Camino Portuguese, Ponte de Lima to Santiago de Compostela
The Camino Portuguese, Ponte de Lima to Santiago is a fully-supported guided walking tour from Ponte de Lima to Santiago de Compostela. That means that from beginning to end, our team will be there to make sure everything goes smoothly. You will be joining other pilgrims from around the world walking through 2 beautiful countries to arrive at the Cathedral of Santiago.
The Camino Portuguese:
The Way of Saint James, is one of the oldest and most famous pilgrimage routes in Europe. In the Middle Ages, Santiago de Compostela, was the most ancient and celebrated city on the north-western peninsula.
St. James preached in Spain following the mandate of Jesus Christ. During his time in Spain, legend says the Virgin appeared to him on the river Ebro. Later, after returning to Palestine. St James was beheaded by Herod Agrippa (42 AD) being the first apostle martyred for their faith. His disciples shipped his body and sailed to Galicia, burying him in a place where he later was build the Cathedral of Santiago, which became a pilgrimage site for Christianity.
The Camino Portugues took awhile later to be established. It was already used as a path to the remains of St James in the 10th century. However, it did not gain its importance until after the the 12th century, following the independence of Portugal. From then, a flow of pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela was established. Queen Isabel of Portugal walked this route in the 14th century consolidating its presence as an official Camino route.
Today, the Camino Portuguese, is the second most walked section of the Camino de Santiago.
Andaspain will provide you with a credencial, or “Pilgrim passport.” This is the booklet which certifies the genuine pilgrim status of the bearer. It is used to collect official stamps along The Way to demonstrate that you have walked the last 100kms. The Credencial is the modern equivalent of the “letters of safe-conduct” carried by medieval pilgrims that permitted them passage through the different kingdoms along the route. Our modern version is a document printed and issued by the Cathedral authorities in Santiago de Compostela.
Pilgrims can get a stamp at the hotels, bars, churches, etc. Our guides will remind you of this while you are walking and even point out some of our favorite stamps! Once you arrive in Santiago de Compostela, our guides take your completed credencial to the Pilgrim´s Office to request your Compostela.
Walking the Last 100km of the Camino Portuguese means that you can request your Compostela, or certificate of completion of the pilgrimage. You will receive the Compostela, a document written in Latin that confirms the completion of pilgrimages undertaken for religious devotion or of spiritual searching. At the end of our group walking tour, our guides will make sure you have your Compostela and will provide you with a protective tube to safely carry it home.
Highlights of the Camino Portuguese, Ponte de Lima to Santiago:
- The pretty riverside town of Ponte de Lima.
- The beautiful fortress town of Valença set in a spectacular position looking over the Rio Minho to Spain.
- The lively regional capital of Pontevedra with its delightful historic center of narrow streets and plazas.
- Reviving your tired feet in the hot thermal spring in Caldas de Reis.
- Visit to the beautiful waterfalls inside the Natural Park of the Rio Barosa.
- Visiting Padrón, the town where St James started his ministry in the Iberian peninsula. His remains are claimed to have arrived in a boat from Jerusalem.
- Arriving at the Plaza de Obradoiroto to see the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela, along with the familiar faces of all the other pilgrims who have, like you, walked to get there!
Itinerary, Camino Portuguese – Ponte de Lima to Santiago
Day 1: Meet in Porto. Drive to Ponte de Lima for a welcome meeting and dinner. Accommodation in Ponte de Lima
Day 2: Ponte de Lima to Rubiaes – 18km: 11m – Accommodation in Ponte de Lima
Day 3: Rubiaes to Valenca- 17km: 10.5m – Accommodation in Valenca
Day 4: Valença to Centeans – 16.5km: 10m – Shuttle back to accommodation in Valenca
Day 5: Centeans to Redondela – 21.4km : 13m – Accommodation in Redondela
Day 6: Redondela to Pontevedra – 20km : 12.4m – Accommodation in Pontevedra
Day 7: Pontevedra to Caldas de Reis – 22km: 13.7m – Accommodation in Caldas de Reis
Day 8: Caldas de Reis to Esclavitude – 25.5km: 15.9m – Shuttle back to accommodation in Caldas de Reis
Day 9: Esclavitude to Santiago de Compostela – 19km: 11.8m – Accommodation in Santiago de Compostela
Day 10: Guided Tour of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Tour Ends.
SUPPORT ON OUR GUIDED WALK FROM SARRIA TO SANTIAGO
You will have have at least 1, though normally 2 English/Spanish speaking guide/s. This does not necessarily mean the guide will be walking with you. Our other guide will be driving our support vehicle along the trail.
We ensure we gather info about your health needs in advance for any necessary precautions. We are also happy to talk to you directly if you need reassurance about any identified need. We are here to ensure your individual Camino goal is obtained and you can reach Santiago safely.
On our guided trips, if you need to shorten your walking day, our guides can tell you the best part of the trail to walk that day – whether you need to avoid the steep incline/decline, or if you need to stick to softer walking paths. Our guides can also try to provide extra checkpoints for you throughout the day.
Andaspain Walking Adventures has a wide range of guides – from those who have been born and raised in Spain; to those who followed their heart and found themselves studying the culture, history and the spirit of Spain and the Camino de Santiago. Whoever is your guide, we ensure you will have one of the highest quality tours along The Way.
I´M A VERY FAST/SLOW WALKER – WILL THAT BE A PROBLEM?
This is our MOST important Camino de Santiago information and advice! We encourage everyone to walk at their own pace. The Camino is not a race and you want to enjoy yourself. When you slow down or speed up to walk with others, you find you may have issues with your body and/or feet. We plan our days so that everyone can walk in their own way.
Pick up in Porto
To make getting to the start a bit easier, we pick you up in Porto for a private transfer to the start of our Camino Portuguese in Ponte de Lima. This means you can enjoy the sites of Porto before you start walking.
Porto is the second largest city in Portugal. The history of Porto dates back to the 1st century BC when, under Roman rule, the city played an important role on the main trade route between Lisbon and Braga. At the time, the city was known as Cale, or Portus Cale.
Porto sits on the Douro River, making it crucial in the 14th and 15th centuries in the development of Portuguese shipbuilding. By the 1700s, wine was already an important part of the economy and contributed enormously to the growth of Porto.
The historic centre of Porto was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. We recommend strolling around the old cobbled streets on the river edge, taking in the historical buildings, watching the divers off the stately bridges, and enjoying a Port wine tour on the south side of the river.
Checkpoints Camino Portuguese from Ponte de Lima to Santiago:
Our guides check in with you during your walking group tour about 2-3 times a day along the trail. These check-ins will include time to fill up your water bottle and/or pick up a snack. One of the check-ins will be at lunch time, whether that be a picnic lunch or our recommendation location to help with ordering. At all of the check-ins, we will have our support van if you need to pick up/up drop off a jacket, collect your walking stick, or change into a different pair of shoes.
Daily maps of the walking day:
Each day you will be provided a daily map and overview of the walk ahead. This map will include information such as the daily terrain, checkpoint locations, lunch spots, and highlights to see along the way.
We take care of all luggage handling and transportation. This means leaving your bags with your guide and starting your walk. We handle the details of getting them into the next hotel room. We also find it handy to keep a small bag in the van with stuff you might need throughout the day. We have our support vehicles which means being able to take a rest by shuttling ahead to the lunch spot, or if the need arises to get you straight to your room.
Maximum of 15 persons:
We keep our guided walks to a maximum of 15 persons. This means we can ensure you experience a personalized and intimate experience with our guides and your fellow pilgrims. We have found any group larger than this, means we are not able to provide the level of care and quality of service that Andaspain aims to do. If you have a private group that is larger than 15 we do accommodate this number with a private guided group walk.
Food on the Camino Portuguese
We include all breakfasts, 6 lunches and 7 dinners including wine on this guided walk. This allows you to have the opportunity to try out your Spanish/Portuguese and order from a local bar, Don’t worry – we will be there to assist you! We will also provide recommendations for any meals not included from Ponte de Lima to Santiago. In Portugal, we will savor the local famous dishes such as the sweet pasteis de natas and their famous fish dish, bachalhau a bras.
You will also have the chance to try great typical Galician food such as pulpo (octopus with paprika), empanada (hearty savory pastry), Spanish tortilla(a potato and egg omelet), Tetilla (cow’s milk cheese in the shape of a woman´s breast), albariño (Galician white wine), Tarta de Santiago(traditional almond cake), and Caldo Gallego (ham broth with chard and potatoes).
Picnic Lunches on our Guided Walks:
Our picnics include fresh salads and lighter options, all taking into consideration any food allergies or lifestyle choices as vegetarian, vegan, lactose-free, etc. We use local products so you are always tasting the typical foods of the area. We also ensure you are discovering any fresh vegetable and/or fruit that are in season at the time of your Camino walk.
Andaspain provides water and snacks at our “checkpoints.” Our snacks consist of fresh local fruit, a variety of granola bars, mixed nuts, delicious pastries, and anything else specific to our group’s needs. Walking with Andaspain also means you do not need to carry lots of water or fill up from the public fountains. (We do not know how often the fountains are treated, thus we do not advise to drink from them.) We provide water at our checkpoints to fill up your water bottle!
Cork Trees on the Camino Portuguese
Walking the Camino Portuguese, means you have the chance to see the famous Cork trees along the trail. Portugal produces almost half of all cork in the world! We will make sure we remind you the best section to see the trees as well as point out the Roman Roads you walk over!