Fatima, Portuguese Camino de Santiago
Camino de Santiago HIKING hiking Portugal

Portuguese Camino from Lisbon through Fatima

Portuguese Camino is a part of the Camino de Santiago route network, it starts in Lisbon and finishes in Santiago de Compostela in Spain, total distance 616km. As an option, you can combine this route with Camino de Fatima another pilgrimage way that goes to Fatima, a small town in central Portugal. Distance from Lisbon to Fatima is 157km. In fact, there are several routes leading to the Sanctuary of Fatima from different Portuguese towns, we met some people that walked opposite direction way from Santiago de Compostela to Fatima after finishing one of the Camino de Santiago routes.

Starting Portuguese Camino in Lisbon – pros and cons

Many people have doubts about where to start Camino Portugues in Lisbon or in Porto, here are our arguments for and against starting from Lisbon.

Pros

Distance from Lisbon to Santiago is three times as long as from Porto, 616km versus 240km. If you want to walk a longer route start in Lisbon.

There are very few pilgrims on this route it’s quite off the beaten track.

It goes through non-touristy places in Portugal, you probably won’t see them another way than walking.

You can combine two pilgrimage ways; Camino de Fatima and Camino Portugues.

Cons

There are few people walking from Lisbon which is great but as a result, there is less infrastructure for pilgrims on the stretch between Lisbon and Porto. I mainly refer to albergues, especially municipal, not in every town or city you get one, sometimes they are 50km apart. It makes your pilgrimage walk more expensive as often you have to pay between 15-25 Euro pp for accommodation in a hotel or private albergue, compared to 5-10 Euro on the Porto – Santiago part. I’d say for us it was the only minus of starting the Camino in Lisbon.

Some people say you walk a lot through industrial areas of Lisbon and some other biggish cities, to be honest, we didn’t notice a big difference between this part and the route from Porto. There is definitely more cities and roads on the Portuguese Camino than for example on Camino Primitivo but in general, it wasn’t a big problem.

The Portuguese Camino detailed guide + Central Route stages

Portugal facts

  • Portugal is a country in southwest Europe
  • It has a land border with Spain
  • Official language – Portuguese
  • Capital – Lisbon
  • Area – 92 212km2
  • Population – 10 291 027
  • Local currency – Euro
  • Time zone (mainland) – GMT+1
  • Plug type –  C and F, 230V.

Travel insurance for the Camino Portuguese 

Walking like any other outdoor activity involves a risk of getting an injury or losing some of the gear. It’s always recommended to have travel insurance when you go away. The Portuguese Camino is not an exclusion though it’s not a high altitude wild hike through remote areas it’s still a physically challenging experience that involves covering long distances with a heavy backpack, walking on all sort of grounds including asphalt and in all kind of weather (heat, rain, wind, etc.). Having travel insurance makes the walk less stressful you know that you will be able to get medical assistance any time you need. It’s quite handy to have the insurance in case of a gear or device break/loss you can always claim it back. 

Travel Insurance for Hiking Diving Backpacking and more

Best season for walking

We started at the beginning of May and the weather was great; sunny, warm but not hot yet and no rain at all, plus very few people but this part of the Camino is never too busy. The weather in June will be similar to May with less rain. Summer months July and August might be too hot for long walking days this part of Portugal is in general hotter than the northern part. Most of the time you walk through open areas and fields there is not much shadow to hide. September can be a nice time; still warm and not much rain. Shoulder season April and October can surprise you with some rainfalls though it’s nice and cool. From November to March it might be rainy and chilly, there will be probably nobody walking, some albergues might be closed for offseason.

Need to know about the Camino

The best guidebook we found for the Camino Portugues is “A Pilgrim’s Guide to the Camino Portugués” by John Brierley, we used it a lot on the Camino. Note! It doesn’t include the Fatima part from Santarém to Ansião.

Don’t start with long walking days, in the beginning, some guide books suggest to walk 34km on the first day and continue that pace for the next days. We did it and had terrible blisters after the first three days of walking over 30km. Rather stick to 20–25km a day in the beginning especially if you’re planning to continue to Santiago from Fatima.

The way is marked very well, follow yellow and/or blue arrows all the time.

From Lisbon to Santarém both trails Camino Portugues and Camino de Fatima follow the same way, in Santarém they split but you still will see both yellow and blue arrows.

From May to October on the 13th of every months, a big pilgrimage festival takes place in Fatima but the main gathering happens on 13th May and October when up to 1 million pilgrims come to the town. Don’t worry the majority arrive by buses and cars but we would suggest not to plan your stay in the town on any of these days, it gets crazy busy.

There are not many pilgrims on this Camino, as a result, most albergues are quite small, some have only 10 beds available; like Alpriate and Azambuja. In order to get a spot, we’d recommend starting walking early and don’t walk very long distances.

Tap water in Portugal is good quality, you can find water fountains everywhere or ask locals to fill your bottles, saves a lot of money on buying water. 

On this route, we didn’t have many opportunities for cooking most places we stayed didn’t have a kitchen. Luckily to eat in local restaurants is relatively cheap. We often shared for lunch one Menu do Dia, it usually comes with soup, main dish with sides (rice, fries, salad), drink (house wine), bread, olives, dessert/coffee, price between 6-7 Euro. It’s quite a lot of food enough for two people to share and not to be too full to continue walking.

Portuguese people are very friendly and helpful and to our surprise, many of them speak good English. Every time I tried to make up some Portuguese they switched to English.

Data is cheap in Portugal, we bought Vodafone SIM card for 15 Euro it included 300 minutes of local cell phone calls, 100 messages, and 3Gb data, valid for 30 days. We used it quite a lot to upload videos and photos, to navigate sometimes, 3Gb lasted for three weeks. Plus it’s very handy to have a local number when you want to book a hotel.

More information on other routes of the Camino de Santiago that we’ve completed by now you can find in these posts The Portuguese Camino Central Route, Coastal Route of Camino Portugues,  Camino Primitivo, Camino del Norte, Camino Finisterre-Muxía, Camino Inglés

Camino de Fatima cost

We spent more or less 20-25 Euro per day each, it includes accommodation, food, several coffee stops. Some days we spent less, some days more depending on accommodation prices. In some places, we had to stay in hotels because there were no albergues, in some places accommodation was for a donation. 

    • Accommodation – between 8 and 25 Euro per person, sometimes donation. 
    • Set meal in a local restaurant (Meno do Dia) – 6-7 Euro pp. The Menu usually includes starter, main with sides, cool drink or house wine and dessert or coffee. 
    • Food shopping – 5 – 8 Euro pp. per day.
  • A cup of coffee – 0,6-0,8 Euro. 

In general, the cost of travel in Lisbon is higher than in the other places on the Camino.

Packing list for the Portuguese Camino

Camino de Santiago T-shirt or hoodie can be a nice addition to your Camino packing list.

Detailed Camino de Santiago packing list for different seasons for men and women  you’ll find in this post ↓↓↓↓↓

Camino de Santiago light packing list 2019 – all seasons

Download for free our complete Camino de Fatima packing checklist.

Accommodation in Lisbon

There are many options in the city for a different budget from hostels to fancy apartments and luxury hotels. We’d suggest if you go in season from May to September definitely book places in advance there are all sorts of events happening in the city this period, thousands of tourists, best places are often sold out.

We stayed twice at Yes! Lisbon hostel, one of the best hostels we’ve ever stayed. I’m not talking only about its great facilities and fantastic location, right in the historical center, I’m talking about the great hospitality of people working here. These guys love what they’re doing! From the moment you enter the hostel till the last minute. They even helped us with luggage storage until our return back to Lisbon from the Camino.

More accommodation options in Lisbon

Budget | Corujinha HostelLisbon Sé Dreams | NOMAD 64 |

Middle price |  | Hola Lisbon Suites | Little Studio for two | Flores Guest House |

Luxury | Loving Chiado | Feeling Chiado 15 | Duque’s Apartments |

Things to do in Lisbon

There are hundreds of places to see and activities to do in Lisbon and around if you have a couple of days in the city before starting the walk you can;

Camino Portugues; Lisbon – Fatima – Porto, walking stages

Day 1. Lisbon – Alpriate, 23km

It took us quite a while to get out of the city we actually enjoyed walking through Lisbon, we did walk through industrial/harbor area but it wasn’t for too long and it looked fine, neither dodgy no dirty.  

Highlights

    • The Old Town of Lisbon, definitely worth staying for a couple of extra days and wander around it.
  • Parque das Nações, a modern area of Lisbon.
  • Fields of flowers on the way between Sacavém and Alpriate.

Challenges

    • Don’t miss the turn off in Sacavém, right after the bridge the path goes left and follows the river.
  • On the stretch from Sacavém to Alpriate, there is nothing, for about 10km you walk through the fields if you want to stop for lunch, rest or coffee do it in Parque das Nações, there are many nice places. Make sure you have enough water for this stretch.

Alpriate

A small and cozy village with a local restaurant and an albergue, basically nothing else.

    • Municipal albergue – yes
    • Private albergue  – no
    • Hotel, guest house – no
    • ATM – no
    • Restaurant, café – yes
    • Shop – no
  • Pharmacy – no

Albergue Alpriate, private

A small albergue in an old house, a relatively new place, can accommodate 12 people. Price 8 Euro pp. Opens at 1 pm.

    • Location – 5 out of 5
  • Comfort level – 4 out of 5
Parque das Nações, Camino Portuguese from Lisbon
Parque das Nações on the way out of Lisbon

Day 2. Alpriate – Vila Franca de Xira, 20km

In the beginning, you walk through the fields till reaching Santa Iria, a strange industrial/residential area luckily the path takes you through the fields on the wooden boardwalk.

Highlights

  • Vila Franca de Xira, a small nice town on the bank of Tejo river.

Challenges

  • After Alverca there was a part of walking on a busy road for about 2km.

Vila Franca de Xira

A nice and quiet town on the river with a couple of hotels and restaurants.

    • Municipal albergue – no
    • Private albergue  – no
    • Hotel, hostels – yes, from 10 Euro pp.
    • ATM – yes
    • Restaurant, café – yes
    • Supermarket – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes

Accommodation in Vila Franca

Hostel DP Suites & Apartments

Day 3. Vila Franca de Xira – Azambuja, 20km

Some pilgrims walked from Alpriate to Azambuja in one day, not a very good idea to walk 40km on the second day, they were very tired afterward and took a day off from walking.

Highlights

    • Caminho Pedonal Ribeirinho, a nice 4km long walking/cycling trail in Vila Franca de Xira along Tajo river with some interesting and creative wall paintings.
  • Azambuja, a pretty little town with cobblestone streets.

Challenges

    • On the stretch between Vila Franca de Xira and Vila Nova da Rainha there is nothing, make sure you have enough water.
  • There is a short cut/scenic route, at the cargo train station don’t turn left to the bridge over the railway like the sign shows, instead turn right, the gravel road goes along the railway through the fields, it’s a bit shorter. At Vila Nova de Rainha the official trail joins the alternative one and continues along the railways till Azambuja.

Azambuja

Bigger than the two previous towns with some steep narrow cobblestone streets, a nice church and a couple of small squares. 

    • Municipal albergue – yes
    • Private albergue  – no
    • Hotel – yes
    • ATM – yes
    • Restaurant, café – yes
    • Supermarket – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes

Albergue Abrigo Do Peregrino, municipal

A small place with only 12 beds, wi-fi, small kitchenette, shared bathroom, 6 Euro pp. Opens at 1 pm.

    • Location – 5 out of 5
  • Comfort level – 4 out of 5

By the time we arrived there were no spots available. Luckily there is a place that belongs to a local church lady where pilgrims can (for donation) stay if the albergue is full. The Albergue referred us. It is a house with a couple of rooms, a bathroom, and a kitchen. We were 7 people staying there. As a couple, we even got a private room. The owner cooked Portuguese dinner for all of us, the next morning we had sandwiches and fruit for breakfast and she even packed some of them for lunch. In the morning she opened a church for us. It was the best place we stayed on this Camino. 

Azambuja, Camino de Fatima, Portugal
Campbell with our hostess in Azambuja. What a memorable stay!

Optional. Lisbon – Azambuja in two days

Day 1. Lisbon – Alverca (Verdelha de Baixo), 37km

It was a very long day of walking, we arrived at the hotel in Alverca at 7 pm very tired and annoyed, the hotel was 2km into the town off the trail, we had to walk 4km extra in total to get to the hotel and back to the trail next morning. Another reason why we don’t recommend to walk this distance in one day.

Alverca

Alverca is quite a big city with not much to see, shops, residential and industrial areas, not kind of place you want to end up a long hiking day. 

    • Municipal albergue – no
    • Private albergue  – no
    • Hotel – yes
    • ATM – yes
    • Restaurant, café – yes
    • Supermarket – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes

Accommodation in Alverca

Alfa 10 hotel in Verdelha de Baixo, there are three hotels on the same street Estrada de Alfarrobeira. We paid 15 Euro pp and got two single rooms as there were no doubles left (double costs 28 Euro). The place is fine; a shared bathroom, very small rooms, clean enough, wi-fi. There are a couple of local restaurants across the road and McDonald’s 5min. away.

Day 2. Alverca (Verdelha de Baixo) – Azambuja, 34km

First, you have to get back to the trail (railway station), which is 2km away from the hotel. Then you start walking. Another long and tiring day of walking, most of the time you walk through the fields make sure you have enough water. It’s worth of suffering if you don’t have much time and have to rush though otherwise take it easy, walk to Azambuja in 3 days and rather enjoy the scenery. Especially if you’re planning to walk all the way to Santiago don’t push yourself too much, in the beginning, it might spoil the rest of your Camino.

Day 4. Azambuja – Santarém, 33km

A long walking day with some charming small villages on the way. The main recommendation if you walk this route is in summer make sure to start very early. The last part of the walk, about 10km to Santarém, is through the open fields where there is nowhere to hide from the sun. Remember to take enough water, you can refill your bottle at one of the cafés on the way.

Highlights

    • Three small villages; Reguengo, Valada, and Porto de Muge.
  • Fields covered in flowers (we walked in May).

Challenges

    • A long stretch with nothing through the fields for about 10km from Porto de Muge to Santarém, refill your water on the way there will be water fountains in the towns. Each town has a coffee shop where you can get food, good coffee, and a cool drink.
  • Santarém sits at the top of the hill, prepare for a steep uphill walk right at the end of the long day.

Santarém

A quite big and beautiful city with a nice historical center, many cafes, restaurants, shops, and hotels. If you have time and strength we’d recommend to walk around its narrow cobblestone streets and visit the Castle of Santarém, it’s on the Portuguese Camino but off the trail from Camino de Fatima.

    • Municipal albergue – no
    • Private albergue  – yes
    • Hotel – yes
    • ATM – yes
    • Restaurant, café – yes
    • Supermarket – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes

Albergue N1 Hostel

Note! Albergue Casa da Misericórdia mentioned in guidebooks is closed. The nearest and the most budget option in the city is N1 Hostel, you’ll see many signs pointing to it. Bunk bed – 12 Euro with lunch box breakfast and 15 Euro with buffet breakfast (it starts only at 8 am). The place is more like a hotel than albergue or hostel, no kitchen to use, you can get a set dinner for 10 Euro or use a microwave and plates in the restaurants. There is a nice supermarket at the mall where you can get pre-cooked food for quite cheap.

    • Location – 5 out of 5
  • Comfort level – 5 out of 5.

More accommodation options in Santarem

| Santarem Hostel | Quartos Fraternidade | Hotel Vitoria | Tagus Host |

Portuguese village on the way to Santarem
One of three cozy villages on the way from Azambuja to Santarem. Walking Camino Portuguese

Day 5. Santarém – Amiais de Baixo, 28km

Here you have to choose between following Camino de Santiago and head to Golegã or going through Fatima. Most pilgrims stick to the main Portuguese Route there are very few that go to Fatima, for this reason, there is less infrastructure on the Fatima route. We decided to walk through Fatima. Camino de Fatima is marked with blue arrows, in Santarém the trail turns left at Capelo e Ivens street and goes through Praça Sá Bandeira.

Highlights

  • Several small cozy Portuguese villages/towns. Most of the day you walk between towns and villages, no need to worry about food or water.

Challenges

  • The trail was waving and looping around hills and villages a lot adding a couple of extra kilometers.

Amaix de Baixo

Shops and restaurants are quite far from the trail and the hotel where you stay. We were very tired when arrived so the owner took us there so we could get some food.

    • Municipal albergue – no
    • Private albergue  – no
    • Hotel, guest house – yes
    • ATM – no
    • Restaurant, café – yes
    • Shop – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes

Hotel Rural Amiribatejo, Amaix de Baixo

There were no pilgrim albergues in Amiais de Baixo, we stayed at Hotel Rural Amiribatejo, it’s a big hotel with private rooms. The rooms are quite nice and neat, more expensive compared to albergues and more comfortable, we got a nice sleep here. You’ll see the sign pointing to the hotel approaching the town. Price 17 Euro pp. The owner was very nice and drove us to the nearest shop to buy some grocery, we were too tired to walk.

    • Location – 4 out of 5, 700m away from the trail
  • Comfort level – 4 out of 5.
Santarém, Camino de Fatima, Portugal
View on Santarém from the castle

Day 6. Amiais de Baixo – Fatima, 30km

Most of the day walking through the fields and small towns with a little bit of forest and road walk at the end.

Challenges

  • About 2 hours after the start there is a steep and quite long uphill, make sure to have enough water. Once on the top, you start going down to a town where you can stop for lunch as there will be no places to stop further before Fatima. 

Fatima

It’s a strange town that was built exclusively around the sanctuary, its official status is “parish”. Before the appearing of the Virgin, there wasn’t even a village here only pasture fields. Fatima does have some sort of artificial feeling; all you see around is built for tourists and pilgrims; hotels, guest houses, restaurants, souvenir shops, huge parking spots for RVs and caravans where you can “camp” for free, etc. Very different from traditional European religious centers like Santiago de Compostela or Rome.

    • Municipal albergue – yes
    • Private albergue  – no
    • Hotel, guest house – yes
    • ATM – yes
    • Restaurant, café – yes
    • Shop – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes

Albergue de Peregrinos São Bento de Labre (Casa São Bento de Labre)

Behind the cathedral at Rua Dr. Sebastiao street. We stayed here for two nights without any problem but some people could stay only one. I wasn’t feeling well maybe that’s why they allowed us to stay. There are separate dormitories in separate buildings for men and women. Price – donation. The albergue has a kitchen with some cooking utensils. A supermarket is less than 5min. walk, there are a couple of cafes and restaurants nearby.

More accommodation options in Fatima

| Pereira Guesthouse | Imperhotel | Domus Pacis Fatima Hotel | Residencia S.Francisco |

Santuario de Fatima, Portugal
Santuario de Fatima, Portugal. The end of Camino de Fatima

Day 7. Fatima – Caxarias, 22km

It was a nice walk through beautiful countryside and small cozy villages with many coffee shops. We enjoyed it quite a lot till we arrived in Caxarias where there was no accommodation available. There are several rooms above restaurants that locals rent out for pilgrims but they all were occupied. The only option we got here is sleeping on the floor in an event-storage building next to the church. There is electricity, showers with hot water and toilets but nothing else, not even mattresses. You pay 1 Euro to stay here. The reason all the rooms were occupied is that we were there just two days before the annual big celebration in Fatima so there were more people than usual walking to Fatima from Coimbra or Porto. The next hotel was 9km away we didn’t feel like walking that far and we’re not sure about available rooms there. It was the only time on the whole Camino Portuguese when we arrived somewhere and couldn’t find a bed to sleep.

Caxarias

    • Municipal albergue – no
    • Private albergue  – no
    • Rooms – yes
    • ATM – yes
    • Restaurant, café – yes
    • Shop – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes

Day 8. Caxarias – Ansião, 28km

In Ansião both Caminos join again, you’re back to the main Portuguese Route with a bit more accommodation options than on Camino de Fatima. Most of the time the route goes through pastures and small villages, beautiful green, and tranquil scenery.

Ansião

    • Municipal albergue – no
    • Private albergue  – no
    • Hotel – yes
    • ATM – yes
    • Restaurant, café – yes
    • Supermarket – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes

Accommodation in Ansião

Again ask around in restaurants there some rooms for pilgrims there, price from 14 Euro pp. Our guidebook says you can stay at Bombeiros Voluntairos (volunteer firemen association) for 5 Euro we didn’t try to find out. If you’d like more luxury stay check Ansiturismo Alojamento & SPA they have very nice rooms.

Day 9. Ansião – Zambujal, 20km

Zambujal

There is nothing here except for the albergue bring food for cooking from Rabaçal, which is 5km before.

    • Municipal albergue – no
    • Private albergue  – yes
    • Hotel – no
    • ATM – no
    • Restaurant, café – no
    • Supermarket – no
  • Pharmacy – no

Albergue Casa das Raposas, private

A very nice albergue in the middle of nowhere with good facilities; a full-equipped kitchen, hot shower. Very friendly and helpful owners. It can accommodate 18 people. Price 15 Euro.

More accommodation options in Zambujal

Maison Le Refuge

Day 10. Zambujal – Coimbra, 23km

First part till Condeixa-a-Nova is a nice walk through the country past some ruins, old houses, tiny villages. After Condeixa there was more of a road and town walk and two up-hills.

Highlights

  • Ponte Filipina, a 16th-century bridge
  • The historical center of Coimbra

Challenges

  • 100m uphill right after Cernache
  • 110m steep uphill to Cruz de Mouroços, 210m

Coimbra

A beautiful city with many interesting sights to see, if you have time we’d suggest to stay here for an extra day to have a break from walking and to explore Coimbra.

Points of interest in Coimbra; Convent Santa Clara, Santiago church, Almedina Gate and Tower, monastery Santa Cruz and its church, Old Cathedral of Coimbra, The Joanina Library, Quinta das Lagrimas gardens, Sao Miguel chapel, National Museum Machado de Castro, Coimbra University.

    • Municipal albergue (convent) – yes
    • Private albergue (hostel)  – yes
    • Hotel, guest house – yes
    • ATM – yes
    • Restaurant, café – yes
    • Supermarket – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes

Accommodation on Coimbra

Albergue de Peregrinos Rainha Santa Isabel, a nice and clean albergue with good facilities; hot water shower, well-equipped, kitchen, dining area. Opens at 2 pm. Capacity 20 people. Price 10 Euro. If you’d like to stay in a private place there are several nice hotels and guest houses in Coimbra, don’t forget to book them in advance in the season.

More accommodation options in Coimbra

Budget | Hostel Se Velha | NN Guesthouse | Serenata Hostel Coimbra | Penedo da Saudade Hostel |

Middle price | Farol de Vida | Cinco em 5NJOY Coimbra | Coimbra City | Residencia Coimbra |

Coimbra at night, Portugal
Coimbra at night time. Camino Portuguese from Lisbon to Porto

Day 11. Coimbra – Mealhada, 23km

An easy walking day with typical for this region scenery with a long and not steep up-hill walk to Santa Luzia, 145m.

Mealhada

A nice town with many restaurants and shops, a couple of hotels and one private albergue.

    • Municipal albergue – no
    • Private albergue – yes
    • Hotel, guest house – yes
    • ATM – yes
    • Restaurant, café – yes
    • Supermarket – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes

Albergue/residencial/restaurant Hilário, private

The place has different accommodation options and a restaurant for that reason you can see it sometimes called a hotel, sometimes albergue but it’s the same place. The place is very nice and clean with good facilities. There is a dormitory (10 Euro) for 16 people and 15 private rooms (15 Euro single, 10 Euro double). Private rooms can be booked here.

    • Location – 5 out of 5
  • Comfort level – 5 out of 5.
Vineyards, walking from Lisbon to Porto
Vineyards on Camino Portugues on the way to Porto

Day 12. Mealhada – Águeda, 25,4km

Again a little bit of everything on the way; fields, forest, vineyards, road walk, small towns and a little bit of walking through industrial areas. Slight up and down-hill but nothing challenging.

Águeda

    • Municipal albergue – no
    • Private albergue – yes
    • Hotel, guest house – yes
    • ATM – yes
    • Restaurant, café – yes
    • Supermarket – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes

Albergue Santo Antonio, private

Albergue and Residencial Celeste both located at the same place and run by the same people. The albergue is nice and clean with good facilities; hot shower, kitchen, wi-fi, beautiful garden, washing facilities. Price 12 Euro pp. If you’d like to stay in a nice room with a private bathroom you have this option here, double rooms from 55 Euro including breakfast. Private rooms can be booked here.

    • Location – 5 out of 5
  • Comfort level – 5 out of 5.

Day 13. Águeda – Albergaria-A-Nova, 22km

The main challenge is two uphill walks; first about 100m+ to Albergaria-A-Velha and second 100m+ to Albergaria-A-Nova. The rest of the day walking past small towns and through eucalyptus forest. In the second half of the walk, there is a couple of inter-crossing with N1 highway not for long but this walking along a busy road is always quite unpleasant.

Highlights

  • Ponte de Marnel – an old Roman bridge just before the first up-hill walk.
  • Main square and center of Albergaria-A-Velha.
  • Eucalyptus forest

Albergaria-A-Nova

The place is much smaller than Albergaria-A-Velha with fewer facilities but we’d suggest walking here in order to make your next walking day shorter.

    • Municipal albergue – no
    • Private albergue – yes
    • Hotel, guest house – no
    • ATM – no
    • Restaurant, café – yes
    • Shop – yes
  • Pharmacy – no

Albergaria, private

Located a bit away from shops and restaurants. There is one dormitory room and a couple of private rooms. The place is quite cozy with a good kitchen, comfortable and neat, more like a guest house kind of place than a typical albergue. It can accommodate 12 people. Price; bed 10 Euro pp, private 25 Euro. Phone for booking 234-547-068.

Small Portuguese town on the Camino
On this Camino, we walked past hundreds of small Portuguese towns and villages

Day 14. Albergaria-A-Nova – São João da Madeira, 24km

A couple of up and down hills to conquer but nothing hectic, several towns and villages on the way where you can stop for lunch or coffee.

São João da Madeira

A big place with modern buildings except for a couple of churches and oldish houses around.

    • Municipal albergue – yes, sort of albergue, very basic place 
    • Private albergue – no
    • Hotel – yes
    • ATM – yes
    • Restaurant, café – yes
    • Shop – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes

Accommodation in  São João da Madeira

Santa Casa da Misericórdia – a very basic place where you can stay for donation, a room with mattresses on the floor. If you’re up to this tough pilgrim’s life it’s a place for you. If not you’ll have no other option than staying in one of the hotels. The location of the place is quite central. Central Suites Impacto hotel is the best option here; comfortable beds, private bathroom, very clean, located in the center, kitchen, washing machines, etc. – a nice change from shared rooms and bunk beds.

Day 15. São João da Madeira – Grijó, 21km

A day of walking through towns with several coffee shops on the way. Time to get excited about arriving in Porto soon. The road keeps going up and down with one climb to Malaposta and then mostly down till Grijó.

Grijó

    • Municipal albergue – yes
    • Private albergue – no
    • Hotel – yes
    • ATM – no
    • Restaurant, café – yes
    • Shop – yes
  • Pharmacy – yes

Albergue São Salvador de Grijó, municipal

A good albergue with basic facilities; bunk beds, shared bathroom, kitchen, and a nice garden. Run by the local church, fits 14 people. Price donation.

Day 16. Grijó – Porto, Se Cathedral, 14km

We’d recommend starting this day early in order to arrive in Porto and have some time to walk around the city if you feel like walking after 380km behind. Porto is a great and beautiful city if you have time stay here for two nights enjoy its beautiful architecture, delicious food, and great wines.

Highlights

  • Calzada Romano – an old cobblestone Roman road
  • Dom Luis I Bridge
  • Se Cathedral and historical center of Porto

Challenges

  • Walking along the highway through outskirts of Porto

Alternative São João da Madeira – Porto in one day, 35km

As an option, you can walk from São João da Madeira to Porto in one day but it’s going to be a tiring day of walking especially the last part through the outskirts of the city. Don’t forget to add to this the distance to your albergue or hotel.

The quiet part of Portuguese Camino ends in Porto from there on there will be significantly more people walking, especially on the Central/Monacal Route. If you want to go more off the beaten track rather than follow the Coastal Route, only 30% of all pilgrims on this Camino walk it. Planning to continue the Camino from Porto? – Check our complete Porto to Santiago itinerary.

If after arriving in Porto you want to take a couple of days off from walking and explore the city there are several city tours and excursions that you can join to discover the most interesting parts of the city.

Suggested Porto tours

Porto, Portugal. Walking the Camino de Santiago
Potro, the end of the first stage of Portuguese Camino de Santiago

Accommodation in Porto

There are many hostels and albergues in Porto. The most budget option is to stay in Albergue de Peregrinos do Porto, private, for donation (though the guidebook says 10 Euro). The place is nice and big, can accommodate 30+ people, the facilities are good; well-equipped kitchen, hot showers, patio, wi-fi, the only drawback of the albergue is its location, quite far from the cathedral and the route but close to the metro. To get there and back add about 6km extra walking. You always can use the metro to get from and to Se Cathedral. There is a municipal albergue N.S. do Rosario de Vilar for 7,5 Euro, located about the same distance from the cathedral.

More accommodation options in Porto

Budget | O2 HostelStayIN Oporto Musica Guest ApartmentTravel & Live Porto Hostel |

Middle price | Forrester Downtown HouseOporto Downtown Flats | Castelo Santa Catarina |

LuxuryWood Loft | DB Cedofeita ApartmentsPao de Acucar Hotel |

Yellow and blue arrows on the Camino de Santiago
Yellow and blue arrows pointing the way to Santiago and Fatima

Why we liked the walk from Lisbon 

It is quite off the beaten track, especially the part from Santarem to Fatima, we were no more than 10 pilgrims on the road.

Portuguese people are very friendly and helpful.

We walked through many small old towns and villages that we would probably have never seen just traveling through Portugal. 

We walked Camino de Fatima in May, fields were covered in flowers

It felt very safe to walk through both rural areas and cities, even past the industrial areas of Lisbon.

As big coffee addicts, we absolutely loved Portuguese coffee, every tiny village has a local café with good coffee and it’s cheap, between 0,60 and 0,80 Euro. We stopped 2-3 times a day.

Items we love taking on the Camino

Recommended books and guidebooks

    • Ordinary MagicPromises I Kept to My Mother Through Life, Illness, and a Very Long Walk on the Camino de Santiago by Cameron Powell.  Paperback. 

Useful apps for the Camino Portuguese

    • Portuguese Way Premium. Cost US$4, available for Android and Apple.
    • Camino Assist Pilgrim Santiago. Free download, available for Android and Apple.
    • Buen Camino de Santiago. Free download, available for Android and Apple.
  • Wisely + Camino Portugues; a Wise Pilgrim guide. Cost US$6, available for Android and Apple. We haven’t used it but I saw many unhappy users complaining about the app, I’d recommend reading the reviews before buying it.

Related posts

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Portuguese Camino walking from Lisbon to Potro, plus Camino de Fatima; stages, route, albergues, cost. #caminodesantiago #caminodefatima #portugal

7 Comments

  1. Pascale van Toledo

    I loved reading your blog and now I am even more excited to start my own Camino Portuguese next year April.And with all your tips and information I feel quite confident to do this on my own. I have read there is also a PDF version of your blog. I didn’t get a pop-up to download it. Can you let me know how I can get it as it will be a fantastic guide for me.

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Pascale! Thank you for the comment! Unfortunately, we don’t have a PDF for this part of the Camino. We’ve never had PDF versions of our blog we just have a downloadable short spreadsheet with walking stages for some routes.
      Buen Camino!

  2. Mandy Cortis

    Hi,

    Your Blog is very helpful and very well detailed, me and my mother are walking from Lisbon to Fatima in the End of May, can you kindly suggest a guidebook which will help us with this walk?

    Many thanks in advance and wish you all the best.

    Kind Regards,

    Mandy

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Mandy! Thank you for the comment! We used Camino Portuguese guidebook by John Brierley if you check at the end of the post there is a section Recommended guidebook. The guidebook was quite helpful but it doesn’t have the part from Santarem to Fatima, 2 days, the Camino de Fatima and the Portuguese Camino split in Santarem, the Camino de Fatima is not in the guide book. We tried to describe in details the last two days to Fatima in this post, hopefully it’ll help you.
      Buen Camino!

  3. Brett Lehigh

    I have only just reached Fátima from Lisbon. Raining so I may stay 2 nights or I may end my journey here as it was impromptu to start with. Your blog has been AMAZINGLY helpful and accurate. So glad I found it. Thank you!

    • Stingy Nomads

      Hello, Brett! Thank you for the comment! We’re glad our blog was helpful! The part from Lisbon was quite challenging to walk even in May never mind in winter! I hope all the albergues (though there are not many on the route) are opened. The part from Fatima to Ansiao (where the route joins the main Portuguese Camino again) had very few accommodation options, from Fatima we walked to Caxarias (22km) and when we arrived there was no place to stay, two or three rooms that they had were full, we had to sleep in a church storage on the floor. Make sure you’ll get accommodation, maybe ask at the albergue in Fatima. In case you don’t find any there is a train station in Caxarias in case of emergency you can catch a train to a bigger place.
      Buen Camino!

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