The second stage of our self guided walking route along the Portuguese Camino between Lisbon and Santiago takes you from the historic and lively university city of Coimbra through vineyards, woodlands and villages to Porto, set on the banks of the Douro River and famous for its port wine production. Throughout the walk there are ample reminders of past pilgrims and the route offers many insights into the religious significance of the Camino. The Portuguese Road, or Caminho Portugués, is considered by many as the most spiritually connected pilgrimage route. Following the path St James' body took to its resting place at the site of Santiago de Compostela in Spain, the often overlooked, and hence much quieter, Portuguese path offers a wealth of history and delightful landscapes to discover. Visually stunning in parts, there are many other advantages in walking the Portugués route.
MODERATE – GRADE 3
Daily walks are between 15-23km on well marked trails over diverse terrain – from relatively flat to hilly. The trail takes you along quiet rural roads, occasionally on the verges of roads with traffic. Some of the route is on walking trails away from the road and there are often alternative routes available. Route finding is reasonably straight forward following the yellow arrows and granite pillars (showing distance to Santiago), however you still need to be vigilant as markers from other trails can be confusing (refer below for further details on self guided adventures). However our notes include hints and pointers to help you navigate the route. The route will inevitably cross main roads close to cities and towns, although the majority is on side roads and walking trails. The main areas to concentrate on route finding are arriving and leaving towns and cities. The accent is on keeping a steady pace to take in all of the attractions, with time to stop and take photos. You will need a good level of fitness to participate fully in this adventure.
Coimbra is a lively university town situated on the Mondego River. Enjoy exploring this beautiful and historic city, its churches and museums and don’t miss the university itself, especially the library Biblioteca Joanina.
The trail today is quite flat. It follows river valleys and irrigation channels along a mix of asphalt and Roman roads. Passing through several villages, arrive in Mealhada, once a major Roman crossroads. It is now best known for leitão da bairrada, suckling pig. Pigs from the surrounding Barraida region are acorn fed and considered the best in Portugal. Mealhada is also well known for its wine.
Today the path is gently undulating along the Certima river valley. It is mostly along roads with pockets of vineyards and woodland tracks. You'll pass through the town of Avelas de Caminho with its pretty Manueline featured Quinta de Grimpa. Continue to Agueda after crossing the river and the old bridge Ponte Velha.
The path is again quite flat except for a small ascent into Albergaria. Walk along the original Via Romana XVI and across the recently restored bridge Marnel towards Albergaria, founded in 1120 to provide refuge to pilgrims on the Camino. This afternoon you will be transferred to Agueda for the night.
After breakfast, transfer to Albergaria to re-commence your walk. The terrain today is more undulating than in past days, through pine and eucalypt forests and local villages. Oliveira has an old centre, the Matriz de Sao Miguel church and a row of fine houses dating from the 1800s, built by prosperous emigrants returning from Brazil. On the 2nd Sunday in August, festivities honouring Our Lady of La Salette are very popular.
Today’s walking is over rolling hills and through more urban areas including the town of Sao Joao da Madeira. Follow a section of the original Roman Via XVI via Arrifana to Malaposta. An optional return transfer to visit historic Santa Maria de Feira on Day 6 is included, to be arranged with reception on arrival at your Malaposta hotel.
Leaving Malaposta on the original cobbled Roman road, the path leads to Grijo. Its 13th century monastery Mosteiro San Salvador, first consecrated in 1235, has long been an important stop along the Camino. Continue to Porto, on the banks of the Douro River. Its maritime legacies and importance as a New World trading port shaped it into a proud city, with an impressive cathedral and port wine lodges. After checking in to your hotel, take the time to explore the city with its many cultural sites.
Trip concludes after breakfast in the hotel. Own onward arrangements from Porto or continue along the Portuguese Road to Tui.
Per Person, Twin Share