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Camino Portuguese Coastal

Portuguese Way | Spiritual Variant

Organized pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela
| Autoguided Tour

Tour Description

Discover the Spiritual Variant of the Portuguese Way

The Portuguese Spiritual Variant is an alternative route to the Portuguese Camino. The route follows the same way as the Apostle’s body when it was brought to the peninsula. And it has a very special feature: the Traslatio, a route by boat from Vilanova de Arousa to Padrón, the land where the Apostle’s remains first arrived almost 2000 years ago.

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Experience details
Lodging in private room with private bathroom
Luggage transfer between stages
Half board: breakfast and dinner
Travel insurance
Walking notes
Pilgrim passport
24/7 telephone assistance

Check in

It doesn’t matter if you were walking the Portuguese Way Inland or the Portuguese Coastal Way. Both routes pass through Pontevedra, a city known for its historical quarter, will mark the start of the Spiritual Variant.

Pontevedra – Armenteira (23 km)

Finally, the start of the Spiritual Way! We will leave from A Peregrina church in Pontevedra and head towards O Salnés area. In Armenteira we will stop at its monastery, which dates from 1162 and is object of many legends.

Armenteira - Vilanova de Arousa (22 km)

Today we will follow the Ruta da Pedra e da Auga, or Stone and Water route. We will walk through a beautiful riverside full of greenery, leaving behind bridged and old water mills.

Vilanova de Arousa - Padrón (27 km, Traslatio)

The Traslatio, the route’s most remarkable feature, will take us from Vilanova de Arousa, a charming fishing village, to Padrón. Traveling by boat through the Ría de Arousa and river Ulla, we will be following the steps of the Apostle’s body. On our way we will be able to see up to 17 cruceiros, that make this maritime-fluvial route an unique Way of the Cross.

Padrón – Santiago (24,5 km)

From Padrón, we will be back on the tratitional Portuguese Way, so many more pilgrims will accompany us on our last walk! Once in Santiago, don’t forget to get your Compostela at the Pilgrim’s Office. And give the Apostle the traditional hug!

Check out Santiago

Your last day with us.

Standard category

1* and 2* hotels

These hotels offer private rooms with private bathrooms as well as other additional services that may vary depending on the type of category: restaurant service, television, room service, dry cleaning, ironing service, etc. It is common to stay in this type of hotels in the cities along the Camino.

Hostels and pensions

These accommodations have the necessary services to cover the basic needs of cleanliness and rest at a more moderate price than the hotels . Officially, hostels and guesthouses are 1-star accommodations. However, this rating should not be taken into account when evaluating the level of comfort and quality of their services.

Superior category

3*, 4* and 5* Hotels

Typical in the large cities along the El Camino. They can be family hotels or international hotel chains. They are perhaps the most expensive alternative, although you can find different price levels according to the category and services they offer.

Hoteles Boutique

These are small accommodations characterized by having few rooms and providing personalized attention. They are hotel concepts with a modern style and their own character. They can be between 1* and 5*.

National Paradores of Spain

This is a public hotel chain that manages a network of almost 100 charming hotels distributed throughout the Iberian Peninsula. The establishments are located in buildings of cultural interest and great historical value, and stand out for their scenic, artistic or natural interest (including ancient palaces, monasteries, fortresses, convents, fortresses…).

Rural tourism lodgings

Rural houses, pazos, inns, rectories, castles, monasteries, farmhouses… These are historic buildings of great architectural and patrimonial value. So much so, that this characteristic sometimes gives them the status of “luxury accommodation” despite of the fact that they are often rustic constructions in which natural stone and wood predominate.

Trip cancellation insurance
Upgrade to superior room
Extra night at the beginning of the tour
Extra night at the end of the tour
Private transfer airport-starting location
Private transfer Santiago-Airport
Other private transfers
Organized visits and excursions
Pilgrim massage

Route map

Touristic information

The Sea Route of Arousa and the Ulla River

The Sea Route of Arousa and the Ulla River is a unique maritime and fluvial itinerary. In fact, it commemorates the arrival of the remains of Saint James the Apostle to Galicia region. After his suffering and martyrdom in Jerusalem, his remains travelled by the sea in the year 44 BC.

The origins of the route

According to the Christian trRoutes of the Camino de Santiago Arousa Ulla Galiwonders Maritimeadition, and many medieval texts (like the Códice Calixtino), the remains of the Apostle were transported from Jaffa Port (in Palestina) all along the Mediterranean and the Iberian coast. And this journey finished by the confines of the Western world, were he used to preach the Gospel. This is known as the Traslatio.

In fact, the remains of Saint James, followed by his disciples Teodoro and Anastasio, arrived into the Estuary of Arousa, and continued through the Ulla River up to Padrón. It docked on the Roman port of Iria Flavia. It was said that it arrived on “Stone Boat”. This is probably a reference to the vessels that used to transport Galicia stone to other places of the Roman Empire.


Traditions of the Estuary of Arousa

The Sea Route of Arousa and Routes of the Camino de Santiago Arousa Ulla Galiwondersthe Ulla River commemorates every year this event. In fact, it recreates the lasts steps of this apostolic journey. Every summer there is a incredible maritime and fluvial procession of beautiful ships. There is a great attendance from a public that comes from the various ports along the Estuary of Arousa. The final destination of this tour is Pontecesures and Padrón.

The first journey upriver took place in 1965, because of the foundation of the Association of the Arousa sea and Ulla river Jubilee route.

Also, many different strategic points started to be created along the banks and various isles of the estuary. Moreover, they were marked with the typical “Cruceiros” (stone-made crosses). Nowadays, it is considered to be the only maritime Way of the Cross in the world. There are 17 artworks made of stone along the route.

The Association of the Arousa sea and Ulla river Jubilee route has 22 members, the municipalities of Pontevedra and A Coruña. All these regions are protected by this “small Ocean”, known as the Estuary of Arousa.

Why is the region so popular?

Moreover, the area offers stunning views and beaches, full of history and ethnography. It used to be the residence of distinguished neighbors like the writers Valle Inclán, Castelao or the Nobel Prize Camilo José Cela. It is also the origin of the most international Galician wine: the Albariño.Routes of the Camino de Santiago Arousa Ulla Galiwonders Albariño

Additionally, the Estuary hosts many unique islands, such as Ons, Sálvora, Cortegada or La Toja, and the genuine “bateas”. This platforms made of wood that float on the sea are used to raise mussels, oysters and scallops.

Also, the Sea Route of Arousa and the Ulla River is an alternative route of the Camino de Santiago. It is part of the Spiritual Variant of the Portuguese Way. In fact, the Traslatio is one of the reasons why this walk is becoming so popular, particularly during summer months.

Frequent questions

From Vigo Airport

  • Car or cab: It is 30km with a duration of approximately 25 minutes.
  • bus/train: Take the bus (LINE A) from Vigo Airport to the Urzaiz stop (Estación / Cotomondongo wall). 30′ journey and frequency every 30′. Another option is to take a cab to the station, with an estimated duration of 10′. Once there, we can take a bus or train to Pontevedra (journey time between 13 to 30 minutes). For schedules and more information visit: www.vitrasa.es, www.monbus.es and www.renfe.com 

From Santiago de Compostela Airport

  • Car: It is 75km with a duration of approximately 50 minutes.
  • Bus/train: Take the bus (LINE 6A) from Santiago de Compostela airport to the bus station. Frequency every 15′ and with an approximate duration of 45′. Another option is to take a cab to the station, with an estimated duration of 15′. Then, we must take a bus (monbus) or train (renfe) to Pontevedra (journey time between 40 minutes to 1 hour). For timetables and more information visit: https://tussa.org/, www.monbus.es  and www.renfe.com

From Porto Airport

  • Car or cab: It is 170km with a duration of approximately 1h 45 minutes.
  • Bus: Take a bus from Porto to Pontevedra (Alsa or Flixbus) (2h 40 minutes). For timetables and more information visit: www.alsa.es and www.flixbus.es

Our costumers reviews


STAGES: 4 Stages
DURATION: 5 Nights
START: Pontevedra
PRICE: desde 595€

Why book with Galiwonders?

Taylor-made Camino

We will design an itinerary tailored to your needs, preferences and budget and book all services for you. You enjoy the road.

We are on the Camino

Galicia is our home. We have traveled all the routes of the Camino and we have direct contact with the service providers on the Camino.

We are also travellers

We speak several languages, have lived abroad and have years of experience organizing trips for people from all over the world.

An unforguettable experience

Hundreds of pilgrims repeat year after year the experience of traveling with us. We want you to be one of them. And that is why we will strive to make your trip unique and unforgettable.

If you have any questions or want to plan your Camino de Santiago trip, our team will assist you in a personalized way!

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