Porto to Vila do Conde (along the coast)

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It was a no brainer that we opted for the coastal route to Vila do Conde and what we thought would be a stroll along various beaches of 22 kilometers turned out to be 30 kilometers with the last 8 kilometer’s literally killing my feet.  (There are two routes out of Porto)

So here goes today’s story……..

We had planned to leave after breakfast as this was included in the accommodation price,  however we were all up early so on our way by 07h30 without breakfast as breakfast was only on offer from 08h00.  We took the metro to Trinidade and then had to catch the blue line to  Matoshinhos (Reminder: one needs to get off at Mercado, NOT MATOSHINHOS, one stop before the last stop on the blue line!)   Consider the metro if you want to avoid the outskirts of Porto.  Once again the public transport system impressed me, so easy to get around and the simplicity of the metro is easy to understand.   The metro station, Mercado is at the iron bridge you cross and go left where the yellow arrow indicates and before you know it you reach the coastline and miles of golden sandy beaches.

We stopped for breakfast at Cafe / bar at the metro station, Mercado and soon after  started our journey along the coast.

Cool air, beaches, blue waters, lots of people, loads of children, enjoying life, beauty non stop, peaceful are the memories of the day, alongside the Atlantic Coast.

We walked on a wooden walk way for 70% of the way.  A beautiful board walk that winds its way along the coast line to Vila do Conde.  The walk was flat and easy walking as one continues north close to the sea and beaches, sometimes on the cycle-track or wooden walkways.  You meet the occasional pilgrim as you pass the quaint villages along this route.  The small pretty, chapel Capela de Boa Nova then an obelisk sculpture as well as numerous beach side bars,cafeterias etc and blue flag beaches are all part of making this route a MUST.  The fisherman village was stunning and watching fishermen repair their nets and boats and talk about what they have caught was most interesting.  There is also a row of charming old cottages and the Sea House Museum with interpretation board in English, spend some time here and soak up the energy in this tiny fisherman village.  Then not too long after crossing a small quaint bridge over the River Onda you see a yellow arrow painted on large granite rock pointing ahead to the Castro of Sampaio.  After climbing up to a lookout point you can admire the views as well as look back to where you have walked along the wooden walkways.

We enjoyed a non peregrine lunch at a sea-side restaurant and a bottle of white “evel” wine. (Evel being the name of the wine), mussels, prawns, calamari all very tasty,  reflecting on the beauty of the morning’s walk.  I was so excited about the rest of the days walk to Vila do Conde, but at the same time was enjoying the lunch stop view that Alan and I decided to stick around and soak up the view while Sharon and Koren rushed along.

We knew that there would be a stretch along the beach, walking on the beach sand which we were mentally prepared for, however only Sharon and Koren landed up finding the beach arrows while Alan and I got lost and landed up on a route clearly mark with bright new yellow arrows on a roman road.  By the time we got to the main section of the road it was peak hour traffic and the buzz of the cars drove me mad.  Not sure what was worse, tired feet on a cobble roman road or 5 kilometers of walking on beach sand.  Sharon and I were keeping in touch via whats app and Koren seemed to be taking major strain with her calves as well as swollen left foot.  The two of them got into town an hour before Alan and I did and were rather relaxed and chilled by the time we dragged our exhausted bodies into the hotel.

The last few kilometers destroyed my soul today.

However, the walk along the ocean was AMAZING!!

PS: Portuguese males clearly love their speedo’s and the women are not shy to bear all.   In fact some men are happy to bear all as well.

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