Introduction to the Portuguese Way Coastal Route

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A little history / intro about the PORTUGUESE WAY COASTAL ROUTE

During the Middle Ages there were many routes that crossed the countryside leading towards Santiago de Compostela, amongst them routes from Portugal had special importance.

One of these pilgrim routes is the “Portuguese Coastal Way”, which runs from Porto through;

Vila do Conde, Viana do Castelo, Caminha, La Guardia, Baiona and Vigo

……….before joining the more traditional Portuguese Way to Santiago.

This route was followed by pilgrims from western lands and those who arrived in Portuguese ports from overseas countries and who sought to get to Santiago following this coastal way. Its importance is shown by place names, and elements of Jacobean devotion, old hospitals and pilgrim hospices, as in Viana do Castelo and Caminha.
From Caminha you have two options, you can continue through Cerveira to Tui, cross the iron bridge from Valenca (Portugal) into Tui (Spain) where you can join the Central Way or you can cross the Minho River by boat to La Guarda, continuing through Baiona and Vigo, reaching Redondela where you join the same route that was followed by pilgrims on the traditional Portuguese route.

I will be taking the the ferry (boat) across the Minho River to La Guarda and will continue through Baiona and Vigo to Redondela.

Once I leave Pontevedra (2 days walk from Redondela as I will spend a night in the small fisherman’s village, Arcade) I will vere off the traditional way and enjoy the 3 day Spiritual Variant from Pontevedra to Santiago.

Spiritual variant actually is divided in three stages from Pontevedra to Padrón as follows:

  • Departs from the city of Pontevedra and heads towards the sea in Poio and Combarro to delve further to Armenteira, a really peaceful rural plaxe in the middle of the mountains
  • The next day I will walk the “Route of Stone and Water”,  great natural beauty and walking under trees that are dotted with ancient water mills.  This part will include views of vineyards as well as enter a small village – Salnés area, home to one of the world’s most renowned wines, Albariño.
  • A further +- 24 km’s walk I will reach the town of Vilanova de Arousa and then onto Padron

On this route, you will walk past terraced fields, lush forests, vineyards, sleepy villages and wind-swept beaches. It’s a beautiful area to walk!  I CANNOT WAIT!!!

17 days to go……

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