Beautiful complex of the Sanctuary of Fatima on the pilgrimage from Lisbon
Camino de Santiago Portugal

The Portuguese Camino from Lisbon & the Camino de Fátima

Portuguese Camino is a part of the Camino de Santiago route network, it starts in Lisbon and finishes in Santiago de Compostela in Spain, the total distance 630 km. 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. The distance from Lisbon to Fatima is 157 km. In fact, there are several routes leading to the Sanctuary of Fatima from different Portuguese towns, we met some people that walked the opposite direction from Santiago de Compostela to Fatima after finishing one of the Camino de Santiago routes. This part of the Portuguese Camino sees very few pilgrims compared to the Porto – Santiago route. It’s a perfect route if you’re looking for a solitude walk I’d compared it with walking the Via de la Plata.

Watch our fun video about one day of a pilgrim’s life on the Camino de Santiago

The Portuguese Camino from Lisbon route overview

  • Distance – 630 km/391 mi from Lisbon to Santiago de Compostela (the Central Route from Porto), 650 km/403 mi on the Coastal Route from Porto.
  • The number of days – 28-30 days, 15-16 days from Lisbon to Porto, and 11-13 days from Porto to Santiago.
  • Average cost – 25 Euro per person per day.
  • Route marking – yellow (Camino de Santiago) & blue (Camino de Fátima) arrows.
  • Accommodation – public & private albergues, hotels.
  • Walking surface – gravel road, asphalt, occasional cobblestones.

Starting the 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 pros and cons of starting the pilgrimage in Lisbon.

Pros

The distance from Lisbon to Santiago is three times as long as from Porto, 630 km vs 260 km which is great if you want to walk a longer route.

There are very few pilgrims on this route it’s still quite off the beaten track compared to the Porto – Santiago part.

It goes through non-touristy places in Portugal, you will probably never visit them otherwise.

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

Cons

Because there are few people walking from Lisbon there is less infrastructure for pilgrims on the stretch between Lisbon and Porto. There are very few public and even private albergues. Not every town or city has one, sometimes they are 50 km apart. It makes your pilgrimage more expensive as often you have to pay between 15-25 Euro pp. for a room in a hotel, compared to 5-10 Euro pp. 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 are definitely more cities and roads on the Portuguese Camino in general than for example on the Camino Primitivo or on the English Way but overall, it wasn’t a big problem.

Park of the Nations, the modern part of Lisbon on the Camino route
On the way out of Lisbon the Camino goes through the Park of the Nations

How to combine the Portuguese Camino and the Camino de Fátima?

Both Caminos start at the Sé Cathedral in Lisbon and follow the same route for the first 96 km till Santarém. The distance from Lisbon to Porto on both routes is more or less the same. From Santarém they split; the Portuguese Camino continues through Golegã to Tomar; the Camino de Fátima goes through Amiaix de Baixo to Fátima. The Fátima route finishes there which is quite obvious but it’s possible to continue walking from there to Santiago. The route is well-marked with yellow arrows. After 50 km in Ansião, the route merges with the Portuguese Camino. If you decide to go through Fátima you’ll walk 4 days on the alternative to the Portuguese Camino route; 2 days from Santarém to Fátima and 2 days from Fátima to Ansião.

An infographic with two route options through Fatima and Santarem on the Portuguese Camino from Lisbon
Two route options on the Camino from Lisbon; the route through Fátima and the route through Tomar (the main Camino Portuguese)

Walking through Fátima vs walking through Tomar

The advantage of taking the Camino through Fátima is that on one pilgrimage you get to visit two important Christian sites; the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima and the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. The drawback of taking the Fátima route is the lack of accommodation on the stretches between Santarém and Fátima and Fátima to Ansião. There are enough places including one public albergue in Fátima itself. The main route of the Portuguese Camino through Tomar has more places to stay than the route through Fátima.

A map with two Camino routes; the blue route is for the route to Fatima, the yellow route is for the Camino de Santiago
The map of the Portuguese Camino from Lisbon and the Camino de Fátima routes

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 a high altitude wild hike through remote areas but it’s still a physically challenging experience; long distances, a heavy backpack, walking on all sorts of grounds including asphalt and in all kinds of weather. Having travel insurance makes the walk less stressful. You know that you will be able to get medical assistance any time you need it. It’s quite useful to have the insurance in case of a gear break, device loss, or trip cancellation. 

The best months 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 fields along the route were covered in wildflowers, overall spring is our favorite time for hiking in Portugal. 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 with not much shade 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.

A graph with average monthly low and high temperatures in central Portugal
Average low and high temperatures in Central Portugal throughout the year
A graph with average monthly rainfalls in Central Portugal
Average rainfalls in mm and number of rainy days for every month in Central Portugal

Practical info for planning the Camino from Lisbon

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 Lisbon – Porto part. Note! It doesn’t include the Fatima part from Santarém to Ansião.

To be able to stay in public albergues and to get the Compostela in Santiago after completing the Camino you’ll need a Credential or a Pilgrim’s Passport. The Credential proves you’re a pilgrim. You can get it at the Sé Cathedral in Lisbon or at one of the albergues. We always buy ours at the local Confraternity Office in South Africa. Every albergue or hotel you stay along the way put a stamp in your Credential.

Two attributes of the pilgrimage to Santiago; the Credential and the Compostela
My Credential with stamps from different albergues and the Compostela that I got at the Pilgrim’s Reception Office in Santiago

Don’t start with long walking days, in the beginning, some guide books suggest to walk 34 km on the first day and continue that pace for the next couple of days. We walked long days from the start and had terrible blisters after walking over 30 km daily. I’d suggest sticking to 20–25 km a day in the beginning especially if you’re planning to walk all the way to Santiago.

The route is well-marked with yellow and/or blue arrows all the way. Yellow arrows indicate the Portuguese Camino and blue arrows mark the Camino de Fatima.

A pole with a blue and a yellow arrows marking the Camino Portuguese and the route to Fatima
Route marking on the Portuguese Camino from Lisbon; the yellow arrow indicates the Camino de Santiago; the blue arrow is for the Camino de Fatima

Both Caminos follow the same route from Lisbon to Santarém. In Santarem, they split; the Portuguese Camino goes through Golegã and the Camino de Fatima through Amais de Baixo.

From May to October on the 13th of every month, a big pilgrimage festival takes place in Fatima but the main gathering happens on 13th May and 13th 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; 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 at local restaurants is quite cheap. We often shared for lunch one Menu do Dia, it usually comes with a soup, a main dish with sides (rice, fries, salad), a drink (house wine), bread, olives, dessert or coffee. In the rural part of Portugal, these menus are very cheap, they cost between 6-7 Euro. Unlike in many other places, in this part of Portugal, it’s fine if two people share one menu.

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.

Mobile data is cheap in Portugal, we bought a Vodafone SIM card for 15 Euro it had 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, and to navigate, 3Gb lasted us three weeks. It’s very useful to have a local number when you want to make a call.

Portugal like the majority of European countries has Type C power plugs. If you come from the US, UK, Australia, etc. you might need a power adapter for charging your devices.

The cost of the pilgrimage from Lisbon

We spent more or less 20-25 Euro per person per day. It included 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. 
  • A set menu in a local restaurant (Menu do Dia) – 6-7 Euro pp. The Menu usually includes a starter, a 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 traveling in Lisbon is higher than in other places on the Camino Portuguese from Lisbon.

Accommodation on the Camino

Like any other Camino, the route from Lisbon has a network of albergues. Albergues are special hostels for pilgrims with bunk beds and shared facilities (showers, toilets, etc.). They can be private and public (municipal). Private albergues belong to a person or a company, public albergues are run by municipalities or churches. Private albergues usually have better facilities and are a bit more expensive 10-14 Euro per bed vs 6-8 Euro in public albergues. Public albergues are exclusively for pilgrims with the Credential.

Public albergues vs private albergues on the route from Lisbon

FeaturesPublic alberguesPrivate albergues
Exclusively for pilgrimsyesno
Need a Credentialyesno
Can be bookednoyes
Price6-8 Euro10-14 Euro
Can stay more than 1 nightnoyes
Accept luggage deliveryusually nousually yes
Comparing public and private albergues on the Camino from Lisbon

On the Lisbon – Porto stretch there are significantly fewer albergues compared to the Porto – Santiago part or other more popular Camino routes. Sometimes you’ll have to stay in hotels or guesthouses.

In small villages bars/restaurants usually have one or two rooms for rent, they give special prices for pilgrims, it’s not expensive, 15-20 Euro for a single room, 25-30 for a double. In bigger towns and cities there are more accommodation options including hostels and hotels.

What to pack for the walk?

There are some items that we always pack for the Camino regardless which route we walk.

  • Merino Wool Darn Tough Hiker Socks, we always wear merino socks when going hiking or long-distance walking. They’re amazing; easy to washi, dry quickly, prevent your feet from blisters, last long, and don’t stink even if you wear the same pair for two days.
  • Cap or hat, a must-have especially if you’re planning to walk the route in summer months.
  • Sunglasses
  • A good rain poncho. Definitely take one if you’re planning to go all the way to Santiago, in Northern Spain, it can rain any time.
  • A headlamp is always nice to have especially if you’re planning to stay in albergue.
  • Neck Pouch to keep valuables, your passports, and the Credential.
  • GoPro HERO8.
  • Gamin Fenix GPS watch, it’s not a must-have item but it gives you so much information about your walk including distances, ascents, and descents, heart rate, recovery time, calories used, etc. We used our watches for hiking, walking, running, swimming, exercising, etc.

You can find a detailed packing list for men and women for different seasons in our Camino de Santiago packing list post.

Books and guide books to read on the Camino Portuguese from Lisbon

The route from Lisbon is a quiet Camino with not many pilgrims if you walk along you’ll have a lot of time for reading. We always bring our Kindle readers on the Camino. It’s a great thing for traveling you can download as many books as you want and always have something new to read. If you read a lot it might be worth joining the Amazon Kindle Unlimited program that gives you access to thousands of books. You don’t even need a Kindle device you can read and listen to using your phone or tablet.

Luggage transfer service on the route from Lisbon

As I already mentioned above there are very few pilgrims on this part of the Camino Portuguese as a result it’s more difficult to arrange a backpack delivery. On the Camino from Porto, there are several companies that offer the service but on the Lisbon – Porto part it’s only Taxitemplarios. They don’t cover the entire route, only the Santarém – Coimbra part. Which means some stages you’ll have to walk with your backpack even if you don’t feel like it. It’s very important to pack as light as you can. As an option, you can send some of your stuff from Lisbon to Porto and keep it in storage facilities. From Porto on it’s easy to arrange luggage delivery service on both the Central and the Coastal Route.

Alya in the middle of the flower field in Central Portugal
Fields covered in flowers is one of the reasons to walk the Camino de Fatima in spring

Lisbon, the beginning of the walk

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 helped us with luggage storage.

More places to stay in Lisbon

Tours and activities in Lisbon

There are hundreds of places to see and things to do in Lisbon if you have time I’d definitely recommend spending a couple of days in the city.

The Camino Portugues from Lisbon & the Fatima route – walking stages

Day 1. Lisbon – Alpriate, 23 km/14,2 mi

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
Campbell and Alya standing in front of the Se Cathedral in Lisbon, the beginning of the pilgrimage
Stingy Nomads at the Sé Cathedral in Lisbon. We’re about to start our pilgrimage

Day 2. Alpriate – Vila Franca de Xira, 20 km/12,4 mi

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

Places to stay in Vila Franca

Day 3. Vila Franca de Xira – Azambuja, 20 km/12,4 mi

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 lady (Rosa) where pilgrims can stay for a donation 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 lady-owner cooked a Portuguese dinner for all of us. The next morning we had sandwiches and fruit for breakfast and she even packed some food for lunch. In the morning she opened a church for us. It was the best place we stayed on this Camino. 

More places to stay in Azambuja

White houses with colorful windows lined along a quiet street of a small Portuguese town
One of the charming small villages on the Portuguese Camino from Lisbon

Alternative. Lisbon – Azambuja in two days

Day 1. Lisbon – Alverca (Verdelha de Baixo), 37 km/23 mi

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, 34 km/21 mi

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, 33 km/20,5 mi

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. A bunk bed here costs 12 Euro with a lunch box breakfast and 15 Euro with a buffet breakfast (it starts only at 8 am). It can be booked online but the price is higher I guess they give a special discount for pilgrims. The place is more like a hotel than an 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 places to stay in Santarem

View of the town of Santarem from the look'out point
Santarém, the town where the Camino splits into two routes; the Portuguese Camino and the Camino de Fátima

Walking stages on the main Portuguese Camino route from Santarém

We walked through Fátima which is an alternative route but if you don’t want to go off the main route you can continue from Santarém on the main Portuguese Camino.

  • Day 5. Santarém – Golegã, 30 km/18,6 mi
  • Day 6. Golegã – Tomar, 31 km/19,2 mi
  • Day 7. Tomar – Alvaiázere, 31 km/19,2 mi
  • Day 8. Alvaiázere – Ansião*, 13 km/8 mi. You can continue walking past Ansião to Alvorge, which is 23 km from Alvaiázere.

Both routes merge in Ansião from there on there are no other splits on the Camino till Porto.

Day 5. Santarém – Amiais de Baixo, 28 km/17,3 mi

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.

Day 6. Amiais de Baixo – Fátima, 30 km/18,6 mi

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 places to stay in Fatima

The beautiful complex of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima
Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fátima, the end of the Camino de Fátima

Day 7. Fatima – Caxarias, 22 km/13,6 mi

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 there were more people than usual walking to Fatima from Coimbra or Porto. The next hotel was 9 km 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 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, 28 km/17,3 mi

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

Places to stay 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 comfortable stay check Ansiturismo Alojamento & SPA. The hotels is situated on the Camino route. Staying here was a real treat after sleeping in dormitories.

Vineyards and a big farm house in Central Portugal
Endless vineyards and olive tree plantations are the typical scenery on the Portuguese Camino from Lisbon

Day 9. Ansião – Zambujal, 20 km/12,4 mi

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.

Day 10. Zambujal – Coimbra, 23 km/14,2 mi

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 staying here for an extra day to have a break from walking and to explore Coimbra.

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

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.

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 places to stay in Coimbra

View of the historical center of Coimbra from the river
The picturesque city of Coimbra, one of the main stops on the Portuguese Camino from Lisbon

Day 11. Coimbra – Mealhada, 23 km/14,2 mi

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).

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

Day 12. Mealhada – Águeda, 25,5 km/15,8 mi

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; a hot shower, kitchen, wi-fi, beautiful garden, washing facilities. Price 12 Euro per bed.

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

More places to stay in Águeda

Day 13. Águeda – Albergaria-A-Nova, 22 km/13,6 mi

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.

Day 14. Albergaria-A-Nova – São João da Madeira, 24 km/15 mi

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

Albergue Santa Casa da Misericórdia 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 for this tough pilgrim’s life it’s a place for you. If not you can have a more comfortable stay at one of the city hotels.

Places to stay in São João da Madeira

Day 15. São João da Madeira – Grijó, 21 km/13 mi

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 – Sé Cathedral, Porto 14 km/8,6 mi

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, 35 km/21,7 mi

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 the Portuguese Camino ends in Porto from there on there will be significantly more people, especially on the Central Route. If you want to continue from Porto on a less crowded route rather than follow the Coastal Route, only 30% of all pilgrims who start in Porto walk it.

Suggested tours and activities in Porto

If you have time I’d suggest staying in Porto for an extra day or two. To rest a bit before starting the second part of the Portuguese Camino and to explore the city. Porto is an amazing place with many beautiful places to visit and amazing things to do. There are several city tours and excursions that you can join to visit the most interesting parts of the city and its surroundings.

Places to stay in Porto

There are two albergues in the city; one municipal and one private. Albergue de Peregrinos do Porto is a private albergue, for donation (some guidebooks indicate price 10 Euro). The place is nice and big, it can accommodate 30+ people. The facilities are good; a well-equipped kitchen, hot showers, a garden, wi-fi, the only drawback of the albergue is its location, quite far from the Cathedral and the Camino, about 3 km away but close to the metro. You always can use the metro to get from and to the Sé Cathedral.

The municipal albergue N.S. do Rosario de Vilar costs 7,5 Euro per person. It is situated about the same distance from the Cathedral and the city center.

More accommodation options

There are many great places to stay for different budgets in the center of Porto.

The beautiful Sé Cathedral of Porto
Baroque loggia to the lateral façade of the Sé Cathedral in Porto

Our final thoughts about the Portuguese Camino 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.

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.

Pilgrimage planning resources

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