Which is the best route to choose; the Portuguese Way or the Portuguese Coastal Way? This is a common question for people who are embarking on the Camino journey. We have a few details that may help you to make the right decision. The first two things that you need to consider before booking your Camino is what type of experience you are looking for along the way and how much time you have for the walk. After those two important questions are answered you will be on the right track (pardon the pun).
Both the original Portuguese Way and the alternative Portuguese Coastal Way offer up two amazing choices of trails. On each way you will meet some amazing people, pass through charming towns, taste delicious food and walk unique terrain. The main difference is that the Portuguese Coastal Way is much shorter than the Portuguese Way.
Here is a breakdown of both routes to give you more insights into the trail and what to expect:
Walking the full route of the Camino Portugues would take approximately 1 month. Starting in the Portugal capital of Lisbon you will walk through beautiful towns and winding forest tracks. On this trail, you will cross over the 19th-century bridge on the River Minho which acts as a natural border between Portugal and Spain.
This nature-filled trail will take you across vineyards, through woodlands, and into many small charming villages.
The last 100km section of the Portuguese Way starts in the border town of Tui. Enjoy strolling through historic towns with their pretty historic centres. Don’t forget to stop and admire the many pretty chapels and churches.
Distance: Full route 617 km – Lisbon to Santiago de Compostela or you can opt to walk the last part of this route which would take you from Tui to Santiago over 7 nights.
Duration: 29 Nights
Trail: If you are planning to walk the full Portuguese Way you will find that the route is quieter than the Camino Frances. The trail is very well marked and you will have our walking notes and maps at hand to help you find your way.
Highlights: Soak up the atmosphere is Lisbon’s energetic centre, taste Portugal’s cod dish of Bacalhau, claim your pilgrim certificate in Santiago de Compostela.
This stunning coastal trail along the Altlantic shoreline is a mixture of coastal walking, forest tracks and gradual uphill climbs. Your stops along the way will be a combination of seaside towns and intriguing villages such as A Guarda, Baiona, and Pontevedra. Epic coastal views and areas of untouched natural beauty will form long-lasting memories for anyone who chooses this trail.
To reach the small town of A Guarda in Galicia, walkers will hop on a short ferry and be welcomed into the Rías Baixas region, renowned for its Albarino wine, rugged landscapes, and delicious seafood.
Walkers will stay in the picturesque seaside town of Baoina before continuing along the coast to the cosmopolitan city of Vigo.
Make sure to stop off in the fishing village of Arcade to taste their famous Oysters before joining your fellow pilgrims in the historic town of Pontevedra to continue your journey to Santiago de Compostela.
Distance: Full route 265 kms – Porto to Santiago de Compostela of you can opt to walk the last part of the coastal way which takes you from the seaside town of Baiona to Santiago over 7 nights.
Duration: 13 nights
Trail: This is manageable with a diverse range of terrain. It is well signposted and you will meet other pilgrims along the way.
Highlights: Relax or take a dip in the sea before starting your journey in the beautiful coastal town of Baiona. Taste the best of Galica’s pinchos and wine in the harbor city of Vigo.
In recent years local authorities along the coast have constructed extensive promenades and seaside boardwalks. There are two potential routes you can follow at the beginning of The Portuguese Coastal Way; The Seaside Route and The Coastal Route. Both of these stunning trails join the main Portuguese Way after Redondela. You will receive detailed walking notes and maps for both potential routes in your holiday. You can choose which one you prefer to do, or in fact walk a mixture of both.
For more information about the Camino Portugues, all our Camino de Santiago routes or to book your trip, contact our travel experts