Groups accepted with a minimum of 6 pax.
Our tour crosses Northern Portugal to end up in Santiago, on the other side of the border, in Galicia, Spain.
From the old town of Porto, a UNESCO World Heritage city, and home of Port wine, to the medieval town of Santiago de Compostela, crossing beautiful regions in Northern Portugal and Galicia, the Portuguese Way of Santiago is an unforgettable journey.
With the picturesque riverfront of Porto, the famous ceramics of Barcelos, the green hills of Northern Portugal and Galicia, not to forget the numerous Baroque churches and mediaeval villages and bridges all along the way, the Portuguese Way has plenty to offer, for all the heritage, culture and nature lovers.
We can’t fail to mention the sumptuous gastronomy from both regions, and the fine wines, among the best in the world.
The Portuguese Way is approximately 241km, we will be cherry picking the best sections for your enjoyment.
The Portuguese Way to Santiago is a classic route that combines personal challenge, interest in history, art and nature. Year after year pilgrims cover hundreds of miles through stunning landscapes, hidden isolated villages and spectacular medieval towns.
The peregrination to Santiago from Portugal has started in the high medieval period. For centuries, the Portuguese people participated in this collective experience, following the example of monarchs, members of the nobility and the high clergy.
The hospitality offered by the people is proverbial, and a true highlight. This practice was started in the middle Ages by the monks and clergymen, and the tradition is kept alive today along the Way.
Day 1 – Arrival in Porto
Arrival at the airport and transfer to Porto (+/- 30mn). Short introductory walk around Porto, including the Cathedral where the north Portuguese way begins.
Free time until the evening meeting and dinner.
Day 2 – Rates to Barcelos (Carvalhal)
Coach transfer from Porto to Rates, then walk into Barcelos (Carvalhal).
Our journey starts amidst rural lands mixed with woodland towards the impressive city of Barcelos, where you’ll discover the origins of the country’s famous symbol, the cockerel, a symbol of good luck.
Located on the right bank of Cávado River, Barcelos combines medieval structures with baroque constructions. It preserves an important historical centre, dominated by the Paço dos Duques, the main church, Igreja Matriz, and the Manor House, Solar dos Pinheiros. The centre also includes the pillory and the bridge; along with a lovely square, Largo do Apoio, an area of Medieval characteristics, where the Carmonas House with its 13th century tower is located.
Transfer for overnight in Ponte de Lima.
Day 3 – Vitorino dos Piães to Ponte de Lima
A lovely stretch in the centre of a rich farming region, where the famous vinho verde (semi-sparkling young wine) is produced. The attractive rural area around has the largest concentration of baroque manors in Portugal. The Roman Bridge gave its name to this very ancient and very beautiful town. One of the oldest towns in Portugal (founded on 4 March 1125). It was historically significant as a Roman settlement in the road from Braga to Santiago de Compostela.
Day 4 – Ponte de Lima to Aqualonga
This very pleasant walk leaves the fertile valley of the river Lima and climbs the final range of wooded hills before Galicia.
Day 5 – Valença to Porriño (Os Eidos)
In Valença we will detour through the old town before crossing into Spain on the iron bridge over the River Minho (in old times, pilgrims used to cross the River by boat). In Tui, on the opposite bank of the river, we will pass by the Cathedral at the heart of the old town.
We’ll then take a lovely bucolic path towards Porriño, through pleasant countryside and small villages.
Transfer from Porrino to Pontevedra.
Day 6 – Caldas dos Reis to Padrón
We leave Caldas dos Reis along some captivating stretches of the Way, along two beautiful river valleys through which the Bermaña and the Valga rivers flow, following paths through forests and meadows. After crossing the Ulla River we arrive at Padrón. According to legend, this is the place where the boat carrying the body of the Apostle Santiago arrived from Jerusalem.
Day 7 – Santiago de Compostela
Coach to Santiago, visit town & go back to Pontevedra
Today, we reach our goal, the holy city of Santiago de Compostela. Legend holds that St. James’s remains were carried here for burial after arriving at Padrón by boat from Jerusalem.
This is a magnificent medieval city, focused on the Plaza do Obradoiro, bordered by the Cathedral and the City Hall and the Parador (The Hostal de los Reyes Catolicos served as a hospice and a hospital, where pilgrims could recover and rejuvenate after completing the pilgrimage. The Hostal had a multi-lingual staff of doctors, nurses, and priests on call 24 hours a day and provided all services free of charge. Pilgrims were allowed to recover at the Hostal for 3 days in the summer, and 5 days in the winter).
The 18th century Cathedral façade fronts a structure dating back beyond the 12th century and was constructed on the site of an even older chapel.
Streets around Plaza do Obradoiro contain bars, shops and restaurants and the pilgrims’ office, where hikers are issued a certificate as proof of arrival in the city of Santiago. In medieval times the end of the pilgrimage was marked by the presentation of a scallop shell, which today is the symbol of the Santiago’s Way.
Day 8 – Departure
After breakfast transfer to Porto airport. Pontevedra to Porto 169.2km
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