from Porto to Santiago de Compostela - Best of the Camino de Santiago
Type of Terrain: Rolling/mixed/mountain, with some roman stone pavement, macadam trails and ocean side views. Walking by the Camino, you'll experience forested areas in the central Minho and Galicia with small villages and pueblos, explore the portuguese coastline, medieval cities of Spain like Tui, Pontevedra up to Santiago de Compostela
Mountain stages: Labruja section after Ponte de Lima; mountainous area from to Baiona to Pontevedra. Most of the Way of St James is a constant up and down, a characteristic of crossing the Minho and Galicia.
Flat stages: First day, while walking from Porto to Praia da Memória.
Pick up from the airport and transfer to the Ipanema Park Hotel or riverside Pestana World Heritage hotel (included in the "premium" option), located in the Ribeira, the city’s iconic living postcard. You have a free afternoon to visit the beautiful and cozy city of Porto, rich with history and monuments like the Clérigos Tower and the D. Luis Bridge. The old quarters of Baixa with its local shops, restaurants and pastry shops, Ribeira a quarter by the river Douro, facing the wine cellars of the Port wine, full with the city’s traditions and historical connection to the wine and the wine country of the Douro. Shopping areas such as Santa Catarina and Aliados Avenue. Not to miss are the great restaurants around town with some of the tastiest food in the country.
After breakfast, transfer from your hotel to the Porto Cathedral from where you’ll begin your pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, Walking the Camino. In Sé Cathedral, you can enter and pick-up your pilgrim passport, that you can ask to be stamped in several hotels and restaurants as you go through the Camino. From Sé, you’ll start your adventure through the city, descending Sé Velha and Mouzinho da Silveira street, to Porto’s riverside, walking by the historical city center alongside the Douro river, until it meets the Atlantic Ocean. Reaching Matosinhos, we'll keep walking until Leça da Palmeira, following the yellow arrow’s by Portugal’s coastline, towards the north. We'll keep walking until we reach "Praia da Memória" obelisc, where we can stop for a coffee and get transfered to Ponte de Lima or, if you feel like it, you can keep walking by the portuguese coastline until you reach Mindelo beach, visiting the local roman ruins along the way and only then being transfered to Ponte de Lima, which has recently submitted its candidacy to UNESCO world heritage site due to its rich cultural, environmental and historic traditions. Enjoy the rest of your day in Ponte de Lima,staying for the night in Hotel Inlima or Carmo's Boutique Hotel ( included in the "premium" option).
After breakfast at the hotel, start your day walking north, crossing the Lima river by the iconic bridge that gives the name to "Ponte de Lima", and then keep walking by ancient roman pathways by the countryside, until you encounter the climb of the day, to the top of the Labruja sierra. Today, you'll mostly climb by the forested areas of the Sierra, walking by paved roads, roman pahtways and gravel trails until you rech the Cross of the french, where traditions says you should leave a pebble to mark your passing. The views over the Sierra and the pure quietness of this place are unforgetfull. Start descending until you reach Rubiães for a well deserved expresso and to be transfered to Valença do Minho,he last city in portuguese soil. Enjoy the rest of your afternoon discovering Valença's epic fortress over the Minho river or relaxing at your hotel, The historical city center is a good option to stop for lunch and visit. After Viana, keep riding north and inland, through the mountain range – some urban single tracks and ancient paved roads will follow, until you reach “Vila Praia de Âncora”, from where you’ll ride the Ecopista, by the shoreline, until you reach your hotel, “Portas do Sol”, just outside Caminha or Caminha "Design & Wine Hotel" (included in the "premium" option)
Hotel – Pousada de Valença (upgrade to superior room included in “premium” option)
After breakfast, you'll start your day walking by the steel bridge over the Minho river crossing into Spain! Tui is the first city you'll walk by, characterized by it's medieval city center. Fomr Tui, you'll start walking by lush trails and single tracks, that'll lead you from one small village to another in Galiza, where you'll be able to stop at several bars and cafes to taste the local mussles, tortilla or tapas along the way. Today you'll be walking until you reach O Porriño, where you'll be transfered to Vigo, a large city by the coastline, where you'll be able to see the "Ria de Vigo" and the Ciés islands, an archipelago at the coast of Galiza. You'll stay for the night at the Tryp Los Galeones hotel in Vigo.
Hotel – Tryp Los Galeones (upgrade to superior room included in “premium” option)
Your day will start with a steady climb toward’s the mountain range that overlooks the Ria de Vigo, where you'll find roughly 12km of macadam trails overlooking the Ria de Vigo, provifing a beautiful view of the Ciés, Vigo's mussles farms and Galiza area. Your trail will lead you downwards, towards Redondela, where the “central camino” and the “coastal camino” become one! In redondela, you'll be transfered to Pontevedra, but before we'll cross the Verdugo river over the romanic bridge of “Ponte Sampaio”. Once in Pontevedra, you'll check-in at the beautiful "Parador" hotel, right in the middle of it’s historical center. Take your time to explore Pontevedra’s center on a walk at nightime by the Galician plazas of Ourense and Ferraria, where you’ll find the city’s Basilica and Chapel.
Hotel – Parador de Pontevedra (upgrade to superior room included in “premium” option)
After breakfast you’ll continue your pilgrimage feeling you’re already getting close to Santiago. You’ll notice another change in the landscape since you’ll be abandoning the coast and returning to inland Galicia, with its lush green woods and forested areas. Roman pathways and trails connecting quaint medieval villages will lead you to an ancient thermal resort used by the spanish noblemen, "Caldas dels Reis". Reaching Caldas dels Reis, you'll be transfered to Padrón. Your hotel of the day is located in Padrón a village known for being the cradle of Galicia and for its Green Peppers, the Padrón Peppers. Take some time to visit the village, climb to the Santiaguiño do Monte lookout point, visit the botanical gardens or Toxa waterfall and taste the food, If you’re adventurous and it’s in season try the Lamprea. Check in at our Hotel Pazo de Lestrove or Os Lambráns.
After breakfast you’ll begin the last stage of your Way of St. James. This will be a test to your will and tenacity as the route starts going uphill almost from the start. You’ll go through small villages and churches with clear signs that the end of the Way is near. When you arrive and enter the historical center of Santiago, you'll reach the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, end point of your pilgrimage. Compostela is a millennial city with places and monuments that deserve a visit, such as its plazas in the central area of the old town, the narrow streets and traditional markets. Check-in at your hotel, Virxe de La cerca or the epic Parador de Santiago (included in the "premium" option), and then dedicate the rest of your afternoon to visit the pilgrims office and discover this medieval city's traditions, culture and heritage.
Breakfast at your hotel, followed by check-out. Get your Compostela from the local pilgrim's office and, at 12:00, you can participate in the daily Pilgrim's mass, where you may be able to witness the "Bota Fumeiro". At scheduled time, transfer from Santiago de Compostela back to Porto airport or hotel.
EXTENDED STAY IN PORTO OR SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA: On Demand
Extend your stay in Porto or Santiago de Compostela for an extra day before or after this trip.