The Portuguese Way is the second Camino de Santiago with the largest influx of pilgrims. The original starting point is the capital of Portugal: Lisbon, although over the years Porto (Portugal) and Tui (Galicia) have become the two main starting places of the Portuguese Way.
The Portuguese Way has three variants as it passes through Portugal: the interior, the center and the coast. The most popular among pilgrims is the Central, which, before arriving in Galicia, passes through such important towns as Santarem, Coimba, Oporto or Valença, combining sea and mountains, incredible landscapes and rich gastronomy. From the border between Portugal and Galicia, the pilgrim travels about 120 kilometers distributed in 5 or 6 stages, passing through Tui, O Porriño, Redondela, Pontevedra and Padrón. The stages increase to 8 if the Portuguese Coastal Way is chosen, which in Galicia starts from the town of A Guarda and passes through beautiful places such as Oia, Baiona or Vigo. The Portuguese Way does not present excessively hard sections and it has the important monumental heritage and the beautiful panoramic views that the Rías Baixas offer.
The Camino de Santiago Portugues has a great historical tradition, fostered by the support received from the old Portuguese crown, which documents pilgrimages to Santiago de Compostela from the 11th and 12th centuries.
It is the second most popular route among current pilgrims after the French Way, in part because of its medium-low difficulty, its good communications, especially with Porto and Lisbon, and its rich landscape.
About 600 kilometers is the pilgrimage route from Lisbon. The capital of the Portuguese country is the original starting point of this Jacobean Route and one of the most relevant places on the itinerary that, for centuries, facilitated cultural and economic exchanges.
The Portuguese Way does not have a single route, since other variants to the north leave the rest of the Portuguese territory, which ascend through the interior, the center and the coast of Portugal. Although, as we have already seen, the original Route goes from Lisbon to Santiago, crossing Portugal from south to north.
From Tui (Pontevedra) to Santiago de Compostela. 6 stages. 115 kilometers.
Thus, most pilgrims circulate along a main artery that passes through important centers such as Santarem, Coimbra and Porto until they reach Valença do Minho. The Route crosses the border and enters Galicia through the Pontevedra town of Tui.
It is the international bridge over the river Miño, which joins both countries, the preferred starting point for those who decide on this beautiful route, which runs combining the sea with the mountains, the watchword of the Galician lands.
From the border between Portugal and Galicia, 120 kilometers that are covered in 6 or 5 days of walking to the Cathedral of Santiago, depending on time needs. The Galician sections cross towns such as Tui, O Porriño, Redondela, Pontevedra and Padrón. They are all lively towns, on a route that barely touches unpopulated areas, which offers pilgrims numerous leisure options and services that facilitate day-to-day life.
There are no excessively hard sections, so the walk is pleasant in most of this route, which year after year gains followers due to its monumental background and its excellent natural heritage.
From A Guarda (Pontevedra) to Santiago de Compostela 8 stages. 161.6 kilometers
There is another option for pilgrims who want to follow the Portuguese Way and also know the Galician coast. Since 2016, the Portuguese Way along the Coast has been officially recognized by the Xunta de Galicia.
Porto is the beginning of this popular Route, whose beginning in Galicia begins in the town of A Guarda. A town that has been a strategic point for centuries due to its location on the border with Portugal.
The route covers 161.1 km that are divided into 8 stages. Its route runs along the Galician coastline during its first stages, from A Guarda to Vigo walking along the cliffs and landscapes of the Rías Baixas in the province of A Pontevedra and with a view of the Cíes Islands at the height of the Vigo estuary. .
There is an alternative to this official coastal route. In the second stage of this Camino, from Baiona to Vigo, the pilgrim arrives at Ramallosa. At this point, the pilgrim can deviate to Nigrán and travel through the interior the 22.6 kilometers that take him through Coruxo to reach the most industrial city in Galicia.
From here the Camino enters to reach Redondela, famous for its gastronomic festival of "choco". At this point the two routes come together and the pilgrims of both routes will continue the Portuguese Way together passing through Pontevedra, Caldas de Reis, Padrón and finally, Santiago de Compostela.
FROM TUI (INTERIOR PORTUGUESE)
FROM TO GUARDA (PORTUGUESE BY THE COAST)
CONTINUATION FROM ROUND
HOW TO GET TO THE DEPARTURE POINT
To get to Tui, the gateway to the Portuguese Way in Galicia, these are the options:
- How to get to Tui by train: Tui station is in Guillarei, 5 kilometers away from the urban center, which is later reached by bus and taxi.
You can get there from Madrid (with trains that pass through towns such as Segovia, Medina del Campo, Zamora, Ávila, Valladolid, Palencia, León, Astorga, Ponferrada or Ourense), Barcelona (through Tarragona, Lleida, Zaragoza, Logroño, Burgos, Palencia, León, Astorga, Ponferrada or Ourense), Alicante and Bilbao. All the information on Renfe and on the phone (+0034) 902 320 320.
There is also a Vigo-Oporto train, which also stops at the Tudense station, so you can check the schedules to the 2 cities.
- How to get to Tui by bus: The best way is to go to Vigo, where lines arrive from the main Spanish cities such as AvanzaBus (Madrid and Valencia), Alsa (Madrid-Barajas, Bilbao, Seville) or Vibasa (Barcelona, Bilbao).
From Vigo you can take a bus to Tui with the company ATSA (+0034) 986 610 255, which has several daily frequencies.
- How to get to Tui by car: The AP-9 motorway reaches Tui from A Coruña, passing through Vigo. It can also be reached through the A-55 highway, which connects with the A-52 towards the Meseta.
- How to get to Tui by plane: The closest airport to Tui is Peinador, in Vigo, with direct flights from various points on the Peninsula and some European cities. Vitrasa buses depart from Peinador to the center of Vigo.
The Portuguese Way along the Coast in Galicia begins in A Guarda and there are several ways to get to the starting point:
How to get to Guarda by plane: the closest airport is Peinador in Vigo, just 60km away and with links to the main Spanish cities and international routes. They can also travel to the Santiago de Compostela airport, 150 kilometers away, or to Coruña. Another interesting option is the airport in the Portuguese city of O Porto, just over 100 kilometers from A Guarda. In either case, a road or train link would be needed to the Galician border town.
How to get to Guarda by train: the best option is to get to the Vigo railway station, connected to the capital, Barcelona and the main Galician and Portuguese cities. There is also the possibility of reaching the Guillerei train station in Tui, closer to A Guarda, although without a subsequent connection by bus line.
How to get to Guarda by road: by bus you can get to Vigo with the Alsa bus lines from any Spanish city. From the station in the city of Pontevedra, the Atsa company connects Vigo with A Guarda. Another option is the private car. The A- & highway and the A-52 highway called “Rías Baixas” connect the interior of the Peninsula with Vigo. This city can also be reached by the AP-9 motorway from anywhere in Galicia. From here there are two options: continue to Tui on the A-55 and then turn off to A Guarda on the PO-552 road or take the CG-42 high-speed road. Or continue the AG-57 motorway to Baiona and the PO-552 to A Guarda. If the trip begins in Portugal, the A3 motorway connects the Portuguese cities of O Porto, Braga and Lisbon with the Spanish border. They will have to cross the river Miño between Vila Nova de Cerdeira and Goián (Tomiño) through the “Friendship Bridge” for later connect with the PO-552 highway or the CG-42 high-speed highway.
How to get to A Guarda by sea: there is the possibility of crossing from A Caminha (Portugal) on a ferry to A Pasaxe (a neighborhood of A Guarda) by boat. This link is maintained every day except Monday. Here you can check the schedules.
Credits: The Camino de Santiago with Correos