Camino Portuguese Coastal

A trip with sea views, in which the sea breeze will guide your steps.

The Portuguese Coastal Way will take you to immerse yourself in coastal serenity and experience a unique connection with nature. This pilgrimage route gives you the opportunity to explore the Portuguese and Galician coast while the ocean breeze caresses your skin with every step.

Suggested routes for the Portuguese Coastal Way

Camino Portugués Superior
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Camino Portugués de la Costa últimos 100 km
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Camino Portugués de la Costa
260 Km
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Camino Portugués Fácil
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Camino Portugués de la Costa en bici
262 Km
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Variante Espiritual del Camino de Santiago
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Where to start Camino Portuguese Coastal ?

The Portuguese Coastal Way is becoming more and more popular each year. In fact, it is the third most popular walk for our pilgrims (following the French Way, of course). And no wonder why: the Camino from Porto to Pontevedra, the path follows the coast, crossing cliffs, white sand beaches, and the impressive views of the Atlantic Ocean. Those who choose this route, will be able to discover two different countries: Northern Portugal and Spain (all in Galicia region).

From Redondela onwards, the path joins together with the traditional Portuguese Way (the inland route). For this reason, you will meet more pilgrims on the way to Santiago de Compostela. Some of the highlights of the route? Porto and its wineries, the stunning views of the Cies Islands in Vigo, all the story related to the discovery of America in Baiona, or the thermal spring waters in Caldas de Reis.

Depending on the number of days you have available and the number of kilometres you want to walk, you can start the Portuguese Coastal Way from various points such as Viana do Castelo, A Guarda or Baiona.

One of the most popular starting points for this route is the Portuguese city of Porto. From the mouth of the Douro, the route covers a total of 270 km along the Portuguese coastline until it enters Galicia. This route takes approximately 12 to 15 stages, although the duration will depend on the planning of each pilgrim.

If you do not have enough time, you can walk the last 100 km, from Baiona to Santiago (the minimum required to get the certificate).

Portuguese Coastal Way | Full Walk galiwonders

Number of pilgrims on the Portuguese Coastal Way

A Guarda Portuguese Coasal Way Galiwonders

The route has experienced an increase of 100% in the month of October. Last season (2017) in October, around 900 pilgrims arrived en Santiago de Compostela through the coastal path. And this year, almost 1900.

Last year, in twelve months, 7500 pilgrims walked the Portuguese Coastal Way. And this year, by October (and still two more months to finish the year), the figure is 12,895.

The growth on the traditional Portuguese Way is not so impressive, but it is still the second-most-popular route of the Camino de Santiago. Last year in October 5,581 chose this route, while this year the number is 6,988.

Is the Portuguese Coastal Way an official route?

La Guardia Portuguese Coasal Way GaliwondersYes, two years ago the Portuguese Coastal Way was recognized as an Official Jacobean route. This recognition means to acknowledge the historical and cultural value of the route.

In this case, the historical base was that there were two hospitals for pilgrims on the way, from the Middle Ages. Recognizing this “official nature”, means that the public administration takes “extra care” for the route. How? In terms of signposting, facilities along the way (like “Albergues”), and protection of the route.

In fact, the Galicia Tourism Office (Pontevedra area in particular) is doing a great effort to promote the Portuguese Coastal Way all around the world.

Why is the Portuguese Coastal Way becoming so popular?

In terms of impressive landscapes, the Portuguese Coastal Way is on the top of the list of all Camino de Santiago routes. But also because of all the the lovely towns along the way, both in Portugal and Spain. In PortugPortuguese Coasal Way Galiwondersal, some of the most popular places are Porto, Esposende or Viana do Castelo.

But if you only have time to walk the Galician section of the route, the natural spectacle is also impressive. The Southern coastal area of Galicia region will make you discover places like A Guarda (right in the border with Portugal) and its Celt fortifications. Oia and the monastery, Baiona and the history related to the discovery of America; and also the biggest city of Galicia, Vigo, from where you can visit the Islas Cíes (Cíes Islands).

From Redondela onwards, the path joins together with the traditional Portuguese Way. And, from Pontevedra to Santiago, pilgrims will have to say goodby to the impressive views of the Atlantic Ocean, as it becomes an inland walk. But is also quite an experience to discover the rural side of the region!

250 Km 15 Etapas 16 Noches 3/5 Porto

Porto in the Portuguese Coastal Way
A World Heritage Site, Porto is a cultural and architectural treasure on the banks of the Douro River.

Located at the mouth of the Douro River, Porto is the third most populated municipality in Portugal, behind Lisbon and Vila Nova da Gaia. The port of Cale or “Portus Cale” in Latin (this is how Porto was called in ancient times and from where the name of the Luso country comes from today) was a frequent stop for many French ships due to its strategic position.

Although its origin as a commercial enclave dates back to the Green times, it was not until medieval times that it became a very important area for trade in the area. It was also the focus of some conflicts. This led to the construction of a great wall (the remains of which can still be seen today) which was completed at the end of the 14th century.

Porto was declared a World Heritage Site thanks to its old town, one of the most beautiful in Europe. Currently, the city of Porto is consolidated as the sencond place of departure of pilgrims, since according to the balance of 2019, 11.32% of the total number of pilgrims who came to Compostela started from here.

127 Km 7 Etapas 8 Noches 2/5 Baiona

Baiona on the Portuguese Coastal Way
Beautiful view of the Port of Baiona with the imposing Parador in the Fortress of Monterreal.

It is a fishing village located on the southern shores of the Vigo estuary. It has been declared a Site of Historic and Artistic Interest for being the place where the Pinta caravel returned from the expedition captained by Christopher Columbus in the discovery of America.

It is one of the most popular summer tourist destinations in Galicia due to its varied leisure, historical, gastronomic and cultural offer. The beauty of its beaches, sheltered by the bay, are the perfect reflection of the seafaring tradition that forms part of its identity.

100 Km 6 Etapas 7 Noches 2/5 Vigo

Vigo on the Portuguese Way
Views of the city and the Vigo estuary from Castro Park in the heart of the city.

On the shores of the Atlantic Ocean lies the city with the largest number of inhabitants in Galicia, Vigo. Its strategic position on the northwest coast of the Iberian Peninsula gives its great economic and maritime importance. Moreover, its port, one of the most important in the region, not only facilitates national and international trade, but also encourages active fishing activity.

Vigo’s architecture represents the perfect fusion of tradition and modernity. Its old town is articulated around the old fishing quarter of O Berbés, of Historic Tourist Interest, where you’ll find fishing streets and emblazoned houses. On the other hand, there are tall buildings in a contemporary style in the city centre and its surroundings.

Located at the mouth of the Vigo estuary are the Cíes Islands, a natural paradise that forms part of the Galician Maritime-Terrestrial National Park. Just a short boat trip from the city’s port, you can discover its white sandy beaches, crystal-clear waters and its cliffs and dunes, home to thousands of migratory birds.

Route map Camino Portuguese Coastal

Map of the Portuguese Coastal Way

Stages Camino Portuguese Coastal

Stage 1
25 km
6h 15m
Stage 2
14 km
Stage 3
25 km
Stage 4
21 km
Stage 5
27 km
Stage 6
24 km
Stage 7
20 km
Stage 7
16 km
Stage 8
23 km
Stage 9
16 km
Stage 11
21 km
Stage 12
19 km
Stage 13
24 km

Difficulty level Camino Portuguese Coastal

Difficulty profile route Portuguese Coastal Way

The Portuguese Coastal Way is an ideal route for those who are new to the Camino. It is a very accessible route since it can be done without complications as there are no steep slopes in the terrain.


Doing the Portuguese Coastal Pilgrimage Route to Santiago de Compostela from Porto means walking a distance of 280 km to Santiago de Compostela. Many pilgrims also choose to start the Camino in Baiona, with a distance of approximately 120 km to the holy city.

Most walkers on the Camino walk an average of 20-25 km per day, but it will be important to plan the stages according to your level of fitness so that the sense of difficulty is not affected.


In general, the route is flat and does not present any difficulties in the terrain. Along the Camino you will encounter various types of terrain such as hills, rural paths and coastal stretches.

What to see and do in Camino Portuguese Coastal?

The Portuguese Coastal Way starts in the city of Oporto and passes through Viana do Castelo, A Guarda and Vigo, until it joins the Portuguese Way in Redondela.

This route crosses lands steeped in history and legend. A route that leads us through stunning coastal scenery, beaches, picturesque villages and natural paradises, ideal for those pilgrims who want to enjoy the natural beauty of the Atlantic coast and the charm of the small villages of inland Galicia while pilgrimage to Santiago.

Where does the Portuguese Coastal route go?

The Portuguese Coastal Route runs along the Atlantic coastline crossing the Portuguese country from South to North. If you follow this route you will be able to discover the coast of the North of Portugal and the Rías Baixas in Galicia, passing through towns such as Viana do Castelo, A Guarda, Baiona and Pontevedra.

Viana do Castelo

It is a coastal city located on the banks of the river Lima, in the North Region of Portugal. It stands out for its historical and cultural charm, its natural landscapes and its seafaring tradition.

Since the Middle Ages, Viana do Castelo has welcomed pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela, creating shelters to give them refuge during the Camino.


Padrón is a land of history, traditions and culture. Located close to Santiago de Compostela, the history of this town is linked to that of the apostle St. James, as this is the city where his remains arrived from Jerusalem.

Padrón also stands out for having been the home of two renowned Galician writers: the poetess Rosalía de Castro and the Nobel Prize for Literature, Camilo José Cela.

A Guarda

A Guarda
Embraced by the Miño river and the Atlantic Ocean, A Guarda is a place whose seafaring essence can be felt in every corner of the town.

A Guarda is a seaside town located in the province of Pontevedra. It has a great natural and scenic heritage, combining the fluvial environment of the banks and mouth of the Miño river, with the oceanic coastal environment.

It also has a Celtic past. Its archaeological, cultural and ethnographic heritage is one of the most important in Galicia, with the Monte and Castro de Santa Tegra standing out.

Like Baiona, A Guarda is considered another of the most popular starting points of the Camino.


Also known as the City of Lérez, Pontevedra is the capital of the Rías Baixas and one of the most important stops on this route. It has a long maritime and mercantile tradition and preserves one of the most important historic centres in Galicia, declared an Asset of Cultural Interest.

The church of the Pilgrim Virgin, patron saint of the province and also of the Portuguese Way itself, stands out.

Places and Monuments not to be missed on the Portuguese Coastal Route

Votivo do Mar Temple

It is a church dedicated to the Virgin of Carmen and one of the symbols of the parish where it is located, Panxón. Its construction dates back to the 20th century and is the work of Antonio Palacios, who designed the first underground lines in Madrid and the Palacio de Cibeles. Being of Galician origin, the church combines Gothic features, Muslim influence and modernist touches.

Monastery of Oia

It is a 12th century monastery of the Cistercian Order, declared an Asset of Cultural Interest. It is located in Oia, halfway between Baiona and A Guarda.

Strategically facing the coast, one of the most legendary stories of this monastery took place here. In the 17th century, the monks who lived there managed to stop the attack of five Turkish ships on the Galician coast.

Its important hegemony over Galicia and the north of Portugal has made this monastery an obligatory stop-off point for hundreds of pilgrims, including important figures such as Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, who made a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela following this route in the 12th century.

Church of La Peregrina

Church of La Peregrina
The Iglesia de la Peregrina, a cultural symbol dedicated to the Virgen de la Peregrina, who guided pilgrims from Baiona to Santiago.

The Sanctuary of the Pilgrim Virgin is one of the most symbolic and important buildings in the city of Pontevedra. Declared a Historic-Artistic Monument and an Asset of Cultural Interest, it combines late Baroque elements with neoclassical forms, such as its main altarpiece, erected in 1789. It is dedicated to the Pilgrim Virgin, patron saint of the province of Pontevedra and of the Portuguese Way, which guided pilgrims from Baiona to Santiago. Its ground plan is in the shape of a scallop shell, the symbol par excellence of the pilgrims on the Pilgrims’ Route to Santiago, on which is inscribed a cross.

The Pedrón

The Pedrón is a Roman altar located in the Church of Santiago in Padrón. The Jacobean tradition links it as the mooring place of the boat that transferred the remains of the apostle Santiago from Palestine to the hill of Libredón, in Santiago de Compostela, where he would be buried until his subsequent discovery eight centuries later.

The stop, both for pilgrims on the Portuguese Way and for visitors who come to visit Padrón, is a must.

Museum-Pazo Quiñones de León

This museum occupies the former Pazo de Quiñones de León, an exemplary building of 17th century Galician stately architecture located in Vigo. The museum is surrounded by beautiful gardens where you can observe ancient species such as the French garden camellia and other exotic species. They were declared a Historic Garden and an Asset of Cultural Interest and have a route signposted in Braille.

The museum has the best collections of Galician painting, as well as an interesting archaeological section that spans from the Palaeolithic to the Roman period.

Other places of interest that you can visit if you follow the Portuguese Coastal route are: the Sé Cathedral in Oporto, the Nossa Senhora da Conceição Fortress in Póvoa de Varzim, the Romanesque bridge of La Ramallosa or the waterfalls of A Barosa, in Barro.

Alternative places to discover on the Portuguese Way along the coast

Vila do Conde

Thousands of pilgrims pass through here every year. One of the most illustrious was King Manuel I in the 15th century. This picturesque town on the banks of the River Ave in the Porto district is known for its history, fascinating beaches and historical heritage.

Vila do Conde has a wide cultural offer. The city hosts the Vila do Conde International Film Festival, one of the most important film events in Portugal, a meeting point for filmmakers, industry professionals and film lovers from all over the world.


Matosinhos is an important port and fishing town near Porto. It has several distinct areas: the urban area, which concentrates commerce and industry; the Atlantic coast, where the Praia de Matosinhos is located, very popular during the holiday season; and the port of Leixões, the second seaport of the metropolitan area of Porto.

Santa Tegra Hillfort

Hillfort of Santa Trega A Guarda
The Santa Tegra Hillfort, one of the most important examples of Roman-Castrean culture in the northwest of the peninsula.

On your way through A Guarda, as a guardian of the Camino, you will find the Castro de Santa Tegra, 341 metres above sea level. Its origin dates back to the 1st century B.C. and it has petroglyphs more than 2,000 years old. From here you will have privileged views of the natural border created at the mouth of the river Minho, which separates the countries of Spain and Portugal.

It is currently one of the largest Castros in the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula and is recognised as a National Historic-Artistic Monument and an Asset of Cultural Interest.

San Simón Island

At the end of the Vigo estuary is the island of San Simón, with a past surrounded by enigmas and mysticism. A refuge for Templar knights and Benedictine monks during the Middle Ages. Attacked by pirates in the 16th century and a concentration camp during the Civil War. This island, declared an Asset of Cultural Interest, is not on the route, but many pilgrims come here to learn more about its history.

Atlantic Islands National Park

Cíes Islands
The Cíes Islands, a natural paradise in Vigo.

A maritime-terrestrial site made up of the islands of Cíes, Ons, Sálvora and Cortegada. Characterised by its white sand and crystal-clear waters, it is one of the most visited places in Galicia, second only to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. In the Cíes Islands is the beach of Rodas, considered the best beach in the world by the British newspaper The Guardian.

The Atlantic Ocean: The Portuguese Way´s main character

It is said that in Greek mythology, the titan Atlas was punished by Zeus to watch over the pillars that supported the sky, represented by the Atlas Mountains in North Africa. It has been written that the colossus, to whom we owe the name of the Atlantic Ocean, knew the depths of the ocean like the back of his hand, in the same way that the sailors who populate the Galician coasts know the sea as an extension of themselves.

The Atlantic Ocean has been shaping the Galician geography for thousands of years. Just look at the particularity of its relief in its numerous estuaries, capes, peninsulas and gulfs. Its incredible transforming power does not stop at the coast, the salt of the sea travels through the air for miles to the most remote places of this lush land and creates a way of life that even the Galicians of the interior adopt.

The Portuguese Way of the Coast has its own shine, a peaceful route in which to reconnect with the sea and in which we have many beach corners in which to rest from your route.

The History of Camino Portuguese Coastal

This route has been recognized as an Official Jacobean Route two years ago and it is still quite unknown. It used to be the path chosen by those pilgrims who arrived into the Portuguese coast by boat. Those walkers who choose this walk will be able to enjoy the Camino de Santiago on a different way: following the Atlantic Coast in Northern Portugal and Southern Galicia. Cliffs, white sand beaches and small woods. These landscapes will surround you on the way to Santiago de Compostela.

As with the other routes of the Camino, the origin of the Camino de Santiago dates back to the discovery of the remains of the Apostle St. James in the 9th century. When King Alfonso II of Asturias travelled the 320 km that separated his Court from Santiago de Compostela to verify for himself the discovery of the remains of the Apostle. This route is what we know today as the Primitive Way and was the first known route of the Way of St. James. From then on, subjects from all over Europe imitated the monarch, thus giving rise to the appearance of other routes of the Way of St. James that we know today, such as the Portuguese Coastal Way.

The first signs of pilgrimage on the Portuguese Coastal Way, also known as the Monastic Way, in its Galician section, date back to the 10th century. The proximity of the Portuguese country of Santiago de Compostela and the cultural and economic links between Galicia and the Kingdom of Portugal favoured the development of this route.

The first promoter of the pilgrimage was the king of Portugal, Alfonso I, who, after the independence of Portugal in the 12th century, encouraged the Portuguese to make the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.

Another milestone that favoured the development of the pilgrimage to the holy city was the pilgrimage of Isabella of Portugal in the 14th century. Also known as “the Holy Queen”, she visited the tomb of the Apostle for the first time in 1325 to offer her crown to Santiago Apostle. Ten years later the queen would visit Santiago again.

As with other Jacobean routes, the constant flow of pilgrims on their way to Santiago favoured the construction of hostels and infrastructures for walkers to rest. The popularity and heyday of the Portuguese Coastal Way (and of the Way of St. James in general) declined from the 17th century onwards, with the arrival of major events such as the French Revolution, Luther’s Protestant Reformation and the liberal disentailments of the 19th century. These events brought with them famine, plagues, wars, droughts and bad harvests, causing pilgrimages to be relegated to a secondary role.

The late 20th century saw the revival of the Way of St. James. And therefore, of the Portuguese Way. In 1993, coinciding with the Xacobean Holy Year, the Public Administrations and the Associations of the Pilgrims’ Route to Santiago in the north of Portugal and Galicia made an effort to promote the Pilgrims’ Route to Santiago: they distributed promotional material, improved signposting, set up tourist offices, etc.

Tips if you are going to do Camino Portuguese Coastal

What is the best time of the year to do the Portuguese Coastal Way?

Our recommendation is to do the Portuguese Coastal Way In spring or autumn. At these dates, the influx of pilgrims is less than in summer so finding accommodation and transport will not be a problem and the weather conditions are more favourable.

In spring and autumn the temperatures are ideal for walking and although there may be some rainfall throughout the day, it will not be a problem for walking.

It is also possible to walk this route in summer. However, bear in mind that at certain times of the year it may be more difficult to find accommodation due to the popularity of the Galician and Portuguese coast as a summer holiday destination.

Spring (March to May)

This is considered the best time of the year to do the Portuguese Coastal route because of the mild temperatures during these months. However, there may also be occasional showers.


  • Include a raincoat in your luggage.
  • Make sure your footwear is waterproof.
  • Bring warm clothes for cool nights.

Summer (June to July)

At this time of year temperatures are mild and rainfall is occasional. The days are longer, so you will have more time to complete the stages. This is the most popular season to do this route, especially July and August.


  • Wear sunscreen and stay hydrated.
  • Avoid the hours of intense heat and start walking early.
  • Book in advance, as accommodation can be full, especially on the last stages of the route.

Autumn (September to November)

This season is characterised by a gradual drop in temperatures. At this time of year, the days are not yet as short as in winter, so we will be able to walk with enough light from first thing in the morning. Although the first rains may appear, it is generally a fairly dry season so it is a good time to set out on the Camino.


  • Take warm clothes and a raincoat.
  • Wear waterproof and non-slip footwear.
  • Make sure which accommodation is available, as many are closed in the low season.

Winter (December to February)

Although winter temperatures in Portugal and Galicia are milder than in other continental areas, they can be colder depending on the area. In addition, it is important to take into account that the possibility of rainfall is higher at this time of the year. Because the weather in this season is less predictable, it is not the best time to start the Camino.


  • Take warm clothes to protect yourself from the cold.
  • Plan the stages according to daylight hours.
  • Check that accommodation is open, as some may close during the low season.

Tips for this route of the Camino

Good hydration and nutrition is essential. Make sure you stay hydrated during the Camino and eat healthy and energetic food to maintain your energy level.

Bring a rain jacket. The weather conditions on the Atlantic coast are varied so we recommend that you always carry a rain jacket in your backpack. It takes up hardly any space so you won’t feel any extra weight.

Clothing should be light, breathable and insulating. As for footwear, we recommend waterproof trekking boots that you have worn before to avoid chafing.

If you need detailed information, you can access here.

Remember that the Camino is a unique and personal experience. Live every moment to the fullest and enjoy the landscape, nature and the company of the Camino.

Connections between Portugal and Spain on the Portuguese Coastal Route

On the Portuguese Coastal Route from Porto, you will come to a point that you will have to cross the Miño River from Caminha to A Guarda.

In general, there are two options for pilgrims to reach A Guarda from Caminha:

  1. Xacobeo Transfer. Exclusive service for Pilgrims that need to cross the river. You can find more information about them in or through the phone number +34 613011226
  2. Sea Taxi. There are several options that can be seen once at the pier, the price is usually 5€-10€/person approx.


Please note that this is not a Galiwonders service. It is not included in our packages. Schedules and prices may vary, so the company is not responsible for eventual changes.

Continue your Camino in Spain

Then, once in Spain, you can take a direct route to the city from the ferry or follow the coast towards A Guarda to enjoy excellent views of the estuary (adding 4kms). The fishing village of A Guarda is home to the most impressive ancient Gallo-Roman settlements in Galicia. The Castro of Santa Tecla is a real archaeological gem with stunning views of the ocean and the river Minho that separates Spain and Portugal.

Why should you choose the Portuguese Coastal Camino?

All the Camino de Santiago routes can turn into an unforgettable experience, but the Portuguese Coastal Way will allow you to walk with the views of the Atlantic Ocean by your side. You will be able to walk through white sand beaches, monasteries… and the views of the sea can reinforce the most exhausted pilgrim. You will also be able to discover the popular Rías Baixas region, and its spectacular wines (which are very well known all over the world). But there is even more. Here you have 5 reasons to choose the Portuguese Coastal Camino:

  1. You will walk through two different countries: Spain and Portugal. These countries are different, but have always been connected in all senses. You will get two know two different cultures and languages, but with a lot of things in common. The gastronomy is one of the highlights of this route, do not hesitate to try the specialties of each region!
  2. The cultural heritage is present all along the way. Pontevedra and Porto are two examples. There route is full of legends and stories.
  3. Even if the path offers some physical challenges, the terrain is quite comfortable. We strongly recommend it to those pilgrims who want to cycle the Camino de Santiago!
  4. This route is strongly recommend to those pilgrims who are looking for a quiet and spiritual path. The route is not as well known as the French Way for example.
  5. Pilgrims will mostly walk through small woods and vineyard (very few busy roads).

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