Camino Portuguese

Planning the Portuguese

Getting there, 30 April 2014

Making my acquaintance with Lisbon

day 1, Sé Cathedral, Lisbon to Parque Nações, 8km

day 2, Parque Nações, Lisbon to Vilafranca de Xira 31.7 km

day 3, Vila Franca de Xira to Azambuja, 20 km

day 4, Azambuja to Morgado, 19.25

day 5, Morgado to Santarém, 17 km

day 6, Santarém to Golegã, 36 km

day 7, Golegã to Atalaia, 13 km

day 8, Atalaia to Tomar, 21 km

day 9, Tomar to Alvaiazere, 34.75 km

day 10, Alvaiazere to Alvorge 25.5 km

day 11, Alvorge to Condeixa a Nova, 26.5 km

day 12, Condeixa a Nova to Coimbra 21.5 km

day 13, Coimbra to Mealhada 28.8 km

day 14, Mealhada to Águeda, 26.75 km

day 15, Águeda to Albergaria a Velha, 16.5 km

day 16, Albergaria a Velha to Oliveira de Azeméis, 22 km

day 17, Oliveira de Azeméis to Grijó, 32.25 km

day 18, Grijó to Porto, 17 km

day 19, Porto to Vilarinho, 28 km

day 20, Vilarinho to Pedra Furada, 23.5 km

day 21, Pedra Furada to Lugar do Corgo, 33.8 km

day 22, Lugar do Corgo to Rubiães, 35.6 km

day 23, Rubiães to Tui, 22 km

day 24, Tui to Redondela 36.4 km

day 25, Redondela to Portela, 33.6 km

day 26, Portela to Padron, 34 km

day 27, Padron to Santiago de Compostela, 25.4 km

Just being there….

Assessment of clothes and walking gear 2014

Packing list for Camino Portuguese May 2014

83 Responses to Camino Portuguese

  1. Hi Magwood, We are starting Portuguese Camino 5th – 6th May, perhaps we will catch up somewhere along the way.
    Buen Camino
    Susan

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    • magwood says:

      Hi Susan, where are you starting from?

      Like

    • Sheila Niemi says:

      Is it possible to only do 20KM a day on the Portugues? And is there bag xfer service. I did the Camino Frances last Fall from SJPP to Santiago and found that 20 KM a day was about right.

      Like

      • magwood says:

        Hello Sheila. Are you starting your camino in Lisbon or Porto? If Porto then I would think there would be sufficient albergues to limit your walking to around 20 km per day. If starting in Lisbon the distances between accommodation are greater, but you can be resourceful in cutting them to size. Take a look at my resources page on the blog (see the tab at the top of the page) and look for the document ‘shorter stages from Lisbon to Porto’. All docs by Laurie Reynolds e very useful. If starting in Lisbon you could also contact Mario at Santarem Hostal who will know about luggage transfer. I have not used this service so don’t know about it, but I am sure one exists. Also check out the pilgrim forums listed on my resources page – there is an enormous amount of information available here and you can also ask direct questions of other members (although always do a search first to see if your question has already been asked and answered). Also see the Via Lusitana website for an up to date list of albergues. Good luck and Bom Caminho

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  2. Sean says:

    Hi Magwood,
    We start in Porto around 14th, or 15th May so you never know if we may meet up. We will be in a group of at least 4 but there could be more if a few of our Portuguese friends decide to join in.
    Best wishes for your adventure and looking forward to reading your blog.
    Regards,
    Sean,
    Dublin

    Like

    • magwood says:

      Hi Sean, it is likely that our dates will coincide. I am sure you will be easy to spot if we are in the same place at the same time. If you are anything like the lovely Irish guys we met on the Frances last year, I will hear the laughter from a good distance! Keep in touch.

      Like

  3. Wendy says:

    Hi Magwood,
    I will be starting from Porto on the dates of 15th or 16th May. So who knows, maybe we may cross paths along the way.
    Cheers
    Wendy

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  4. Kaisa says:

    I wish you Buen Camino……. Hoping to walk the Portuguese next year.

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  5. Gerry Smith says:

    Magwood, I hiked the Caminho Portugese in 2013. I hope you have a wonderful camino and I sincerely recommend the following places to stay.
    Santarem: Santarem Hostel, here Mario is a most gracious host and he provides great breakfasts and wonderful facilities.
    Lugar de Corgo. This is just a small hamlet a few kilometres before reaching Barcelos. Here you will find Casa Fernanda: Fernanda and Jacinto will welcome and entertain you royally. Please try and stay here.
    Also highly recommended are Hostel Tomar at Tomar and Casa Hilario at Mealhada.
    You will have a great camino i’m sure. The Portugese are are friendly and very helpful.
    Bom Caminho

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    • magwood says:

      Hi Gerry. Many thanks for your recommendations. I already have the first two on my list and will definitely look out for the others. Your encouragement is appreciated, especially as it is less than two weeks until I depart!

      Like

  6. Leona says:

    I wish you peace and a wonderful Camino Portuguese as you begin your journey. Looking forward to your blog posts. Love reading your posts on the forum too.

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    • magwood says:

      Leona, thanks for your lovely wishes, wholeheartedly received. Some of my anxieties have been relieved through finding a fellow pilgrim arriving in Lisbon at the same time. The wonder of the forums!

      Like

      • Bud miles says:

        Mawood, I am 78 and planning to bicycle the camino in October with my son. I am no longer able to walk the camino but I can still ride a bicycle. Did you see many people on bikes? The French way seems too difficult. Thanks.

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      • magwood says:

        Hello Bud. I am so sorry that I have not responded to your message sooner. There were quite a few cyclists on the camino Portuguese, but I think most of them were Portuguese people out for a ride at the weekend. There is a lot less elevation on the CP than on the Frances. You may already be on your way by now, but I wish you and your son an excellent trip.
        Bom Caminho!

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  7. Aurélio (AMSimoes) says:

    Hello Magwood

    In Vilarinho I recommend the albergue “Casa da Laura”.

    Bom Caminho
    Aurélio (AMSimoes)

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  8. Rich Cooper says:

    Magwood,
    I look forward to your thoughts since I’ll be following you in several months (if not from Lisbon at least from Coimbra). Bom Caminho.

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  9. Shev says:

    Hello Magwood:
    I am thinking about walking the CP from Porto around May 21. Haven’t done this before and wondering about two things: is the trail well marked? how difficult is it to find places to stay along the way? Appreciate your feedback. Have a wonderful peregrine experience!

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    • magwood says:

      Hi Shev. I believe the route is well marked and I think from Porto to Santiago there is plenty of accommodation. If you follow my blog I can keep you updated. I should be passing through Porto around 15/16 May. There is a lot of information on the forums that I belong to, see here and here. Another useful resource is the Via Lusitania website.
      Bom caminho

      Like

  10. Aurélio (AMSimoes) says:

    Hello Magwood.

    What is the day that will start the way you think and what time to leave.
    If you get out of the cathedral of Lisbon around 8:00 am, I do a bit of company at Alfama quarter, and drink a coffee.
    Golegã I recommend the Albergue “Solo Duro”. If you are tired they will seek you Pombalinho (phone +351935640551) and the next day take you again to Pombalinho.

    AMSimoes

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    • magwood says:

      Hi Aurelio. I would love to meet with you. I will leave Lisbon on 2 May, but could meet any time after I arrive this afternoon (Wednesday 30 April). Thanks for your recommendation.
      Hope to see you soon, Maggie

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      • Aurélio (AMSimoes) says:

        Hi Magwood

        If you want, send me a email (amsimoes@gmail.com).
        Says the place and I’ll meet you.

        Bom Caminho

        Like

  11. Looking forward to reading your adventures and wishing you all the best. Buen camino!

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  12. Marianne says:

    Well, today’s the day you set off for Lisbon. Sending you every good wish for a “Buen Camino”, Maggie. I’ll be following you every step of the way🙂

    Are you raising money for charity during your walk?

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    • magwood says:

      Hi Marianne, David will be rattling his metaphorical tin can around the village. Collecting for Cudeca and Action for Animals. Donor’s choice.

      I very much hope we can finally meet up when I get back.

      Thanks for your support.

      Like

      • Marianne says:

        I’ll look out for him next time I’m in the village then🙂

        Yes, we’ll do that – look forward to it.

        You’re welcome xx

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  14. Jo Bryant says:

    Good luck with this walk…it sounds like an epic journey

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  15. Hi Maggie! I’ll be following your progress, I hope to walk the same route next year!
    Bon Caminho!🙂

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  16. jmcmil says:

    Great!………………….. Again.

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  17. Pingback: Live from the caminho Portuguese, from Lisbon - Camino de Santiago Forum

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  19. The Camino has been calling me. Haven’t decided on starting point. Reading about your adventure may help me decide.
    I found you by way of Jo Bryant’s blog and her mention. ~(*_*)~~

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  20. Liz Lawrence says:

    Love your blog and yor forum posts. We start Camino Frances on 16th May with much excitement but also with some trepidation. We are both in our 70’S but with adventurous spirit and fairly fit. We are fortunate to have
    plenty of time to take it slowly . I doubt if our paths will cross but we wish you a safe and peaceful Buen Camino

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    • magwood says:

      Hi Liz, thanks so much for your comment. You will have a wonderful time. Last year we picked up a flyer from the pilgrims’ office that listed all the private albergues that met a certain standard. It was very useful and we used it to book ahead some days. It’s worth looking out for.

      Take it easy and enjoy every step – even the painful ones!
      Buen camino!

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  21. Magwood, I begin my camino from Porto next week. Reading your blog and seeing your photos are perfect as I get my last preparations complete. THANK YOU! Perhaps we’ll meet on the way. Bom caminho!

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    • magwood says:

      Hi Elizabeth. You must be getting very excited. Hope we can meet up. You can always text me to see if we are in the same place at the same time. I have emailed my number. Bom caminho!

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  22. niall yourston says:

    Looking forward to reading your experiences

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  23. George W May says:

    I just caught up with all of your daily blogs today. You have taken some phenomenal pictures along the way. It sounds like you are having another great adventure. Just a few observations, based on your comments. It appears to be quite a bit hotter than last year on the Frances. And you seem to be doing a lot more road walking. The towns also seem to be bigger than we encountered on the Frances. This is the anniversary of Julian’s and my walk last year, so we are going to do a commemorative walk at White Rock Lake next Saturday, about 9 miles. It won’t be the same, but we will still enjoy it. Julian suggested we stop at a tapas bar afterwards, but the one thing I don’t miss was the food, so I think we’ll stop for pizza instead. I am off to the Grand Canyon the next day. This is the penance I owe my wife for letting me do the Camino last year. Please drink a lot of vino for me, and enjoy the rest of your adventure.
    Bill May

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    • magwood says:

      It’s really hot Bill, I would find it hard to do the distances we did last year in this heat – but it seems to be a bit of a heat-wave – not normal for this time of year.

      Enjoy your walk with Julian and please give him my very best wishes. Rest assured, I have followed your instructions and have downed a few vinho verde’s in your honour!

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  24. Michelle Ryan says:

    Hi Magwood. Well done on you camino. I was so glad to come across your blog while researching my camino it has helped me greatly as I’m starting the same walk in Sept. I was wandering how was the availability of water along the way. When I walked the Del Norte route a few years back the water was quite good as there where fountains all along. There was only one section that was difficult and had to ask a farmer for a fill up. The water also was very drinkable. Is this the case on the Portuguese way? Also I have only 28 days to do this as I’m from Australia and it was all I could spare though I would like a day either side for exploring so really only 25. I had thought that the route was only 610 km but after reading your blog I see that it is a whole lot longer. Do you think I should be ok to make it in the time I have? I don’t want to be charging along. Thanks I apreiciate you feed back. And again well done on you walk.

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    • magwood says:

      Hi Michelle. Thanks for your comment and I apologise for not replying sooner. The availability of water was not so good on the Portuguese route. I used two 750 ml bottles and on the second part of the journey this was ample. But the first part from Lisbon was very hot and I needed to refill a few times. I sometimes asked bar owners for a refill from their tap, occasionally I bought water to refill and once I asked some ladies in a house I passed when I was running on empty. It will depend a lot on the weather, but it is a good idea to try and keep a full bottle in reserve.

      As regards timing, I should think 25 days will be sufficient. I arrived on day 27, but from Lisbon to Porto I walked a lot of very short stages. I walked a few diversions that might have added a maximum of 10 km to the walk. My gps told me I had walked 670 km in total. Although the distance credencial that you can now buy at the pilgrims’ office states 575 km for the walk. I don’t know which hat they pulled that distance out of!
      Bom caminho!

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  27. William says:

    Liked your itinerary. Can you do the Portuguese in a 3 or 5 day walk? Guess you could just walk the last part.

    Cheers,
    William

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    • magwood says:

      Hi William, according to my gps the distance from Tui to Santiago was 130 km. I walked it in four days, 3 x 35 and 1 x 25, and you would be entitled to a Compostela on completion. Bom caminho!

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  28. Hi Maggie, I’m new to the blogging world so please forgive me for not having had a chance yet to comment on your blog, BUT, your blog was such a source of inspiration for me during my camino! It was funny, when I was in Tomar I met an Irish lady who had planned to walk from Lisbon but due to the heatwave had changed her plans to start walking from Porto instead… anyway, we were talking about the walk and how I hadn’t met anyone and she asked me if I knew about your blog. I said yes and that I had read half of it before I came away and was going to read the remainder once I made it to Porto – she then mentioned something about you and Elly going separate ways and it was like a spoiler – I had no idea and so I had to jump online and read the remainder of your blog!
    I love how positive you were each day and how descriptive your posts were. Here is the thank you, thank you, thank you I never had a chance to say during my camino!
    Where will your next walk be?
    Buen Camino,
    Kat

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  29. Tom Åström says:

    Excellent blog. I will read it more in detail, since I am planning to walk Camino Portuguese next year. I just finished Via de la Plata in October 9. Now need to decide when to walk, spring or autumn.
    Regards
    Tom Åström
    tomscamino2014.wordpress.com – Via de la Plata 2014
    tomscamino2013.wordpress.com – Camino Frances 2013
    tastrom43.wordpress.com – Camino Frances 2011

    Like

    • magwood says:

      Sorry for the delayed response Tom and thanks for your comment. I have only walked in spring and loved it. I am planning to walk the Mozarabe this year – over 1,200 km’s so may well split it between spring and autumn.
      Bom caminho

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  30. Tiffany says:

    Hi. Since you did both the French way and Portuguese way, could you make a comparison of the two. My friend and I are trying to decide which path to take of the two, and can’t decide. But I think it would be an interesting post for everyone, a comparison of the two since you did both.

    I’m specifically interested in how much time is spent on (paved) roads, with cars, etc. I read that the French way has a lot of roads, traffic, etc. And that the Portuguese way is more rural and pictueresque. Any comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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    • magwood says:

      Hi Tiffany, many thanks for visiting my blog and for your comment, and apologies for such a delayed response.

      Thanks for the suggestion for a post comparing the two routes – I will keep this in mind. In the meantime I can say that I am glad if walked the Camino Frances first. It is a great introduction to distance walking and the joys and trials of the camino. The infrastructure is so developed that it is possible to pace yourself and stop for the night wherever your energy levels dictate. Personally I didn’t feel there was too much road walking on the French route – I have read it is about 30:70 roads to tracks and this seemed about right.

      There is much more road walking in the Portuguese route and some of it quite dangerous. Although the guardians of the CP are working constantly to divert the route away from the roads and industrial areas.

      I would say, if this is your first camino, to take the French route. You are bound to want to repeat the experience and can embark upon another route the following year!

      Buen camino and seasons greetings

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  31. June Pettipas says:

    Hi Maggie, Firstly want to say I love your postings of your journey. I have booked/paid a company named Follow the Camino to walk the Portuguese coastal route. I will start in Oia. Does this sound correct to you? Is there a well marked trail route? I am getting concerned as I don’t hear any mention of this route. We are walking 8 days. Have you heard of this route or should we be walking the same route you followed. Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thanks

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    • magwood says:

      Hi June. Many thanks for visiting my blog. I am not familiar with any travel companies so can’t comment on the organisation you have chosen. I hadn’t heard of Oiā, but on looking it up I can see that I must have walked close by it. It is between Mealhada and Albergaria-a-Velha, both of which I stayed overnight. It seems a bit of a strange place to start, but I guess the tour company has a reason for this. I would have been at that point on day 14 from Lisbon and walked for a further 13 days after this. Perhaps there is another town called Oia closer to Porto. There is a coastal route out of Porto that rejoins the main route after a couple of days (and this avoids the most dangerous road walking section). And I know there is a longer coastal route but I think it isn’t very well marked. I would advise asking the tour guide for more precise details and do some research or post a question on the camino forums (you can find links on my resource page). I would be interested to know what you find out – do please let me know.
      Bom caminho!

      Like

  32. Laura Sutherland says:

    Loved reading about he Portugese Camino. I did the Francis last year and going to do the Portugese starting on 20 May. U sound like it can get very hot. This time I am working it by myself, bit concerned about finding accommodation but you seemed to find it ok. Will be taking John Brierleys Book all the way. Thanks loved reading about your experience. Laura

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    • magwood says:

      Hi Laura and thanks for your comment. You shouldn’t have any problem finding accommodation on the CP. There are links to a few documents and websites on my page ‘camino resources’ that might be helpful.
      Bom Caminho!

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  33. Ann Bellefeuille says:

    I just recently became aware of/ interested in the Camino and therefore was pleased to see your blog.
    Started to read and couldn’t stop. Really and truly enjoyed all entries.

    I have two questions . As a single woman travelling alone, were you ever nervous?

    What type of adaptor is required to recharge electrical devices?

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    • magwood says:

      Because I chose less travelled caminos I sought walking companions to set off on the Camino Portuguese from Lisbon and the Camino Mozárabe from Málaga. Once I reached the point on these caminos where there were more pilgrims walking (ie, Porto on the Portuguese, and Mérida on the Mozárabe) I parted from my companions and walked alone. There are odd moments when I felt a little vulnerable, perhaps walking through a forest or industrial areas of cities. But it is only a fleeting feeling. It is positive to be aware of your surroundings and always to act on your instincts. Be prepared for possible problems. Keep your phone in an easy to reach place, have a loud whistle close to hand and be aware of who is in the area.

      Since the disappearance and murder of US pilgrim Denise Thiem, there has been a lot of discussion about safety for women pilgrims and there have been reports of sexual assaults occuring on the camino, and of course this is a deplorable situation. But I, and I believe the majority of women who have walked the camino, believe it to be a far safer place for a lone woman than most other situations. I will not allow myself to be cowed by the appalling behaviour of a few perverts and bullies.

      As for an electrical adapter, Spain and Portugal use two-pin sockets. It is useful to have an adapter with at least two usb inlets, for use if you have two appliances, or you can offer to share your plug with someone else.

      Feel free to ask any other questions that come to mind in your research.

      Like

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  35. Alvaro Cadavid says:

    Hi, good morning! New to your page, following Leslie’s suggestion, I have a few quedtions re Porto-Tui in October:
    1. I am undecided re which route or combination of routes. I get the sense that there is a lot of pavement and cobblestone in the first stages; true?
    2. Some say the coastal route is beautiful but very “touristic”; basically boardwalk; true?
    3. Finally, if I have to skip 40-50kms, which stages are skippable?

    Many thanks & kindest, Alvaro

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    • magwood says:

      Hi Alvaro. You have asked me questions that I find it hard to answer. I didn’t walk the coastal route out of Porto, but if I were taking this camino again I would definitely walk the coast. There is definitely a lot of hard surface walking and I recommend you use shoes/boots with very good insoles and outsoles.

      I guess in October there wouldn’t be too many tourists around. I’m not really the right person to ask about skipping stages, I would find it hard to suggest – you really need to do some research. Read my blog and others and search the camino forums and facebook planning pages. There is a huge amount of information out there and you have loads of time to plan.

      Bom Caminho!

      Like

  36. Cathy Mahoney says:

    Maggie I am planning to start in Porto next May Still waiting for my Brierley guide to come so I can map out my stages but undecided whether to do the coastal route or the one your blog follows. Can you give me your ideas please. Have 9-10 days to get to Santiago then going on to Finisterre and Muxia

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    • magwood says:

      Hi Cathy, sorry for the delay in responding. I haven’t walked the coastal route from Porto, but couldn’t recommend the route I took out of the city. It was a horrible day’s walking, not helped by the weather. I don’t regret taking this route because I had such a lovely evening at the end of it with a great bunch of pilgrims. If I were walking again, I would definitely go for the coastal path. I’m sure your time scale will be ok. I hope you enjoy your walk into Finisterre as much as I did the following year.
      Bom Caminho!

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