The Portuguese Way is, after the French, the second most famous Jacobean route and a perfect alternative for its smooth profile and the many charms that Portugal has to offer. Here we suggest the Portuguese Way from Porto to Santiago de Compostela. 11 stages that will take you from the main urban centre of the north of Portugal to the city of the apostle. Atlantic coast, green hills and idyllic forests is what the landscape has to offer. Gastronomy, culture and the striking rural Portuguese and Galician baroque architecture complete the perfect combination.
▌Day 1. Starting the Portuguese Way from Oporto
Starting the Portuguese Way from Oporto - Porto, in Portuguese -, offers us the possibility of getting to know one of the most important cities in Portugal and a must for all those who visit the north of the country. Not in vain has it been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Its many attractions, from the Torre dos Clérigos to the Ribeira district, or from the Cathedral to the famous Livraria Lello & Irmão, have made it a tourist destination of reference in Portugal. And for this reason, without a doubt, it is also one of the best places to start the Portuguese Way.
▌Day 2. Stage Oporto - Vilarinho
Distance: 27 km. Duration: 6 hours. Accommodation: Vilarinho
More than a third of this first stage is urban. And no wonder. Porto has the second largest metropolitan area in the country. This means that most of the route will be on asphalt and pavements, which leads some pilgrims to skip this stretch using the metro to Araújo. We don't recommend it, because the Camino de Santiago is not just about rural areas and beautiful landscapes. It is also its cities and its people. And sometimes its industrial parks, like the one in Maia, which you will also pass through on this stage.
The journey continues through small villages such as Mosteiró, Gião and Vairão before reaching the day's goal: Vilarinho.
▌Day 3. Stage Vilarinho - Barcelos
Distance: 26.6 km. Duration: 6 hours. Accommodation: Barcelos
The second stage of this Portuguese Way from Porto is radically different from the first and rural and agricultural areas dominate the whole section, which runs along dirt tracks and local roads without traffic, connecting small villages relatively close to each other.
The stage ends in Barcelos, an interesting town that is at the base of one of the Portuguese symbols par excellence: the cockerel. It is only 20 km from Braga, once the capital of the Kingdom of Galicia and now known as the Portuguese Rome.
▌Day 4. Stage Barcelos - Ponte de Lima
Distance: 32.9 km. Duration: 7 hours. Accommodation: Ponte de Lima
From Barcelos to Ponte de Lima is the longest stage of this programme: almost 35 km which, depending on your time availability, we recommend you to split in half, spending the night in Balugães.
The entire route takes you through the beautiful wine-growing areas of the vinhos verdes(literally green wines), a type of young wine very appreciated in Portugal and perfect to accompany light meals.
At the end of the stage you will reach the wonderful town of Ponte de Lima. A perfect place to rest and imagine the scene of its main legend: that of the river of oblivion during the conquest of Gallaecia.
▌Day 5. Stage Ponte de Lima - Rubiães
Distance: 18.3 km. Duration: 4:30 hours. Accommodation: Rubiães
The fourth stage is one of the most interesting and of greatest scenic and natural value in this programme.
It runs mainly through a wooded and very pleasant environment, with almost no difficulties except for the climb to the Portela Grande de Labruja, with a steep slope.
It should also be noted that between Codeçal and Rubiães (9.2 km) there are no services for pilgrims. However, the whole stage is much shorter than the previous one and the destination, Rubiães, is the prelude to Tui.
▌Day 6. Stage Rubiães - Tui
Distance: 19 km. Duration: 5 hours. Accommodation: Tui
Last Portuguese stage of this route. However, the Portuguese Way continues towards Santiago, passing the border (which was not always the case) of the river Minho. You will reach the old medieval city of Tui, whose bishopric extended, in the Middle Ages, on both sides of the river. You will first have to pass through Valença do Minho, where we recommend a stop at the fortress. It is one of the best preserved in Portugal, and one of the liveliest.
At the end of the day, much more heritage awaits you in Tui. Its splendid cathedral-fortress and intricate medieval streets. Many people end their journey here to continue on to Santiago on another occasion. But in this programme we will continue.
▌Day 7. Stage Tui - O Porriño
Distance: 16.1 km. Duration: 4 hours. Accommodation: O Porriño
The seventh day is the first completely Galician day of this Portuguese Way. You will start your journey in Tui, on the banks of the river, perhaps joining the pilgrims who have decided to take Tui as the starting point of their Camino, as it is one of the most popular starting points.
After crossing the historic street you will begin a gentle ascent towards Ribadelouro, passing by the sanctuary of San Bartolomeu, one of the oldest in Galicia.
From there, you'll descend towards O Porriño, capital of the municipality of the same name, which is in the metropolitan area of Vigo, the largest city in Galicia.
To get to O Porriño, when you reach the village of Orbenlle you have two well-signposted options: you can take the official road, which crosses the industrial area of As Gándaras, or the alternative route through the natural area of As Gándaras de Budiño and Río Louro. Our recommendation is to opt for the latter, because it avoids the asphalt and the industrial area and, in addition, both variants are 7.9 km long.
▌Day 8. Stage O Porriño - Redondela
Distance: 15.6 km. Duration: 3:45 hours. Accommodation: Redondela
On leaving O Porriño you will quickly pass the town hall of Mos.
The route crosses the small village that serves as the capital, passing by the church of Santa Eulalia and the manor house of the Marquises of Mos, and then begins the climb to the top of Enxertade. There you can find the Roman milestone of Vilar de Infesta and follow the old Roman road XIX that linked Braga and Astorga.
From there you reach the town of Redondela, another of the towns in the Vigo metropolitan area, known for the enormous railway viaducts that cross the town between its houses, and a perfect place to spend the night.
If you are lucky and your visit to Redondela coincides with the Corpus Christi festivity, you will be able to enjoy the magnificent festival of the coca, which has been celebrated since the Middle Ages as a pre-Christian reminiscence, and that brings to the streets of the town a being from Galician mythology in the form of a dragon or serpent that inhabits rivers and seas.
▌Day 9. Stage Redondela - Pontevedra
Distance: 19.1 km. Duration: 5 hours. Accommodation: Pontevedra
After leaving Redondela, a new effort will take you to the top of O Viso, which offers one of the best views over the famous Vigo estuary - the one portrayed by Jules Verne in his Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, where Spanish galleons loaded with gold from America rest on the seabed.
After a gentle descent, you will reach Arcade, a town famous for the oysters produced on its banks. Further on, you will cross the historic Roman bridge over the river Verdugo and start your descent towards Pontevedra, a town with an impressive historic quarter that is well worth a visit, taking advantage of the shorter-than-usual stage design.
In addition, you can't miss the church of the Pilgrim Virgin and discover its history. Take a look at the ground plan of the building and you will see that it stands on an unusual but very appropriate scallop shape.
▌Day 10. Stage Pontevedra - Caldas de Reis
Distance: 21 km. Duration: 5 hours. Accommodation: Caldas de Reis
On the fifth day of your experience on this Portuguese Way from Tui you will leave Pontevedra by the historic bridge of Burgo, where the river Lérez turns into an estuary. This stage of the Portuguese Way of Saint James is for nature lovers. You will be accompanied by wonderful landscapes dotted with small villages that will allow you to enjoy the charms of the Rías Baixas.
You can have lunch at the Barosa River Nature Park, enjoy the thermal waters of Caldas de Reis or do a wine tasting of D.O. Rías Baixas as part of this section. Just ask us and we will prepare it for you.
The end of the day will be in Caldas de Reis, a thermal village on the banks of the Umia river, perfect for recharging your batteries.
▌Day 11. Stage Caldas de Reis - Padrón
Distance: 18.5 km. Duration: 4:30 hours. Accommodation: Padrón
After leaving Caldas, the Portuguese Way continues through rural areas, with small towns and villages. Almost reaching the end of the stage, you will cross the Ulla River, one of the most important rivers in Galicia and one of the main waterways of the largest and most productive estuary in Galicia: the Ría de Arousa.
On the other side of the bridge, you will find Padrón, the point where, according to tradition, the boat carrying the body of the apostle St. James docked when his disciples Theodore and Athanasius brought him back to Gallaecia.
In Padrón you can also discover that the "national poet" of Galician literature is a woman: Rosalía de Castro.
▌Day 12. Stage Padrón - Santiago de Compostela
Distance: 22 km. Duration: 5:15 hours. Accommodation: Santiago de Compostela
You are approaching the finish line. Passing through small villages, always climbing moderately, you will reach Santiago passing through Iria Flavia, where the bishopric of Teodomiro was located at the time of the discovery of the apostle's tomb.
You will also pass through O Milladoiro, which today functions as a dormitory town for the capital of Galicia, but whose name probably comes from the Latin humiliatorium - a clear reference to the pilgrimage and to the fact that from its top it was finally possible to see the towers of Santiago Cathedral.
Keep walking and you will enter the city from the south, through the Porta Faxeira of the old wall and the rúa do Franco, a name related to the pilgrims, who were called francos indistinctly, even if they came from Portugal or from the south of Galicia. Congratulations, pilgrim! You have reached your goal. The journey continues.
▌Day 13. Santiago de Compostela and more
After a well-deserved rest, you finally have time to visit the city that you have reached on foot after more than a hundred kilometres. Its historic centre, its university, its market and its countless parks, its surroundings...
And, if you have time, the End of the World awaits you. We bring it to you on a full day trip to Muxía, Fisterra and the Costa da Morte.
During the Camino, sleeping well and resting is essential. Here are some images of some of the accommodation we work with on this route.
Frequent Asked Questions
Can I choose the dates I want?
Yes, in our programmes you choose the starting date. The Camino de Santiago can be done all year round, although in January and February many accommodations are closed for rest, so if you want to do it in those dates, we recommend you that you consult us first.
Where are the accommodations?
Most of the accommodation is located next to the Camino, at the place where you will finish each stage. When you make your booking we will generate for you the documentation with the exact address and other location data.
If the available accommodation is more than 1.5 km from the Camino, we will provide a transfer at no extra cost to you.
How does the transport of luggage between accommodations work?
In our programmes we include the option of hiring a luggage transfer service, with a limit of 1 piece of luggage of up to 20 kg per person. There is the option to increase the number of items, but this is not usually necessary. In addition, we will give you luggage identifiers (similar to those at airports) so that you can leave your backpack with the accommodation staff, properly identified, and the shuttle will pick it up there. It is important to do this before 8:00 am, so that our team can take it to the next accommodation before your arrival. In addition, if you plan to travel with more luggage than the Camino, we can also transport the luggage you are not going to use to your last accommodation, so that you can then continue your journey.
What do private transfers consist of?
Although the Camino is done on foot or by bicycle, you may need a vehicle from the airport to the starting point of your pilgrimage or to make a trip to a place of interest near the end of your stage. In these cases, we provide you with private transport vehicles whose price varies depending on the distance. You can see it among the options by clicking on "I want to book my Camino".
What is travel insurance?
By default and compulsory, all our programmes include travel insurance with specific coverage for the Camino de Santiago. You can see the details in the section Insurance of our website.
What does 24-hour assistance mean?
All our programmes include a 24-hour telephone support service, should you need help at any time during your experience. This means that you can also contact us outside office hours (when you are on pilgrimage).
How do I make a reservation?
If you want to book this programme, you have the following options available a form where you can indicate the starting date, the type of accommodation and a series of optional services. The price will be updated according to the options you choose, so you have full control. Once you have configured your trip, click on "Book" to make the payment.
Once we receive your request, you will automatically receive a proof of purchase and within 48 working hours we will contact you to confirm the details of your booking and provide you with the documentation.
What if I can't find the programme I need?
In Proguías we also work with tailor-made programmes (short stages, intermediate rest days, itineraries different from those proposed, etc.). If you are looking for a Camino that meets your needs/preferences, you can ask us for a quote here.
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Request a quote for this programme
We prepare a personalised quote and send it directly to your e-mail.