Santiago de Compostela
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The Saint Jacobs Way is the most used pilgrimage way of the world. The “Caminho Portugues”, the Portuguese version with start in Lisbon or Porto is quickly winning popularity over the last years, but is still a hidden secret in compare to the traditional French way coming from northern Spain. Vibrant citys and charming historic cities border the way, no matter if it is the Caminho da Costa, the way along the coast, or the Caminho do Centro, the way through the northern Portuguese mountains.
No matter if you are looking for a package booking or just some rental bikes: Contact us and we create the best way for you.
Highlights along the way
Ponte de Lima - Valenca
Crossing its centuries-old Roman bridge over the Lima River is the beginning of the queen stage of the Portuguese Way to Santiago.
After all, the mythical climb to the Serra da Labruja lies ahead, where the famous “Cruz dos Franceses” lives. In just over 4 km you will have to overcome a difference of 300 meters. It’s not a sweet pear, but if you take the climb calmly, you’ll be able to overcome this challenge, while the close contact with nature will be a huge help. We pass by the typical village of Minho de Rubias and shortly later it’s time for a farewell to the Portuguese lands, when the way continues in Spain from tomorrow on. It’s relatively short and with little unevenness, which will allow you to rest a little from the “beatings” of the previous parts.
The stage of the following day is longer again, so it might be convenient to explore the beautiful border town of Valença do Minho already after your arrival. Be sure to visit the towering Forte de Valença, the Capela de São Sebastião, the Military Chapel of Bom Jesus, the Paços do Concelho, the Igreja Matriz de Santo Estêvão and the Church of Santa Maria dos Anjos. To end the day on the Portuguese Way in beauty, there is nothing like watching the sunset from one of the strongholds of Forte de Valença, with a superb view over the river Minho and the Spanish city of Tui, where you will pass tomorrow.
Esponsede - Barcelos
,Today we need to leave the coast for a bit to find the first highlight of the stage: the impressive Monastery of Rates. The part of the monastery that has survived to this day is the bell-tower and, most importantly, the Church dedicated to St Peter of Rates, which is a national monument since 1910. Reconstruction of the church began at the turn of the 11th to the 12th century, turning it into one of the oldest extant Romanesque churches in Portugal. The origin of the temple, that relate to the church itself, is dated to the Suebi-Visigothic period, although it incorporates older elements dating to the Roman period. Other elements also relate it to Asturian-Leonese period, prior to the prevailing Romanesque reconstruction.
Once we are back at the sea we enter the district of Braga and the way leads us along some of the most beautiful beaches in the north of Portugal, such as Aver-o-mar and Apúlia bordered by its photogenic windmills. Between Apúlia and Esposende, where the Cávado river flows, we cross the North Coast Natural Park, famous for its extensive dunes, green pine forests and wonderful beaches. Once in Esposende, we find the famous lighthouse and the São João Batista Fortress, before we leave the coast and turning towards to the Central Way to Santiago, which we reach a little up the river valley of Rio Cávado in Barcelos. The best known of Barcelos is indeed the famous legend of the rooster of Barcelos, which became kind of a worldwide known Portuguese symbol over the years and is present everywhere in the region.
Redondela - Padron
First highlight of the stage is the town of Ponte Sampaio and continues along ancient, evocative stone paths, including sections of the Roman Via XIX, such as the climb up Brea Vella de A Canicouva.
The route approaches Pontevedra via Santa Marta Chapel, Tomeza, Casal do Río and O Marco. Otero Pedrayo Street and the Compostela roundabout lead to the Virxe Peregrina Shrine, Soportales Street, Teucro Square and Real Street. The incredible historic city center awaits.
The route leaves Pontevedra via A Santiña Street, after crossing the Lérez River on O Burgo Bridge. It runs beside a large wetland known as A Xunqueira de Alba. After passing between the rail line and the Granda River, it climbs up to Pontecabras and Santa María de Alba Church and parsonage. Archbishop of Santiago Diego Gelmírez made a stop in Guxilde on his way from Braga to Compostela.
After passing San Caetano Chapel, we come to the leafy woods of Reirís and Lombo da Maceira. A small stone bridge over a stream known as O Rego do Cárcere leads to the municipality of Barro. From San Mauro, the route continues to San Mamede da Portela. After crossing the bridge over the Areal River, the route leads pilgrims into Valbón amidst large stone houses. Three interesting stone crosses line the way, one of them near Amonisa House. A second boasts the carving of St. James the Pilgrim looking north, towards Compostela. A third cross, the solitary Soutelo, completes the triad of these genuine sculptures created to mark crossroads. From this point on, it is necessary to pay close attention to signs, as the route meanders and encounters a number of other paths, with the N-550 a constant presence and a new high-speed rail line that has altered the landscape. A Seca and the Parish of Briallos lead towards of Caldas de Reis.
The route alternates between short sections of trail, dirt tracks and paved paths. We come to the lovely Tivo, almost on the doorstep of Caldas de Reis, where we face the final stretch of this stage. After passing Santa María Church, the route enters Caldas, a spa town, the Aquae Celenis mentioned in what is known as the Antonine Itinerary – a 3rd-century document recording the routes of the Roman Empire. The Umia and Bermaña rivers flow through the area.
The route follows Santa Marta and Ferrería streets, then crosses the bridge over the Umia, which leads to the hot spring to which the town has owed its name since Roman times. The route continues along Real Street and crosses another bridge over the Bermaña River, this one medieval and extremely charming. San Roque Chapel, at the end of the street of the same name – which connects to the N-550 road again. The route leaves Caldas via the main road again but immediately continues onto a lovely path which climbs up to the Santa Mariña de Carracedo complex. O Pino gives way to Mount Castelo, dense woods washed by the waters of the Valga River and dotted with old mills.
The next places on this stage are Cimadevilla, the bridge over the Fontenlo River, Cedelo and Condide, in Pontecesures. The Pino Manso Viewpoint offers a lovely view of the Ulla River valley. The route runs through the oldest part of Pontecessures. It then crosses a bridge over the Ulla (originally Roman, now much changed) which separates the provinces of Pontevedra and A Coruña. This marks the beginning of the A Coruña municipality of Padrón, home of the Jacobean tradition, a lovely historic town crossed by the Sar River. The route enters town through the fairground, then follows Paseo do Espolón. In the historic center stands Santiago de Padrón Church, where O Pedrón – a Roman altar stone to which the carving of a cross is said to have been added by the disciples of St. James the Apostle – is kept.
Valenca - Larache
The bridge over river Rio Minho marks the entrance to Spain and leads into the historic district of Tui. A milestone indicates that it is 115.4 km to Santiago. The historic and artistic charm of Tui – one of the seven capitals of the ancient Kingdom of Galicia – make their presence felt in every street, alley and passageway of its fine historic district.
The route passes Virxe do Camiño Chapel, Paredes de Baixo and the iconic San Telmo Bridge, also known as As Febres Bridge. After this, it runs through a dense wood known as A Ribeira before coming to the small village of A Magdalena. The Louro River flows beside the trail. In the distance, it is possible to make out the pink granite quarries to which this spot owes its fame.
After leaving O Porriño, the route soon reaches the chapel As Angustias. O Enxertado, with the valley to the east, there is a slight climb up to Santiaguiño de Anta Chapel, a simple monument surrounded by a lovely carballeira (oak wood) and a Roman milestone which once formed part of Via XIX – linking Braga and Astorga – guides the way to Redondela. After leaving Redondela, to the east, is the spectacular Ria of Vigo. The islands of San Simón and San Antón emerge from the center of the Ria and in the background, the panoramic view is completed by Rande Bridge, a cable-stayed bridge that rises above the mussel farmers’ rafts. Shortly later we cross the wall that seperates de Salinas de Ullo from the bay and find the end of this stage in the village of Larache.
Our Accommodation –
Remote Countryside and Vibrant towns
Comfortable hotels, authentic holiday homes and charming farm and nature stays characterize our accommodations along the way. We offer predefined routes and accommodations, but we are also happy to customize each and everyone of our trips.
Many rural farmhouses, cottages and mills got a new life as cozy and typical accommodations. Along
Immerse into a thousand years of history and culture of pilgramige asleep!
In lively cities of Porto or Santiago de Compostela we want to feel the city vibe and be next to the iconic old towns.
We chose hotels centrally located, surounded by restaurants and other facilities and in walking distance to everything you want after putting your bike away in the evening!
Owner run hotels dominate the Portuguese way to Santiago. They are often a cheap and authentic option to discover the charming villages along the Way to Santiago.
Depend on season, availability and price level this can be shared or private rooms.
Garmin Edge 705
We create the route individual for you. With start in Lisbon, Coimbra, Fatima, Porto or where ever you want, we can offer you the Saint James way with between 5 and 16 stages.
You receive your daily stages as gpx-track to use your own GPS device or smart phone orwe provide you a Garmin GPS device