12-Day Camiños de Santiago

Portugal to Spain

12 DAY / 11 NIGHT WALKING ADVENTURE
The Pilgrimage Route along the Portuguese Way in BOTH Portugal and Spain to Santiago de Compostela
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TRIP TYPE

Walking

Since the Middle Ages pilgrims from Portuguese lands have trekked to Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. The Camiños de Santiago also known as the Portuguese Way (from Portugal to Spain), follows ancient paths through forests, vineyards, quaint villages and historical cities. Now in modern times and in our fast paced world whether walking this trail for a spiritual quest, a personal challenge or just to slow down and take in the experience, the Camino will be an extraordinary journey... ​

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Join us along the Atlantic shoreline with epic coastal views and forest tracks of untouched natural beauty. Our days will offer insight into rich local history as well as modern life at a slower pace...

Whether you choose our 7 or 12 day trek, you will be rewarded each evening spent at a lovely parador, quaint guest house or historical boutique hotel.  Each dining experience will be a reflection of local traditions and cultural heritage. 

 

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Itinerary

 

Please note that the details of this itinerary are subject to change. Many of the planned activities are organized according to availability, events or seasonal dates, appropriate weather conditions or the discretion of our guides. We make every effort to provide the experience described in the itinerary with the understanding that some things may change.

*Optional Shorter Hikes: If guests would like to hike an optional shorter distance they can be picked up at varied distances and transferred by taxi at own expense. 

Viana to Montedor

After the transfer from Porto to Viana do Castelo and arrival at our guesthouse in this historical city dating back to the 15th century, we will take our first trek.

 

This will be a short hike along the path of the coastal defense line created to protect the Portuguese from attacks of the pirates and Spanish in centuries gone by. Pass by an old church deeply linked to the devotion of the fishermen -- all intertwined in the rich heritage set before us.

 

In the evening expect the first of many delicious meals in lands where the art of eating well has a long tradition.

Hike Distance: 5.3 mi (8.55 km)  

Total Ascent: 0

Total Descent: 26 ft (8 m)

*Optional Shorter Hike: up to 3.3 mi. (5.3km)

Meals included: Dinner

Accommodation: 4-Star Property

Day 1

Montedor to Caminha

With the sea to our left and a beautiful hillside to our right we will walk along the beaches of Northwest Portugal. Passing ancient salt flats, this area represents the influence of the Celtic people with the presence of petroglyphs carved in stone around 500 BC.

 

After walking along, "one of the 10 best secret beaches in Portugal” we will enter a beautiful pine forest that leads to today's destination -- Caminha. Located right at the mouth of the great Minho River, with history that dates back to the 13th century.

 

From our hotel we will have a spectacular view overlooking the river to Spain's Monte de Santa Tecla and its impressive Celtic Castros.

Hike Distance: 11 mi. (17.74 km)

Total Ascent: 68 ft (21 m)

Total Descent: 88 ft  (27 m)

*Optional Shorter Hike: up to 5.8 mi. (9.4 km)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: 4-Star Property

Day 2

Caminha to Oia

This day begins with a boat crossing from a local fisherman to the river's shore of Spain. With the contrasting landscape of the calm waters of the Minho and its wooded islets and the immense and turbulent waters of the Atlantic, we will proceed along the scenic and wild coastline of Galicia.

 

After rounding the Monte of Santa Tecla we will arrive at "Guarda". This fishing village is also known for the Fortress and Castle of Santa Cruz, which were occupied by the Napoleonic forces in 1809. It was a short occupation as the local militia forces, aided by the Portuguese troops, reconquered the fortress and expelled the French.

 

At the end of our day's trek we will arrive at a medieval monastery with a long history, being that it was built in the year 1137.

 

Our well-deserved rest awaits in a hotel that was built inside an old fortress with a lovely setting on a picturesque bay.

Hike Distance: 10.8 mi. (17.37 km)

Total Ascent: 597 ft (182 m)

Total Descent: 564 ft  (172 m)

*Optional Shorter Hike: up to 6.8 mi. (11 km)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: 4-Star Property

Day 3

Oia to Baiona

Today's path will turn inland and climbs down and up to where the views are magnificent.

 

On our last descent we are very close to "Baiona". This beautiful coastal town, born in 1201 by the order of Afonso IX, King of Leon and Galicia, is one of the most elegant beach resorts in the region and it is here, like the night before we will enjo a good night's sleep inside the old fortress.

Hike Distance: 11.1 mi. (17.95 km)

Total Ascent: 803 ft (245 m)

Total Descent: 744 ft  (227 m)

*Optional Shorter Hike: up to 4.8 mi. (9.7 km)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: 4-Star Property

Day 4

Baiona to Vigo

Our day's walk begins in the channel where the famous Estuary of Vigo begins, a low water area with innumerable fish and shellfish farms. We will cross a 13th century bridge whose architecture symbolizes the passage from the Romanesque to the Gothic.

 

Enjoy the day passing through quaint villages where history abounds leading us to the port of Vigo as our destination. Our comfortable stay will be right in the heart of this vibrant seaside town. -- a fair reward for another fantastic day of walking!

Hike Distance: 14.8 mi. (23.86 km)

Total Ascent: 587 ft (179 m)

Total Descent: 675 ft  (206 m)

*Optional Shorter Hike: up to 7 mi. (11.3 km)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: 4-Star Property

Day 5

Vigo to Redondela

Looking forward to another great hike, from the coast of Vigo we will start to climb, further inland to reach a highland plateau. The rewarding views extend over Vigo and the estuary beyond.

 

As we continue along this great plateau we will enter a refreshing wooded area descending to our goal of the day, the coastal village of Redondela.

 

Our overnight stay will again be in Vigo, where we will have time to get to know this city a little better with its full history that began around the 2nd century BC.

Hike Distance: 9.1 mi. (14.76 km)

Total Ascent: 971 ft (296 m)

Total Descent: 1,030 ft  (314 m)

*Optional Shorter Hike: up to 5.6 mi. (9.1 km)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: 4-Star Property

Day 6

Redondela to Ponteverda 

Today we will resume the path where we finished the day before, in the village of Redondela, where several personalities were seduced by its charm, among them the Famous Spanish poet Federico García Lorca, one of the first victims of the Spanish civil war.

 

From here the path goes up to the top of a hill where a wooded area begins. We reach Soutomaior, a town famous for the quality of its oysters where we will take the time to savor this delicacy.

 

Soutomaior is also known for its beautiful medieval bridge where the French were defeated in a battle which marked their retreat in the Spanish War of Independence. Our path will lead us up another hill with an entry through a forest corridor to our destination of the day, the beautiful city of Pontevedra.

 

It is here that we will spend the night in a charming parador located right in the historic center and inside an old Renaissance palace from the 16th century. Enjoy an after dinner saunter through the streets of the historic center, which is considered one of the most stunning and well preserved in all Galicia.

Hike Distance: 12.9 mi. (20.83 km)

Total Ascent: 1,135 ft (346 m)

Total Descent: 1,066 ft  (325 m)

*Optional Shorter Hike: up to 8 mi. (13.4 km)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: 4-Star Property

Day 7

Ponteverda to Armenteira

The day starts with a visit to the historic Gate of the Pilgrim. Built in 1778 it is one of the most symbolic sites of the city, being also the sanctuary of the Pilgrim Madonna.

 

From here we will move on to two of the more emblematic monasteries of this great spiritual route to Santiago of Compostela, and it will be in one of them where we will sleep this night.

 

At the exit of the city we cross the Burgo bridge, also with a rich history. Of Roman origin, it was here that the Kings Fernando II of Leon and Galicia and Afonso Henriques of Portugal, signed a treaty of peace.

 

In the afternoon we will arrive at the Monastery of Poio, dating from the 7th century. Considered one of the most important places for the pilgrims with a mosaic of 200 square meters representing the way to Santiago.

 

From here we will climb to our destination, the austere and reserved Convent of Armenteira. It will be in this highly spiritual place that invites introspection and meditation, that we will dine and sleep. An intimate experience of renewal and surely one of the highlights of the whole journey.

Hike Distance: 13.1 mi. (21.07 km)

Total Ascent: 2,063 ft (629 m)

Total Descent: 1,272 ft  (388 m)

*Optional Shorter Hike: up to 7.4 mi. (12 km)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Accommodation: 4-Star Property

Day 8

Armenteira to Cambados

After spending the night in the peaceful Armenteira Convent we will start our ninth day of hiking. The path leads us inside a scenic forest with the waters of a crystalline stream at our side.

 

We will arrive at the village of Cambados, with one of the best white wines (known as vinho verde) in the world. Cambados is an authentic outdoor museum carved in granite, as it is home of one of the most well-preserved historical sites in Galicia. It will be here that we stay in an elegant mansion with the traditional traces of the old “Sunny Houses of Galicia”.

Hike Distance: 8 mi. (12.93 km)

Total Ascent: 200 ft (61 m)

Total Descent: 1,063 ft  (324 m)

*Optional Shorter Hike: up to 4.2 mi. (6.8 km)

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation: 4-Star Property

Day 9

Cambados to Parada de Francos

With the new day we will take a boat ride through the estuary of Arousa, which is not only part of the largest estuary in Galicia but also in Spain. It is famous for its rich marine fauna, beaches and islets. We will enter the Ulla River one of the largest rivers in the region.

After this experience we begin our walk. After passing through several villages we arrive at our destination, the village of Parada de Francos.

Hike Distance: 8.7 mi. (14.12 km)

Total Ascent: 524 ft (160 m)

Total Descent: 223 ft  (68 m)

*Optional Shorter Hike: up to 5.3 mi. (8.5 km)

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodation: 4-Star Property

Day 10

Parada de Francos to Santiago de Compostela

The final leg of our journey leads us to our ultimate goal, the monumental Obradoiro Square in Santiago of Compostela. With the huge towers of the cathedral in view from our last few miles we are pushed forward by the awaiting magnificence.

 

Now it is time to take in everything that surrounds us in an atmosphere where you can feel the greatness that has drawn pilgrims for centuries...

 

After this moment, we will check in at the elegant San Francisco Hotel Monumento that offers the tranquility of an 18th-century Franciscan convent right in the historic center and just steps from the Cathedral.

 

Enjoy one last dinner together and savor the richness of all of the tastes, sights and cultural encounters of our well accomplished journey.

Hike Distance: 8.9 mi. (14.39 km)

Total Ascent: 938 ft (286 m)

Total Descent: 429 ft  (131 m)

*Optional Shorter Hike: up to 6.6 mi. (10.6 km)

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodation: 4-Star Property

Day 11

Farewell

After breakfast our bus will take us back to the city of Porto. Or transfer on your own to the Santiago de Compostela International airport.

Meals included: Breakfast

Day 12

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