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Camino Portugués: Stage 2: Santarém to Coimbra

8 Days & 7 Nights
  • Discovering the ancient architecture of the Templar city of Tomar
  • Discovering the real Portugal as you walk its paths at your own pace
  • 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
The second stage of the Camino Portugués starts off with a day of relatively flat walking, but you are soon out amongst the rolling hills as the week progresses. This section has three of the most amazing cities on the trip, the gothic Santarém, the Templar city of Tomar and the beautiful University town of Coimbra. Following Roman roads and farm tracks through olive groves and the rolling serras (hills) this is a truly spectacular section of the walk. The Camino Portugués, in general, is quite flat and easy to navigate and with the route being a road less traveled, you will find it a lot quieter than the Camino Frances, but no less inspiring. You will pass Vineyards, crop fields and farms, along the way. This trail gives one an insight into the suburban Portuguese way of living. Also, you will be walking through old country roads and past lovely small Hamlets. This section is very tranquil and you will certainly feel immersed in the countryside along this trail.
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What To Expect

The Camino Portugués is a fantastic alternative to the well known Camino Frances, and is perfect if you want a route rich in culture as it passes through many historic villages, towns and historical cities. Much of the route follows the original Roman military road so you can expect some road walking but there are alternative routes which can be taken to avoid some of this and this is made up for by the vibrant interesting places you will pass by en-route.

Tour Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active trip.

Activity:

Pilgrim Trail | You will follow a historic pilgrimage trail, in the footsteps of generations of travelers

Activity Level & 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.

Navigation

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.

Accommodations

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.

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.

Additional Nights

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.

Fewer Nights

It is possible to walk the Camino in less time but we would not recommend this.

Included
  • 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.
Excluded
  • 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.
Extras
  • 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. 

Luggage 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. There is a supplement applicable for solo walkers on baggage transfers due to the fact that the transfer costs are usually shared.

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.

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.

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.

How fit do I need to be?
What type of trails does the Portugués Camino follow?
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How do the baggage transfers work?
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What happens if I can’t walk a stage?
Can I change my itinerary once I start walking?

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive in Santarem and Overnight Day 2 Walk to Golega 20.5 miles / 33 km Day 3 Walk to Tomar 19 miles / 30.5 km Day 4 Walk to Alvaiazere 20 miles / 32 km Day 5 Walk to Alvorge 16 miles / 25.5 km Day 6 Walk to Conimbriga (Overnight Condexia) 13 miles / 20.5 km Day 7 Walk to Coimbra  11.3 miles / 18.2 km Day 8 Onward travel from Coimbra

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