Camino Portuguese has a total of 227 km. Each section starts in a different city and it depends on you where you decide to start, depending on how far you are planning to walk.
Each route is divided into sections, and the beginning of one of these is usually where people will begin.
Whichever city or town you decide to start your Camino in, your first step will be finding the trail. In some bigger cities, it can be difficult to know where to look!
We have outlined how to find the starting point of the Camino for each of the main sections of the Camino Portuguese here.
There are many more details in your Camino walking notes if you walk the Camino with Follow the Camino.
Section one: Lisbon
Section one of Camino Portuguese starts in Lisbon.
The first Camino waymark when you are walking the full Camino Portuguese route is at the Lisbon Cathedral. You can take a commuter train here and you can find a mark right of the cathedral steps down into Rua São João da Praça.
The Lisbon Cathedral is a Roman Catholic institution and a mix of multiple architectural styles.
You will find plenty of restaurants and cafes around Lisbon. Don’t forget to visit UNESCO World Heritage sites, architectural buildings, squares and beautiful museums of Lisbon.
Section two: Santarém
Section two starts in Santarém. Santarém is around 72 km north of Lisbon.
There is a frequent train between Lisbon and Santarém. Right in the centre of this lovely town you will find the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception and the first Camino marker if this is where you are beginning your Camino Portuguese.
This Jesuit church was built on the site of the royal palace of the Alcazaba Nova and has been abandoned since the time of King John II.
You will find many other churches, pubs and shopping centres around Santarém. There is also a restaurant called Dois Petiscos right next to the Church of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, so if you get a little hungry you know where to go.
There is also an alternative waymarked route around town where you can see a lot of other beautiful monuments.
Section three: Coimbra
Section three of Camino Portuguese starts in Coimbra.
Coimbra is an ancient and historic city. The main historic and tourist sites are located in the city centre and they are either exactly on the waymarked Camino or a short distance from it.
Monastery of Santa Clara-a-Velha is the first location you should visit in Coimbra while on the Camino Portuguese.
The monastery was built in the 14th century on the left bank of the Modego River. It has been abandoned in the 17th century due to frequent floods, but it has been renovated and is now open to the public.
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Section four: Porto
Section four of the Camino Portuguese starts in Porto, whether you are taking the inland or the coastal route. If you are starting your Camino in Porto, make sure to visit Cathedral Sé.
Cathedral Sé is a start point for many Camino de Santiago routes. It is one of the oldest monuments in the city and is more in the architectural gothic style.
This cathedral was built at the highest point in the city of Porto and it is the most important religious site.
Near the Cathedral of Porto, you can find Bolsa Palace, a 19th-century landmark building with rooms for private events, a restaurant and guided tours.
From Porto, you can decide if you want to walk the coastal or inland route. Both start from the Cathedral and it depends on you which route suits you the best.
As with any large busy city, you have to have your wits about you to isolate Camino waymarks from the many road signs and other types of signage you will encounter. Combining this with walking on hard pavements, it can make for a tough walk out of the city.
We advise our clients on how they can get out of the city to a nicer place to start walking from using public transport. Skipping the outskirts of the city like this will take all of the stress out of your day’s walk!
Section five: Tui
If you are walking the inland route, section five of the Camino Portuguese starts in Tui.
The first official markers in Spain on the inland route are located down the Rio Minho river. The Camino starting point is Tui Parador. The Parador is a hotel with beautiful stone architecture.
If you take the left route, you will get to the Tui Cathedral. A late-Romanesque and Gothic-style Roman Catholic church.
If you take the right route, you will get to the marina.
There are also a lot of cafes and museums around Tui to make your Camino even better!
The Camino Portuguese Coastal Route – Via Oia
The coastal route from Porto runs to Oia, then through Vigo and then to Santiago de Compostela.
You can get a train or bus from Porto to Oia if you are only walking this last section, and you will start your Camino on the roayl Monastery of Oia.
Monastery of Oia or Monastery of Santa María de Oia was built in the mid-12th century. It has Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque architecture. The monastery serves as a parish church now and you will find a Camino mark nearby.
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Originally published on 11th November 2021