Camino Portugues Coastal Way By Bike9 Days & 8 Nights
- The historic cities of Porto and Santiago de Compostela
- Wild coastal trails and hidden sandy beaches
- Discover rural villages, medieval towns and historic cities
- Sample regional dishes and local wines along the way
- Enjoy a quieter Camino experience, away from the crowds
Classic Routes | If you’re the active, outdoorsy type, who’s interested in taking on the great routes of the world or looking for a challenge, then our Classic Routes are for you. We’re talking the West Highland Way, Tour Du Mont Blanc and the Passau to Vienna Danube Cycle Path, to name but a few!
Leisure Cycling | Leisure Cycling
Ideal if you have an interest in:
Foodie, Wine, Long-Distance Trails
Activity Level & Terrain
The route has been graded as easy to moderate overall based on the distances each day. The route should be manageable for most regular cyclists or those relatively new to cycling with a good level of fitness.
Pedal on a mixture of coastal paths, wooden walkways, dirt tracks, cobblestones and some roads (secondary and main) closer to the bigger cities and towns, with distances between 25-49 km. You will also cycle on forest tracks (dirt or gravel and sometimes rocky). This is a great trip for anyone with good physical fitness, as you will encounter some steep climbs. The tour follows the Portuguese Coastal Camino for 80% of the official pilgrim route, but the remaining sections of the Camino is not safe for bikes (since it was created for pedestrians), so you will be diverted via small roads for the remaining sections where rocky and muddy mountain trails and some of the boardwalks are not suitable for bikes.
Navigation is straightforward with detailed route notes upon arrival, and the GPX tracks provided in our app. You will be cycling on the official Camino Coastal Way route for 80% of the route, so it will be relatively easy to find your way.
On this tour you will stay in a mixture of 3 and 4-star hotels, in small hotels and guesthouses or larger hotels in the big cities.
During the high season, you might be booked into alternative accommodations that are not listed in the main daily description. If those listed are unavailable the alternative accommodation will be of the same or better standard than those described.
If you require single rooms within your party we would be happy to accommodate you although there is a single room supplement payable.
Breakfast is included each morning, but lunches and dinners are not so that you are free to choose from the surrounding options. If there isn't a restaurant at your accommodation there will be options nearby. For lunch, you will pass through towns and villages en route where you can purchase provisions for a picnic lunch. We have included recommendations and tips and hints in your roadbook, which you will receive upon arrival.
- 8 nights in 3 and 4-star hotels
- All breakfasts
- Luggage transfers
- Bike hire (E-bike also available with a supplement)
- Pilgrim kit (shell and pilgrim passport)
- Welcome briefing upon arrival
- Detailed information pack including route notes, maps and local information
- GPS tracks with the Macs Adventure smartphone navigation app
- 24/7 Emergency telephone support from our UK & US offices
- E-bike hire
- Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
- Travel insurance
- Personal Equipment
- Taxi transfers or public transport should you need to skip a stage
- E-bike hire
- Additional nights accommodation along the way.
- Extra night in Porto and Santiago
- Private transfer from Santiago back to Porto at the end
- Private transfers to/from Porto or Santiago airports
When To Go
You can begin your trip on any day of the week from 1st March to 31st October
Weather and Climate
Generally you'll find that spring and autumn are the best times for cycling in Portugal, with temperatures from 12-19 degrees Celsius and the added bonus of less summer tourists. However, being in northern Portugal and therefore cooler than the south this trip is also pleasant in the summer months. Summer temperatures vary from 18-25 degrees Celsius and perhaps into the high 20s on occasion. Rainfall is generally low, with a monthly average of no more than 12 mm between March and November. May to September tend to be the driest months of the year.
Getting to the Start
By Air: Porto is easily accessible from many major airports on a direct flight or you can also fly via Lisbon and take a train to Porto (3 hours).
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.
We can also arrange a private transfer from Porto Airport to your first hotel (not included).
Getting from the End
By Air: You can fly from Santiago direct to some UK airports, or via Madrid with Iberia, via Frankfurt with Lufthansa or via Paris or Barcelona with Vueling. Other options are available and you can check Santiago Airport 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. Alternatively, you can return to Porto by train via Vigo (4.5hrs). or catch a bus to Porto which runs daily (3hrs).
We can also arrange a private transfer back to Porto (not included) should you wish to book return flights to Porto.
Luggage TransferLuggage transfers between overnight locations are included in the tour. We request that you have only one piece of luggage per person, it should weigh approximately 20kg.
The distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the recommended routes.
Bike & E-Bike Hire
Hire of a Mountain Bike is included as standard (MTB TREK Marlin 6 with either 27.5” or 29” wheels). Sizes range from XS to XL.
Included with bike hire is a pannier rack, panniers, phone holder, bottle cage, toolkit, puncture repair kit, and use of a helmet. We recommend that you bring your own helmet for your own comfort.
For some battery-powered assistance on longer days, and to ease ascents, we recomend hiring an e-bike. We can arrange hire of high quality E-bikes at an extra cost (TREK Powerfly 4-625 Gen 3). The rechargeable battery on your bike will be your reliable riding partner, getting you to the top of hills or to your final destination with more energy in the tank for an afternoon swim or simply for exploring. E-bikes are growing rapidly in popularity so please make sure to request one at the time of booking so we can secure availability for your trip and avoid disappointment.
It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance that covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.
This trip is graded moderate, with daily distances ranging from 25km to 49km. Once you have left the towns and cities much of the cycling is on quiet country or coastal roads with some sections on good tracks. You will encounter some rolling terrain, and we can arrange the rental of e-bikes if you would prefer a power-assisted ride.
To get the most out of the trip we recommend a good level of fitness, and it's a good idea to get out on your bike for a couple of consecutive days in the lead up to your trip so you can get used to riding back to back days. However, it’s not all about the cycling. Each day there are plenty opportunities to visit historic sights and sample locally produced food and wine.
ItineraryDay 1 Arrive in Porto
You'll receive a welcome briefing, a bike fitting and all the documentation you’ll need at your hotel. There are plenty of sightseeing opportunities in Porto, with over 1500 UNESCO-listed monuments, off-set by striking modern architecture and edgey street art. A gastronomic paradise, Porto is home to a myriad of Michelin Guide-listed restaurants. Stroll the winding streets in the old quarters of Ribeira, Miragaia and Massarelos and seek a rooftop bar with a view to kickstart your journey.
Just 150 yards from Trindade Metro Station, offering a direct connection to Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport. Porto Trindade offers trendy spacious with tea and coffe facilities, and a large lounge and bar. The Santo Ildefonso Church is a 15- minute walk away. The historic São Bento Train Station is just 0.9 miles away from the hotel.
Oca Republik Hotel is located in the historic Praça da República. Its modern facilities and its strategic location are ideal for enjoying the city, and Baixa is a 10-minute walk away.
Start cycling the Portuguese Costal Way to Santiago along the Portuguese coast, using wooden boardwalks, cycle paths and backroads, passing several wide sandy beaches, nature reserves and fishing villages to the town of Vila do Conde. You'll follow the Douro River as you leave Porto, following the seafront to the former fishing village of Foz. You'll then pass a lighthouse and a couple of fortresses before reaching the town of Matosinhos, and then continue on to the attractive town of Vila do Conde. The ancient town is famous for its Roman Aqueduct and the Santa Clara Monastery, and it was also the main centre for Portuguese lace.
Total ascent/descent: 118m/74m
The charming Brazao Hotel is located in a historic building in this fisherman’s town. The hotel has 30 rooms, all with en suite bathrooms, TV, air conditioning, mini bar and hair dryer. Relax at the hotel bar or explore the town - the local beach-side restaurants all specialise in fresh seafood dishes.
Ride through residential areas to the resort town of Povoa de Varzim, then continue cycling alongside the ocean and beaches before heading inland past agricultural areas, forest and villages to Fão. Cross the River Cávado to reach the low-key resort town of Esposende. Much of the day is spent inland as you cycle through a series of villages, countryside and patches of woodland with rivers and mountain views. The approach to Viana do Castelo across the iron bridge over the River Lima will provide magnificent views along the valley and estuary. Viana do Castelo is surrounded by unspoilt coastline and was once one of Portugal's most important ports back in the 15th and 16th centuries, where Portuguese explorers would set off to discover far-flung lands.
Total ascent/descent: 262m/255m
With a friendly atmosphere, this family-run accommodation is situated in the historic aea of Viana. This hotel has 26 modest rooms and a bar which also offers snacks.
Start the day towards the beachside town of Vila Praia de Âncora, cycling through small villages and over a forested hill to get there. Continue with a coastal cycle path that connects you to Moledo, just before reaching the pretty town of Caminha as you head more inland. Here you have to take the ferry and cross the River Minho, the natural border with Spain. Cycle through the fishing town of A Guarda to follow the Camino along scenic coastal trails, forest tracks and tarmac roads to Oia, where a 12th century monastery dominates this small but attractive village. A small beach can also be found in front of this monastery. We recommend enjoying an evening meal of grilled fish with a glass of Vinho Verde as you take in the sea views, or perhaps view the prehistoric engravings at A Pedreira nearby.
Total ascent/descent: 256m/240m
Situated right by the sea, each of the 63 rooms at the Glasgow Hotel offers everything you need to guarantee a comfortable stay, with spectacular views over the ocean.
Your journey continues along the coast, cycling past small fields and villages before reaching the pretty resort town of Baiona, following the coastal road to its marina. The historical centre is worth exploring, with many medieval buildings and several religious monuments. The view towards the ocean is dominated by the Monterreal Fortress, and you can also go onboard a replica of La Pinta Caravel, one of the ships used by Christopher Columbus. As you leave Baiona behind, you'll continue to follow the coast to the city of Vigo.
Total ascent/descent: 256m/149m
Sercotel Tres Luces enjoys an ideal central location in Vigo's commercial district, next to the Corte Inglés and Gran Via and just a short stroll from the train station. Its location means it's the perfect base for discovering the charms of this pretty Galician port, such as Vigo’s marina or the streets of the historic city centre. You can also sample regional dishes in the Sercotel’s restaurant.
The Oca Ipanema Hotel is in the heart of Vigo and some of the rooms have sea views. The hotel also has a cafeteria, a terrace and a restaurant with views of the city. Traditional Galician meals are available at the restaurant, and close to the hotel are several tapas restaurants.
Cycle along Vigo’s city streets as you head northeast, leaving the urban area behind. Follow the line of the Ria de Vigo estuary for views of floating mussel farms, the Cíes islands and the city and port of Vigo as you ride between villages and through a forest. A descent then takes you to the town of Redondela, where your Portuguese Coastal Camino merges with the Portuguese Central Camino. There are plenty of coffee shops and restaurants here, as well as interesting medieval buildings. You'll cycle over a hill to pass through the riverside town of Arcade, where you can pause for juicy fat oysters. Continuing on, you’ll soon reach the atmospheric square of Pontevedra after enjoying a downhill section. Here you can admire the medieval architecture as you sip a cold beer or wine with some tapas. This bustling city has a wonderful atmosphere and some great restaurants offering fine Galician cuisine.
Total ascent/descent: 391m/457m
Located near the centre of Pontevedra, in the Rías Baixas, this hotel is the ideal place to stay for those doing the Camino. The hotel's restaurant opens daily for dinner and there is also an on-site tapas bar, where you can grab a drink before heading into the centre of Pontevedra.
Cycle through the ancient streets of Pontevedra to start the journey to Padrón, which will be relatively hill-free and surrounded by pleasant countryside. After 15km, there's the opportunity to leave the Camino very briefly to visit a series of stone watermills at the Ria Barosa Natural Park, just 200m from the Camino. Continuing on, visit the hot spring in the center of Caldas de Reis if you wish, then continue on the bike to gradually climb through a series of hamlets and a beautiful stretch of woodland. Take some time to explore medieval Padrón, and discover its deep connection to St. James as well as its tasty green peppers. Padrón is also home to illustrious Galician writers, such as Camino Jose Cela and Rosalia de Castro.
Total ascent/descent: 263m/299m
A 16th century building and former recreational mansion of the Compostela archbishops, boasting gardens, woodland and a seasonal outdoor pool. The rooms are bright and feature an interior design that incorporates tradition. Pazo De Lestrove has a cafeteria, dining room and spacious lounge areas. The historic town of Padrón and the Convento del Carmen are a 10-minute walk away.
The final stage of your Camino takes you through a series of Galician hamlets with traditional cottages and barns as well as the imposing sanctuary of Nossa Señora da Escravitute. Enjoy the forest trail then head up to Milladoiro for your first glimpse of Santiago and its cathedral towers. Drop down to the valley to cross the River Sar before one last ascent that brings you into the city centre, following the medieval streets to the cathedral, where all pilgrims converge. Treat yourself and head to one of the many restaurants on Rua do Franco, serving delicious Galician seafood accompanied by local wines. Today has more ascent than descent, so you totally deserve it!
Total ascent/descent: 351m/84m
Located in the centre of Santiago de Compostela, the modern Hotel Lux Santiago is just 900 yards from the cathedral, and the Santiago de Compostela Train Station is just 600 yards away. The on-site Studio Bar serves tapas accompanied by Galician wine.
Just 350 yards from the cathedral, Pombal Rooms Santiago is opposite Alameda Park and boasts stylish rooms with views of the old town.
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. If you have collected stamps along the Coastal Way to prove that you have travelled the required distance, head to the Pilgrims' Office to ask for your compostela. Otherwise, enjoy breakfast before checking out and making your way back to Porto or Santiago Airport. If you require a private transfer back to Porto or to Santiago Airport, please contact us for prices.
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