Macs did everything they said they would to make my trip go well. The maps on the App were excellent.
An interesting and quieter variation of the main Camino Portugues central route, the Portugues Coastal Way or Caminho da Costa runs from Porto to Santiago following the wild Atlantic coastline of northern Portugal and Galicia.
Starting in the vibrant UNESCO heritage city of Porto, head straight to the coast and walk through seaside towns and fishing villages, past river estuaries and sandy beaches. Visit one of the most beautiful and best preserved historical centres of Portugal in Viana do Castelo before reaching the natural border of Spain and Portugal and the River Miño.
Continue through historic medieval towns such as Baiona, Pontevedra and Padro. Cross beautiful Romanesque bridges and dine on some of Galicia’s gastronomic delights. Finally meet up with the main Camino Portugues route before arriving at the wonderful city of Santiago where all pilgrims come together.
Please Note - Due to restoration works on the interior of Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, the Pilgrim Mass has been moved to an alternate location in 2019. For more information please read our blog post - Santiago de Compostela Cathedral Restoration 2019
Arrive in the vibrant city of Porto, famous for it’s production of port wine. With its medieval old town, baroque churches and plentiful restaurants this is a wonderful place to start your trip. Take a wander through the narrow cobbled streets of the Ribeira district before enjoying dinner and perhaps sampling some delicious vintage Port.
Porto is easily accessible from London and many airports throughout Europe or you can also fly via Lisbon and take a train to Porto (2.5h).
After breakfast, take a short metro journey to the town of Matosinhos, escaping some of the urban sprawl of Porto. From Matosinhos, start your walk along the coast visiting seaside villages such as Leca da Palmeira, Labruge and Vila do Conde before arriving at Povoa do Varzim. This beautiful city is home to the Cividade de Terrosso Fort, more than 3000 years old as well as an ancient aquaduct, and a charming old town.
Walk: 23km, 4-5 hours
Overnight: Povoa do Varzim
Walk along the esplanade to the Chapel of San Andres before continuing via a wooden walkway to the Natural Park of the Northern Portuguese Coast. Home to many different wildlife habitats including pine forests, wetlands and river estuaries you should be able to spot plenty of birds such as mallards, grey herons and cormorants and more than 200 different species of flora. Cross the iron bridge over the Cavadoy river before arriving in the city of Esposende.
Walk: 24km, 5-6 hours.
Continue along the coastal plains, crossing expansive sandy beaches and dunes, the town of Marinhas, and Church of San Bartolome do Mar. Arriving at the mouth of the Neiva River, head inland briefly before returning to the coast and then walking along a forest path to the small port of Cabedelo. Cross the Eiffel Bridge into one of the most beautiful and best preserved historical centres in Portugal, Viana do Castelo.
Here you can visit the Church of Our Lady of Conception, the Castle of Mino, the stunning cathedral and a traditional goldsmith’s museum.
Walk: 24km, 5-6 hours
Overnight: Viana do Castelo
Before leaving Viana do Castelo, take time to climb the funicular to the eucalyptus-clad hill of Monte de Santa Luzia or visit the exquisite neo-Byzantine Temple to the Sacred Heart of Jesus for panoramic views of Viana. Heading out of the city, cross many beaches via wooden footbridges over the dunes and walk along sea promenades. Discover the Fort of Santiago de Barra as well as the impressive wind mills of Montedor. Reach Praia da Ancora, where you can perhaps take a dip in the sea!
Walk: 19km, 4-5 hours
Overnight: Praia da Ancora
Not long after leaving the beach this morning you will arrive at the pretty town of Caminha, the last Portuguese city of your walk, located at the mouth of the Miño River. Take a short ferry crossing to Camposancos where you begin the Spanish part of your journey through Galicia.
Arriving in A Guarda, explore its port, bustling town square with its impressive clock tower and the Church of Santa Maria.
Walk: 19km, 4-5 Hours.
Overnight: A Guarda
With the Atlantic Ocean as your constant companion, just take the time to enjoy the tranquillity of walking along the coast on this stage with wide open views of the sea. Arrive at the fishing village of Oia with its historic Monastery of Santa Marta de Oia. Enjoy an evening meal of grilled fish and sip on a glass of Vinho Verde as you take in the sea views.
Walk: 13km, 3-4 hours
Leaving Oia behind, walk at the foot of impressive cliffs until reaching the Lighthouse of Cabo Silleiro, the main point of navigation for ships sailing along the Ria de Vigo. Ascend to Baredo and a few kilometres later arrive at the 12th century Castle of Monte Real, now the luxurious Parador de Baiona hotel - speak to us about upgrading your overnight stay to here! Continue to Baiona, the first port in Europe to receive the news of the discovery of America.
In the evening take a wander through the narrow streets of the old town and enjoy an evening meal in one of the atmospheric restaurants — perhaps the delicious Pulpo (octopus) or Merluza a la Gallega (hake).
Walk: 19km, 3-4 hours
Walk alongside the Ria de Vigo which is protected by the beautiful Cies Islands archipelago, home to some of the most beautiful beaches. If you want to visit the Cies Islands add an extra night in Baiona from where you can take one of the regular boat services to the islands (only available in summer). This does need to be booked in advance however as visitor numbers to the islands are limited to protect the fragile environment. Pass the historic fountain of O Pombal, before crossing two Romanesque Bridges and continuing into the marshland area of Foz del Rio Minor. Visit the Votivo do Mar Temple in Nigran before reaching the city of Vigo.
Walk: 23km, 5-6 hours
Leaving Vigo by a pleasant river walk takes you to the Castle of San Sebastian. Descend to the Barrio de O Berbes, an area well known for its wonderful restaurants and where you can sample Ostras de la Ria (oysters of the river). Continue to Redondela, where the route meets the main Camino Portuguese way and cross the historic centre of Cesantes before descending to the seaside village of Arcade.
Walk: 22km, 5-6 hours
Begin the day by climbing the ancient stone road of the Verea Vella da Canicouva past small fields and into a forest area. Explore the 13th century Church of Santa Marta with its panoramic views over the Bay of Vigo before arriving in Pontevedra. This bustling city has a wonderful atmosphere and some great restaurants offering fine Galician cuisine.
Walk: 14km, 3-4 Hours.
Walk through the historic centre of Pontevedra this morning until you reach the Puente del Burgo bridge over the Lerez River. Skirt round the marshland area of A Xunquiera de Alba before entering the beautiful landscapes of Bosques de Reiris and Lombo da Maceira. Walking through fields of crops you eventually reach the pretty spa town of Caldas de Reis.
Walk: 21km, 4-5 hours.
Overnight: Caldas de Reis
Leaving Caldas de Reis, cross the area of Mount Castelo where deep forests are dotted with the waters of the Valga River and ancient mills. Cross a bridge separating the provinces of Pontevedra and A Coruna to find Padron, home to illustrious Galician writers such as Camino Jose Cela and Rosalia de Castro.
Walk: 17km, 4-5 Hours.
Your final day’s walking and a definite highlight brings you to the famous Santiago de Compostela. First of all visit the Sanctuary of Escravitude, and the Alto de O Milladoiro, where pilgrims used to kneel when they first saw the Cathedral of Santiago. Shortly after arrive at the historic centre of Santiago by A Porta Faxeira and continue to the famous Plaza del Obradoiro, where the beautiful Cathedral sits and where all pilgrims converge.
Walk: 22km, 4-5 hours.
We strongly recommend adding an additional night in Santiago to allow you to attend the Pilgrims Mass at the Cathedral which takes place at noon each day. Otherwise, enjoy breakfast before checking out and making your way back to the airport.
14 nights accommodation is included in small rural hotels and hostels. You will always have a private room and en-suite bathroom. In the larger towns you will stay in 3* hotels.
You can add extra nights at any point during your stay, and we particularly recommend extending your stay in Santiago.
This trip is available to solo walkers for a supplement. Single rooms are also available for a supplement.
You can start your walk anytime between the beginning of March and the end of October subject to availability. As the ferry between Caminha and A Guarda does not operate on a Monday it is not possible to start this tour on a Wednesday. Please also keep this in mind if you are adding any additional nights. July and August can get very hot so please bear this in mind if walking at this time of year.
This walk is graded as moderate overall and includes daily walks of between 13 and 26km on mostly flat terrain. You will follow a mixture of coastal paths, wooden walkways, dirt tracks and some roads closer to the bigger cities and towns.
The Camino Portuguese coastal route is not as well way-marked as the main Camino Portuguese but we provide detailed route notes and maps as well as a guidebook. You will also have access to the Macs Adventure Smartphone App so you can follow the route using your phones GPS so you will have no problems finding the way.
Baggage transfers are included (max 20kg per person). Your main bag will be transferred each day between your overnight accommodation so that you only need to walk with a day pack.
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable Travel Insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.
Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and pants), sun hat and sun screen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking/cycling gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.
A local breakfast is included each morning which usually consists of a coffee and bread with jams. Lunch and dinner are not included as standard so you are free to choose from the available options.
By Air: Porto is easily accessible from London and many airports throughout Europe on a direct flight or you can also fly via Lisbon and take a train to Porto (2.5h). Airlines flying to Porto include low cost carriers such as Ryanair and Easyjet and other options include British Airways, TAP, KLM and Lufthansa.
By Rail: Porto is one of the main railway hubs in northern Portugal and is therefore easily reached by train. It takes approx 3 hours by train from Lisbon to Porto.
By Road: Porto enjoys good connections by road to the rest of Portugal. It takes approx 7 hours to drive from Lisbon to Porto.
By Air: If flying to the UK, low cost airlines such as EasyJet and Ryanair offer direct flights to London Stansted and London Gatwick.
For travelling to the rest of Europe or the US, you can fly from Santiago via Madrid with Iberia, via Frankfurt with Lufthansa or via Paris or Barcelona with Vueling. Other options are available and you can check Santiago Airports website for more information.
By Rail: It is also possible to take the train from Santiago to Madrid (approx 7hrs). Train timetables and fares can be viewed at RENFE.
The average daily distance of the walk is between 13 and 26 kilometers and you can expect to walk for between four and five hours each day. You should do as much walking as possible prior to your walk as this will simply add to your enjoyment. That said if you are not at peak fitness you will find you will soon walk yourself fit.
Baggage transfers are included. Your bags will be transferred from your accommodation as per your itinerary and moved onto your next overnight accommodation. The maximum weight for a piece of luggage is 20kgs.
Yes, some people prefer to walk carrying their own bags as a true pilgrim would have. You can select the option for removing the baggage transfers in Step 2 of the Booking Engine.
April/May when the spring flowers are at there best is a lovely time to walk and September/October when the autumn colours are just lovely. June, July and August can be very hot if you are not used to walking in the heat.
Public transport and taxis are available, if you are need of support our local partner in Portugal/Spain will be more that happy to help.
Unfortunately we are unable to change your accommodation bookings and itinerary once you start walking as alternative accommodation is generally not available at such short notice.
Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, lightweight clothes, waterproofs and a day pack.
Macs did everything they said they would to make my trip go well. The maps on the App were excellent.
Comparing notes with others at Santiago, our route up the coast from Porto was more scenic, less trampled, graffiti free, and well maintained. Every aspect about the trip stretched our senses. Even when rain was forecast, the coastal route seemed to escape the drenching experienced by walkers on the higher inland routes. If you want to experience the Isles de Cies, take a rest day in Vigo, not Baiona where the ferry is only peak season.
Young at heart
The natural beauty of the coast of northern Portugal: the friendliness of other 'pilgrims' of many nationalities on the route and of the Portuguese and Spanish people encountered towards them. The cons were an overlong first day, a difficult to find (without a smart phone) dreary corporate hotel in Povoa de Vardim and A Guarda (a really dreary destination especially after a damp day).
From outset, trip planning and delivery was well organized. We had a great experience.
Gibsons, BC, Canada
We walked the Camino from Porto to Santiago in 13 days. Most days the mileage was between 18-22k. I would recommend taking a day off after the first week to rest. The route was really well marked but it was nice to have Mac's app to check if we were on track. The baggage service was great. Accommodation varied but was all good - all very clean.
Gibsons B.C. Canada
We took a while to get the hang of hikes, looking for yellow arrows etc. (If we could speak Spanish, it would naturally have been easier) We underestimated the distances from end of Macs route maps to accommodation, especially when we thought we are entering a village but then discover it is rather spread out and sometimes a bit like a maze. We really enjoyed the trip though and Macs' made it possible for us!
Langebaan, South Africa
The great thing is that MACS builds an itinerary that suits you. Flexible to your objectives and needs. You know you have a place to stay every night (not to be underestimated!). Sometimes the accommodation is challenging and also occasionally hard to find but not enough to spoil a good walk.
This provides a "path less followed" into northern Portugal and Galicia. Scenic and safe. Dramatic and relaxing. The ocean-side portions of the trip are excellent. The in-land parts are intimate, colorful and friendly. This route is for the independent types, not those that need crowds around them. Travel light... you need about 1/2 the clothes and things you think you need.
Wanderer In Forest
Macs Adventure have accomplished a smart blend of background research, comprehensive route literature, accommodation and smartphone apps that provides a ready package for those first attempting the Camino. To an extent they may also have worked their magic arranging 2 weeks of brilliant weather, blissful scenary along a sublime route that enhanced our overall experience shared with like minded 'pilgrims'; each having a special place in their heart or reason for joining the Camino.