EasyWays proposes starting from Tui, on the Portugal / Spain border, for 6 days’ walking on the Camino Portugues in rural Galicia past terraced fields, lush forests, vineyards and peaceful sleepy villages to end at the magnificent Cathedral City of Santiago de Compostela.
The Camino Portugues – or Portuguese Way in English – is one of the routes that comprise the Camino de Santiago – the Way of St James. According to tradition St. James’ remains were carried by boat from Jerusalem to be buried in northern Spain, where the cathedral now stands.
St James’ Way can take numerous routes through Spain, some starting as far away as France or Portugal, all ending at the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. The entire Camino Portugues starts from Lisbon, over 500 km from the city.
The symbol of the Camino is a scalloped shell. There are a number of legends about the significance of the shell. It also served practical purposes for pilgrims who used the shell to scoop up water to drink. Today, you will see the shell on signposts to guide you on the way and many walkers wear a shell to identify themselves with the Camino and it remains a popular souvenir of this memorable, and sometimes spiritual, walking holiday.
A Compostela is a certificate of accomplishment given to pilgrims on completing a minimum of 100 km of the Way. Your official Pilgrim Passport be available to pick up at your first overnight hotel. On the Way, always remember to have your passport stamped with the official St. James stamp at least once a day. Hotels, restaurants, bars and churches provide this service that provides an authentic and original record of where you ate and slept on the route. On arrival in Santiago, you can then present your passport to receive your Compostela from the Pilgrim’s Office.
The Botafumeiro is the famous giant thurible used in the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. It is a 1.5 metre high receptacle containing incense and during Mass is tied to a rope hanging by the altar and set in motion with great precision, forming an impressive 65-metre long arched trajectory along the cathedral, a ritual that has been taking place at least since the 12th Century.
If you want to see the Botafumeiro in use, the easiest way is to attend Pilgrim Mass in Santiago on a Friday evening at 19.30hrs. It is also used on special dates throughout the year such as Christmas Day and Saint James Day. Whenever St. James’s Day – 25th July – falls on a Sunday, the cathedral declares a Holy Year. Depending on leap years, Holy Years occur in 5, 6, and 11 year intervals. The next will be 2021.
The Camino Portugues route is available from March until October and availability can be checked by completing and EasyWays Enquiry Form.
Click each day to expand.
Arrive in Santiago Airport with private transfer to Tui at the start of the route for your first overnight before commencing your walk after breakfast the following morning. Start your pilgrimage visiting the astonishing Cathedral of Tui. This small town was once a religious centre of the importance comparable to Santiago. Strategically situated, the old town of Tui faces the Valença fortress on the other bank of the Minho River. The Minho since XII century is a natural border between Spain and Portugal.
After leaving a beautiful medieval Tui, the end of the first day of the pilgrimage may seem sad. Some pilgrims on that first day follow 32 km (19 miles) to Redondela, but we recommend breaking it in two parts. Porriño is famous for the granite mining industry that is used in many of the local buildings however a new route option avoids this area of the town and allows walking on forest paths with plenty of shade.
The second short day. You will pass through the tiny town – Mos, which means the small land of mills. Indeed, on your way you should see some of the traditional constructions: mills made of stone, “cruceiros” – public crucifixes also made of stone and if you pay attention, you will notice that all houses have “hórreos” – typical granaries built in wood or stone.
Pontevedra is one of the biggest towns of Galicia. Looking at the streets of its old town you will see similarities to Santiago. The main saint of Pontevedra is St. Mary the Pilgrim Lady and special week-long “fiestas” are celebrated in homage to her every year in August. Columbus' ship “Santa María”, one of the three ships that led him to discover America, was built in Pontevedra. There is even a strong belief among local people that Columbus himself might have been born in Pontevedra’s neighbourhood, not in Genoa in Italy.
The main joy of this stage will be the rural landscape. You will observe how the green grapes are growing, to be later turned into one of the most excellent white wines in the world: Albariño wine from Rías Baixas. Caldas de Reis means “Kings’ Spa” and indeed there are thermal springs in this small Galician town. Don’t forget to try how warm the water is in the public fountain on “das Burgas” Square.
According to the legend, Santiago’s disciples brought the apostle James’ dead body from Jerusalem to Padrón and only few centuries later it was moved to the Libredón Forest, to the place where today’s Cathedral of Santiago is built. If the body hadn’t been mysteriously moved, maybe today everybody would be making a pilgrimage to Padrón instead of Santiago. Today Padrón is a small town famous for its little, green hot peppers.
On that last day of pilgrimage you will pass through the Escravitude church which looks like a Santiago Cathedral’s miniature. From the Agro dos Monteiros hill, you get your first glimpse of the spires of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela and the city. Pass Alameda Park and arrive at the entrance to the Old Town. Rúa do Franco is full of bars and gift shops, and is probably one the most lively streets in Santiago. Arrive in Plaza del Obradoiro, where the Cathedral sits.
Congratulations - you have completed the Camino Portugues! After breakfast, it is time to set off on your onward journey.
Fixed Price - £480 per person
Single supplement - On request
If you would like to stay an extra night at any point on the route, please let us know in the Comments section of the Enquiry Form.
|Stages and Distances|
|9.5 miles - 15 km|
|15 miles - 24 km|
|8 miles - 13 km|
|15 miles - 24 km|
|Caldas de Reis|
|14.5 miles - 23 km|
|11 miles - 18 km|
|Santiago de Compostela|
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