Self Guided Walking Holidays & Cycling Holidays


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Highlights

  • Enjoy a quieter Camino experience away from the crowds
  • The vibrant UNESCO heritage city of Porto
  • Spot birdlife such as mallards, grey herons and cormorants in the Natural Park of the Northern Portuguese Coast
  • Explore the beautiful historical centre of Viana do Castelo

The first stage starts in the vibrant UNESCO heritage city of Porto, heads straight to the coast and goes 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 and the city of A Guarda.

Day 1: Arrive Porto

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).


Overnight: Porto


Day 2: Metro to Matosinhos, walk to Povoa do Varzim

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


Day 3: Walk to Esposende

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.


Overnight: Esposende


Day 4: Walk to Viana do Castelo

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


Day 5: Walk to Praia da Ancora

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


Day 6: Walk to Caminha, ferry to Spain, walk to A Guarda

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


Day 7: Onward Travel

Enjoy breakfast before checking out and making your way back to the airport.

Accommodation

6 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.


Solo Walkers & Single Rooms

This trip is available to solo walkers for a supplement. Single rooms are also available for a supplement.

Availability

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.


Grade & Terrain

This walk is graded as moderate overall and includes daily walks of between 19 and 25km 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.


Navigation, Route Notes & Maps

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 Transfer

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.


Travel Insurance

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.


General Information

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.


Meals

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.

Getting to Porto

 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. It takes approx 4 hours by bus to get back to Porto from A Guarda.


Getting to from A Guarda

 By Air: The closest airport to A Guarda is Vigo which you can reach by flights with Iberia via Madrid. The other options is to fly into Porto but it is a 4 hour bus journey from there to A Guarda.

Included

  • 6 nights in small rural hotels and hostels in twin/double rooms with en-suite W/C
  • 6 Breakfasts
  • Daily Baggage Transfers
  • A detailed information pack including route notes, maps and local information
  • Access to our smartphone app & GPS tracks
  • 24-7 emergency support from our local and UK offices in the event of a problem

Excluded

  • Return travel to Portugal/Spain
  • Lunches, snacks or drinks
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Equipment
  • Taxi transfers or public transport should you need to skip a stage
  • Metro on Day 2 to Matosinhos (approx €3)
  • Ferry from Caminha to A Guarda (approx €3)

Extras

  • Additional nights accommodation along the way.
  • Single supplements.
  • Solo walker supplement

How fit do I need to be?

The average daily distance of the walk is between 19 and 25 kilometers and you can expect to walk for between four and six 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.

How do the baggage transfers work?

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.

Can I walk with my bags?

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.

When is the best time of year?

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.

What happens if I can’t walk a stage?

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.

Can I change my itinerary once I start walking?

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.

Clothing & Equipment

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.

Wonderful Experience

5

I thoroughly enjoyed the hike in the coastal Caminho. Mac's adventure provided the perfect structure for me to complete the walk and not worry about where I would stay that night and how much I had to carry on my back. The transport of my bags was seamless, as was the special arrangement to take me to the airport. Accommodations were quite suitable. The overnights are not in large cities with posh hotels. You will stay in accommodations that are clean, convenient to the trail and other amenities. There can be some language challenges but I never experienced that such that I could not get a question answered. Of course the west Coast of Portugal is stunningly beautiful as was the portion of Spain to A Guarda. My only regret is choosing the hike that ended in A Guarda and not ending at St James. There are people of all ages from all over the world that you will love meeting along the Caminho.

Canuck Runner

Oregon

It was an great product to purchase

4

This product enabled us to focus on the walk knowing we had our own bed and shower at the end of the day. And a decent breakfast to set us up for the next walk.

Adrian

Melbourne, Australia

true

Not the best!

2

Generally walking The Camino Way is a great experience. Lots of camaraderie with other travellers. We loved Portugal for its Ocean, food, well signposted trail, friendly locals, towns and villages. But we found Macs choice of hotels not great. Some were large and impersonal. Some were way off the route. We found some of the days very long particularly the first day when we walked 28km. We walked 8 hours. All the days were much harder than described.

Jenny a

Manchester

false

Good stretch for the legs

4

The distance was a challenge for us, two fairly fit above 65 seniors. Twenty km a day, generally easy terrain, turned out to be OK. Good views, a variety of terrain. The coastal path is well-maintained. There were a few confusing segments, like where a golf course has taken over the coast, but we were rarely lost. The MacAventure app works great! There is another app which other Camino travellers alerted me to 'Wise Pilgrim', which also apparently works well. MacAdventure smoothed out the jagged bits. The end of the walk in Spain, A Guarda, has no major transit links to any other Portuguese cities, and we were at odds how to get back to Lisbon to complete our holiday. But MacAdventure stepped in and sorted us out -- thanks mates!

TippyToes

Peterborough, Canada

true

Camino Portuguese Coastal Way

4

Coastal paths best. Main route too much tarmac.

Marie B

Glasgow

true

Camino Portugués Coastal Way: Stage 1

3.8 5

75.0

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Macs Adventure - Head Office: Skypark 5, 45 Finnieston Street, Glasgow, G3 8JU, UK

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