Santiago’s Way Walking in the Atlantic Coast from Portugal

Small Group Walking

Duration: 8 Days / 7 Nights

Grade: Moderate (5/8)

There are a number of routes to Santiago de Compostela that pilgrims have followed for centuries. Some are less famous than others and the Portuguese Atlantic Way, while not the best known, is renowned for its beauty and tranquillity and becoming increasingly popular.

The Portuguese Atlantic Way is approximately 241km but we cherry picked the best sections for your enjoyment!

  • Groups accepted with a minimum of 6 pax.

Groups accepted with a minimum of 6 pax.

 

There are a number of routes to Santiago de Compostela that pilgrims have followed for centuries. Some are less famous than others and the Portuguese Atlantic Way, while not the best known, is renowned for its beauty and tranquillity and becoming increasingly popular.

The Portuguese Coastal Way or Caminho da Costa is a stunning, easy to moderate, alternative route to Santiago de Compostela.

Santiago_Compostela - the legend of St. James and the value of the “pilgrimage”

Santiago_Compostela – the legend of St. James and the value of the “pilgrimage”

Some of the towns and villages are home to magnificent Baroque and Romanesque churches and these, together with the monuments and crosses along the way, help to tell the story of this less-trodden route, all the while preparing us for our final destination of Santiago de Compostela – where, on arrival, we will appreciate why so many have followed these routes over the many centuries before us.

Legend has it that St. James travelled to Spain to spread the Good News and then returned to Jerusalem where he was martyred. His followers then carried his body to the coast, where a ship was miraculously waiting to carry the remains to northwestern Spain. The exact location of the tomb was lost in history. Through a vision, hundreds of years later, a Spanish hermit was able to point the way to the Roman era tomb and a church was built on the spot. The town itself grew up around the church.

Map Coastal Santiago's Way

Map Coastal Santiago’s Way

Our walking tour starts in the colourful city of Porto in Portugal and will take us to charming seaside towns and villages in Northern Portugal and Galicia. The route passes through Viana do Castelo, Caminha, Baiona, Pontevedra, Caldas Dos Reis and Padron, to end in the Square of Obradoiro and the colossal baroque cathedral where the remains of the apostle Santiago lie.

The Portuguese Atlantic Way is approximately 241km. We will be cherry picking the best sections for your enjoyment.

Some people use this week as an introduction to the Caminho. If you are inspired by your holiday and wish to come back at a later date to make the entire pilgrimage these walks will be a joy to repeat.

Most walks will have an opt-out available for those not wishing to do the full distance or prefer to spend more time sightseeing.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Arrival in Porto

Arrival to Porto airport and transfer to the Hotel. If time permits, an introductory walk will be offered.

 

Day 2 – Porto & Matosinhos

Porto is superbly sited along the Douro River Valley in Northern Portugal with wonderful views all around. It’s a lively city, one of the most ancient cities in Europe with a rich cultural heritage and a vibrant night life. It is also famous throughout the world for its Port wines.
We start our journey towards Santiago de Compostela, in the square near the Cathedral of Porto, where the north Portuguese way begins.
From here we follow the Caminho to the sea along the margins of the River Douro turning north to walk along the Atlantic coast towards the fishing port of Matosinhos.

Distance: 13km/8mi; Ascent/descent: flat

 

Day 3 – Estrada & Viana do Castelo

Giving ourselves some variety today we walk slightly inland for the sheer pleasure and satisfaction of enjoying all the nature around us. We walk along some lovely wooded tracks, through traditional farmland and quaint villages and the beautiful crossing of the river Neiva.
We cross into Viana do Castelo on the dramatic Eiffel bridge spanning the lovely estuary of the Rio Lima.
Viana do Castelo, located on the north bank of the Lima estuary, is famous for its handicrafts and traditional costumes.
The old town is charming, lined with little shops, cafés, grand manor houses and more modest traditional ones.

Distance: 10km/6.2mi; Ascent/descent: 206m/-212m

 

Day 4 – Carreço & Moledo

From Viana do Castelo we go north to start our walk in Carreço and stroll along one of the most attractive parts of the Caminho. The route winds its way through pretty villages set along the edge of the narrow strip of coastal fields below the slopes of the Serra de Santa Luzia. We then meet the coast again at Vila Praia de Ancora after which we hug the rocky shore line all the way into Moledo.

Distance: 14km/10.5mi; Ascent/descent: 207m/-249m

 

Day 5 – Moledo, Caminha & A Guarda

Today we walk from Moledo into Caminha and then to A Guarda, crossing into Spain.
Bathed by the tranquil waters of the Rio Minho on the border with Galicia, Moledo and Caminha are the main coastal towns. Here, the green rural landscape and the vast pine forests cling on the slopes of granite mountains. The river estuary is good for boating and the beaches are popular in the summer.
A Guarda is known as the “Capital of lobster” because of its quality seafood, and beautiful coastal beaches, estuary and landscapes.
Our last center, Pontevedra, was Galicia’s biggest city and an important port in the 16th century. Today it is an inviting, small, riverside city that combines history, culture and style.

Distance: 10km/6.2mi; Ascent/descent: +-300m

 

Day 6 – Caldas de Reis & Padron

Caldas de Reis is famous for its hot springs. According to historical archives, the first inhabitants of Caldas Dos Reis were a pre-Roman community that lived from the hot springs of this territory and since the Middle Ages, has been part of the pilgrim route to Santiago de Compostela. Apart from its rich cultural heritage, Caldas de Reis is also known for its “empanadas” of lamprey and the traditional Spanish bread.
We leave Caldas de Reis along some captivating stretches of the Camino, along two beautiful river valleys. After crossing the Ulla River we arrive at Padron. According to legend, this is the place where the boat carrying the body of the Apostle Santiago arrived from Jerusalem.

Distance: 12km/7.4mi; Ascent/descent: 192m/-165m

 

Day 7 – Santiago de Compostela

The day will be entirely dedicated to visiting Santiago de Compostela. It does not matter whether or not we believe in the legend of St. James and the value of the “pilgrimage”, Santiago is one of Spain’s finest cities.
The cathedral of Santiago dominates the golden granite square with its Baroque towers, covered everywhere with ornamentation. The city is surrounded by the hilly, lush terrain of Galicia.
The city is known for its delicious seafood, fine local wines, and its easygoing ambience.

 

Day 8 – Departure

Transfer to Porto airport.

 

What's included

Accommodation

  • 7 nights in a twin standard room for two pax

2 nights in Porto
2 nights in Viana do Castelo
3 nights in Pontevedra

  • Shared ensuite room with a travelling companion of the same sex
  • Single supplement available with a surcharge
  • Extra nights available on request

Meals

  • 7 buffet breakfasts at the Hotel
  • 7 Dinners with drinks included

Transport

  • Meet & Greet Airport Transfer to the hotel on the first day – group transfer
  • Transfer from the hotel to the Airport on last day – group transfer
  • All transports to walks and activities (as outlined) with dedicated driver and vehicle
  • Additional transfers available on request at an extra cost

Tour Leaders

  • Dedicated English speaking local tour leader
    The tour leader will assist and guide the group throughout the holidays, handle all the arrangements and other needs that might arise, making sure that you don’t have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday
    Each evening, your tour leader will discuss the details and program for the following day

Walks and Activities

  • Walks according to program

Exclusions

Any services not listed as included

  • Flights to and from Portugal
  • Meals, tips/gratuities, baggage or personal insurance (except as outlined)
  • Admission fees to castles & attractions or events (except as outlined)
  • Personal expenses
  • Supplements
  • Guide services inside monuments

Insurance

You must be adequately insured to join our Guided holidays and Self-Guided holidays. We do not insist that you insure with us but we require that you are adequately insured for the nature of your holiday.

BeCool Travel has partnered with WorldNomads.com to keep you travelling safely. WorldNomads.com Travel Insurance is designed for independent and adventurous travellers, with coverage for overseas medical expenses, cancellation, baggage, and other expenses.

Please consult our Travel Insurance page, where you’ll be able to get more detailed info about insurance requirements and an immediate quote for your trip.