15th to 24th March'24
22nd April to 1st May'24
17th to 26th June'24
28th Sep to 7th Oct'24
Is it in your bucket list to hike the final 6 stages of what is the world’s most famous pilgrimage, covering the last 120 kilometers from Valença, Portugal to Santiago de Compostela, Spain?
If you answered “yes”, you are in the right place!
Visitors come from all over the world to embark on this trek, some for spiritual reasons, some to mark a life turning point, others seeking contemplative value by pressing a “pause” button, some simply out of curiosity or the thrill of a challenging, long-distance hike.
Whatever the reason, only wonderful things can arise from hiking through a foreign land in the company of friends, side by side with walkers from all corners of the world and slowing the pace of life to engage in an adventure of a lifetime!
This adventure is more about the journey than the destination!
Walking the Camino is so powerful and overwhelming that you will feel that you are becoming a part of this mystical route, sharing laughter, tears, joys and conquers… You will find very few words to explain what you feel and a very strong will to keep going.
You will walk under the care of passionate and experienced WAB guides, to be part of one of the most human and spiritual adventures of your life, filled with cultural and gastronomic experiences, to embrace the true soul of this legendary route.
The Camino de Santiago that crosses Portugal from south to north have been followed by pilgrims for centuries. Taking it is to set out on a discovery not only of the country but of ourselves too.
The destination of the Camino is the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela in Spain, underneath which, so the legend goes, is the tomb of the Apostle James, who evangelized the Iberian Peninsula, then a province of Rome. The cult of this saint became popular during the Middle Ages resulting in great pilgrimages from every corner of Europe. In Portugal it has been widespread since the 12th century, with the founding of Portuguese nationality.
The Portuguese Way is 625 kilometers (390 miles) long but the Compostela is granted for anyone walking a minimum of the last 100 kilometers. Our objective is to trek the last 120 kilometers, starting in Valença, Portugal.
A ”Compostela” is a certificate of accomplishment given to pilgrims who complete the trek. According to the Roman Catholic Church, the Compostela certificate has proffered a special remission of sins to the pilgrim since the Early Middle Ages, starting in the 5th and 6th centuries.
Travelers arrive today in the historic northern Portugal city of Porto.
Getting from the airport to the hotel in the historic center is easily arranged by taxi, metro or shared ride.
You will have the opportunity to participate in a guided mini tour of Porto city with a wine taste experience in a traditional cellar (optional tour)
The first official group activity is a Welcome Orientation in the evening, followed by dinner for you to get reacquainted with travel companions from previous adventures, making new walking friends, meet your local WAB guides and receive the official Pilgrim’s Credential used to mark and memorialize your progress along the Camino de Santiago, the Way of Saint James.
In the morning, you will embark on a northward journey to Guimarães, an ancient town steeped in Middle Ages history and significant for the establishment of the Portuguese nation. In 1128, the pivotal battle for independence from Spain unfolded in the fields surrounding Guimarães Castle. In the ensuing decades, Guimarães evolved into the heart of the burgeoning Portuguese state.
Today, this city enjoys the distinction of being a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and as you stroll through its historic heart, you'll pass by the 10th-century castle, meander through charming medieval lanes, and admire the baroque palaces that grace this enchanting town, perfect for leisurely exploration.
Heading even further north, you will arrive at Ponte de Lima, a delightful enclave just a stone's throw away from the Spanish border. This place boasts two notable features: a picturesque and historically rich Roman bridge (restored during the Middle Ages) that spans the Lima River and the honor of receiving the first official town charter from the queen of the emerging Portuguese nation in the 12th century. During your walk here, you'll trace the river's course, cross the ancient Roman bridge, and uncover the hidden charms of this captivating and historic village, which remains undiscovered by most travelers.
We bid farewell to Ponte de Lima and set off on our northward journey, stopping just short of the Spanish border in Valença, Portugal. Valença sits gracefully on the banks of the Minho River, serving as a symbolic boundary between these neighboring medieval Iberian Peninsula regions.
Valença is where your Camino adventure begins. A guided walking tour of this town acquaints you with the inception of the Camino pilgrimage and deepens your understanding of the longstanding connection between Spain and Portugal.
The official initiation of the Camino pilgrimage starts as you cross the International Bridge spanning the Minho River, leading you into Spain and the border town of Tui in the Galicia province. Tui boasts a charming historic center characterized by medieval stone structures, including the Cathedral of Santa Maria, the Convent of Clarisas, and the Gothic church of Santo Domingo.
From Tui, your journey takes you through rural, wooded landscapes, with occasional intersections with the ancient Roman road XIX, which once linked Bracara (present-day Braga, Portugal) to the bustling Roman center of Asturica (modern-day Astorga, Spain). Notable historical sites along the way include the Bridge of Fevers, where Saint Telmo passed away during his pilgrimage in 1251, and the five stone Santa Comba crosses near Ribadelouro.
During the day, we'll ensure your Camino Credentials are stamped at appropriate establishments, possibly even at the tapa bar where today's lunch is provided.
In the afternoon, you will reach your final destination for the day: Porriño.
Here, we reunite with fellow walkers who may have opted out during the day's journey. Our home for the evening and the next four nights is the charming old Spanish town of Pontevedra, just a 40-minute drive to the north.
You will return to Porriño to kick off the second stage of our Camino journey, covering a distance of 17 kilometers to reach Redondela.
Around the 6-kilometer mark, you step into the community of Mos, where you'll find the Church of Santa Eulália and a 17th-century manor house that has been transformed into the town hall. Mos is also an excellent spot for a brief respite, allowing us to collect another stamp in our Credentials book from the Albergue (inn) de Mos.
As we leave Mos, we begin an ascent towards the 18th-century cross of Os Cabaleiros. This is followed by a stretch of dirt trail through a forest leading to the village of Inxertado. The highest point of this stage is marked by a picnic area near the Chapel of Santiaguiño, a perfect spot to savor today's box lunch.
Around the 12-kilometer mark, just before entering Casal do Monte, the trail descends steeply and extra caution is essential in this section, and the use of walking sticks is recommended.
Our day's trek concludes in Redondela, known for the 16th-century convent of Vilavella, Casa da Torre, the Romanesque Church of Santiago, and the 16th-century manor house that serves as the town's pilgrim hostel. Redondela is also located near one of Galicia's rias, or Atlantic estuaries, and is celebrated for its delectable seafood tapas, which entice us to enjoy a relaxed, no-host dinner before boarding the bus for the 30-minute journey back to our hotel in Pontevedra.
Today's stage on the Camino is renowned for its breathtaking scenery, characterized by long, lush stretches through pine and eucalyptus forests, as well as captivating vistas of the Vigo Ria (estuary). However, the beauty of this journey comes at the cost of two rather steep ascents. The first ascent challenges us at approximately 3 kilometers into the hike, just after departing from Cesantes.
Around the 7-kilometer mark, we reach the picturesque Ponte Sampaio (Sampaio Bridge) spanning the Verdugo River. It was on this historic bridge that, in June 1809, local militia successfully repelled General Ney's troops, leading to their retreat from Galicia during the War of Independence against France.
Our second ascent presents itself at about the 10-kilometer mark, followed by a well-deserved lunch break, which promises to be a special tapas affair in one of the charming Galician villages along the Way.
Post-lunch, the latter part of today's trail guides you along pastoral paths within the province of Pontevedra, leading directly to our hotel in the provincial capital city, also known as Pontevedra. Pontevedra holds the distinction of being the primary city of the Camino in Galicia, and this marks the second of our five-night stay in the same hotel in this vibrant city.
Your journey commences today from the hotel in Pontevedra, marking the start of a 23-kilometer Camino hike. This trail boasts relatively mild elevation changes, offering more paved and cobblestone surfaces, and a delightful abundance of streams and waterfalls.
The initial kilometers of this morning's route provide a delightful blend of urban and rural scenery. At approximately the 4-kilometer mark, you encounter the picturesque Church of Santa Maria de Alba. By the time we reach 6 kilometers, you pass through Cerponzons and enter the most scenic part of this stage, a 5-kilometer stretch featuring idyllic fields and forests intersected by meandering streams. The journey takes you to San Mamede da Portela, where you receive a stamp for your Pilgrim Credential.
A notable highlight along your trek today is a special tapas lunch, adding a culinary delight to the journey, before you arrive at the final destination, Caldas de Reis. This town is renowned for various attractions, including the thermal spring of las Burgas, where weary pilgrims can rejuvenate their feet in the warm thermal waters.
After leisurely exploring Caldas de Reis, possibly visiting its cathedral, and strolling along the Umia River, engaging in conversations with fellow pilgrims and hikers from diverse corners of the world, return to Pontevedra by bus, with a free evening to enjoy at your own pace.
After enjoying breakfast at our hotel, we embark on a 30-minute drive northward to reunite with the Camino in Caldas de Reis. Today's 19-kilometer journey is another enchanting section of the trail, and for some pilgrims, it's their favorite stage of the Portuguese Camino. Elevation changes remain moderate, and once again, we find ourselves amidst forests, rural landscapes, and charming Galician villages for the majority of the day, occasionally crossing paths with Roman roads and ancient mileposts.
For many, the standout feature of this stage is the forest known as Mount Albor, a lush and verdant expanse that evokes the imagery of a German fairytale. At some point along this stretch, we pause to savor our box lunches before proceeding to Padrón.
Padrón holds deep historical ties to Saint James and the Camino. Legend has it that in 44 AD, the boat carrying the severed remains of James came to rest in Padrón. According to the story, the boat began its journey from the Jewish port of Jaffa, traversed the Mediterranean Sea, passed through the Strait of Gibraltar, and continued its voyage up the Atlantic Coast to the Sar River. Eventually, a church was built at the spot where the boat came to rest, and the remains of the boat now rest beneath the altar of the Church of Santiago de Padrón.
Padrón boasts other notable attractions, including the Fountain and Convent of Carmen, as well as the pleasant gardens that line the Sar River, featuring a monument in honor of its esteemed native, Camilo José Cela, a recipient of the 1989 Nobel Prize in Literature.
Another source of pride for Padrón is its internationally renowned peppers, which serve as the foundation for many delectable local tapas. We anticipate having a couple of hours of free time for exploration and perhaps indulging in an early no-host tapas dinner before we return to Pontevedra by bus for our fifth and final night.
The final stage of our Camino journey begins as we bid farewell to Pontevedra, returning to Padrón with a 40-minute drive to embark on our longest trek of the tour, spanning 25.5 kilometers to reach Santiago.
Approximately 6 kilometers into the day's walk, we encounter the impressive Sanctuary in Esclavitude. Legend has it that this sanctuary was constructed with a donation made by a farmer who experienced a miraculous recovery after drinking from a nearby fountain, healing multiple ailments.
Our last day on the Camino is a cause for celebration, marked by our final special tapas cultural lunch. As we approach Agro dos Monteiros, the towers of the Cathedral of Santiago come into view, situated approximately 6.5 kilometers from Obradoiro Plaza and the Cathedral itself. We walk with mixed emotions, eager to complete our journey and pilgrimage, yet reluctant to bid farewell to this epic odyssey covering 120 kilometers.
Throughout this Camino adventure, we've had the opportunity to experience the beauty of the Galician countryside, shared countless hours of hiking with old and new friends, and found time for reflection and introspection about our life's journey and future aspirations. Hopefully, this experience has rekindled our sense of purpose, focus, and enthusiasm for life.
Upon visiting Obradoiro Plaza, we'll check into our hotel, just a few hundred meters from the Cathedral. Following an evening of independent dinners, consider joining us for the Botafumeiro pilgrim mass. The Botafumeiro is a colossal censer suspended from the central dome of the Cathedral, used for liturgical purposes. The rising smoke from the censer symbolizes the ascent of prayers to God. The Botafumeiro is an astonishing spectacle, weighing over 100 pounds (~45 kg) and requiring the coordination of eight men to set it swinging above the assembled pilgrims. We had the privilege of witnessing this phenomenal display at the conclusion of our Northern Spain tour.
This day is dedicated to the exploration of the timeless historic center of Santiago de Compostela. Kick off the day with a guided walking tour of the historic core after a leisurely breakfast. For those wishing to obtain their Compostela certificate, a visit to the Pilgrim's Office will be necessary at some point on the day.
The afternoon is open for you to wander through the picturesque, winding streets of Santiago de Compostela, offering an opportunity for any final shopping or discoveries. In the evening, we invite you to join us for an enjoyable and culturally enriching Farewell Dinner. It's a time for us to come together and reflect on this extraordinary walking adventure along the Camino Portuguese, creating lasting memories.
No group activities are scheduled for today apart from breakfast.
Consequently, you are free to arrange your departure from Santiago de Compostela at a time that suits your convenience.
- All land travel as outlined—a bus is available to the group every day throughout the itinerary;
- Superior tourist-class or better hotel accommodations (no hostels);
- 19 meals: all breakfasts, 6 lunches and 4 dinners;
- 6 Camino walk routes as listed, with opt out opportunities;
- 1 additional walk in Portugal (Oporto city walk);
- 1 Camino Credential per person;
- WAB guide service with cultural and historical expertise throughout (2 guides);
- Pricing is based on double occupancy; a limited number of single rooms are available for a supplement of 600€. We also offer a roommate matching service;
- Guimarães walk, Portugal;
- Braga walk, Portugal;
- Ponte de Lima walk, Portugal;
- Valença walk, Portugal;
- Santiago de Compostela walking tour;
- 2 cultural dinners;
- Countless opportunities to visit churches and religious monuments along the Camino as well taste the local art of eating good food.
- International airfare not Included;
- The tour starts in Porto, Portugal, served by Porto Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (airport code OPO) and ends in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, served by Santiago-Rosalía de Castro Airport (airport code SCQ);
- Passport or VISA fees;
- Passenger facility taxes levied by domestic or foreign airports (airport taxes);
- Meals not listed in the itinerary;
- Beverages for any included lunches or dinners;
- Tips for housekeeping;
- Phone calls;
- Valet/laundry services and other services of a personal nature;
- Porterage of luggage;
- Trip cancellation or other travel insurance.
International airfare is not Included. The official start point of the tour is the hotel in Porto, Portugal, which is about a 15-20 minute taxi ride from the Porto Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (airport code OPO).
The official finish point of the tour is the hotel in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, which is about a 15-20 minute taxi ride to Santiago-Rosalía de Castro Airport (airport code SCQ).
Please do not book your airfare prior to receiving the email confirmation from us!
Details about your tour will be sent to your email. Please consider the information and read it carefully.
Welcome to the WAB Travel family! We are looking forward to meeting you!