Portuguese Central Camino 

Starting in Porto a   UNESCO heritage-listed city. Capital of the northern region of Portugal. A magnificent, vibrant city. Known internationally for its famous Porto wines.

Wander through small villages that seem to be lost in time.

Find yourself walking across the green landscapes of Northern Portugal into Galicia, Spain. Wander through, bush, forest, valleys, and prairies. Crossing amazing roman and medieval bridges. Meander through small villages that seem to be lost in time. An ancient path dotted with churches, monasteries, and convents. Visit historical towns such as Barcelos, Valença do Minho, Tui, Pontevedra, and Santiago.

Gastronomy

Undoubtedly Portuguese Camino is a delight for foodies. Indeed a wide variety of two cultures who take great pride in their local cuisine.

The Terrain

Central Camino is not terribly demanding with its highest ascent being Portela de Labruja (at 400m) more rolling hills than climbs. However, as with any long-distance walk, you will meet with a mixture of road, dirt tracks, concrete, and cobblestone paths.

Cross the International Bridge into Tui.

When arriving in Valença you will cross into Spain. Arriving at the heart of the Rías Baixas coastal region of Galicia. Eventually, the path from here heads back inland taking you through chestnut and pine groves, and eucalyptus woods to Santiago de Compostela.

Bom Caminho!
Buen Camino!

 

Spiritual Variant
You can also add to your Camino the Spiritual Variant about 2km out of Pontevedra, where you will cross the river by boat.

Will you go all the way to “The End of The World”

For some, the legends of the past will see them wanting to finish in Fisterra. Consider continuing on our Fisterra Camino.

If you have Special Needs we offer

Tailor-Made Packages 

  • Difficulty: Rest day
  • Length: 0 km.
  • Hours: 0h.

Day 1: Porto

On day 1 Porto if you have the time explore the narrow streets in the Ribeira district next to the river and its Cais da Ribeira (riverfront walk) is a must. As well as the Cathedral, Igreja y Torre dos Clerigos, Estacio de Sao Bento to name a few.

Admire the iconic D. Luiz I bridge between Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia, where you can visit some of the most prestigious and historic Porto Wine Wineries (Calem, Sandeman, Ferreira, Ramos Pinto, Graham’s), make sure you enjoy a wine degustation.

A little bit further following the riverside, you will come to a small village Sao Pedro da Afurada with its colourful houses with tiled facades. Head there for a meal where you will find open grills on the street cooking up fresh seafood something not to miss.

Ensure to prepare for walking Camino on your last day, and have a good nights’ rest!!

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 17 km.
  • Hours: 5h.

PC-Day 2: Porto/Araujo to Vilarinho (Vila do Conde)

On day 2 Porto/Araujo to Vilarinho (Vila do Conde) the first 9 km runs through city suburbs and industrial areas. Many pilgrims avoid this section by catching the metro to Araujo to start their walk there. This is a personal choice you can make on the day.

Beyond that, you will walk mainly through urban areas along narrow roads. Be careful with local traffic it can be pretty dense in some sections.

Although there are no great sites of historical note there are many local sites to see and visit along the way.

Pass through Fajozes-Giao a small quiet town, very relaxing after bustling Porto. Visit Cruzeiro de Faozes and the 18th century Sao Pedro de Fajoez Church.

Arriving in Vilarinho or Vila do Conde.

This area has very little on offer for accommodation for this reason you must check your personal itinerary. Your day will be similar length regardless of where you start and finish.

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Length: 27.5 km.
  • Hours: 8h.

Day 3: Vilarinho (Vila do Conde) to Barcelos

On day 3 Vilarinho (Vila do Conde) to Barcelos is quite a long stage. You will find it is not however terribly difficult.

A pleasurable walk taking you through rural areas. Passing through agricultural settings on dirt tracks and only a few local roads.
The highlight of today is the two Roman bridges you will cross. Both bridges are an important part of the linking of Porto to Galicia. First Ponte D. Zameiro, (or Ponte de Ave) an incredibly beautiful 12th-century medieval bridge. At the entrance of Sao Miguel de Arcos, you’ll cross the other beautiful medieval bridge.
While in the village of Arcos, you can admire the remarkable Church of Misericórdia
Finally arriving in Barcelos.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 15.5 km.
  • Hours: 4.5h.

Day 4: Barcelos to Ballugaes

On day 4 Barcelos to Ballugaes, you walk through rural areas and small villages. Reaching Sao Pedro de Rates with its romànic Iglesia de San Pedro de Rates, the church of St Peter. Classified as a national monument built in the 9th century. 

Then crossing Monte Franqueira, before arriving at Barcelinhos. Here you will cross a medieval bridge at the entrance of Barcelos.

Barcelos is a beautiful town (120,000 inhabitants) famous for its “Galo” (rooster). A symbol of the whole country.

You can delight your tastebuds with the specialties of the region: Rojoes (made with pork), Galo Asado (roasted rooster), and Vinho Verde white wine of the region.

Take care to check your accommodation for tonight. There are limited options here and you may also stay in Cossourado.

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Length: 19 km.
  • Hours: 5.5h.

Day 5: Ballugaes to Ponte de Lima

On day 5 Ballugaes to Ponte de Lima starting with a walk up to Vitorino de Piaes, with its Igreja Matriz. Then heading down to the valley of the Lima river passing the beautiful Capela (Chapel) da Nossa Senhora das Neves.

Finally arriving in the oldest town in Portugal Ponte de Lima. You enter into this monumental town crossing the Lima river over an updated roman bridge. The foundations date back to 1368. The charming town centre with its’ cobbled streets and many interesting historic sites.

The local specialities are based on pork, bacalhau and “lamprea” (lamprey), a sort of slippery eel that has teeth without a jaw.

  • Difficulty: Hard
  • Length: 17.5 km.
  • Hours: 5.5h.

Day 6: Ponte de Lima to Rubiaes

On day 6 Ponte de Lima to Rubiaes, you face a challenging yet very beautiful stage. With most of the day traversing through unpaved terrain. You’ll begin with an amazing path along Labruja river until Codecal where you’ll start the climb to Alto da Portela Grande de Labruja (400 m). This is the highest point on this Camino. The terrain is very steep, rocky ground, full of steps. Once you reach the top view is worth every step!

Descending down to Rubiaes a little village where the Romanic church of Sao Pedro de Rubiaes awaits your visit.

Today is the last chance to enjoy Bacalhau a Bras before crossing into Spain. If you happen to find yourself here in November lookout for “Angulas” (elvers/baby eels) An expensive delicacy of this area.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 19 km.
  • Hours: 5.5h.

Day 7: Rubiaes to Tui

On day 7 Rubiaes to Tui you will cross the remarkable roman-medieval bridge at Rubiaes then wander into unpaved roads and hilly terrain.

Soon arriving in  Valenca do Minho the last town in Portugal. Stop to visit the magnificent Fortaleza (fortress) a splendid medieval wall surrounding the old city.

Here at Valenca you’ll cross the International bridge that links Portugal and Spain. Over the Minho river into Tui, Spain. Don’t forget to change your time to Central Europe timing 1 hour ahead.

Finally reaching Tui your stop for tonight a town dating back to pre-historic times (20,000 BC). Boasting 2 Museums, one dedicated to archaeology and sacred art and the other a diocesan museum. Of course, a visit to the romànic (11-13th century) Santa Maria Cathedral with Romanesque and Gothic period vestibules is a must.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 16 km.
  • Hours: 4.5h.

Day 8: Tui to O Porrino

On day 8: Tui to O Porrino, there are two routes to choose from. Either continue on the original path taking you through the largest industrial region of Galicia, all roads and concrete. Or take the alternative route developed in 2013 that goes through the natural land of Las Gandaras.

Not long after walking through Ribadelouro, you will notice a sign on your left for the alternative route. Certainly, this is the more scenic route running along the Louro river a natural and peaceful environment.

Finally arriving in O Porino an industrial town well known for pink granite, the best bread in Galicia, and tasty mushrooms.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 16 km.
  • Hours: 5h.

Day 9: O Porino to Redondela

On day 9: O Porino to Redondela, you will soon pass through Mos-Rua. Look out for Santa Eulalia church and its 82 m high tower.

After Mos, you have a very steep climb to Capilla de Santiaguiño (230 m ascent). Here you have the first views of Ria de Vigo estuary on the Atlantic Ocean. From there you will ascend to Redondela where the Portuguese Coastal Camino joins the Central Camino.

Redondela is the start of the spectacular Galician seafood. Some of the tasty offerings are Centollas (spider crabs), mussels, zamburiñas (scallops), turbot, and hake. Certainly, you can’t miss the opportunity to try some of the fresh local delights.

  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Length: 19.5 km.
  • Hours: 6h.

Day 10: Redondela to Pontevedra

On day 10 Redondela to Pontevedra when reaching Arcade, you will see the oyster beds of what are considered the best oysters in Galicia.

Cross the beautiful Pontesampaio medieval bridge where the great defeat (19th century) of Napoleon’s army took place.

Further on enjoy magnificent views over the Atlantic Ocean from the Church of Santa Maria (12th century).

Finally arriving in the monumental city Pontevedra. Boasting many historical delights not to be missed. Santa Maria la Mayor Basilica, Town Hall, Capella de la Verge Pelegrina, and Teucro square all deserve a visit.

Time to reward yourself with some of those famous oysters and a glass of  Albarinho wine to wash them down.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 21 km.
  • Hours: 6h.

Day 11: Pontevedra to Caldas de Reis

On day 11 Pontevedra to Caldas de Rei, you will be walking mostly through chestnut, gum, and pine groves. Quite pleasant surroundings with only short sections of road.

In Lombo da Maceira there is a statue of Santiago Apostol with his stick showing the way.

Between A Portela and Briallos, you will find a slight divert to beautiful Rio Barosa Waterfalls. Only 400m off Camino on your right, worth the extra short walk.

Caldas de Reis known for its thermal healing waters has developed as quite a popular tourist location since Roman times. Here you will see there are many wonderful old spa hotels with a relaxed atmosphere.

Umia river provides trout and lamprea.  Another specialty is zamburiña empanadas (pies) all appreciated when washed down with a good Albarinho wine.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 18.5 km.
  • Hours: 6h.

Day 12: Caldas de Reis to Padron

On day 12 Caldas de Reis to Padron is a beautiful stage with plenty of bush sections. Heading upward to Santa Marina de Carracedo and then down to Padron.

In Pontecesures you cross paths with the Variante Espiritual arriving by boat from Vilanova de Arousa on the Ulla river.

In Padron visit the Santiago church. Then 1 km further on from Padron on Camino is Iria Flavia, an icònic village where legend says the remains of the apòstol Santiago arrived on a stone ship 2000 years ago. Also, La Real Colegiata is remarkable, the tomb of Camilo Jose Cela, Nobel Prize winner of Literature, and the museum-house of Rosalia de Castro, the main Galician poet all worth a visit today if you have the energy to save time tomorrow for your final destination.

A must-try specialty of the region while in Padron “pimientos de Padron” (little green peppers). Fried and sprinkled with sea salt, now appreciated all over Spain. Other popular foods are octopus, cheeses, bread, chorizos, or empanadas.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: 24.5 km.
  • Hours: 7h.

Day 13: Padron to Santiago

Day 13 Padron to Santiago is your last day walking!

If you didn’t visit Iria Flavia yesterday perhaps you can make a little time to do that in the first stage of your walk today. Following on from there is mainly urban landscape.  Heading up to O Milladoiro and then down again into Santiago de Compostela.

Follow the arrows to your final destination, Praza do Obradoiro. Here you will admire the Cathedral de Santiago and its romànic Portico de la Gloria (Glory’s Gate) built-in 12th century.

A moment that is bittersweet for most. You have achieved your goal yet also you have finished your adventure.

Many pilgrims celebrate the end of their Camino with a good “mariscada” (seafood plate). However, you might prefer to head to Rua do Franco for some “tapas” finishing with “Tarta de Santiago” the popular Galician tart.

CONGRATULATIONS!!
The Botafumeiro

A Pilgrim’s Mass is held at 12.00 and 19.00 daily. If you are lucky (or someone pays the fee, around 300€) you will see the Botafumeiro (weighing 60 kg) incense burning ceremony.

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Length: km.
  • Hours: h.

PC-Day 14: Santiago

Today day 14 Santiago you will enjoy a breakfast of Kings, your last morning with Crossroads Travel
Many of you will venture off to other parts of the world, some of you will continue your adventure to Fisterra!
Whatever it is you do from here please go safely, thank you for choosing our Crossroads Travel Camino!
We hope to see you again sometime soon.

Buen Camino!!

Dates: Flexible, set your own agenda

Inclusions Portuguese Central Camino

  • 13 nights accommodation preferably charming/Iconic/boutique hotels and rural Casas
  • Private Bathroom in all rooms
  • Daily breakfast
  • Luggage transfer daily from accommodation to accommodation (1 x 20kg bag per person)
  • Maps of your accommodation locations
  • Pre-trip Camino guidance and planning
  • Australian and Spanish/Portuguese emergency phone numbers
  • Local support person in Spain

Welcome Pack:

  • Pilgrim’s passport
  • Camino shell
  • Luggage tags
  • Full Camino walking guidebook with maps
Not Included: 
  • Travel and medical insurance
  • Additional bags transfer (will incur additional costs)
  • Single Supplement
  • Any meal not specified in the Inclusions list
  • Any other item not specified in the Inclusions list
  • Flights/Transfers/Extra Accommodations.
Optional Services: 
  • Airport transfers from the start point and end destination
  • Extra night accommodation at the start point and end destination
  • Extra luggage transfer or storage
  • Fisterra experience: Tour from Santiago to Fisterra return 2 days
  • If you wish to upgrade to the Iconic Parador Hotel in Santiago de Compostela the cost is from $150 per person/per night twin share and $220 per person/per night single occupancy when booked 6 months in advance.
  • Ask us about adding an extra night in Santiago, or extra rest days en route.
  • For any part of your trip that falls between 31 October and 01 April, there is an ‘out-of-season luggage transfer surcharge cost of $30 per day.

Day 1: Porto

On day 1 Porto if you have the time explore the narrow streets in the Ribeira district next to the river and its Cais da Ribeira (riverfront walk) is a must. As well as the Cathedral, Igreja y Torre dos Clerigos, Estacio de Sao Bento to name a few.

Admire the iconic D. Luiz I bridge between Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia, where you can visit some of the most prestigious and historic Porto Wine Wineries (Calem, Sandeman, Ferreira, Ramos Pinto, Graham’s), make sure you enjoy a wine degustation.

A little bit further following the riverside, you will come to a small village Sao Pedro da Afurada with its colourful houses with tiled facades. Head there for a meal where you will find open grills on the street cooking up fresh seafood something not to miss.

Ensure to prepare for walking Camino on your last day, and have a good nights’ rest!!

PC-Day 2: Porto/Araujo to Vilarinho (Vila do Conde)

On day 2 Porto/Araujo to Vilarinho (Vila do Conde) the first 9 km runs through city suburbs and industrial areas. Many pilgrims avoid this section by catching the metro to Araujo to start their walk there. This is a personal choice you can make on the day.

Beyond that, you will walk mainly through urban areas along narrow roads. Be careful with local traffic it can be pretty dense in some sections.

Although there are no great sites of historical note there are many local sites to see and visit along the way.

Pass through Fajozes-Giao a small quiet town, very relaxing after bustling Porto. Visit Cruzeiro de Faozes and the 18th century Sao Pedro de Fajoez Church.

Arriving in Vilarinho or Vila do Conde.

This area has very little on offer for accommodation for this reason you must check your personal itinerary. Your day will be similar length regardless of where you start and finish.

Day 3: Vilarinho (Vila do Conde) to Barcelos

On day 3 Vilarinho (Vila do Conde) to Barcelos is quite a long stage. You will find it is not however terribly difficult.

A pleasurable walk taking you through rural areas. Passing through agricultural settings on dirt tracks and only a few local roads.
The highlight of today is the two Roman bridges you will cross. Both bridges are an important part of the linking of Porto to Galicia. First Ponte D. Zameiro, (or Ponte de Ave) an incredibly beautiful 12th-century medieval bridge. At the entrance of Sao Miguel de Arcos, you’ll cross the other beautiful medieval bridge.
While in the village of Arcos, you can admire the remarkable Church of Misericórdia
Finally arriving in Barcelos.

Day 4: Barcelos to Ballugaes

On day 4 Barcelos to Ballugaes, you walk through rural areas and small villages. Reaching Sao Pedro de Rates with its romànic Iglesia de San Pedro de Rates, the church of St Peter. Classified as a national monument built in the 9th century. 

Then crossing Monte Franqueira, before arriving at Barcelinhos. Here you will cross a medieval bridge at the entrance of Barcelos.

Barcelos is a beautiful town (120,000 inhabitants) famous for its “Galo” (rooster). A symbol of the whole country.

You can delight your tastebuds with the specialties of the region: Rojoes (made with pork), Galo Asado (roasted rooster), and Vinho Verde white wine of the region.

Take care to check your accommodation for tonight. There are limited options here and you may also stay in Cossourado.

Day 5: Ballugaes to Ponte de Lima

On day 5 Ballugaes to Ponte de Lima starting with a walk up to Vitorino de Piaes, with its Igreja Matriz. Then heading down to the valley of the Lima river passing the beautiful Capela (Chapel) da Nossa Senhora das Neves.

Finally arriving in the oldest town in Portugal Ponte de Lima. You enter into this monumental town crossing the Lima river over an updated roman bridge. The foundations date back to 1368. The charming town centre with its’ cobbled streets and many interesting historic sites.

The local specialities are based on pork, bacalhau and “lamprea” (lamprey), a sort of slippery eel that has teeth without a jaw.

Day 6: Ponte de Lima to Rubiaes

On day 6 Ponte de Lima to Rubiaes, you face a challenging yet very beautiful stage. With most of the day traversing through unpaved terrain. You’ll begin with an amazing path along Labruja river until Codecal where you’ll start the climb to Alto da Portela Grande de Labruja (400 m). This is the highest point on this Camino. The terrain is very steep, rocky ground, full of steps. Once you reach the top view is worth every step!

Descending down to Rubiaes a little village where the Romanic church of Sao Pedro de Rubiaes awaits your visit.

Today is the last chance to enjoy Bacalhau a Bras before crossing into Spain. If you happen to find yourself here in November lookout for “Angulas” (elvers/baby eels) An expensive delicacy of this area.

Day 7: Rubiaes to Tui

On day 7 Rubiaes to Tui you will cross the remarkable roman-medieval bridge at Rubiaes then wander into unpaved roads and hilly terrain.

Soon arriving in  Valenca do Minho the last town in Portugal. Stop to visit the magnificent Fortaleza (fortress) a splendid medieval wall surrounding the old city.

Here at Valenca you’ll cross the International bridge that links Portugal and Spain. Over the Minho river into Tui, Spain. Don’t forget to change your time to Central Europe timing 1 hour ahead.

Finally reaching Tui your stop for tonight a town dating back to pre-historic times (20,000 BC). Boasting 2 Museums, one dedicated to archaeology and sacred art and the other a diocesan museum. Of course, a visit to the romànic (11-13th century) Santa Maria Cathedral with Romanesque and Gothic period vestibules is a must.

Day 8: Tui to O Porrino

On day 8: Tui to O Porrino, there are two routes to choose from. Either continue on the original path taking you through the largest industrial region of Galicia, all roads and concrete. Or take the alternative route developed in 2013 that goes through the natural land of Las Gandaras.

Not long after walking through Ribadelouro, you will notice a sign on your left for the alternative route. Certainly, this is the more scenic route running along the Louro river a natural and peaceful environment.

Finally arriving in O Porino an industrial town well known for pink granite, the best bread in Galicia, and tasty mushrooms.

Day 9: O Porino to Redondela

On day 9: O Porino to Redondela, you will soon pass through Mos-Rua. Look out for Santa Eulalia church and its 82 m high tower.

After Mos, you have a very steep climb to Capilla de Santiaguiño (230 m ascent). Here you have the first views of Ria de Vigo estuary on the Atlantic Ocean. From there you will ascend to Redondela where the Portuguese Coastal Camino joins the Central Camino.

Redondela is the start of the spectacular Galician seafood. Some of the tasty offerings are Centollas (spider crabs), mussels, zamburiñas (scallops), turbot, and hake. Certainly, you can’t miss the opportunity to try some of the fresh local delights.

Day 10: Redondela to Pontevedra

On day 10 Redondela to Pontevedra when reaching Arcade, you will see the oyster beds of what are considered the best oysters in Galicia.

Cross the beautiful Pontesampaio medieval bridge where the great defeat (19th century) of Napoleon’s army took place.

Further on enjoy magnificent views over the Atlantic Ocean from the Church of Santa Maria (12th century).

Finally arriving in the monumental city Pontevedra. Boasting many historical delights not to be missed. Santa Maria la Mayor Basilica, Town Hall, Capella de la Verge Pelegrina, and Teucro square all deserve a visit.

Time to reward yourself with some of those famous oysters and a glass of  Albarinho wine to wash them down.

Day 11: Pontevedra to Caldas de Reis

On day 11 Pontevedra to Caldas de Rei, you will be walking mostly through chestnut, gum, and pine groves. Quite pleasant surroundings with only short sections of road.

In Lombo da Maceira there is a statue of Santiago Apostol with his stick showing the way.

Between A Portela and Briallos, you will find a slight divert to beautiful Rio Barosa Waterfalls. Only 400m off Camino on your right, worth the extra short walk.

Caldas de Reis known for its thermal healing waters has developed as quite a popular tourist location since Roman times. Here you will see there are many wonderful old spa hotels with a relaxed atmosphere.

Umia river provides trout and lamprea.  Another specialty is zamburiña empanadas (pies) all appreciated when washed down with a good Albarinho wine.

Day 12: Caldas de Reis to Padron

On day 12 Caldas de Reis to Padron is a beautiful stage with plenty of bush sections. Heading upward to Santa Marina de Carracedo and then down to Padron.

In Pontecesures you cross paths with the Variante Espiritual arriving by boat from Vilanova de Arousa on the Ulla river.

In Padron visit the Santiago church. Then 1 km further on from Padron on Camino is Iria Flavia, an icònic village where legend says the remains of the apòstol Santiago arrived on a stone ship 2000 years ago. Also, La Real Colegiata is remarkable, the tomb of Camilo Jose Cela, Nobel Prize winner of Literature, and the museum-house of Rosalia de Castro, the main Galician poet all worth a visit today if you have the energy to save time tomorrow for your final destination.

A must-try specialty of the region while in Padron “pimientos de Padron” (little green peppers). Fried and sprinkled with sea salt, now appreciated all over Spain. Other popular foods are octopus, cheeses, bread, chorizos, or empanadas.

Day 13: Padron to Santiago

Day 13 Padron to Santiago is your last day walking!

If you didn’t visit Iria Flavia yesterday perhaps you can make a little time to do that in the first stage of your walk today. Following on from there is mainly urban landscape.  Heading up to O Milladoiro and then down again into Santiago de Compostela.

Follow the arrows to your final destination, Praza do Obradoiro. Here you will admire the Cathedral de Santiago and its romànic Portico de la Gloria (Glory’s Gate) built-in 12th century.

A moment that is bittersweet for most. You have achieved your goal yet also you have finished your adventure.

Many pilgrims celebrate the end of their Camino with a good “mariscada” (seafood plate). However, you might prefer to head to Rua do Franco for some “tapas” finishing with “Tarta de Santiago” the popular Galician tart.

CONGRATULATIONS!!
The Botafumeiro

A Pilgrim’s Mass is held at 12.00 and 19.00 daily. If you are lucky (or someone pays the fee, around 300€) you will see the Botafumeiro (weighing 60 kg) incense burning ceremony.

With Crossroads Travel Portuguese Camino experience you will enjoy the cultural experience of Portuguese and Spanish hospitality; resting in Premium Accommodation. 

The gallery is provided to give you a glimpse of the standard of accommodation we have chosen for you.

Fly directly into Porto

Porto Airport-City Centre via taxi takes approximately 20 minutes into the city and costs approximately 23€.

Porto Airport-City Centre via Metro takes 25 minutes at a cheaper rate of approximately 2.50€.

 Info
  • From - To: Porto-Santiago
  • Length: 240km
  • Difficulty: MEDIUM
  • Cost: $2,730
  • Dates:

    Dates: Flexible, set your own agenda