The first section of the Camino Portugues starts in the capital city of Portugal, Lisbon, and heads North to reach Santarem and its magnificent scenic views over the area. After the urban areas of the beginning, the route heads towards a rich agricultural area, often considered as “the garden of Portugal”. On this leg, the Camino also coincides with the famous Caminho de Fatima and mainly follows the Tejo river valley. The flat landscape of the area makes it doable to anybody with an average level of fitness.
Portugal’s colourful, coastal capital is the starting point of the Camino Portugues, and the perfect place to relax for the evening before you start your Camino. Lisbon is not only one of the oldest cities in the world (predating London, Rome and Paris), but also one of the most beautiful! Why not treat yourself before starting you walk with a traditional Portugese sweet treat the pastel de nata.
Founded by the Romans, occupied by the Moors and then taken back by the Portuguese in the 12th Century, this town has a long and varied history. Today it is a growing town thanks to the connection from the railway and nearby motorway. The plain exterior of the main church, Igreja Matriz da Azambuja, is in contrast to the beautiful decorated interior with traditional Portuguese tiles and gilded altars. Just west of this town is a wine region in the Ribatejo hills with one award winery being Quinta da Lapa. Why not try this wine with one of the many fish dishes that are a specialty in the region also with the locally made fresh bread.
Perched on a hilltop the wonderful views over the Tagus river are not all this town has to offer. Like many other towns in the region it has Roman origins and was captured by the Moors before returning to the Portuguese. For the early Monarchs of Portugal this was a favorite city to visit, evidence still seen today in the many monuments and buildings that was built at this time. Festivals play a big part in the heritage of the town and two major festivals, the National Agricultural Fair in June and the National Gastronomy Festival in October.