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3
moderate
Activities
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
  • 10 nights in comfortable hotels
Meals
  • 10 Breakfasts

11 Days£1140GBP

Overview

Trip Code: PC1

Trip highlights


  • Discovering on foot the small villages and pilgrimage sites along the Camino Portugués
  • Exploring historical Tomar and Coimbra and the ruins at Conimbriga
  • Experiencing culinary delights of the area
  • Enjoying the hospitality of family run hotels

The Portuguese Road, or Camino Portugués, is considered by many as the most spiritually connected pilgrimage route. Following the path St James' body took to its resting place at the site of Santiago de Compostela in Spain, the quieter Portuguese path offers a wealth of history and delightful landscapes to discover. This section of the route, the first of four stages on our self-guided walking along the Portuguese Camino, begins in the capital city of Lisbon, situated on the Tagus River, from where you begin your walk out through fertile floodplains and gently undulating terrain, staying in small hotels with local character each evening. Along the walk you will explore the Templar town of Tomar, the Roman ruins of Conimbriga and journey on until you reach the World Heritage listed Coimbra, Portugal's early medieval capital best known for its university founded in 1290.

Countries:

Portugal

Starting Point:

Lisbon

Finishing Point:

Coimbra


Lisbon is the capital of Portugal and one of the world’s oldest cities: known as Olispio by the Romans, settled by the Visigoths and the Arabs before becoming the base for the “Discoveries’ – Columbus, Magellan and Vasco de Gama all set sail from here. An earthquake in 1755 destroyed many buildings and dramatically brought an end to this powerful empire. The UNESCO-listed monastery in Belem still stands and is definitely worth a visit, as is the Alfama district for ‘fado’ (music) – or simply enjoy a stroll through the streets of this beautiful city. You will find the first waymark of your Portuguese Camino at the Cathedral.

Meals:  Nil

Transfer from your hotel to Santa Iria de Azoia (at 8:30am, approx 20mins) where your walk commences. Initially walking through industrial outskirts and modern suburban developments, the last 4km from Alhandra to Vila Franca is riverside and pleasant. Once a Crusader town, Vila Franca is known today for breeding fighting bulls (its Festa do Colete, ‘running of the bulls’, is held in early July). Nearby is a large wetland reserve, home to vast flocks of migrating fowl. Distance 18km/11.3mi

Meals:  B

Continue along the river, through flat agricultural land – and a couple of industrial zones – to Azambuja, gateway to the fertile floodplains of the Tagus. Azambuja was home to one of Portugal's most famous female matadors, Ana Maria, and its 'running of the bulls' festival is held in May. Distance 20km/12.5mi

Meals:  B

Today’s walk follows farm tracks through ‘the market garden of Portugal’, the rich flood plains of the Tagus. Here you’ll find fruit, vegetables and vineyards. Wander through riverside villages before a short uphill to Santarem. Once an administrative centre of the Romans, the town was settled by the Moors and considered unassailable until its recapture by the Portuguese in 1149. The beautiful main square is surrounded by churches, and don’t miss the ceramic tiled Igeja de Marvila and the view from the Portas do Sol. Distance 33km/20.5mi

Meals:  B

Today’s walk again follows rural tracks and lanes and passes through villages along the Tagus. If the weather is dry, consider leaving the new path to visit the town of Azinhaga, birthplace of Portugal’s 1998 Nobel Prize winning writer, Jose Saramago. At Golega, the 16th century Parish Church has a beautiful Manueline (Portuguese Gothic) gate and its museum owns a collection of sculptures by Martins Correia. Nearby is the Paul do Boquilobo Nature Reserve, the marsh habitat and breeding ground of several species of water fowl (April to June). Golega’s famous horse fair is held in the first two weeks of November and accommodation is scarce. Distance 31km/18mi

Meals:  B

Walk along the Tagus via the abandoned manor Quinta da Cardiga with its Manueline portal and 16th and 17th tiles. From here, the countryside changes from alluvial plains to undulating hills as you head away from the river. Continue through woodlands and several villages then follow the Nabao river to historic Tomar. In the late 12th century, Tomar’s castle was the headquarters of the Portuguese Templars and the town remains an archetype of Templar layout and architecture. Don’t miss the richly embellished Charola or Round Church in the Convent of Christ. Lots to see and a great feel make Tomar an ideal town to have a rest day (must be advised at the time of booking). Distance 30km/18.5mi

Meals:  B

Travelling across flat rural plains, woodlands of pine and eucalypt and several hamlets, today’s walk is peaceful despite being mostly on paved roads. Distance 31km/19mi

Meals:  B

More flat rural plains today, with vineyards, olive trees and pines the predominant landscape. There are many little hamlets en route and the mid-way town of Ansiao has a Saturday farmers' market. Cross the 17th bridge leaving Ansiao before heading along forest track through pines and eucalypts, where sap is collected in the traditional method. Continue to the attractive hilltop town of Alvorge. Distance 23km/14mi

Meals:  B

Today's walk takes you through a variety of paths, mostly through farmlands and passing woods. You pass the Roman ruins at Conimbriga where you can stop and discover the many mosiacs. Then continue on to the town of Condeixa a Nova where you will overnight. Overnight in Condeixa a Nova. Distance 25km/16mi

Meals:  B

Today you continue walking along paved roads and through small hamlets. The trail is undulating around the town of Palheira. Along the way, Cruz dos Mourocos has remnants of a Roman aqueduct and the town of Santa Clara has a dramatic and somewhat macabre story: Dona Ines de Castro secretly wed Pedro, son of King Alfonso IV and was tragically murdered by the King as he feared her Spanish heritage. On his father’s death and subsequent coronation, Pedro exhumed Dona Ines' corpse, crowned it and forced courtiers to pay homage and kiss her decaying hand, in revenge. Cross the Mondego River to Coimbra, a thriving university town with many historic buildings. Overnight Coimbra. Distance 15km/9.3mi

Meals:  B

Trip concludes after breakfast - or continue along the next stage of the Portuguese Camino to Porto.

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


Inclusions

  • 10 breakfasts: Breakfasts are usually continental inclusive of breads, cheese, ham, tea, coffee & juices.
  • 10 nights in comfortable hotels on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities
  • Transfer from Lisbon to Santa Iria de Azoia
  • Digital information pack including navigational app with route notes & maps
  • Luggage Transfer, 1 piece maximum 20kg, supplement applies for excess
  • Pilgrim Passport
  • Emergency hotline

  • Travel to Lisbon and from Coimbra
  • Meals not listed as included, drinks
  • Entrance fees
  • Guide – this is a self guided walking trip
  • A supplement will apply if you are travelling solo or book a single room
  • Excess luggage
  • Transfers unless listed as included
  • Travel insurance
  • Items of a personal nature

Suitability

moderate

3

MODERATE – GRADE 3 Daily walks are between 15-33km on well marked trails over diverse terrain – from relatively flat to hilly. The trail takes you along quiet rural roads and on the verges of roads with traffic. Some of the route is on walking trails away from the road and there are often alternative routes available. Route finding is reasonably straightforward following the yellow arrows and granite pillars (showing distance to Santiago), however you still need to be vigilant as markers from other trails can be confusing (refer below for further details on self guided adventures). However our notes include hints and pointers to help you navigate the route. The route will inevitably cross main roads close to cities and towns, although the majority is on side roads and walking trails. The main areas to concentrate on route finding are arriving and leaving towns and cities. The accent is on keeping a steady pace to take in all of the attractions, with time to stop and take photos. You will need a good level of fitness to participate fully in this adventure.


Departure dates

Daily from 1 Mar to 15 Nov

Notes

Note:
Departures in November are likely to experience wetter and colder conditions than at other times with snow possible. Winter can be a magical time to experience the Camino with fewer people and more local encounters, but the walking day is shorter. In addition, hotel closures are possible which may require a change in overnight towns.

Priceper person from

£1140GBP

Options & Supplements*
  • Single SupplementGBP£500
  • Solo traveller supplementGBP£850
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


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Our well priced trips offer great value for money. Included in your package are comprehensive route notes, maps & guide books along with bag transfers and locally run accommodation. We take the stress out of organising your holiday.

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We have been operating active self guided holidays since 1973. We handle all the necessary logistics so that you can relax and explore your destination at your own pace. Many of our tours depart daily, giving you even greater flexibility.

Videos

Caminhos de Santiago | Ways of St. James

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