Camino Portugués: Stage 2: Santarém to Coimbra8 Days & 7 Nights
- Experiencing a sense of timelessness and freedom amongst the ever changing landscape
- Starting off in the Gothic City of Santarém
- Enjoying a Pastel de Nata and coffee in Coimbra
- Discovering the ancient architecture of the Templar city of Tomar
- Discovering the real Portugal as you walk its paths at your own pace
What To Expect
Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active holiday.
Pilgrim Trail | You will follow a historic pilgrimage trail, in the footsteps of generations of travellers
Grade & Terrain
The Camino Portugues is graded moderate overall and involves daily walks of between 12-33km. It is suited to regular walkers who enjoy long-distance walking. You will follow a mixture of farm/dirt tracks, woodland paths, minor roads (one-third of the route) and closer to the bigger towns and cities, some busier roads. It should also be noted that on the section out of Porto there is a busy road network but there are some alternatives to avoid this. Much of this route is flat, but there are a few days that are long and some sections on cobbled pavements which can be tough so a good level of fitness is recommended.
The route is marked with yellow painted arrows but please take care at intersections where there may be a choice of several different alternative routes, particularly in the latter half of the route from Porto to Santiago. Navigation can become trickier when leaving the busier cities and towns such as Lisbon, Porto and Tui and you will need to pay close attention to your route notes for these sections. We also provide a guidebook and access to the Macs Adventure Smartphone App, which you can use to navigate. We strongly recommend using this App, or at least having it on your phone ready to use should you ever be in any doubt about your direction. There are usually other walkers around in case you are looking for help. A detailed information pack including route notes, local information and maps will be waiting for you at your first accommodation.
The accommodation is a mixture of small family-run hotels, guesthouses and larger hotels in the big cities. In both Santarém, Golega and Tomar you will stay in a charming 4-star hotel with a pool. In Alvaizere you will stay in a lovely family-run guest house, in Alvorge you will be staying in a family-run rural house with pool, in Condeixa you will be staying in a charming hotel with a pool and in Coimbra you will be staying in a 3 or 4-star hotel. All with private rooms and en-suite bathrooms and all offer a warm welcome to walkers, traditional hospitality and delicious local food. Please also note that we have added on an extra 2km onto day 5 as your accommodation that night will be a further 2km walk from Alvorge. We do recommend that you book this trip early as the area is always popular and the hotels and inns do fill up early.
Solo Walkers & Single Rooms
The Camino is available to solo walkers at a supplement. Single rooms are available although a single supplement is payable.
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.
There is so much to see and do along the route that many of our clients choose to add extra nights along the walk either as a rest day or simply to do some extra sightseeing. If you are walking the whole route solo try not to add too many extra nights along the way as you will lose touch with those you have met.
It is possible to walk the Camino in less time but we would not recommend this.
- Accommodation in small rural hotels, twin/double rooms with en-suite W/C.
- Daily Breakfast
- Daily Baggage Transfers
- Taxi transfers on day 6 and 7 to reach your Condeixa accommodation
- A detailed information pack for the group leader including route notes, maps and local information.
- GPX tracks and access to the Macs Adventure Smartphone Navigation App
- Emergency support from our local and UK offices in the event of a problem.
- Return travel to Spain/Portugal.
- Lunches, snacks or drinks.
- Travel Insurance.
- Personal Equipment.
- Taxi transfers or public transport should you need to skip a stage.
- Additional nights accommodation along the way.
When To Go
This trip is available to start on any day from the beginning of March to the end of October. Option & extension prices will be displayed as part of the booking process.
Time of Year
The weather on the Camino Portugues can be quite varied as it passes through several different regions. We recommend walking between March and October to get the best weather for walking. July and August can be extremely busy on the Camino and very hot (temperatures have reached up to 40 degrees) so we tend to recommend avoiding these months. As some of the route passes close to the coast, this can cool down the temperatures but it can also cause storms and high winds.
Getting to the Start
To reach Santarém you are best flying into Lisbon. There are several carriers from the UK and you can fly direct from London with TAP, BA and Easyjet.
To get to Lisbon from Santarém, simply take a bus with Rede Expressos, which takes around an hour.
Getting from the End
On the return, you are best flying out of Porto. Again, this city is accessible directly from London and Manchester with Ryanair, Easyjet and TAP
To get to Porto from Coimbra, you can take a train with CP Rail which takes around an hour.
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. There is a supplement applicable for solo walkers on baggage transfers due to the fact that the transfer costs are usually shared.
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.
Pilgrim's Passport & Compostela
The pilgrim’s passport is issued by the church of St James, you can obtain one at the start of your walk in the pilgrim’s office or the local church in town. You need to get the passport stamped in churches, restaurants and hotels along the way. At the end of the walk, in Santiago, you can obtain your Compostela Certificate (only if you have walked the last 100km). For the other sections of the trail, the passport is used as a souvenir with all the colourful stamps you will receive.
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.
The average daily distance of this stage of the Portugués Camino is 25km 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.
The paths generally follow quiet country roads and woodland pathsand you go through wooded valleys, follow gentle rivers and walk by the coast. Wooden posts with a yellow shell symbol show the way and yellow arrows painted on many walls and tracks are also there to guie you. There will always be other walkers around just in case you are looking for help.
More specifically between Santarem and Golega you will walk along country roads and paths, between Golega and Condeixa there is a mix of country roads roads with traffic and between Condeixa and Coimbra there are mainly roads with traffic as you will be walking on the outskirts of Coimbra into the city.
We suggest you book as far in advance as possible as the Portugués Camino is extremely popular. Numbers can rise by up to 100, 000 people. We will always try and accommodate late bookings but realistically you need to book at least 6 weeks prior to departure.
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 20kg.
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.
I would recommend April/May when the spring flowers are at there best and September/October when the colours are just lovely. June, July and August can be very hot if you are not used to walking in the heat while the temperatures can fall sharply in the winter with some accommodation closing down for the end of season.
Public transport and taxis are available, if you are need of support our local partner in Portugal 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.
ItineraryDay 1 Arrive in Santarem and Overnight
Santarém is a charming historic city located on top of a fortified hill. Make sure you arrive in time to explore its many historic monuments before settling in for the night.
The accommodation is located in an old manor house dating from the 17th century, and offers 8 rooms decorated with works of art, antiques, old linen and lace.
Prepare for a long and flat walk today along the River Tejo. Follow quiet lanes and farm tracks alongside the River Tejo to Golega, with its pretty central square and 14th-century parish church. Golega is also known as the 'horse capital of Portugal'.
Ascent: 73m / Descent: 80m
Hotel Lusitano has a total of 24 rooms, equipped with flat screen TV, air conditioning, safe deposit box, internet connection, telephone, mini-bar, robes, slippers and hair dryer. The hotel has two distinctive areas: the ´Old House´ with hard wood floors, ceilings and shutters, and the ´New Wing´, which has more spacious areas and a contemporary style.
Today's walk takes you into the gently rolling hills or 'Serras' and passes several small villages. Tomar is a historic templar town and offers a warm welcome to pilgrims. Be sure to explore the Templar castle, Convent of Christ and Charold overlooking the town.
Ascent: 274m / Descent: 235m
This hotel has 117 rooms, all equipped with terrace, air conditioning, TV, minibar telephone and private bathroom with a separate bathtub. The hotel features a spa, lovely gardens, a fitness centre and tennis court.
A slightly more strenuous day today takes you over the Sierras to the high point of Alvaiazere. You will be following roman roads and woodland paths for the most part.
The terrain varies today as you make your way out of the flat plains of Ribatejo into the province of Beira Litoral over several hills your final ascent will take you to the highest point of the walk, at 310 metres, finishing today's walk-in Alvaiazere.
Ascent: 539m / Descent: 295m
Rooms at this property have heating, TV and private bathrooms.
Continue through olive groves, crop fields and forested valleys, perhaps stopping for lunch in the town of Ansiao.
Set on, Alvorge insight along the undulating terrain, passing olive groves and small crop fields. Ansiao is a town which you pass through at the halfway point of your walk, which makes it an ideal location for a break.
Ascent: 323m / Descent: 363m
This guest house has 8 rooms. There is a garden with barbecue and a swimming pool.
Today's highlight will be admiring the famous Roman ruins of Conimbriga
Follow part of the original Roman road today to the famous Roman ruins of Conimbriga. Conimbriga is the largest Roman settlement in Portugal and the extensive site is well worth exploring. From here you will phone a taxi which will take you to your accommodation in Ega.
Ascent: 98m / Descent: 286m
Located at the Palace of the Almadas that for many years hosted personalities from the most distinguished European nobility, now offers 43 comfortable rooms with balconies (including suites with terraces); Restaurant and Bar; Large garden; Outdoors swimming pool; Sauna, massage room, fitness machines and free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel.
An early taxi transfer will take you back to Conimbriga, where you continue your walk to Coimbra, a major Portuguese university city.
If you want to visit the ruins at Conimbriga again before embarking on your walk, take a moment to enjoy the peace and quiet as the rest of your day will start to experience the hustle and bustle of city life as you make your way to Coimbra.
Ascent: 260m / Descent: 342m
Hotel Dona Inês is a modern and comfortable hotel, with 122 rooms, which was completely renovated in 2011. All rooms have private bathrooms, air conditioning, telephone, minibar, safe deposit box, radio and satellite TV.
Enjoy breakfast before checking out and making your way home.
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