Camino Portugues from Tui to Santiago de Compostela
This walking holiday explores the Camino Portugues, or Portuguese Way, of the iconic Camino de Santiago de Compostela, the Way of Saint James.
This Camino, which was used by Queen Isabel of Portugal in the 13th Century, heads north following the Atlantic coast of Portugal and Spain. The Camino Portugues gently winds along ancient paths, running through woodlands, villages, farmlands, vineyards and historic towns.
Every day during the walk you’re guaranteed a high level of comfort and gastronomy. This section requires a reasonable level of fitness. However, it’s a highly rewarding walk that includes numerous cultural highlights.
This trip createstonne(s) of CO2, we offset it for free
The Cathedral of St. Mary of the Assumption of Tui, right in the centre of the town is the starting point of this section of the Camino Portugues and shouldn’t be missed! Dating back to the 11th century, the cathedral displays a predominantly stunning Romanesque architecture with additions of decorative Gothic elements. The Portico is a beautiful start and believed to be one of the earliest pieces of Gothic art in Spain. A small charge for entrance is worth it to marvel at the interior and cloister and fully take in the sheer size of the Cathedral.
The last main town before reaching Santiago de Compostela on the Camino Portuguese is Padron and this is also the town where St James’ body was returned to the Iberian Peninsula from Jerusalem. A must stop in town is the Church of Santiago where below the altar is the original stone O Pedrón, which is said to be the mooring post that the boat carrying St James was tied up too. Another wonderful place to visit is Monte Santiaguino, it is here that St James is said to have first preached in Spain. A short but steep walk up to Monte Santiaguino is well worth it for the tranquility and views back over Padron as you return back down to the town.
This section of the Camino Portuguese goes through the Albarino Wine region. There are a number of theories as to how wine became to be grown in the region some suggest it was brought here by Germans others theories it was French Monks. No matter how it got there the wine is now widely available throughout the region and has a unique light refreshing taste. Due to the proximity of the Atlantic ocean this wine pairs very well with many local fish dishes, so why not eat and drink like the locals!! Salud!!
Tui to Santiago De Compostela
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Specially chosen 2-3* hotels or equivalent
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You’ll be booked into a hotel in the heart of Tui. The rooms are en-suite. Take a walk through the town’s picturesque streets, as you approach the Plaza de San Fernando, the silhouette of the west-facing facade of the 12th Century cathedral will provide you with a lasting memory.
Day 2 17.1km
From the long-standing port of Tui, the Camino winds its way up to the old town, following the so-called Camino da Barca. Then, through the Tunel das Monxas, the Camino enters a very steep section and leads to the historic bridge of San Telmo. From there, travelling over a less abrupt terrain, we come to the town of O Porrino.
Day 3 24.5km
The terrain becomes easier as we cross the Louro Valley. Keeping the valley to the east, after a gentle climb you arrive at the chapel of Santiaguino de Antas – a pleasant place to take a rest. We now enter a wide expanse of woodland. Surrounded by pine trees, the Camino starts its descent through the hamlet of Setefontes and arrives in Arcade.
Day 4 11.7km
From here you will cross a Romanesque bridge which is where Napoleon was defeated by the Spanish during the War of Independence. Arriving into Pontevedra you will head through the narrow streets before reaching the 13th Century church of Santa Maria. Of interest to pilgrims is also the Capela da Peregrina which although it appears round is actually in the shape of a scallop.
Day 5 21.2km
Caldas De Reis
Passing chestnut groves, the Camino leaves Pontevedra and runs parallel to the railway for a while. After passing through the hamlet of Ponte Cabras, we encounter the rectory of Santa Maria de Alba, tucked away among pine and eucalyptus trees. Emerging from the dense woods of Lombo da Maceira, you’ll see a statue of Saint James the pilgrim, his staff pointing the way to proceed. The lovely village of Tibo, with its fountain, public washing place and stone cross, brings us to Caldas do Rei.
Day 6 18.9km
Caldas De Reis
Exiting the town, we take a bridge over the River Umia that leads us to a fountain of hot spring water that has lent the town its name since Roman times. Entering the woods once more, the Camino make its way gently uphill to the hamlet of Santa Marina. Going downhill, we cross the river Fontenlo. Finally, following a Camino lined with pine trees, we catch up again with the river as we arrive in Padron. Padron is famous for being the first land sighted by the ship bearing the body of St James.
Day 7 24.8km
SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
The Camino passes through many small villages and hamlets before arriving at the Baroque sanctuary of A Esclavitude. On a hilltop to the left stands the mysterious, abandoned ruins of the hillfort Castro Lupario.A few kilometres later, we come to the oldest wayside crosses in Galicia. As we near Agro dos Monteiros, it’s now possible to see the spires of the cathedral in Santiago. Finally, the Camino passes by the ruins of a castle known as A Rocha Vella, before entering the city of the Apostle.
SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
After breakfast, we bid you farewell.
If you wish to stay in the area, we recommend that you:
– Take your time and visit the magnificent historic centre
– Continue with us along the wild “Camino Fisterra” (Finisterre Way), and stay overnight at the 2* hotel in the light house!
– or take a bus to Fisterra. (Bus to fisterra: 9am, 10am, bus back in Santiago 16:45 & 19:00. takes 3hours)
– Visit the unspoilt sandy coves and beaches of the west coast. With very few tourists, you are guaranteed a very special experience.
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