Based in Spain since 2006

A Fresco Start Camino Portugués Coastal Tour

Stretch out your legs a bit more in Northern Portugal and follow the yellow arrows along the Atlantic Coast on this 15-day adventure! Feel the sea breeze in your face while you make your way to Santiago de Compostela.

Private Bed & Bath

We understand that people do want to walk the Camino, but would rather not sleep in albergues, the communal dormitories available along the trail. Some pilgrims enjoy having their own bedrooms with a door, an en-suite bathroom, and plenty of hot water!

Freedom From Your Bags

Our self-guided clients do not want or cannot carry all their belongings with them. In fact, they enjoy being able to add some extra weight to their load and have some creature comforts, such as that Ipad!

Meals with Friends, IF you wish

Independence can be great when traveling, but it is also nice to have some occasional companions to share those tales from the trail and a meal or two!

A Live Person to Help

Are you nervous and scared? Coming to a foreign country to walk for a couple of weeks is daunting no matter how many books and web forums you’ve read. You want more than just an Orientation Packet sent to you in the mail – you want a LIVE person to answer your questions and help you take those first steps on your journey.

La Compostela

Our itinerary qualifies you for the Compostela certificate upon your arrival to Santiago.

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Porto. URL: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/user:Peter_K_Burian

Day 1

Porto

Accommodations: Porto (D)

We welcome the group in the afternoon in Porto, which sits on the banks of the “River of Gold", the Rio Douro. Your Fresco Tours representative will hand out your Orientation Packets and review all the materials to get you ready for your Pilgrimage on the Coastal Camino Portugués! Afterwards, we'll take you to get your first stamp in your Pilgrim's Passport before enjoying a traditional Portuguese meal.
CAMINO PORTUGUES NEAR VILA DO CONDE WIKICOMMONS. URL : https://www.flickr.com/photos/21446942@N00/49724945847

Day 2

Porto (Matosinhos) to Vila do Conde

Accommodations: Vila do Conde (B)

Walking: 19 km / 12 mi

After breakfast, you transfer to Matosinhos, where you begin the Coastal Camino Portugués. You embark on the coastal trail along roads and wooden boardwalks, that take you through sandy beaches and quaint fishing villages. You end the day in the resort town of Vila do Conde, historically known for ship building and fishing.
EPOSENDE. COMMONS. author name string : Vitor Oliveira URL : https://www.flickr.com/people/21446942@N00

Day 3

Vila do Conde to Esposende

Accommodations: Eposende (B)

Walking: 25 km / 16 mi

This morning you continue along the coast, passing sand dunes and fields of flowers. You arrive to Esposende, further inland, and near the Cávado estuary. End the day with a traditional dish of the area, polve de Esposende, a stew made with octopus, cabbage and potatoes. Bom proveito!
Viana do Castelo. By Graeme Churchard from Bristol (51.4414, -2.5242), UK - Viana do Castelo, Portugal-1Uploaded by tm, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=84577586

Day 4

Esposende to Viana do Castelo

Accommodations: Viana do Castelo

Walking: 24 km / 15 mi

Today you leave the coast behind and pass through several villages and forests. The long Eiffel bridge into Viana do Castelo, a lovely town known for its combination of old and contemporary architecture, also gives us a wonderful view over the Lima valley.
Photo by Lucas Martinez. Commons. https://web.archive.org/web/20161031071133/http://www.panoramio.com/photo/111349386

Day 5

Viana do Castelo to Vila Praia de Ancora

Accommodations: Vila Praia de Ancora (B)

Walking: 18 km / 11 mi

The walk today is mainly inland, with some coastal views from small villages. You make your way through a eucalyptus forest as you continue uphill before your descent into the beachside resort town of Vila Praia de Âncora.
The Celtic settlement of Santa Tecla on the Camino Portugues.

Day 6

Vila Praia de Ancora to A Guarda

Accommodations: A Guarda (B)

Walking: 14 km / 9 mi

A coastal path connects Âncora with Moleda and then takes you to the quaint town of Caminha. If you have time, take a detour through the pine forest along the beach before catching the ferry across the River Minho to the quiet fishing town of A Guarda in Spain.
The Monastery of Oia on the Camino Portugues.

Day 7

A Guarda to Oia

Accommodations: Oia (B)

Walking: 13 km / 8 mi

If you can, visit the Santa Tegra Celtic settlement before leaving A Guarda – the views are stunning! Continue along the Camino through the center of town and out towards the rugged coastline. Walking along coastal and wooded paths, as well as asphalt roads, you reach the beachfront village of Oia, whose 12th century monastery is worth visiting.
Camino Portugues near Baiona.

Day 8

Oia to Baiona

Accommodations: Baiona (B)

Walking: 18 km / 11 mi

This morning you pass small fields, a few villages and some scattered houses along the coast before the scenery and terrain change and you cut across the mountains. Today you have a final descent into the medieval center of Baiona, where you can visit the Museum of the Pinta, one of the three ships that sailed to America on Columbus’ expedition.
Views of the Atlantic Ocean and the Cies Islands from the Camino Portugues.

Day 9

Baiona to Vigo

Accommodations: Vigo (B)

Walking: 25 km / 16 mi

Leaving Baiona, you are once again surrounded by the countryside, with its small villages and forests. After a brief section along the road, you return to small hamlets before entering Vigo, considered the largest city in Galicia.
A pilgrim on the Roman Road to Arcade.

Day 10

Vigo to Arcade

Accommodations: Arcade (B)

Walking: 22 km / 14 mi

This morning you walk along the main shopping street in Vigo and then out into the countryside along a long road that connects several peaceful hillside villages with views across the city and port. Before reaching the beachside town of Arcade, you will walk through the fascinating town of Redondela with its two 19th century rail viaducts that cross the town’s sky. Finish the day with the local specialties of oysters and mussels that are farmed along the estuary and a glass of Albariño white wine.
The Chapel of La Virgen del Camino in Pontevedra.

Day 11

Arcade to Pontevedra

Accommodations: Pontevedra (B)

Walking: 13 km / 8 mi

Following the Camino, you cross the bridge of Ponte Sampaio, where a group of locals defeated Napoleon’s troops in 1809. You then cross one last hill with views of the Vigo Estuary before descending into Pontevedra. The town is best known for being the home to the Church of La Peregrina (The Lady Pilgrim) with its iconic scallop shell floor plan shape. La Peregrina is also the patron saint of the Portuguese Camino and is devoutly venerated by locals and foreigners alike. Today’s stage is shorter than the rest allowing you time to explore Pontevedra at your leisure.
Pilgrims on the Camino Portugues trail to Padron.

Day 12

Pontevedra to Caldas de Reis

Accommodations: Caldas de Reis (B)

Walking: 21 km / 13 mi

The Camino takes you out of town and before you realize it, into the quiet forested countryside, along trails and small country lanes all the way to Caldas de Reis. You can even make a short detour and admire some spectacular waterfalls halfway through the stage. Your stage ends in Caldas de Reis, which roughly translates as the kings’ thermal waters, and like a king or queen you will feel when you dip your tired feet into the soothing natural thermal springs in town.
Padron on the Camino Portugues.

Day 13

Caldas de Reis to Padrón

Accommodations: Padrón (B)

Walking: 19 km / 12 mi

The day starts with an enticing walk through wooded vales, vineyards and small villages before you gain the last major hill on your Camino. The descent takes you into the Ulla River valley that separates the province of Pontevedra from the province of A Coruña, where Santiago de Compostela is. The stage ends in the historic town of Padrón (or pedrón – Galician for big stone), which pays homage to the famous rock where the boat that contained Saint James was moored to upon its arrival from Jerusalem after he had been martyred. Or in other words, this is where the Santiago story began and where you will literally be walking in the footsteps of the apostle! Padrón is also famous in culinary circles for its little green peppers, some which are hot and others that are not.
The last stage of the Camino Portugues.

Day 14

Padrón to Santiago de Compostela

Accommodations: Santiago de Compostela (B)

Walking: 25 km / 16 mi

14 days, 260 kilometers, and you have arrived to Santiago de Compostela. Congratulations! Head to the Pilgrims’ Office for your last stamp in your Passport and request that well-deserved certificate, the Compostela, for having walked to Santiago. You are going to love this magical city filled with fantastic monuments and a lively buzz from the international pilgrims and university students that fill its medieval streets.
The cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

Day 15

Santiago de Compostela

Accommodations: Itinerary ends (B)

After breakfast, our local historian gives you a closer look at the amazing Cathedral that has seen so many transformations since the original chapel built in the 9th century. Its age seems almost impossible when looking at the Baroque façade that graces the entryway. Afterwards, make sure you give your well-earned hug to St. James! Alas, your itinerary has come to a finish.

 

*Please note: This itinerary is subject to slight modifications due to hotel availability, weather, festivals, and other occurences.

Orientation Meeting

A Fresco Tour guide will hand deliver your Orientation Packet and give you a detailed meeting on the first night in Sarria. Your Welcome Packet is filled with all the materials you’ll need to transform into a pilgrim: Your credentials (Pilgrim’s Passport), a scallop shell, daily maps of the route, a guide book with historical information of the villages that you will pass through, and a few other goodies for the trail! We’ll answer any questions that you have before starting your journey to Santiago and on the next morning lead you out on The Way! Minimum of 3 people for this service to be provided.

Accommodations

14 nights in a combination of 3 & 4 star hotels, restored manor homes, and small pensions / inns located on the Camino. All rooms have their own bathrooms. We’ve chosen places for their hospitality, comfort, and location.
*Keep in mind that as you will be walking through rural countryside, the availability of 3 & 4 star hotels all along the route is not possible.

Meals

All breakfasts are included with your hotels. We have arranged that they will be supplemented from the standard Spanish breakfast of coffee & toast. The first night of the itinerary, our guide will take you for dinner at one of our favorite places in Sarria – wine and beer included. Afterwards, we will provide you with a list of places along the Camino with food recommendations. Let us know if you have any dietary restrictions and we can ask our hotels to accommodate for those as well!

Limited Group Size

Although this tour is Self-Guided, we’ve limited the size of each departure to 16 participants. Availability is on a first come, first serve basis.

Luggage Transport

We will arrange for the transfer of 1 suitcase / piece of luggage (20 kg / 45 lbs MAX) per person between your hotels on your walk along the Camino. If the weight of your bag exceeds the limit, you will need to divide it into 2 pieces. Please contact us for details for rates for extra bags.

Guided Visit

In Santiago, our local art historian will provide you with a guided visit of the Cathedral and the surrounding squares. Minimum of 5 people for this service to be provided.

Additional Assistance

We are here to help! Need assistance with hotels prior to or after your trip? Train or bus tickets to and from your tour? Questions about what to wear? Need a taxi while on the trail? Based in Spain, we are here to make sure that your trip runs smooth as can be – we are available!

Table of Contents

Before You Go / Preparing 

What type of shoes do I need to walk A Fresco Start Coastal Camino Portugués? 

Footwear is a very personal question – depending on how active you are and how much support you will need. Since we will be walking on a daily basis on the Camino de Santiago, I believe that comfort is key – you do not want to get blisters. You probably won’t need a full high boot that covers your ankle (unless you need this support), but rather light trail walkers or even running shoes if you are used to walking. In the spring, there may be mud and water along the trail, so keep that in mind. Most important: Make sure that they are well broken in!   

What sort of conditioning do I need to undertake before A Fresco Start Coastal Camino Portugués? 

We encourage you to walk before and be prepared for your own enjoyment. As you will be walking from inn to inn, you should be prepared to cover the day’s full stage. They say your Camino begins once you decide to do it, so enjoy your “training” walks and get those km’s in before your arrive to Spain! As a bit of insurance, we will also provide you will with a list of taxi phone numbers… just in case. 

On the Road 

What is the weather like on A Fresco Start Coastal Camino Portugués? 

A Fresco Start Coastal Camino Portugués Tour covers about 260 kilometers of the Camino in the Northwest region between Portugal & Galicia. Here we enjoy a more temperate climate than other parts of the Camino de Santiago in Spain. 

Visit these links for average monthly temperatures of Porto and Santiago de Compostela. 

What is the terrain like on A Fresco Start Coastal Camino Portugués? 

In Portugal & Galicia, the region where you will walk, the terrain is green rolling hills – there are neither steep climbs nor treacherous descents. The trail itself is a combination of very well-maintained compact dirt and stone footpaths and small country roads.   

What is the change in elevation on A Fresco Start Coastal Camino Portugués? 

You will be walking from Matosinhos to Santiago de Compostela, about 260 km of the Camino de Santiago. For more information on the distances between towns along the Camino and their respective altitudes, please click here. 

How many kilometers are walked each day on A Fresco Start Coastal Camino Portugués? 

The number of kilometers scheduled for each day varies on average from 13 km to 26 km. You will walk approximately 260 km to Santiago, which is over the minimum requirement by the Pilgrims’ Office in Santiago if you are going to ask for the Compostela Certificate. 

Getting There & Back 

How do I get to A Fresco Start Coastal Camino Portugués starting point? 

Porto, Portugal is the official starting point of A Fresco Start Coastal Camino Portugués and has airline connections from around the world! Your Fresco Tours guide will meet you at a central hotel for your first day’s transfer. 

If you need assistance with these travel arrangements, we will be happy to help. 

How do I get from Santiago de Compostela to Porto and other cities? 

There are buses that will get you from Santiago to Porto. If you are looking to fly, there are excellent internal flights that fly Santiago to Porto. 

If traveling home via Madrid, there are now RENFE trains that will get you from Santiago to Madrid in less than 4 hours. While routes and availability may vary upon time of booking, there are several daily trains from Santiago to Madrid. The direct trains are listed as Alvia. If you are looking to fly, there are excellent internal flights that fly Santiago to Madrid. 

How do I get from Porto Airport to the city center? 

There are many ways to get from Porto Airport to the city center. There are bus lines (N601, 602, 604) every 25 minutes as well as the E Line train. There are also many taxi and transfer services from the airport that only cost around €30. 

Booking a Tour

Thank you for choosing to travel with Fresco Tours! We are very excited for you to join the ranks of our Happy Customers. If at any moment you should have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. Thank you again and we look forward to sharing memories of a lifetime with you.

Reservations and Payments

To join us on a Fresco Tour, please visit our Secure Online Reservation Form or download and print a PDF version of the Reservation Form, one for each participant. To reserve your space on a tour, a 15% deposit per person is required and payment should be made via bank transfer or with a credit card (Visa or MasterCard only).

Confirmation

Once Fresco Tours has received your registration form and tour deposit, we will send you an email with an invoice of payments received and your remaining balance, a copy of our Assumption of Risk / Liability Waiver Form and a link to your Guest Questionnaire. These last 2 items must be returned 60 days prior to the start of tour. In addition, we will send you a Confirmation Packet with information regarding suggestions on preparation, a packing and reading list and other tips to get you excited and prepared for your Fresco Tour.

Final Registration

Once we have received final payment, the signed Assumption of Risk / Liability Waiver Form and Guest Questionnaire, you will be sent a receipt and final details regarding your tour, including a detailed itinerary and the hotel contact list.

Single Supplement Fee

Due to the nature of the accommodations we use, there are a limited number of single rooms available. Requests for these rooms are based on availability. Please see the tour itinerary for the cost of this fee. In some cases, it may imply a room smaller in size than a standard double room. If you are traveling alone, and would like to share a room, we will do our best to match you with a same-gender roommate.

Cancellation / Refund Policies

All cancellations must be made in writing. No refunds will be issued due to late arrival, early departure, or any unused portion of a tour. The Assumption of Risk / Liability Waiver form must be signed and received 60 days prior to tour departure or the reservation will also be treated as a cancellation. Cancellation fees are outlined below:

Time Price
Cancellations received 121 or more days prior to trip start
10% of trip price
Cancellations received 120 - 61 days prior to trip start
15% of trip price
Cancellations received 60 - 31 days prior to trip start
50% of trip price
Cancellations received 30 days or less prior to trip start
100% of trip price

Fresco Tours reserves the right to change, modify, or cancel a tour prior to departure for any reason, including lack of participants (tour minimum: 3-6 passengers with 1 guide, 7 passengers or more with 2 guides) or acts of nature and/or circumstances beyond our control. In this case, any payments received will be refunded in full, and this will constitute full settlement. Fresco Tours is not responsible for any additional expenses due to a canceled tour, such as the purchase of non-refundable airline tickets.

Fresco Tours reserves the right to accept, refuse, or decline any tour member’s participation at any time for any reason. In such a case, Fresco Tour’s liability is limited to the actual cost of the unused services.

Changing Tour Dates

If we are notified of a change to your scheduled tour date 6 months prior, you can apply your tour deposit to another departure date without penalty. This change can be up to 1 calendar year in advance and is subject to availability. Otherwise, the above Cancellation Fees will be applied.

As Spain-taneous Private Tours are custom built and created with specific dates in mind, any modifications will incur a 15% surcharge.

Insurance

In light of the above and due to the nature of Fresco Tours active vacations, we strongly urge the purchase of the appropriate travel and personal insurance, including trip cancellation / interruption insurance. We like TravelInsurance.com, which allows you to compare various policies across the top insurance providers to evaluate different coverage plans.

Traveling Safely and Responsibly

Traveling during these complex times requires a bit more planning and a lot more reassurance. We believe that the Fresco Tours style of travel is particularly well-suited to safe activities: walking in the outdoors, small group sizes, strong reliable relationships with our local partners and, most importantly, we have the local knowledge of our home – the Camino de Santiago and the Spanish culture.

Price per person

1795 €

1,932.02 $

* USD$ price based on current exchange rate

Single Supplement Fee

595 €

Self-Guided

15 days / 14 nights

260 km / 162 mi

Camino Portugués

May 11 - 25, 2024
Half Full
Jun 1 - 15, 2024
Available
Jun 15 - 29, 2024
Available
Jul 6 - 20, 2024
Available
Sep 7 - 21, 2024
Available
Sep 21 - Oct 5, 2024
Available