How long does it take to walk the Camino de Santiago from Vigo? Which Camino de Santiago route passes through this city? Can I get my Compostela certificate if I start from Vigo?
We will answer these and many other questions related to the last section of the Portuguese Coastal Way. Particularly, its last 100 km: from Vigo to Santiago de Compostela
What is the distance between Vigo and Santiago de Compostela?
The Portuguese Coastal Way (or Camino Portugués de la Costa) is turning into one of the most popular routes of the Camino de Santiago. And Vigo is one of the most iconic stops of this particular path.
The distance between Vigo and Santiago de Compostela, following the Camino path, is 100 km approx. This number vary slightly depending on the exact starting point in Vigo, or the various detours we might take along the way. As we always say, the Camino de Santiago is a living trail, for this reason, it is always possible to find alternative paths, shortcuts, scenic stretches…
But, to sum up, the milestone that shows the KM 100 of the Portuguese Coastal Way can be found in Vigo. And more precisely, close to the Church of Valadares (Iglesia de Valadares), which is around 8 km far from the city centre.
There are many pilgrims who start their Camino de Santiago from other points, like the Church of Santiago de Vigo, which is located in the most central street of Vigo (García Barbón Street). Even if you start here, it is possible to get the Compostela Certificate.
Can I get my Compostela Certificate if I start the Camino de Santiago from Vigo?
The answer is yes. Vigo marks the KM 100 f the Portuguese Coastal Camino, the minimum distance required to get the Compostela certificate.
Just as happens on the French Way with Sarria, Vigo attracts hundreds un pilgrims that have less than one week to walk the Camino de Santiago. The Pilgrim’s Office in Santiago de Compostela confirms that it is possible to the Pilgrim Certificate if you start the Camino from Vigo.
Vigo is the starting point of the last 100 km of the Portuguese Coastal Way, and it is possible to get the Compostela Certificate starting from here.
Which are the stages of the Portuguese Coastal Camino, from Vigo?
And now, let’s talk about the most usual stages along the Portuguese Coastal Way, from Vigo to Santiago de Compostela. Please bear in mind that this is the standard itinerary, but there are many other different possibilities or combinations. For example, if you feel that any of the walking days is too long, it is possible to divide the stage in two. Or you an stay overnight on a different spot, as there are different accommodations along the way. See below the usual stages of the Portuguese Coastal Way, from Vigo to Santiago:
Stage 1. Vigo → Redondela (16 km.)
The first stage, from Vigo to Redondela, is not particularly challenging in terms of the terrain. With an average level of fitness, it can be completed in 3 hours approx.
The main difficulties can be found on the way of Vigo, as usual when we leave a big city. But once we are in Cantabria Street (Calle Cantabria), on the way to Teis, there are many signs all along the way.
After leaving behind the city of Vigo, the Camino de Santiago passes through quiet rural areas, always with the great views of the estuary and the bridge of Rande on your left. The terrain is quite flat, which makes it a very pleasant walk.
The only thing to bear in mind is that there are not many facilities along the way if you want to stop (we only saw one bar between Vigo and Redondela). In fact, you don’t really need to have your backpack full of food, since the walk is quite short, but just so you are cautious!
This is a tiny town, but with many bars and restaurants around. Those who feel strong enough, can continue to Arcade, the next stop. Arcade is 7km far approx. from Redondela. If you choose this option, you will walk a bit more on day 1 (23 km in total, approx.) and a bit less the day after (on the way to Pontevedra).
We walked the stage from Vigo to Redondela back in 2020, so you can see below a short video showing our experience:
As you can see, the landscapes are impressive. The path is very calm, and it was a very relaxing walk. By the way, from Redondela, the Portuguese Coastal Way and the traditional Portuguese Way join together, on the same route. From this point onwards, you may see a higher number of pilgrims on the way to Santiago de Compostela.
Stage 2. Redondela → Pontevedra (18 km.)
As we were previously mentioning, there are many pilgrims who decide to stay overnight in Arcade, rather than Redondela. If you choose this option, the second stage would be even shorter (just 11 km approx.). But even if you start in Redondela, the distance to Pontevedra is just 18 km.
From our point of view, there are two travel elements to highlight about this section of the Portuguese Coastal Camino:
Also known as Puente-Sampayo. This tiny village, located right after Arcade, is very well known in the area. There, it took place the Battle of Pontesampaio, between the 7-9 June 1809, during the Peninsular War against the French. It is a very small village, but full of charm. The view of the Verdugo River, with its traditional boats, the bridge… A very popular spot among pilgrims, to stop and take some pictures.
→The hill of A Canicouva:
After leaving Pontesampaio behind, we will have to face a long hill, considered by many as the most difficult part of the Portuguese Way, in Galicia. It is known as A Canicouva. On this section, the terrain turns into a rocky hill, which makes it a bit more complicated to be walked. It doesn’t mean that you have to a professional to walk this particular section of the Camino, but after so many kilometers walking over a flat terrain, this could be a challenge. This stretch (1 km approx.) is not great for those who cycle the Camino, due to the irregular terrain.
Stage 3. Pontevedra → Caldas de Reis (23 km.)
The stage from Pontevedra to Caldas de Reis is longer than the previous ones, but is not hilly. The main difficulties to bear in mind, has to do with security, as the path runs in parallel with the main road in some stretches. In this regard, it would be better to be cautious.
After leaving behind the charming city of Pontevedra and its historical quarter, we will have to say goodby to the sea views that have been with us, following our way on the Portuguese Coastal Camino. Once we cross the bridge (Ponte do Burgo) and we start our way into Lérez, our Camino will become an inland route up to Santiago de Compostela.
Some details to be highlighted:
→Borosa River Natural Park (Parque Natural del Río Barosa)
Once in Barro area, before arriving into Caldas de Reis, on our right we will see the indications to get to the Barosa River Natural Park. We strongly recommend to divert our way for a couple of minutes, and visit the small piece of nature, a hidden jewel. Cascades, mills, trees… All these natural elements create a unique spot, for walkers, nature lovers, and also swimmers in the summer months.
→Thermal spring waters in Caldas de Reis
Caldas de Reis stands out because of its health resorts and thermal spring waters. Its minero-medicinal waters are very well known in all the region, and it very usual to come here to use them. If you are a bit tired after this stretch of the Camino, and you want to relax for a while, we would strongly recommend you to visit one of its many spas. The most popular ones are located right in the entrance of Caldas de Reis, after the bridge. No way to get lost!
Stage 4. Caldas de Reis → Padrón (19 km.)
The route from Caldas de Reis to Padrón passes through rural area, with some ups and downs, but the terrain is not particularly challenging.
Once in Pontecesures, you will see the Ulla River (Río Ulla). Those pilgrims who have chosen the Spiritual Variant of the Portuguese Way, will arrive in Pontecesures from Vilanova, by boat, through this river. This journey is known as the Traslatio. Finally, we will reach Padrón, home town of many prestigious writer, and the Pimientos de Padrón (Padrón peppers).
Stage 5. Padrón → Santiago de Compostela (25 km.)
Finally, the last stage, and also the longest of this Camino de Santiago from Vigo. Even if the terrain is not particularly hilly, bear in mind that you will be walking for more than 5 hours approx. It is a long way!
On our way to Santiago de Compostela, we will pass through A Escravitude, where you may visit its impressive church. Once in the areas of Teo, O Faramello, O Milladoiro… we will start to feel the presence of Santiago de Compostela, at the end of our Camino.
After leaving behind O Milladoiro, we will get into Santiago de Compostela through Santa Marta (the Portuguese Way gets into Santiago through the Southern part of the city, while the French Way through the Northern side). Step by step, we will arrive into the New Quarter of Santiago and, eventually, to the historical quarter, where the Cathedral is located.
Map of the Camino de Santiago from Vigo
Are you looking for a map of the Camino de Santiago from Vigo? Here you have one where you can check all the stages in detail. Just zoom it to get all the information in detail, and the specifics of each walking day:
Do you have any questions about the final section of the Portuguese Coastal Camino, from Vigo to Santiago? Would you like to walk this amazing route? If you want to receive a tailor made itinerary for this, or any other Camino de Santiago route, please do not hesitate to contact us!