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3
moderate

Traveller Rating

 

Activities
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
  • 7 nights in comfortable hotels
Meals
  • 5 Dinners
  • 7 Breakfasts

8 Days£985GBP

Overview

Trip Code: PTT

Trip highlights


  • Discovering on foot the river valleys, small villages and pilgrimage sites along the Camino Portugués
  • Exploring the historical centres of Porto, Barcelos and Ponte de Lima
  • Experiencing culinary delights and the port wine varieties of the area
  • Enjoying the hospitality of family run hotels

Considered the most spiritually connected pilgrimage route, following the path St James' body took to its resting place at the site of Santiago de Compostela, this quiet stage offers a wealth of history. From the lively city of Porto, set on the banks of the Douro River and famous for its port wine production, the journey north travels through small hamlets, past eucalyptus and pine woods, over ancient bridges and through larger market towns dating back to Roman times. Throughout the journey there are ample reminders of past pilgrims and the route offers many insights into the religious significance of the Camino. Visually stunning in parts, there are many advantages in walking the Portugués route with the ascent up to the highest point on the trail at Alto da Portela Grande (405m) rewarded with sweeping views of the Lima Valley below. This is the third of four stages on our self-guided walking along the Portuguese Camino.

Countries:

Portugal

Starting Point:

Porto

Finishing Point:

Tui


Set on the banks of the Douro River, Porto's historical centre was declared a World Heritage site in 1996 and in the 12th Century it was in Porto that the country took its name and became an independent nation. Its maritime legacies and importance as a new world trading port have shaped it into the proud city it has become, with its impressive cathedral and port wine lodges. After checking in to your hotel, take the time to explore the city with its many cultural sites.

Meals:  Nil

This morning a private transfer (at 8.30am) will take you from your Porto hotel to the small town of Vilar do Pinheiro where you begin an easy walk down in part through woodland trails to the rural town of Arcos. The transfer enables you to avoid the urban sprawl of Porto, taking you directly to a rural landscape, however if you want to walk this section we recommend you do it the previous day and take a taxi or bus back to your Porto hotel.

Meals:  B,D

The trail today takes you through lush valleys through towns such as Sao Pedro de Rates and its church of St Peter, and over the Monte Franqueira, before reaching Barcelos. There is an alternative route for a small section, via the ruins of the Castelo de Faria. Arriving in Barcelos you are certainly in for a treat. With its impressive medieval bridge, Barcelos is treasured for its history and legends (eg. the Barcelos cockerel). The feast of the crosses is held on 3 May each year in its octagonal shaped baroque church. Every Thursday the Campo da Feira, or market square, becomes one of Portugals most atmospheric market places. If you are thinking of a rest day this is the place to have it.

Meals:  B,D

The route takes you through small villages with pretty gardens and past many baroque chapels enroute to the small and quiet town of Balugães, a traditional resting point on the Camino Portuguese.

Meals:  B,D

The route takes us gradually closer to the valley of the Lima River, where the village of Ponte da Lima is located, the oldest in Portugal. The cobble stoned streets are a delight to walk through and there are many points of interest including museums, historic houses, a prision tower (now a library) and the main square, Largo de Camoes. The medieval bridge spanning the Lima River has Roman foundations but was rebuilt in 1368. Many festivals also take place here including Vaca das Cordas in June (the day before Corpus Christi), medieval markets in August, and Feiras Novas on the third weekend in September, a party which goes on for 3 days.

Meals:  B,D

This is the first day on the trail where much of the route will be unpaved. Leaving by the Ponte de Lima ascend the Labruja Valley and up to a mountain ridge where you reach the Alto da Portela Grande, the highest point on the trail at 405m. The views sweeping back down to the Lima valley are well worth the effort! Descending trails heading north you soon enter the town of Rubiães by its Roman road and then continue on to Pecene, where you will overnight.

Meals:  B,D

This stage is characterized by hilly terrain that gradually leads to Valença before crossing the border into Spain. The trail is along quiet country roads and unpaved trails for the most part. Before crossing into Spain it is worth taking a look at the historic walled town of Valença. Later reaching Tui, the final stop on the trip, you can reflect on the past week, as you visit the cathedral which dates from 1120. This evening take a walk along the Paseo de Calvo Sotelo where a lively atmosphere is usually evident. Optional upgrade to parador in Tui available - supplement applies and must be requested at time of booking.

Meals:  B

Trip concludes after breakfast. Own onward arrangements or continue to Santiago de Compostela.

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

  • 7 breakfasts and 5 dinners. Breakfasts are usually continental inclusive of breads, cheese, ham, tea, coffee & juices. Dinner will consist of 3 courses, usually starting with a salad, followed by a chicken, red meat, fish or pasta dish & finishing with a dessert of fruit or cakes.
  • 7 nights in comfortable hotels on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities (optional upgrade to parador in Tui - supplement applies)
  • Transfer from Porto to Vilar do Pinheiro on day 2
  • Luggage Transfer, 1 piece maximum 20kg, supplement applies for excess
  • Digital information pack with route notes, maps & GPX
  • Pilgrim Passport
  • Emergency hotline

  • Travel to Porto and from Tui
  • Meals not listed as included, drinks
  • Travel insurance
  • Guide – this is a self guided walking trip
  • A supplement will apply if you are travelling solo or book a single room
  • Entrance fees not listed as included
  • Transfers not listed as included
  • Transfers by taxi or public transport if you need to skip a stage
  • Excess luggage
  • Items of a personal nature

Suitability

moderate

3

MODERATE – GRADE 3 Daily walks are between 15-22km on well marked trails over diverse terrain – from relatively flat to hilly. The trail takes you along quiet rural roads, occassionally 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 straight forward 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:
Price supplements are likely to apply for departures coinciding with local festivals and public holidays.

Priceper person from

£985GBP

Options & Supplements*
  • excess luggage (per piece, max 20kg in weight)GBP£100
  • Single SupplementGBP£380
  • Solo Traveller SupplementGBP£430
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Personal Experience

We've been walking and cycling the planet for over four decades and are passionate about delivering exceptional service. Combined, we’ve travelled to virtually every corner of Europe, and are eager to share the many benefits of travelling on foot or by bike.

Great Value & Quality

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