Each day breakfast will be taken in the Hotel before leaving for the day’s program.
We will usually leave the Hotel between 9.00 am and 9.30am.
On our return to the Hotel each day we will have time to relax and change before dinner which is usually taken at 7.30pm.
Each evening the guide will give a preview of the next day’s program.
Day’s program is subject to alteration due to weather and local conditions.
Arrival in Porto
Arrival in Sá Carneiro Airport (Porto). Meet at the airport and transfer to Porto (+/-30mn) Short introductory walk around Porto, including the Cathedral where the north Portuguese way begins, depending on arrival time.
Before starting this walking journey towards Santiago de Compostela, it is almost obligatory to present and know Porto.
Porto is superbly sited along the Douro River Valley in Northern Portugal with wonderful views all around. It’s a lively city, and the old town and its granitic houses and narrow streets are ideal for a stroll. It is one of the most ancient cities in Europe with a rich cultural heritage and a vibrant nightlife. It is also famous throughout the world for its Port wines.
Overnight in Porto.
Porto to Matosinhos
Today we will visit more of Porto, then, from the Cathedral of the “Invicta” (never defeated) city of Porto, we walk 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. About 13km.
Overnight in Porto.
Estrada to Viana do Castelo
Transfer to Viana do Castelo, walking from the village of Estrada to Viana do Castelo about 10km.
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.
The Sanctuary of Santa Luzia is particularly worth visiting by taking the funicular giving commanding views of the town, the river and the Atlantic Ocean.
Viana is an old port and shipbuilding city that was very strategic during the era of the Discoveries.
During the XIV-XVth Centuries, it was here that the ships were built to sail to Brasil, India, Africa and other Portuguese colonies.
Overnight Viana do Castelo.
Carreço to Moledo
Walk from Carreço to Moledo. About 14km.
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 shoreline all the way into Moledo. Overnight Viana do Castelo.
Moledo to Caminha and A Guarda
Today we walk from Moledo into Caminha and then to A Guarda about 10km.
Then we cross the estuary of the river Minho into Galicia on a ferry and walk into A Guarda before transferring to Pontevedra.
Caminha is a lovely little frontier town bathed by the tranquil waters of the Rio Minho on the border with Galicia, known for its green rural landscape and pine forests clinging to the slopes of the granite mountains. The river estuary is good for boating and the beaches are popular in the summer. It also has an attractive historical core which we will have time to visit.
From here we can start to appreciate Monte Santa Tecla and the Galician hills towards which today’s route takes us.
Looking out over the Atlantic and flanked by the Miño river and the mountain of Santa Tecla, you will find A Guarda, one of the most traditional fishing towns in Galicia, Spain. Situated close to the border with Portugal, A Guarda is known as the "Capital of lobster" because of its quality seafood, and beautiful coastal beaches, estuary and landscapes.
Pontevedra was Galicia's biggest city and an important port in the 16th century. Here Columbus' flagship, the Santa Maria, was built. Today it is an inviting, small, riverside city that combines history, culture and style.
Pontevedra is a charming city with a well preserved and extensive Old Town and a great place to relax and enjoy the local cuisine. The interlocking lanes and plazas of the compact Old Town are abuzz with shops, markets, cafés and tapas bars.
Overnight at Pontevedra.
Caldas de Reis to Padron
Walk Caldas de Reis to Padron. About 12km.
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 through which the Bermaña and the Valga rivers flow, following paths through forests and meadows. 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.
In Padron, the Cathedral hosts the original stone where it is believed the boat that was transporting St James’ body was moored to. The stone is also believed to be a Roman altar dedicated to Neptune.
There will be time to sightsee in Padron. Overnight in Pontevedra.
Bus to Santiago. Visit the town and go back to Pontevedra.
The day will be devoted to visiting Santiago de Compostela, and the end of our walking pilgrimage. 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 easy-going ambience.
Overnight in Pontevedra.
After breakfast transfer to Porto airport.