THE STORY

When I landed in Lisbon I already had a plan. I stayed in town for two days for some sightseeing before I got my first stamp and credential in the cathedral and followed the yellow arrows out of town. The first days I walked with a woman from Canada and we had a great time together but in the end we had different timetables and I had to leave her behind. Before I left Sweden I talked to a lovely girl and we decided to meet up in Porto for a couple of days to talk some more. We joined a run called Urban Trail Run and it was really fun but but hillier than expected. From Porto I walked along the riverside out to the coast and then followed the coast up to Caminha. It’s wonderful and you should walk this part if you’re able to. I can’t say that I followed the yellow markers every day and every hour and I think it’s supposed to be like that. To collect shells while listen to the birds and the waves is good for the soul and when you’re thirsty or hungry you just take the first coffee shop you see. When I reached Caminha I followed the river inland and re-joined my planned route from Tui, Spain. Over all I think this trail is great! You meet less pilgrims on this one compared to the French way but you have more time for yourself and the nature around you. Overall I walked ~620km (~385miles).

ABOUT THE TRAIL

The Portuguese Camino starts in Lisbon, Portugal’s dazzling capital and home to several UNESCO sites, and takes pilgrims across stunning countryside, villages and towns such as Santarém, one of the last Moorish bastions in Portugal; Coimbra, famous for its UNESCO 13th century university; and gorgeous Porto with its colourful river front and home of Port wine. On the Portuguese Camino route you will walk past terraced fields, lush forests, vineyards and peaceful sleepy villages.

Finding your way

Along the trail you will follow yellow arrows. Sometimes they are hard to see but overall it’s okey. In the busy city centers they can easily disappear. I bought a guidebook from John Brierley and I treasured it.

Other Pilgrims

On Camino Portuguese you will have a lot of time alone with your thoughts. I walked with 5 people in total between Lisbon and Santiago. It’s less crowded then the French Way. From Porto I talked to other Pilgrims but they headed inland and I decided to walk along the coast. The last stretch from Tui you will see Pilgrims in the evenings and perhaps you can join them for a while.

Budget

I payed between 6€ and 50€ a day. In the albergues and hostels around 6-15€ and along the coast from Porto to Caminha i stayed in Hotels with poolbars and wonderful breakfasts and therefore payed much more. From Tui to Santiago I payed average 10€. In bigger cities i also payed a little bit more but you can find really good alternatives such as Tattva Design Hostel in Porto.

Language

I could say Hi, Goodbye and simple words like that when i started to walk and it worked well for me. Sometimes you have to use your body language and point at things but it works. I think you should at least know some simple phrases to show some curtesy and interest in their country and it’s a really good icebreaker too.

Useful links

How to get your Camino Compostela
FAQ ‘s official site
caminodesantiago.me
caminoguides.com
https://youtu.be/yphRYX0RscI

Gear

Waterproof bag, 30 liters
Sunglasses and regular glasses
John Brierleys guidebook
Cellphone with charger and headphones
(for notes, torch, maps, music, camera, call home, bills)
Passport and Visacard
Toothbrush and toothpaste
Small soap
Shirt (long sleeves)
T-shirt
Small first aid kit
Underwear x2
Buff for my head
Fleece
Socks x2
Shell jacket Active
Shorts
Runners (Salomon Fellraiser)
Liner to sleep in
A shell
Towel

My Stages

Lisboa – Alverca do Ribatejo
Alverca do Ribatejo – Azambuja
Azambuja – Santarém
Santarém – Golegã
Golegã – Tomar
Tomar – Alvaiázere
Alvaiázere – Rabaçal
Rabaçal – Coimbra
Coimbra – Anadia
Anadia – Albergaria-a-Velha
Albergaria-a-Velha – São João da Madeira
São João da Madeira – Porto
Porto – Vila do Conde
Vila do Conde – Esposende
Esposende – Viana do Castelo
Viana do Castelo – Tui
Tui – Arcade
Arcade – Caldas de Reis
Caldas de Reis – Padrón
Padrón – Santiago de Compostela

ROUTE

IMAGES

More photos on my Facebook profile here.