Portugal Camino Portugues

Off to Santiago de Compostela

Camino Portugues

For 26 days (incl. 3 rest days) during February and August 2023, I walked ca. 650 kms along the Camino Portugues, starting just outside Lisbon and ending in Santiago de Compostela. From Porto I took the coastal route to Caminha and walked inland to Tui. During my walk, I included the Camino Nascente between Tomar and Fatima, the Camino Carmelite between Fatima and Coimbra and the Variante Espirituel between Pontevedra and Padron.

I had fantastic weather on both trips, although two days with almost 40 degrees (C) was not ideal walking weather. I only experienced one day with rain. In Portugal and Spain, beyond the nice climate, I was also blessed with great food and places to stay, and lots of nice people along the trail. There were also a fair few challenges – buying and breaking-in new shoes after the ones I had brought fell apart on the Fisherman’s Way, a train strike on my transport day, a couple of extremely boring stages, a couple of hot stages, a pulled muscle, a rolled ancle so I missed a stage, taking a train 27 stops instead of one and a realsisation that I am a few years older than the last time I walked day after day for three weeks!

But no complaints. Portugal and Spain are beautiful, it’s inhabitants helpful, the food is good and fresh, and pretty much everywhere I stayed, the room was fine and clean and service perfect.

About the Camino itself, I felt that the most interesting stages were in Spain, after I crossed the border to Tui. Lisbon to Porto was a mixed pleasure and not least the stages close to Porto were mainly road walking, but the town of Tomar, Coimbra and Fatima, well worth a re-visit, as were Tui and Pontevedra. Added to that, spring hadn’t arrived when I walked in February, so almost certainly, the countryside is more beautiful and enjoyable in April and May.

Despite the challenges, it was an enjoyable trip along the Camino Portugues.

Day by day account ...

Porto Covo to Azambuja February 10, 2023 Today I was supposed to walk the 19kms to the next town, take a bus to Lisbon and a train to Azambuja, north of Lisbon, where I would start walking towards Porto. I ended the day in Azambuja, but a combination of a train strike and my broken shoes changed my plans. Today's pictures are… Read more >
Day 1: Azambuja to Santarem February 11, 2023 It was difficult to get out of bed - the bed was nice and warm, the room cold. The hostel didn't serve breakfast, so when I finally made it out of bed and after a quick wash, I  was on my way by 8.30. As I left the hostel, I noticed a stork sitting on… Read more >
Day 2: Santarem to Golega February 12, 2023 Today's destination is Golega, famous for its Lucitano horses, its equestrian center and a twice annual horse show that attracts tens of thousands of people. Horse trading has taken place in Golega since the 18th century and although I was only there for a few hours, one feels that it is a wealthy town. Breakfast… Read more >
Day 3: Golega to Tomar February 13, 2023 I'm not exactly sure why, but I slept badly. I woke to see that the swelling on my ankle had subsided, and could feel that the muscle I strained yesterday was stiff but OK. I felt that there was a good chance to walk. I woke at 8 o’clock, and as there wasn't breakfast, I… Read more >
Day 4: Tomar February 14, 2023 Today was a planned day off from walking. Tomar was famous for it's knights, and the Knights Templar Castle, as well as the convent, Convento de Cristo. However there were also more pressing things to do, wash my clothes and pick up something to help the blister under my foot. I slept until 8 o’clock,… Read more >
Day 5: Tomar to Fatima February 15, 2023 I was looking forward to today, but the blister on the sole of my foot was a concern given that the stage was probably the most strenuous I would walk this time around, with lots of climbs and descents, and many rocky paths. This stage is also called the Camino Nascente, and covers 31 kms… Read more >
Day 6: Fatima February 16, 2023 Today was supposed to be a short stage, 20 kilometers, and for the first 5 kilometers, a repetition of yesterdays stage. Following yesterday's tough stage I decided that I would instead, stay in Fatima and visit the Sanctuary of Fátima. The city is the site of a world-renowned Catholic miracle and is visited by more… Read more >
Day 7: Fatima – Freixiande to Ansaio February 17, 2023 After the rest day yesterday exploring Fatima, I hoped the my feet and right calf would hold up to 26km. I skipped the first 20 km of Rota Carmelita (between Fatima and Coimbra), when I took a rest day yesterday and today I added 6 more kilometers by taking a taxi to Freixiande. After the… Read more >
Day 8: Ansaio to Condeixa-a-Nova February 18, 2023 Another 30 kilometer plus day ahead and I woke up feeling a bit rough - not sure whether it is the wine or all the food. Breakfast didn’t live up to the high standard set by the room and I was on the road just before 9 o’clock, feet and legs not in total agreement… Read more >
Day 9: Condeixa-a-Nova to Coimbra February 19, 2023 Despite ten hours sleep, I was tired and just as importantly my legs were tired. Today was a short stage, 18 kms to Coimbra, but it was a hard to get through them. It wasn't helped by being the most boring stage so far, walking along roads. The stage picked up a bit towards the… Read more >
Day 10: Coimbra to Sernadelo February 20, 2023 I had a lie in until 8 o’clock showered and packed my stuff before an OK breakfast. Today's stage to Sernadelo was relatively short, 26kms. The stages after Lisbon haven't been great, not particularly scenic, partly because of the time of year where there is little life in the fields, so everything is a bit… Read more >
Day 11: Sernadelo to Mourisca do Vouga February 21, 2023 I'll remember today for how an 8 minute train journey lasted for over 2 hours. There was no breakfast at the hotel and when I left, my Camino friends had already left. I walked down to the supermarket for a coffee and croissant and bought some bread for todays stage to Agueda. It is a… Read more >
Day 12: Mourisca do Vouga to Oliveira De Azemeis February 22, 2023 Today was going to be a long day. I'd cut 4 -5 kms by taking the train to Mourisca do Vouga and walking back to Agueda, where I spent the night. But I still needed to walk 33 kms to Oliveira de Azemeis. I breakfasted at the hotel, checked out and bought at sandwich to… Read more >
Day 13: Oliveira de Azemeis to Vila Nova de Gaia February 23, 2023 Today turned out to be mega stage. I hadn't decided whether I would walk to Grijo (28km) or just short of Porto in Vila Nova de Gaia, where I was staying my last night in Portugal. Buses run regularly from Grijo to Porto, so I could walk the stage from Grijo to Porto tomorrow. I… Read more >
Day 14: Vila Nova de Gaia to Porto February 24, 2023 I woke fairly early, showered and packed my stuff. Today is my last day in Portugal, at least for this time, and I am scheduled to fly at 16.00 from Porto, via Lisbon and home to Copenhagen. Breakfast was until 10am, so I went down around 9 am, and ate a leisurely breakfast. I have… Read more >
Day 15: Porto to Matosinhos August 17, 2023 Today I am back on the road, continuing where I left off in February, when I walked the first part of the Camino Portugues, starting outside Lisbon and ending in Porto. It was a stressful start to the day. Up early at 5am, my wife drove me to the airport. However, roadworks closed the slip… Read more >
Day 16: Matosinhos to Povoa de Varzim August 18, 2023 After a good nights sleep and a very good breakfast, I took the double-decker bus back to Matosinhos, where I started walking to Porto yesterday. Today was a much longer walk, 29km, the first 22km along the coast to Vila do Conde, and the last 7km inland to Povoa de Varzim, where I would stay… Read more >
Day 17: Pavoa de Varzim to Fao August 19, 2023 It rained all night and was still raining when I had finished breakfast. It wasn’t heavy rain, more a heavy drizzle, the kind that soaks you through to the bones. Given the weather, I was lucky that today was a short day, only 18kms to Fao. Tonight I will be sleeping at a camping site,… Read more >
Day 18: Fao to Viana Do Castelo August 20, 2023 Disaster happened - well a walkers disaster. But more about that later. Today was 30km from Fao, where I’d had a good nights sleep, despite the 00.30 fireworks, that I could hear but not see, to Viana do Castelo. I left the campsite early and stopped off for a coffee and ham and cheese sandwich… Read more >
Day 19: Viana do Castelo to Seixas August 21, 2023 It should have been 32km between Viana do Castelo and Seixas. The swelling around my ancle had subsided, but it still hurt when I walked, so there was no chance of walking 32kms. I bandaged the ancle, and hobbled  to a laundromat to wash my clothes - so at least I have clean clothes, despite… Read more >
Day 20: Seixas to Valenca August 22, 2023 After a good nights sleep and good breakfast overlooking the River Minho, I was walking again. The river is the border between Portugal and Spain, which I will be following, going east to the border town of Valenca, 24 kms. I left equally concerned about my foot and the heat. My foot felt better but… Read more >
Day 21: Valenca to O’Porrino August 23, 2023 After being woken by a group of 20 or so Americans ready to walk at 6.45, I showered, breakfasted, packed and was walking through a fairly deserted  Valenca by 9am, on my way to O'Pirrino, 21kms away. 30 mins later, after crossing the International bridge, it was 10.30, and now in Spain. The first time… Read more >
Day 22: O’Porrino to Pontevedra August 24, 2023 Today was a very enjoyable and beautiful stage, clearly the best since I started the Camino Portugues back in February outside Lisbon. 39km from O’Porrino to Pontevedra, partly on backroads and partly on paths through forests (giving some shade) and following streams. And with three bigger climbs (and numerous smaller), many of them steep and… Read more >
Day 23: Pontevedra August 25, 2023 Thanks to yesterday’s double stage, I had a day off today. It was just as well, the inhabitants of a neighboring room decided to have an hour long argument at 2.30 am (it may have lasted longer, but at least I fell asleep). They started again 7.00! I’ve spent hundreds of nights in hotels and… Read more >
Day 24: Pontevedra to Armenteira August 26, 2023 Another beautiful days walking, this time with a couple of climbs, the second of which was 430m over ca. 4km. In addition I visited two beautiful monasteries. A short stage, 20kms plus 3 more to get to the place I am sleeping tonight. I left Pontevedra at 9am, wearing a jumper. It was ‘only’ 14… Read more >
Day 25: Armenteira to Vilanova de Arousa August 27, 2023 This is a stunning stage following the Ruta de la Piedra y del Agua (The stone and water route) passing 51 ancient mills and cascades, before turning west at Pontearnelas towards Vilanova de Arousa, my destination for today. Apart from the downhill from an altitude of 300m in Armenteira, it was a relatively flat day.… Read more >
Day 26: Vilanova de Arousa to Santiago de Compostela August 28, 2023 Today I would reach the goal for the first part of my walk, Santiago de Compostela. Of course things didn’t go exactly as planned. As I wrote yesterday, the boat I was due to take at 7.30am from Vilanova de Arousa was cancelled. The next boat. at 10am, was then further delayed by 30 mins,… Read more >
Day 27: Santiago de Compostela August 29, 2023 It's taken me 26 days to get from outside Lisbon to Santiago, taking deviations to Fatima, then the Camino Carmelita north of Fatima and the Spiritual Variant from Pontevedra. I took 3 days off in Tomar, Fatima and Pontevedra, which together with Coimbra are all towns I would highly recommend. Whilst it's been very enjoyable,… Read more >