Best Starting Points for the Camino Portugués

Fátima, Camino Portugués

Setting out on the Camino de Santiago presents an unforgettable adventure, and the Camino Portugués is a favoured route by many. This journey unfolds across Portugal and Spain, showcasing spectacular landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and offering a deeply spiritual experience. If you’re mapping out your pilgrimage, choosing the right starting point is crucial.

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Camino Portugués

The Camino Portugués, or Portuguese Camino, is a stunning alternative to the Camino Francés, for pilgrims looking for a more rural experience on the Camino de Santiago. From Lisbon, the Camino Portugués follows the coast to Santiago. This route was traditionally taken by pilgrims coming from Portugal, mainly from Lisbon and Porto.

These two dazzling UNESCO World Heritage cities remain two of the main starting points on the Camino Portugués, although you can start your journey at any point along the way using our Camino de Santiago Planner. Below, we have listed the top starting points for the Camino Portugués, organized by their proximity to Santiago de Compostela, to aid in your planning.

Baiona, Camino Portugués
Baiona, Camino Portugués

Baiona: The Coastal Gem

Nestled along the picturesque Atlantic coast, Baiona is the closest starting point, about 120km/75 miles from Santiago. This historic town is perfect for those wishing to combine coastal beauty with a spiritual journey. The path from Baiona is lined with stunning seascapes, quiet beaches, and offers a relatively short journey to Santiago. In Baiona you can visit the historic Monte Real Castle, stroll along the port and swim in the bay before starting your journey to Santiago.

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Vigo, Camino Portugués
Vigo, Camino Portugués

Vigo: The Urban Start

Approximately 150km/ 95 miles from Santiago, Vigo provides a blend of urban vibrancy and natural splendour. Starting from Vigo is ideal for pilgrims looking for a shorter Camino experience without sacrificing the scenic beauty of Galicia’s coastlines and forests. From the coastal city of Vigo, a ferry ride brings you to the Cíes Islands, a natural paradise. Here, you can bask on pristine beaches, hike to panoramic viewpoints, and enjoy the tranquillity of these untouched islands. This provides a pleasant haven for relaxation and preparation before you embark on your journey to Santiago.

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Porto, Camino Portugués
Porto, Camino Portugués

Porto: The Cultural Heart

Located approximately 260km (or 100 miles) from Santiago de Compostela, Porto, the second-largest city in Portugal, is celebrated for its profound history, famous Port wine, and remarkable architecture. Embarking from Porto offers an immersive journey into Portuguese culture, guiding pilgrims through scenic villages and along the stunning northern coastline of Portugal. Beginning your Camino in the vibrant, UNESCO-listed city of Porto, you’ll pass through delightful seaside towns and villages across northern Portugal, tracing the magnificent Atlantic coast. While Porto to Santiago is hailed as the complete route. Lisbon offers an alternative for those desiring a lengthier pilgrimage journey. Each starting point caters to different preferences, ensuring a fulfilling experience for every pilgrim.

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Lisbon, Camino Portugués
Lisbon, Camino Portugués

Lisbon: The Historic Capital

As the capital city of Portugal, Lisbon offers the longest route on the Camino Portugués, approximately 643km/ 400 miles from Santiago. Setting out from Lisbon is a commitment to a comprehensive pilgrimage experience, passing through varied landscapes and numerous historical sites, providing an enriching journey full of discovery and personal reflection. The Full Camino Portugués from Lisbon is a month-long journey starting Portugal’s dazzling capital. If you have some time we highly recommend spending an extra night in Lisbon to soak up the Portuguese culture.

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Cies Islands near Vigo, Camino Portugués
Cies Islands near Vigo, Camino Portugués

The Camino Portugués presents several starting points to accommodate the preferences and abilities of every pilgrim. Whether you’re seeking a quick journey from Baiona or an extensive pilgrimage from Lisbon, each starting point offers distinct sights, challenges, and rewards. Each route provides a unique experience, blending cultural richness with personal discovery. The journey to Santiago de Compostela encompasses the path taken, cultural immersion, and personal growth. It’s about the journey, not just the destination.

For more information about the Camino Portugués or any other Camino de Santiago routes or to book your Camino trip, contact us. Buen Camino!

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