Cycling long distances along the coast is always an interesting incentive for any trip. Here we propose you to cycle the Portuguese Way along the coast in one week. An experience that will take you through some of the most interesting places in Portugal and Galicia to the centre of the pilgrimages to Santiago, and which is full of heritage, gastronomy and culture shared on both sides of the border.
▌Day 1. Starting the Portuguese Way along the coast by bike from Porto
There are few better places to start your Portuguese Way route along the coast by bike than the great city in the north of Portugal. Porto - in Portuguese, Porto - offers you the possibility of cycling through one of the must-see places in the north of this Atlantic country. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, it has many attractions, from its cathedral and the Torre dos Clérigos to the popular and bustling cais da Ribeirapassing by one of the most famous bookshops in the world: Lello & Irmão.
Porto is one of Portugal's top tourist destinations and it shows. And the experience you are about to begin on two wheels is a great excuse to drop by and, if you have the time, dedicate a whole day to the city of the Douro.
▌Day 2. Stage Porto - Póvoa de Varzim
Distance: 38 km. Duration: 3-4 hours. Accommodation: Póvoa de Varzim
The first stage of your adventure on this coastal variant of the Portuguese Way. It is by far the shortest of the ones we propose, because it is always good to start slowly. And because it will help you to adapt to your bike - something that is not always taken into account and that is essential, unless you are very used to cycling.
The day starts in the city of Oporto, which we recommend you to have visited the day before. The first part of the route is obviously urban. We have to advance through the heavy traffic of the metropolitan area, which will give way to the open landscape as we advance. We take the path parallel to the Douro River - Douro in Portuguese - to Matosinhos and then turn north, which will become our permanent reference point during this journey.
If you have opted for this coastal route, instead of the inland route that goes to Tui and from there to Santiago, the urban area will give way to the views of the imposing Atlantic Ocean, from which you will not be separated at any time until the last day. Labruge and Vila do Conde are two of the towns you will pass through on this initial stage, which ends in Póvoa de Varzim.
▌Day 3. Stage Póvoa de Varzim - Viana do Castelo
Distance: 46 km. Duration: 4-5 hours. Accommodation: Viana do Castelo
The second day of this Portuguese Way along the coast by bicycle follows the same pattern as the previous day: kilometres and more kilometres of almost rectilinear route parallel to the immense Atlantic. Undoubtedly, one of the most spectacular routes of the Camino de Santiago. It is not by chance that in recent years it has gained followers. Between Póvoa de Varzim and Esposende, beaches, sea bream, traditional boats and old windmills reconditioned to welcome visitors during the summer season.
The second part of the day will take you to Viana do Castelo, with some points where the coastal path gradually leaves the sea to meet the river Neiva and, further on, the river Lima, at the foot of which rises the town of Viana do Castelo, which has one of the most beautiful and best preserved historic centres in Portugal.
▌Day 4. Stage Viana do Castelo - Baiona
Distance: 61 km. Duration: 6 hours. Accommodation: Baiona
The third stage of this coastal route runs halfway between Portugal and Galicia, jumping over the river Minho, which forms the border between the neighbouring towns of Caminha and A Guarda. With the sea always on our left, along coastal paths, asphalted tracks and dirt roads, the cyclist crosses here from river to river, from the Lima to the Minho. From Caminha, the last Portuguese town, we take the ferry to cross one of the oldest borders in the world, finally entering Galicia.
From there, it is a short walk to the southernmost section of the Galician coast, between the ocean and the cliffs. A short distance away you will find Oia and its old monastery overhanging the sea, where the so-called "cannoneer monks" lived, who defended the coast with cannon shots against pirate raids. Further on, the cliffs continue towards the beautiful lighthouse of Cabo Silleiro, slightly elevated above the coast and where we always recommend a stop.
From there, a short distance separates you from the end of the stage: Baiona, the old Erizana where the first news of the discovery of America arrived. You can see a reconstruction of the caravel La Pinta, and also visit the castle of Monterreal, today converted into a Parador de Turismo, or simply stroll through its medieval streets.
▌Day 5. Stage Baiona - Santiago de Compostela
Distance: 60 km. Duration: 6 hours. Accommodation: Santiago de Compostela
Sixty kilometres separate the town of Baiona from the city of Pontevedra. A more complex stretch in technical terms than the previous days and with the challenge of crossing Vigo, the largest city in Galicia and where the signposting can get a little confusing.
As you leave Baiona behind you, the open ocean and straight coastline give way to the complex and choppy coastline of the Galician Rías Baixas: you enter the Vigo estuary, famous for its shipwrecks full of gold from America and for the Rande bridge, which at the time of its construction was the largest suspension bridge in the world. This estuary, with the famous Cíes Islands in the background, was also used by Jules Verne as the setting for one of the adventures of the Nautilus.
After leaving Vigo through the Teis neighbourhood, with the A Guía lighthouse looking down on you, you'll arrive in Redondela, the so-called city of viaducts. You'll be impressed by the iron bridges that cross the town flying over the houses to allow the railway to pass. In addition, this coastal route joins this route with the inland variant of the Portuguese Way, so you will have many experiences to hear and tell other pilgrims.
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 estuary. From there you will quickly reach Arcade, also famous for its oysters, which we recommend you try. Soon, you will reach the end of the stage: the beautiful city of Pontevedra, which is said to be the most beautiful city in Spain. boa vila (good town), and whose sanctuary of the Pilgrim's Pilgrim has become a symbol of the city and of the Portuguese Way itself.
▌Day 6. Stage Pontevedra - Santiago de Compostela
Distance: 64 km. Duration: 6 hours. Accommodation: Santiago de Compostela
Last stage of this Portuguese Way along the coast by bicycle. Don't be in a hurry to finish it: the Camino is about giving time to time and stopping where the mood takes you. You will start the journey leaving Pontevedra behind by the Burgo bridge, where the river Lérez becomes the Pontevedra estuary. This stage is for nature lovers: wonderful landscapes dotted with vineyards and the characteristic villages of the Rías Baixas - a name inextricably associated today with the wines of the area, especially Albariño.
After 20 km you will reach Caldas de Reis, one of the towns with the longest thermal tradition in Galicia, and another 20 km will take you to Padrón, on the banks of the river Ulla, which flows into the immense Arousa estuary. According to Christian tradition, this is where the stone boat that brought the remains of the apostle St. James to rest in Galicia entered. It is well worth taking a stroll through the historic centre and along the breakwater to the church of Santiago, where the pedrónThe stone on which, according to the same tradition, the boat was moored when the disciples and the remains of Santiago continued their journey on foot.
From Padrón, the Way will take you through Iria Flavia, where the bishopric of Teodomiro was located at the time of the discovery of the tomb of the apostle, and through O Milladoiro, today a dormitory town of Santiago whose name 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.
Only five kilometres more and you will enter the city from the south, through the Porta Faxeira of the old city wall and the Rúa do Franco, a name related to the pilgrims, who were called francos indistinctly, whether they came from Portugal or from the south of Galicia. Congratulations, pilgrim! You have reached your goal. The journey continues.
▌Day 7. Santiago de Compostela and more
You have completed your Portuguese Way by bike and after a well-deserved rest, you finally have time to visit the city you have cycled more than two hundred kilometres to reach. 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 to complete a fantastic week.
During the Camino, sleeping well and resting is essential. Here are some images of some of the accommodation we work with on this route.
POVOA DE VARZIM. Hotel Costa Verde
BAIONA. Casa do Marqués
PONTEVEDRA. Hotel Galicia Palace
santiago de compostela_2
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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