Challenge yourself to a journey from pretty Porto to the historic Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela on an 11-day alternative coastal Camino trail. This Portuguese Camino trail passes through coastal Baiona, Vigo and Redondela, and joins the pilgrim route onwards to Pontevedra, Caldas de Reis, Padron, and finishing in Santiago de Compostela. You'll embark on a journey through the countryside in mostly north-western Spain, retracing the 'Way of Saint James', trekking past the Bay of Vigo, visiting old churches and quaint villages. As one of the three most important Christian pilgrimages, you'll take part in a powerful journey through some idyllic landscapes and via some beautiful towns.
Day 1: Porto
Welcome to Porto! You’ll have an important welcome meeting at 6 pm, so feel free to arrive any time before then. As this trip spends very little time in Porto, we recommend you spend arrive a day or two before your trip if you want to experience all the city has to offer. Stretching along the banks of the River Douro, Porto is one of Portugal's most romantic cities, known for majestic bridges, medieval riverside district with its cobbled streets, merchants’ houses and cafes. After your important meeting, get your group together and head riverside to find a delicious dinner.
Day 2: Baiona
This morning, transfer to Oia and begin your Camino. This walk you will be undertaking makes up the final section of the Portuguese Coastal Walk, and as a matter of fact, your walking will be taking place in north-western Spain, around 20 kilometres from the Portuguese border. Oia is a small coastal town and marks the beginning of your walk. Take the 19-kilometre journey to seaside Baiona. Once arrived, you can stroll along the port, visit the impressive Monte Real fortress and taste the best of the Rias Biaxas seafood and white wine, before you start your journey to Santiago de Compostela tomorrow.Total walking distance: 19 km
Day 3: Vigo
This morning, hug the coastline from Baiona to Nigran, on your way to the city of Vigo. With your trail along the water, pass by beautiful seascapes of the magnificent Bay of Vigo, with the acclaimed Illas Cies natural park on the horizon. These rugged islands form a main focal point of the bay. If you do happen to be walking on a hot day, why not cool off with a swim at Praia America beach in Nigran. Arrive in Vigo in the late afternoon, ready for a leisure day tomorrow.Total walking distance: 26 km (approximately)
Day 4: Vigo
Today is free for you to do as you please in Vigo. Vigo is a city cradled by the mountains on one side and the sea on the other, flourishing from a humble fishing village into this region’s most populated city. Perhaps pack a picnic and stroll around parquet Monte del Castro, or head in town and enjoy some local seafood, like oysters, gambas, lubinas and more. If you’re feeling more active, stroll to the Castro Fortress – a defence system built in 1665 in an attempt to protect the city from attacks from the British navy allies of Portugal. Now, the fortress is more so ruins, and is a perfect place to walk around the gardens and admire the surrounding views. In the evening, be sure to get a group together and head to dinner. A good place is Taberna A Pedra – a reasonably priced restaurant, which specialises in traditional Spanish seafood.
Day 5: Redondela
This morning, continue the Camino on your way to Redondela. You will continue to follow the coastline and see the Bay of Vigo from different angles. As this is a shorter walking day, feel free to take in all of your surroundings and relax into the journey. Tonight, stop at Redondela for the evening. This city, at the upper end of the Bay of Vigo, is where you will finish your coastal walk, and will join the original Portuguese Camino trail.Total walking distance: 16 km (approximately)
Day 6: Pontevedra
Today is your last day along the coast and quite a short walking day, so do make the most of the seaside. On your way, you’ll stop by the fishing village of Arcade for an included lunch. The oysters are delicious here, and without too much walking to do today, enjoy a relaxed seafood lunch and a glass of locally grown Albarino. Continue for about another 3 hours on your hike into Pontevedra. It will be mid-afternoon by the time you arrive, and so, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the old town, with its many Romanesque churches and quaint granite squares.Total walking distance: 20 km (approximately)
Day 7: Caldas de Rei
Heading inland today, pass by beautiful chestnut groves, and pine and eucalyptus woods on your way to Caldas de Rei. On your journey, you’ll pass through the village of Ponte Cabras, and will have the chance to see the rectory of Santa Maria de Alba. Continue on your way past Lombo da Maceira with a statue of Saint James and the hamlet of Tivo with its fountain and public washing bath. Arrive in Caldas de Reis and spend the night here. Total walking distance: 21 km (approximately)
Day 8: Padron
From Caldas de Reis you will cross the river Umia and find the hot springs that have given the town its name since Roman times. The trail today takes you through forests and gradually climbs to the village of Santa Marina. On the way, enjoy an included visit to one of the nearby bodegas to learn about the history of wine in this region. After stopping and looking around, continue on the trail through pine forests to tonight’s stop: the town of Padron.Total walking distance: 19 km (approximately)
Day 9: Santiago de Compostela
Today is your final day of walking and a longer journey, taking you through small villages and on to the historical sanctuary of A Escravitude. Nearby on a hilltop sits the ruins of Castro Lupario fort, so keep an eye out. Make your way towards Agro dos Monteiros, catching a glimpse of the spires of the cathedral and passing the ruins of the castle of A Rocha Vella. As you come to the end of the final leg, you will walk through the town to the magnificent Plaza del Obradoiro and then to the gates of the marvellous Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. You’ve made it! Be sure to receive your Compostela certificate for your journey. After you’ve rested and freshened up, take the time to wander around the historic quarter of the city and get your group together for dinner. It’s definitely time for celebration!Total walking distance: 25 km (approximately)
Day 10: Santiago de Compostela
With no walks or activities planned for today, you are free to leave the accommodation at any time. If you wish to spend more time in Santiago de Compostela, we'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability).
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