The Portuguese Road - Coimbra to Porto

The Portuguese Road - Coimbra to Porto

Trip Highlights

  • Discovering on foot the small villages and pilgrimage sites along the Camino Portugués
  • Exploring the historical and lively university city of Coimbra
  • Experiencing culinary delights and the port wine varieties of the area
  • Enjoying the hospitality of family run hotels and B&Bs
  • Visiting historic and vibrant Porto

Trip Summary

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.

Suitability

MODERATE – GRADE 3

Daily walks are between 15-26km on a combination of small roads (70% on av.), natural paths (18%) and main roads (12%) over diverse terrain – from relatively flat to hilly. The route takes you along quiet rural roads, at times 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 the surface of this route is largely asphalt. 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.

Itinerary

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.

Meals:  Nil

The trail today is quite flat. It follows river valleys and irrigation channels along a mix of asphalt (68%) and natural paths (32%). 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.

Meals:  B,D

Today the path is gently undulating along the Certima river valley. It is mostly along roads (88%) with pockets of vineyards and woodland tracks (12%). 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.

Meals:  B,D

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. 81% of the route today is on small roads whilst 19% is on natural paths. This afternoon you will be transferred back to Agueda for the night.

Meals:  B,D

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. About 82% of the route is on roads with some sections on main roads with traffic. 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.

Meals:  B,D

Today’s walking is over rolling hills and through more urban areas including the town of Sao Joao da Madeira. The route is almost entirely on roads today as a result. Follow a section of the original Roman Via XVI via Arrifana to Malaposta. If you'd like to visit the historic town of Santa Maria de Feira, this can be arranged with reception on arrival at your Malaposta hotel (not included). It has an immaculately maintained castle and in early August hosts the Viagem medieval festival, with re-enactments, markets and entertainment.

Meals:  B

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.

Meals:  B

Trip concludes after breakfast in the hotel. Own onward arrangements from Porto or continue along the Portuguese Road to Tui.

Meals:  B

What's Included

  • 7 breakfasts and 4 dinners. Breakfasts are usually continental inclusive of breads, cheese, ham, tea, coffee & juices. Dinner will consist of 3 courses, usually starting with a salad, followed by a chicken, red meat, fish or pasta dish & finishing with a dessert of fruit or cakes
  • 7 nights in comfortable hotels on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities
  • Luggage transfer (max 1 piece of 20kgs per person)
  • Information pack including route notes and guidebook per room booked
  • Emergency hotline
  • Return transfers between Albergaria and Agueda
  • Pilgrim's Passport

What's Not Included

  • Travel to Coimbra and from Porto
  • Lunch and drinks throughout, and dinners not listed as included
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Entrance fees
  • Tour guide – this is a self guided walking trip
  • Transfers unless advised
  • Travel insurance

Upcoming Travel Dates

AT A GLANCE

Duration:8 Days
Countries:Portugal
Starting Point:Coimbra
Finishing Point:Porto
Activities:SELF GUIDED WALK
Grade:moderate  Click for more information
Trip Code:PC2
Prices From:GBP£730 Per Person
Single Supplement:GBP£220  Click for more information
Single Traveller Surchage:GBP£430  Click for more information