The Camino Portugues Central

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Camino Portugues Central

The Camino Portugues Central or Portuguese Camino is a fantastic route for pilgrims looking for a more rural experience on the Camino de Santiago.

This route is the route to Santiago traditionally chosen by pilgrims coming from Portugal, mainly from Lisbon and Porto. Those two dazzling UNESCO WH cities still remain two of the main starting points for modern-day pilgrims on the Camino Portugues although you can start your journey at any point along the way.

It takes pilgrims across stunning countryside, villages, and towns such as Santarém, one of the last Moorish bastions in Portugal; Coimbra, famous for its 13th-century university; and gorgeous Porto city with its colourful riverfront and home of Port wine.

On the Spanish side, it will take you passed past terraced fields, lush forests, vineyards, sleepy Galician villages. old Roman roads, across medieval bridges, lush forests, sleepy villages, vibrant towns and historical cities as it heads North towards Santiago de Compostela. The small roads along the Camino Portugues also make it one of the best Camino routes for cycling.

The history and heritage of the Camino is very much present along the way and you will encounter many churches, chapels, way crosses and shrines, where the image of Saint James often offers comfort to pilgrims on their journey.

The Camino Portugues Central follows the central Portuguese Camino all the way to Santiago, unlike the Camino Portugues Coastal, which splits from Porto and takes the coast way from there to Santiago.

The Camino Portugues Way is a great option for pilgrims looking for a more rural walking experience on the Camino de Santiago. It is the second most popular Camino route but it doesn’t get as many pilgrims as the famous Camino Frances.

The Camino Portugues Full Route takes just over one month to complete or you can start at any different points along the way.

The last 100km of the Camino Portuguese central route is the most popular section, with pilgrims starting their journey from Tui, Galicia, just across the Minho river from Portugal.

Highlights of the Camino Portuguese central

There are many must-sees on the Portuguese Central, here is some of our shortlist:

  • Mark 3 UNESCO WH sites off your list, by visiting Lisbon, Porto and Santiago
  • Rediscover Moorish and Christian medieval heritage in Santarem, Tomar and Santiago.
  • Taste the fresh seafood and drink a glass of Albarino in Galicia.
  • Discover the true hinterlands of Portugal and Spain in unspoilt traditional villages

Camino Portugues Pilgrim certificate

In order to get your Compostela pilgrim certificate in Santiago you will need to walk a minimum of 100kms into Santiago (we suggest starting in Tui) or cycle at least the last 200kms of the route (we suggest you start in Porto).

There are many routes you can take on the Camino Portugues and we are happy to help you decide on the best route for you.

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When to travel the Camino Portugues Central

The Camino Portugues crosses almost the entire length of Portugal and enters Spain in Galicia. Although this Camino can be walked year-round without major issues, we can divide it into two parts:

  • Camino from Lisbon to Porto can be hot in summer (mid-30s deg Celcius), it is relatively dry in winter.
  • The Camino from Porto is mild in summer (average 25 deg centigrade) But wet in winter.

Both are ideal for Walking or Cycling in Spring and Fall.

What to bring on the Camino Portugues Central

The Camino Portugues Central is an easy Camino to pack for, however, we prepared a Camino packing list ebook for you to download.

Camino Portugues Route Description

This Camino takes pilgrims along old roads, across forests, fields, over medieval bridges, quaint villages, towns, and historic cities, bearing north to Santiago de Compostela.

Along the way, you will pass countless reminders of the Camino history such as shrines, churches, convents, and stone crosses, and ‘Petos de animas‘, where the comforting image of Saint James is often present to guide pilgrims.

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Camino Portugues From Lisbon

Lisbon is the starting point of the Camino Portugues, over 600kms from Santiago de Compostela. Portugal’s chic and buzzing capital on the shores of the Atlantic is home to several impressive UNESCO sites and its fascinating history makes it a must-visit.

Heading North towards Santarem, the first stage of the Camino route quickly leaves the city landscape behind for the quiet farmland of the area known as ‘the Garden of Portugal’. Pilgrims travel along the Tejo river valley along a trail that is also the Caminho de Fatima. The town of Santarem, sitting on a hillside over the Tejo Valley, was one of the last Moorish bastions in Portugal.

From Santarem, the Caminho Portugues continues along the Tejo River, heading inland towards Coimbra, which was once the capital of Portugal and is home to one of Europe’s oldest universities dating back to the 13th century.

This stretch of the Camino passes by beautiful little villages, farmland, forests, and olive groves in the heart of Portugal.

Camino Portugues From Coimbra

From Coimbra, the Camino then heads back towards the Atlantic coast with Porto as a destination. This section of the trail will take you across vineyards, valleys, woodlands, and a stretch of Roman road to finish in the centre of stunning Porto, where you will marvel at its UNESCO World Heritage city centre, stroll along the Riviera (riverfront) and taste some of the local delicacies, with a drop of the city’s famous port wine.

To start in Coimbra, select the Camino Portugues full route and customise your starting point.

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Camino Portugues From Porto

Camino Portuguese Central From Porto, the classic Camino Portugues takes in a variety of landscapes in the green countryside of northern Portugal. In this section, you will also walk by many lovely little villages with magnificent chapels and churches, as well as Roman bridges.

As you reach the Miño River you will cross the picturesque International Bridge that connects the towns of Valenca do Minho in Portugal and historic Tui, in Galicia.

Camino Portugues From Tui

Many Camino pilgrims choose to start their journey from Tui Camino Portuguese, as it marks the last 100kms to Santiago de Compostela. Make sure you explore its pretty historic centre and visit the fortress-cathedral before continuing your walk.

This last section of the Camino Portugues takes pilgrims across many wooded areas, small villages and sleepy hamlets dotted with vegetable patches, crops and vineyards. You will be walking in the Rías Baixas region, home of Albariño white wine and some of the best seafood in the country. As you reach the coast in Arcade, make sure you try its famous local oysters.

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The old town in Pontevedra is an absolute delight so we recommend you take the time to explore its pretty cobbled streets and lively plazas. Before you reach Santiago you will also be stopping in Padrón, known for the peppers of the same name but also the home town of Galicia’s most illustrious poet: Rosalía de Castro.

Whether you are walking the full route from Lisbon or a shorter stretch, along the Camino Portugues you will enjoy fantastic food, a mosaic of beautiful landscapes, as well as fascinating culture, monuments, and heritage.

To read more about the Camino Portugues articles or contact our travel team to learn more.