Duration: 11 Days
Rediscover the wonders of nature and the stillness of the mind on this scenic blend of the Portuguese and the Spiritual routes of the Camino de Santiago. The walk will cover a total of approximately 75 miles. Take time to reflect, contemplate, meditate, and give this challenge the meaning you prefer, whether spiritual, religious, physical, or just an opportunity to meet like-minded people. After landing in Porto, start your journey by walking across the Portuguese-Spanish border on the bridge over the Minho river. Drive to the coastal town of Baiona and walk the Portuguese Way skirting the Atlantic Ocean to Pontevedra. From there, join the Spiritual Variant towards the Ulla River in Cambados and experience a boat cruise to Padrón.
The Spiritual Variant is the name given to the route that joins the Camino Portugues, both the Coastal and Central route, with the Traslatio (or Transfer) route. It ends in Santiago de Compostela following the route taken by the remains of the Apostle James, from Jerusalem to Iria Flavia, near Padrón. Discover spectacular landscapes and seascapes, and seize the opportunity to discover historical places, and enjoy the authentic cuisine of the Galician region.
Evening Mass will be available in most towns for those who wish to attend. In Santiago de Compostela you can attend Pilgrim Mass. You will receive the Compostela Certificate upon completion of the entire route on foot.
Please note: Itinerary is based on 2024, and is subject to change. Full details will be confirmed in 2024.
Check into your hotel and, if you have time, start exploring this lively city on your own with the help of the CosmosGO app. In the late afternoon, meet your tour companions and your Tour Director, who will explain the dos and don’ts of the walk and give you some important advice. Take a pleasant stroll to a nearby restaurant for an included welcome dinner. (D)
Approximately 3 km/2 mi - avg 40 min – difficulty 1/3.
Time this morning for a quick guided orientation through Porto’s bustling city centre with views over the Douro River, followed by free time or the opportunity to attend [M] Mass in the Cathedral. After lunch, transfer by coach to Valença do Minho to walk a section of the Camino de Santiago into Spain across the the Minho river towards Tui. Rejoin the coach to Baiona, on the Atlantic coast. Fun fact: Baiona was the first town in Europe to receive news of America’s discovery in 1493. We recommend touring the medieval fortress on the Monterreal peninsula, visiting the replica of Columbus’ ship la Pinta and discovering this beautiful beachside town. (B,D) Today’s distance (by coach): 89 mi / 143 km
APPROXIMATELY 25 KM/15.5 MI – AVG 5 HRS – DIFFICULTY 2/3.
This is the real start of your journey. May every step be a thought on peace and an extension of loving kindness. Leave Baiona behind, and follow the coast across the Rías Baixas through the beach town of Nigrán. Walk along long pristine beaches and admire the magnificent Cíes Islands from a distance. Vigo is Galicia’s most important harbor and busiest city. If you wish, attend [M] Mass at Vigo Cathedral. (B)
Approximately 16 km/10 mi – avg 3 hrs – difficulty 2/3.
Take in the stunning views of Vigo Bay, the Atlantic Islands, the Morrazo Peninsula, and Rande Bridge. After a pleasant walk on an unpaved path through woodlands, reach Redondela. Our driver will take you to the hotel in the centre of Pontevedra, where you will spend the next two nights. You may wish to visit the stunning Sanctuary of the Virgin Pilgrim and attend [M] Mass.(B,D)
Today’s distance (by coach): 12.5 mi / 20 km
Approximately 19 km/12 mi–Average 4 hrs, 30 min. – Difficulty 3/3.
After a short transfer back to Redondela, continue your journey; first uphill by the coast with stunnning views over the Vigo Bay and across the infamous Ponte Sampaio bridge, where Napoleon’s Army suffered one of the greatest defeats during the War of Independence. Continue then mostly downhill, through peaceful oak forests and along the river to the centre of Pontevedra, the city founded by the Romans and dedicated to the Virgen Peregrina (the Pilgrim Virgin). Your [M] Mass option tonight is at Saint Francisco Convent. Take advantage of the vast choice of restaurants to immerse yourself in the local culinary culture. (B) Today’s distance (by coach): 12.5 mi / 20 km
Approximately 14 km/8.7 mi – Average 3 hrs – Difficulty 1/3.
Leave the inland Portuguese Camino to take the Spiritual Variant, which follows St. James’ final journey. Legend says that a stone vessel carried the Apostle’s remains from Jaffa in Israel to Padrón along the River Ulla some 2000 years ago. Today, you will walk past the Monastery of San Juan de Poio and the beautiful town of Combarro, famous for its many horreos (traditional granaries on pillars). After Combarro, continue another two miles along the coast to reach the hotel. (B,D)
Approximately 20 km/12.5 mi–Average 4 hrs 30 min.–Difficulty 3/3.
Expect a beautiful walk today, through vineyards and alongside refreshing streams in the forests. Stop at the 12th Century Cistercian Monastery of Armenteira, founded by the knight Ero in 1168. Follow the relaxing “Ruta da Pedra e da Agua”(the rock and water route), a forest path next to a water stream with over 30 medieval water mills. The destination today is Cambados, considered to be the capital of Albariño, one of the best white wines in the world. [M] Mass is available at the impressive Santa Mariña Dozo Church. (B)
Approximately 24 km/15 mi–Average 5 hrs–Difficulty 3/3.
Start the day on a high note: a one-hour catamaran cruise on the Ulla River, following the journey of the legendary stone boat that carried the remains of St. James. See the remains of the Catoira towers, which used to protect Santiago de Compostela from Viking attacks. Disembark on the outskirts of Padrón, famous for its “pimientos,” small, mild green peppers, usually served fried and salted.
Only a few more miles to Santiago de Compostela! Enjoy a celebratory dinner upon completing your Camino de Santiago, served in a local restaurant in the old town. If you have walked all stages of the Camino, you will receive your Pilgrim Certificate. (B,D)
Enjoy a full day to rest and to discover Santiago after your Camino. Follow the Tour Director on a guided tour of the Santiago Cathedral and its squares, and attend the Pilgrim [M] Mass in the Cathedral. You can join your Tour Director for a more detailed tour of the old town in the afternoon, go shopping, explore on your own, or just enjoy a well-deserved rest. Discover Santiago’s culinary specialties on your own tonight, and take in the special atmosphere of this historic town. (B)
The Camino has come to an end, but there are more hidden gems to discover. Depart Santiago de Compostela by bus and explore Ponte de Lima, the oldest riverside town in Portugal, featuring an impressive Medieval bridge with an ancient Roman section over the Lima River. Next stop is the Sanctuary of Dom Jesus do Monte, a UNESCO World Heritage site. See the unique zigzag stairway dedicated to the five senses: sight, smell, hearing, touch, and taste—and the three theological virtues: faith, hope, and charity. Continue to Porto. (B)
Today's Distance by coach: 165 mi / 265 km.
Take home with you the spiritual growth and appreciation for simple things. This is your most important souvenir of the Camino. Your holiday ends with breakfast. (B)