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Camino Portugués

General Description: The Camino portugués follows the Atlantic coast of northern Portugal and Galicia. 240 km from Porto in Portugal northward via Tui, Pontevedra and Padrón to Santiago. You must start from Tui (110 km) on the Portuguese-Galician border or further south to earn a compostela.

Waymarking: The route is well waymarked although in a variety of styles. From the cathedral in Porto northward, the route is well marked with traditional yellow arrows. In addition however there are blue arrows pointing southward in the direction of Fatima. The northernmost 50 or 60 km in Portugal also have the red and white markings of a GR route, GR11-E9 in this case. Once in Galicia, at Tui, the familiar yellow arrows are plentiful and are supplemented by the kilometer posts of the Xunta de Galicia giving directions and the distance to Santiago.

Terrain: Being a coastal route, the path does cross numerous river drainages as they approach the Atlantic resulting in a series of ups and downs. Generally the route is through agricultural land but this is interspersed with pine and eucalyptus forests. The route generally follows the important transportation route up the coast and so is never very far from these roads. Still the path has for the most part been laid out to avoid contact with major highways, the exception being the entrance to and exit from cities and towns.

When to go: Portugal and Galicia naturally have a climate dictated by their proximity to the ocean and as such have changeable maritime weather. There is generous rainfall which at times can be prolonged and heavy. June, July and August are the months with the least rainfall but these are of course the months with the greatest potential for hot, humid weather. September might present the best compromise. Climate tables for Porto and Pontevedra.

Accommodation: There are a number of pilgrim-specific albergues in both Portugal and Galicia. In addition there are the usual assortment of hotels, hostales and pensiones/fondas in cities and towns of any size. Being a costal area this is a destination for summer vacationers and pressure on accommodations becomes heavy in these months.

Courtesy of Arlene Mourier and David Yates, this is the link to a file with every albergue and similar lodging facility on the portugués:
               https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/84665557/Lodgings_Camino_Portugu%C3%A9s.pdf
Additions, corrections and deletions can be sent to Arlene via the e-mail address of the Old Pueblo (Tucson) local chapter of American PIlgrims: OldPuebloChapter@americanpilgrims.com.

Guidebooks: The Confraternity of Saint James: The Camino Portugués. (2014). A Pilgrim's Guide to the Camino Portugués by John Brierley. The Confraternity is also making their Camino portuguésLisbon to Porto guidebook available online in PDF format. Please make a donation if you take advantage of the download. (PDF 2014)

Internet links: The Confraternity of Saint James has an overview of the Camino portugués. The Xunta de Galicia has a section with extensive information on that portion of the Camino portugués within Galicia including history, tourism, albergues, other services and Santiago itself. The site of the Amigos del Camino Portugués a Santiago focuses on the portion of the route in Galicia, that is, from Tui (click on the large shell image). The site of the Associação dos Amigos do Caminho Português de Santiago has a fair amount of information and a nice photo gallery. Be sure to click on the little book icon below the right end of the menu graphic. As always Peter Robin's site has an excellent overview with a number of useful links.

Other remarks: The Camino portugués has a long history and was traveled by Isabel, the Queen of Portugal (1271-1336). And of course it is interesting for its position of being part of the connecting path between Santiago and Fatima, two of the most important Catholic shrines.

Rev 12/28/14

American Pilgrims on the Camino
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