Portuguese Camino Coastal Route – complete guide

sunrise on Coastal Route of Portuguese Camino de Santiago
Beautiful sunrise on Coastal Route of Portuguese Camino de Santiago

Coastal Route (Caminho da Costa) of Camino Portugues is a beautiful alternative walk to the Central Route. Total distance280km, it starts in Porto follows the coast till Redondela where it joins with the main route. In the beginning people with albergues and restaurants on the Central Route were not too happy, they worried that it can take away many pilgrims. It did happen, about 30% of people walk the Coastal Route but the Portuguese Way is getting more and more popular in general so every route gets enough people. The Portuguese Camino was our first Camino de Santiago and we enjoyed it so much that two days after completing it we took a bus and decided to walk Camino Primitivo.

For more information on the Portuguese Way de Santiago, packing list, weather, tips and different route options go to complete Portuguese Camino guide.  

Main differences between the coastal and the central route

The obvious one the Coastal goes along the sea but it doesn’t mean it literally stick to the coast all the time, it meanders between the coast, towns and forest.

The are less people here than on the main route.

It’s a bit longer280km  to Santiago compare to 260km on the Central Way.

There is less infrastructure for pilgrims on the Coastal Route. Honestly on the Portuguese side we didn’t have any problem finding albergues but in Spain in one or two places there were no real albergues, more hotels. As the route becomes more popular new albergues open every year.

The Coastal Route has less up and down hill walking, it’s basically flat all the way.

Less walking on or along busy roads compare to the central way.

In hot summer months the Coastal Way is a great option you have constant sea breeze. But in rainy days if it’s very windy this route can become a nightmare. We didn’t have one rainy day in May though.

If you really want to stick to the sea it’s easy there is another trail from Porto – Senda Litoral that goes the same way as the Coastal Way but literally goes along the sea.

It’s possible to start walking the Portuguese Camino from Lisbon.

What to pack for the Portuguese Camino

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

Coastal Route top picks

Favorite albergue

Casa do SardaoCarreço (private) – an awesome hostel in an old house with great facilities, very comfortable beds, clean, spacious, with great vibe and amazing owners. We loved this place so much that stayed for two nights. Can be booked online. Price 13 Euro pp. 

A post shared by Stingy Nomads (@stingy_nomads) on

Favorite town

Caminha – the last Portuguese town on the Camino from here you cross to Spain by ferry. Beautiful town with small and cozy historical center; Parish Church built in 16th century, beautiful Main Square, narrow cobblestone streets, many cafés and bar with terraces. If you have some time waiting for the ferry walk around the town. You can ask at the ferry station café it you can leave your backpacks there.

Streets of Caminha, Portuguese Camino de Santiago
Charming cobblestone streets of Caminha, the last Portuguese town on the Coastal Route

Favorite walking day

Day 4 from Castelo do Neivo to Carreço. Great up hill walk to Santuario de Santa Luzia at the top of the hill in Viana do Castelo. It was Sunday we saw a beautiful wedding ceremony there. This is followed by a nice walk in the forest downhill to the route. Our favorite part was walking though small coastal villages along high grey stone walls on both side of the cobblestone road. It felt sometimes like if we were walking through a maze.

Stone walls on the way to Carreço, Portugal
Our favorite big stone walls that look like a magic maze. On the way between Vaina do Castelo to Carreço.

Portuguese Camino  – Coastal Way, stages

Porto

Porto is an amazing place reserve a couple of days before or after the Camino to explore the city. Get lost in the maze of crazy narrow cobblestone streets of Porto, follow them climbing up and down, making unreal U-turns that lead to a quirky dead end. There are so many hidden gems in this city that you can spend weeks wandering around and every day finding new places.

Accommodation in Porto

There are many albergues in the city including one big municipal albergue for donations. We stayed there it’s nice, clean and very social but quite far from the historical enter and Sé cathedral. To get to the trail you´have to take metro first, the metro station is just around the corner.

If you rather stay in the center there are several nice options from hostels to nice and even luxury hotels. All depends on your budget.

For a great and budget stay in the heart of Porto (10 min. walk to the cathedral) we’d recommend Yes! Hostel Porto, you won’t be disappointed. The hostel has amazing facilities; dorm beds with curtains, soft mattresses, big lockers, each beds has individual light and outlet. Everything is very clean and neat. The dormitories are for 4 or 5 people only, there is a separate female dorm. Fully equipped kitchen, washing machine, all dorms have AC, wi-fi and more. The best about this place is its vibe, the stuff is great, very helpful and fun, everybody speaks good English. There is a big buffet breakfast for 3 Euro pp. Price 22 Euro per bed.

If you want more privacy and your own kitchen and bathroom rent an apartment there are several options in and near the historical center. It’s very convenient if you’re a family or a group of friends traveling together. You can have the whole place only for you. Cozy Sunny Flats there are apartments for 2-5 people. Each flat has kitchen, sitting area, balcony, TV, satellite channels, AC, wi-fi. The flats are new, clean and cozy. Located in the center, 20min. walk to the cathedral. Price; from 73 Euro for three people.

Room in Enjoy Porto Guest House, Porto.
Room in Enjoy Porto Guest House, Porto. @booking.com

For those who prefers smallish hotels/guest houses we’d suggest Enjoy Porto Guest House; great central location, old building completely renovated and refurnished in the historical center with great hosts, very clean and neat. Nice minimalist design, simple and comfortable. All rooms have big double or twin beds, AC, flat-screen TV, wi-fi, dining area, kitchenette with kettle, cooking plates, microwave etc.  Price; 85 Euro for double room.

Day 1. Porto – Labruge, 23,5km

You can find a downloadable PDF file with stages at the end of the post.

Porto – Matosinhos – Lavra – Labruge.

We started at Sé Cathedral,  in the morning walked down to Rio Douro and followed the river all the way out of the city following Senda Litoral. Basically all day you walk along the coast line passing small towns and villages. There are many restaurants and coffee shops on the way where you can stop for coffee or lunch.

As an option you can walk to Vila da Cha, it’s 3 km further, there is a municipal albergue for donation as well.

Highlights

  • Historical centre of Porto
  • Beach walk

Labruge

A small coastal town stretched more inland than along the coast

  • ATM – yes
  • Shop – yes
  • Restaurant – yes

Albergue Santiago Labruge, municipal

It’s located inland, 900m from the beach, there is a sign pointing the direction. The place is very nice and neat. Our guide book says there are only 8 beds, in fact there are 24, they recently opened two more rooms upstairs with 12 beds each. Price – donation.

Facilities

  • Hot water shower – no, we couldn’t get it hot, the hostess wasn’t there, maybe we just didn’t know where to switch the geyser.
  • Wi-fi – yes
  • Kitchen with stove, fridge, pots, plates etc – yes
  • Washing machine – no, there is a basin for washing
  • Drying rack – yes
  • Towels – no
  • Blankets – yes
  • Location – 4 out of 5, 900m away from the Camino, close to a restaurant, shop and ATM.
  • Comfort level – 4 out of 5, it there was hot water shower it would be 5.
Senda Litoral, walking out of Porto
When we saw this scenery on the first day on the Coastal Way we realized we chose the right route

Day 2. Labruge – Praia Estela (Orbitur), 25,6km

Labruge – Vila Chã – Vila do Conde – Póvoa de Varzim – Aguçadoura – Praia Estrela.

Most of the day you walk along the coast on wooden planks sometimes the route goes through small towns. There are plenty of places to stop for coffee or lunch along the way.

Highlights

  • Vila Cha, a small fisherman village.
  • Historical centre of Vila do Conde, beautiful narrow cobblestone streets, churches, old houses.
  • Beach walk.

Praia Estela

It’s basically just a big campsite with many cabins, a restaurant and small shop at the reception.

  • ATM – no
  • Shop – yes
  • Restaurant – yes. They have a special pilgrim dinner menu for 10 euro; starter, main, drinks, dessert.

Campismo Orbitur Rio Alto, private  

There is no albergue here, we stayed in a cabin with shared bathroom. Cabins are nice but there is no kitchen here, you can buy basic stuff in a small shop or eat in a local restaurant where you can get hot water for tea or noodles. Price – cabin with shared bathroom – 16 Euro for two people; 14 Euro for one. There are cabins with bathroom for 20 Euro.

Facilities

  • Hot water shower – yes
  • Wi-fi – yes, only in the reception area
  • Kitchen – no
  • Washing machine – no
  • Drying rack – no
  • Towels – no
  • Blankets – yes
  • Extra – each camin has a fridge and a small dining area
  • Location – 4 out of 5, not far from the way.
  • Comfort level – 4 out of 5

A post shared by Stingy Nomads (@stingy_nomads) on

Day 3. Praia Estela – Castelo do Neiva, 24,4km

Praia Estela – Apúlia – Fão – Esposende – Marinhas – Belinho – Ponte – Castelo do Neiva.

It was a nice mix of walking through the towns, along the coast and a little on the forest path.

Highlights

  • Confeteria (pastry) Marbela in Esposende, great place with some delicious cakes and pastry.
  • Cafe/bar O Lampao in Belinho, an awesome place with hundreds scarfs, mugs and keychains hanging from the ceiling and walls.
  • A small waterfall at the river cross just before Castelo do Neiva

Castelo do Neiva

A small town a little bit away from the sea with a new albergue, a restaurant and a shop.

  • ATM – no
  • Shop – yes
  • Restaurant – yes

Albergue de Castelo do Neiva, municipal

New albergue, not in a guide book yet, right on the Camino, very nice, clean and neat. Owners are very friendly and helpful, speak some English. A local restaurant just 200m away. Capacity – 20 people. Price 5 Euro per person including bedding.

Facilities

  • Hot water shower – yes
  • Wi-fi – no, might get it in the future.
  • Kitchen with stove, fridge, pots, plates etc – yes
  • Washing machine – no
  • Drying rack – yes
  • Towels – no
  • Blankets – yes
  • Extra – coffee and chocolate vending machine.
  • Location – 5 out of 5
  • Comfort level – 5 out of 5
Fishermen village, Portuguese Coastal Camino
Traditional fishermen village with colorful houses, Coastal Route of Camino de Santiago

Day 4. Castelo do Neiva – Carreço, 19km

Castelo do Neiva – Chafé – Viana do Castelo – Areosa – Carreço.

A nice and relaxed day of walking through endless towns and villages with plenty of restaurants and pastries to stop for breakfast, lunch or coffee. If you decide to walk up to Santuario Santa Luzia in Viana do Castelo add to the day distance 3km. 

Highlights

  • Old high stone walls covered in moss and ivy, we loved it.
  • Santuário de Santa Luzia de Viana do Castelo, it sits on the top of the mountain, quite a steep and long uphill, the view from the top is awesome. This walk is optional, the route doesn’t go up to the top.

Carreço

A typical small town with an albergue, a couple of pensions, restaurant and a small shop.

  • ATM – no
  • Shop – yes
  • Restaurant – yes

Albergue Casa do Sardao, private

All day walking past old houses with thick fortress like walls we were wondering how it’s to live inside one of these houses. At the end of the day we got a chance to experience it ourselves. The Albergue is a modernized house of 16th century with thick stone walls, built forever. The place is just awesome, an old house with great modern facilities, super cozy. The owner can drive guest to a supermarket as it’s quite far to walk. The staff here speaks good English, everybody is very friendly and helpful. Beds are very comfortable with real bedding (not disposable one), soft mattresses, light and warm blankets. In season we’d suggest to book it beforehand the place is very popular. Can be booked online. Price 12 Euro per person, 13 Euro if book online. Capacity – 22 people.

Facilities

It basically has everything you need and even more, we loved this place and stayed here for two nights.

  • Hot water shower – yes
  • Wi-fi – yes
  • Kitchen with stove, fridge, pots, plates etc. – yes
  • Washing machine – yes, 2 euro per load
  • Drying rack – yes
  • Towels – yes
  • Blankets – yes
  • Extra – fireplace, TV, lounge area, beer, wine, coffee for sale. You can order dinner here.
  • Location – 5 out of 5, right on the way
  • Comfort level – 5 out of 5, very comfortable beds, great facilities, very clean.
Santuario de Santa Luzia, Viana do Casetlo, Portugal
Santuario de Santa Luzia, Viana do Casetlo, Portugal

Day 5. Carreço, Portugal – A Guarda, Spain, 22,7km

Carreço – Vila Praia de Âncora – Caminha ferry to A Guarda.

Nice walk with slight up and down hills through the forest, towns, along the coast.

Ferry from Caminha to A Guarda (pier)

Timetable depends on tides, sometimes first ferry leaves at 8am sometimes at 2pm, there are 4 or six ferries daily. The ride takes 5 minutes, 1,5 Euro pp. If there are no ferries or you don’t want to wait you can take a small boat, 5 Euro pp. Boats don’t go if wind is too strong. Once crossed to Spain don’t forget to change the time, +1 hour.

Alternative! From Caminha instead of continuing on the Coastal Route and taking a ferry you can continue walking along the river towards Valença/Tui and join the Central Route there.

  • Day 5. Carreço – Caminha, 20km
  • Day 6. Caminha, Portugal – Valença, Portugal/Tui, Spain, 30km.

Highlights

  • 6th century convent Sao Joao de Cabanas, 30min. walk Carreço
  • Historical centre of Caminho; castel, narrow cobblestone streets.
  • Castillo (castle) de Santa Cruz in A Guarda

A Guarda

Quite a big town with a nice castle in the middle, from the castle you have a nice view over the area. No entrance fee.

  • ATM – no
  • Supermarket – yes
  • Restaurant – yes

Albergue Peregrinos, municipal

A nice albergue with great host, good facilities, clean and comfortable. Can accommodate 40 people. Price 5 Euro pp. including bedding. Close to the castle, supermarkets, restaurants etc.

Facilities

  • Hot water shower – yes
  • Wi-fi – yes.
  • Kitchen with stove, fridge, pots, plates etc. – yes
  • Washing machine – no
  • Drying rack – yes
  • Towels – no
  • Blankets – yes
  • Location – 5 out of 5, right on the way
  • Comfort level – 4 out of 5.

Day 6. A Guarda – A Ramallosa, 33km

A Guarda – Oia – Viladesuso – Mougas – Baiona – Nigran/A Ramallosa.

A long walking day most of the time following the coastline past small towns, on the second half the trail goes up hill through a beautiful  forest from where you have amazing views of the coast and a lighthouse.

Highlights

  • Old Town of Baiona; churches, cobblestone streets, many street cafés.

Ramallosa

A nice town by the sea though we didn’t walk around too much as it was quite a long day of walking.

  • ATM – yes
  • Supermarket – yes
  • Restaurant – yes

Albergue Pazo Pias, private

It’s more of a hotel than albergue the rooms for pilgrims are located in the old monastery, the rooms are ex cellars, don’t expect too much. It’s very basic though the rooms are private; double and single with shared bathrooms. Capacity 40 people. Price 15 Euro pp.

Facilities

  • Hot water shower – yes
  • Wi-fi – yes
  • Kitchen – no, only a microwave, few cups and plates
  • Washing machine – no
  • Drying rack – yes
  • Towels – yes
  • Blankets – yes
  • Location – 5 out of 5, right on the way
  • Comfort level – 4 out of 5, rooms are quite small and very basic
Lighthouse Silleiro, Coastal Way, Spain
View on lighthouse Silleiro and the coast from the hill on the way to A Ramallosa

Day 7. A Ramallosa – Vigo, 21,5km

Short day, some up and down hills, a little bit of walking through outskirts of Vigo.

There are no albergues in Vigo you have an option skipping Vigo completely and staying in an albergue in Freixo, 5 Euro or staying in a hotel/hostel in Vigo. Freixo is a little detour about 3km in total, there is nothing there only albergue. You can bring your own food or phone them beforehand and ask to make lunch or dinner for you.

Highlights

  • Castle in Vigo

Vigo

It’s a big city and considered to be one of the must visit places in the part of Spain but to be honest we were not impressed too much we even regretted a little bit coming here instead of going to Freixo, it was too much of city walking to get in and out of Vigo and except for the castle we didn’t find much else to see. Plus it was public holiday and all the supermarkets and shops were closed. If you have some extra days to stay in Vigo you can go to the small Cíes islands near the city, they are beautiful; white sand beaches, hills, forest trails, you can even dive there. To get to the islands go to the harbor of Vigo. 

  • ATM – yes
  • Supermarket – yes
  • Restaurant – yes

Hotel Chipen

It’s close to the route, clean rooms with private bathroom, close to the restaurants and cafés but far from the historical center, 2,5 km. Price 40 Euro for double. There is a nice restaurant nearby Florida Grill, where you can get Brazilian churrasco (plate of different meat with salads, fries and rice. We shared one big churrasco, took a couple of beers and coffee and our bill was 22 Euro.

Facilities

  • Hot water shower – yes
  • Wi-fi – yes.
  • Kitchen – no
  • Washing machine – no
  • Drying rack – no
  • Towels – yes
  • Blankets – yes
  • Location – 4 out of 5, close to the trail
  • Comfort level – 5 out of 5, not a luxury place but quite comfortable and clean.
Forest, Coastal Way, Spain
Coastal Route sometimes takes you through a beautiful lush forest

Day 8. Vigo – Redondela, 16,3km

Both Camino Central and Coastal join in Redondela, don’t be surprise to see many people around. Though the distance is very short this day you can add to it a couple of extra km to get out of Vigo back to the trail. 

Highlights

  • Beautiful panoramic views on bridge Ponte de Rande, the sea and the Cíes islands. 
  • Small waterfall in the forest.

Redondela

A nice town with many coffee shops and many bars and restaurants with outside tables, great place to chat to other pilgrims, chill and drink a beer. There are several albergues in the town, one municipal and a couple of private as well as hotels and pensions.

  • ATM – yes
  • Supermarket – yes
  • Restaurant – yes

Albergue Casa da Torre, municipal

A big old tower with thick walls turned into an albergue, quite cozy, neat, clean and spacious. Thanks to these thick walls in summer it’s always nice and cool inside. Capacity 44 people. Price 6 Euro pp including disposable bedding.

Facilities

  • Hot water shower – yes
  • Wi-fi – no
  • Kitchen with cooking plates, microwave – yes, no pots, cups, plates, utensils.
  • Washing machine – yes, price between 1,5-3 Euro per load, depending on weight.
  • Drying rack – yes
  • Towels – no
  • Blankets – no
  • Extras – drying machine, 1,5 Euro per load.
  • Location – 5 out of 5
  • Comfort level – 4 out of 5, kitchen was quite a disappointment, we couldn’t even make tea there was no kettle or even cup to boil water in.
Vigo, Portuguese Coastal Camino
View on the bridge and the coast on the Coastal Way from Vigo to Redondela

Day 9. Redondela – Pontevedra, 21km

Redondela – Cesantes – Arcade – Pontevedra.

Easy walk with small uphills, through the forest, along the road and through small towns. A couple of kilometres before Pontevedra take the river trail instead of following the road, it’s not longer but more picturesque.

Highlights

  • Historical centre of Pontevedra

Pontevedra

It’s a nice city with many supermarkets, beautiful cathedral, nice Old Town, many restaurants and bars.  

  • ATM – yes
  • Supermarket – yes
  • Restaurant – yes

Albergue La Virgen Peregrina, municipal

Great place, with all you need, spacious, clean and well organised, it has a nice garden great for chilling on the grass. Opens at 1pm. Capacity 60 people. Price 6 Euro pp. including bedding.

Facilities

  • Hot water shower – yes
  • Wi-fi – yes
  • Kitchen with stove, microwave, cutlery, pots, cups etc. – yes, one of the best kitchens on this Camino.
  • Washing machine – yes, 3 Euro per load
  • Drying rack – yes
  • Towels – no
  • Blankets – no
  • Extras – big dining area with many tables and chairs, cool drink and snack vending machine.
  • Location – 4 out of 5, right on the trail but about 1km from the city centre.
  • Comfort level – 5 out of 5
Cathedral on Camino Portugues, Spain
Difficult to count how many cathedrals, churches and monasteries we saw on the Portuguese Camino and all of them have a history to tell

Day 10. Pontevedra – Caldas de Reis, 23km

A nice and easy walking day through forest, small town and villages. At 3,6km there is a sign where the route splits here starts an optional Variante Espiritual Route that joins the main Camino 3 day later in Padrón. Check below the Spiritual way stages.

Highlights

  • A beautiful waterfall in Parque Natural Ría Barosa, between Portela and Briallos, it’s a small detour but the waterfall is worth of visit.
  • Hot springs of Caldas de Reis.

Caldas de Reis

A nice town with hot springs, old churches and some Roman ruins. If you have time you can relax in hot springs in one  of the balnearios (spas). There are several albergues in Caldas de Reis from all what we’ve read we can recommend not to stay at Posada Doña Urraca, people say it’s quite dirty. We didn’t stay here as we took the Spiritual Route from Pontevedra.

Day 11. Caldas de Reis – Padrón, 20km

A pleasant short day of walking with a slight hill that starts 3km after Caldas. There are many bars and restaurants on the way. If you want you can walk a bit further this day to make the last day shorter, there are many albergues and hostels all the way to Santiago. For more information on Padrón go to Day 12 of Spiritual Route.

Variante Espiritual/Spiritual Way (optional route). Days 10-12

The Spiritual Way goes back to the coast, the name ‘spiritual’ refers to the origin of the route that is believed to follow the way the rest of apostle St. James was transferred to Santiago in 44DC. The route starts in Pontevedra and finished in Padron, total distance 73km. It consists of 3 stages; 2 walking stages (Pontevedra to Armenteira and Armenteira to Vilanova de Arousa) and 1 boat ride (Vilanova de Arousa to Iria Flavia, close to Padron). This marine route is considered to be the origin of all the Caminos de Santiago. 

Day 10. Pontevedra – Armenteira, 22km

Pontevedra – Campañó – Combarro – Armenteira.

We decided to walk the alternative route Variante Espiritual it takes you through vineyards, small towns and villages and back to the coast. And it was another chance to go away from busy Central Route. The trail splits at 3,7km from Pontevedra, there will be a big sign “Variante Espiritual” pointing left toward Combarro, you won’t miss it. From Combarro the route climbs all the way to the top of the mountains to Armenteira, 400m up.

Our guidebook predicted a long steep uphill for the day in fact it wasn’t very steep on the gravel road to the top of the mountain and then a little bit down to the village. Make sure you carry enough water before starting the uphill walk, you can ask to fill you bottles in one of the cafés in Combarro.

Highlights

  • Centre of Combarro, a cozy little town with nice coffee shops and bakeries by the sea
  • Beautiful view on the area on the way up
  • Monastery of Armenteira

Armenteira

Armenteira is a small village built around the monastery, it’s the main attraction and the reason people from nearby towns come here on weekends. There are two restaurants but no shops, not even a small one. If you don’t want to eat in a restaurant buy food in Pontevedra, just remember there are no cooking plates in the hostel.

  • ATM – no
  • Shop – no
  • Restaurant – yes

Albergue de Armenteira, municipal

A brand new albergue with good facilities, clean and comfortable. Opens at 1pm. Capacity 33 people. Price 6 Euro pp.

Facilities

  • Hot water shower – yes
  • Wi-fi – yes
  • Kitchen with microwave, cutlery, pots, cups etc. – yes, no cooking stove
  • Washing machine – yes, 3 euro for washing
  • Drying rack – yes
  • Towels – no
  • Blankets – yes
  • Extras – dining area, each bed has personal light, hot drinks and snacks vending machine.
  • Location – 5 out of 5
  • Comfort level – 5 out of 5

Day 11. Armenteira – Vilanova de Arousa, 23km

Armenteira – Barrantes – Pontearnelas – Vilanova de Arousa.

In the beginning you follow La Ruta de la Piedra y del Agua (The Route of Stone and Water), there are not many traditional marks (yellow arrows) for the Camino de Santiago but they go the same way for about 2 hours. In the beginning the trail goes through the forest, along the small river,  with some randomly placed rock sculptures this part was very beautiful. Then it turns into the fields and vineyards, a little bit through villages and towns.

Highlights

  • Ruta de la Piedra y del Agua; beautiful forest walk
  • Countryside scenery, vineyards

Vilanova de Arousa

Quite a big sea town with a couple of interesting churches.

  • ATM – yes
  • Supermarket – yes
  • Restaurant – yes

Albergue de Arousa, municipal 

It’s located in a sport complex which it wasn’t too great as people played basketball till after 11pm and we could hear everything. Opens at 1pm. Price 6 Euro pp including bedding. Capacity – it has about 20 beds, if there is not enough space for pilgrims they put mattresses on the floor in the spare room, looks like even if there are many people there will be space for everybody. You can buy a boat ticket here, it costs the same as at the pier.

Facilities

  • Hot water shower – yes
  • Wi-fi – yes
  • Kitchen with microwave, stove, cutlery, pots, cups etc. – yes
  • Washing machine – yes, 3 euro per load
  • Drying rack – yes
  • Towels – no
  • Blankets – yes
  • Extras – dining area, snacks vending machine.
  • Location – 5 out of 5
  • Comfort level – 4 out of 5.
Stone Cross on Variante Espiritual of Camino Portuguese
One of 17 crosses on the Spiritual Route you’ll see all of them if you take a boat

Day 12. Vilanova de Arousa – Padrón by boat, 28km

From here most people if not everybody take a boat, the boat follows the original way the body of St. James was transported to Santiago. Boat coasts 19 Euro pp., the ride takes 1 hour. It usually leaves in the morning from the pier, 5min. walk from the albergue, depending on tides sometimes it departs at 7am, sometimes at 10am. Depending on number of pilgrims there might be one or two boats. The boat goes past 17 crosses that are placed on  small rocky islands along the river the boat route is called Traslatio Xacobeo. Apparently the boat ride is very beautiful. From where the boat arrives it’s about 2km more to Padrón. 

We decided to walk to Padrón to check out the route and we sincerely recommend you to take a boat, most of the time we walked along the road, only at the end we had some nice forest walk. We did see some of the crosses on the way but not from close-by. If you follow the arrows the walking distance is about 36km, if you want to cut it you must walk along the highway all the way to Padrón. Conclusion – don’t walk. Some people are worried that it’s cheating to take a boat instead of walking but it’s not.  You walk the same two days as people on the Central route just instead of adding a long walking day you have a pleasant boat ride. Plus it gives you a possibility to progress a little bit further towards Santiago on that day. Getting off the boat you can walk 10 km or so there are many albergues on the way. On the last day you have only 15 km to walk to Santiago.

Highlights

  • Via de los cruzes – 17 rock crosses along the river
  • Historical center of Padrón

Padrón

Beautiful town with stunning street, cathedral and churches. There are several restaurants and cafes nearby, some open very early in the morning for pilgrims. 

  • ATM – yes
  • Supermarket – yes
  • Restaurant – yes

Albergue de Peregrinos de Padrón, municipal 

Big, clean, well organized albergue with a lot of space, one big dormitory with many bunk beds. Opens at 1pm. Capacity 46 people. Price 6 Euro pp. including bedding. Located right at the cathedral, close to the restaurants and shops.

Facilities

  • Hot water shower – yes
  • Wi-fi – yes
  • Kitchen with, microwave, stove, cutlery, pots, cups etc. – yes
  • Washing machine – no, washing basin only
  • Drying rack – yes
  • Towels – no
  • Blankets – no
  • Extras – dining area.
  • Location – 5 out of 5
  • Comfort level – 5 out of 5
Padrón, Coastal Route of Portuguese Way
Stunning square in front of the cathedral in Padrón.

Day 12/Day 13. Padrón – Santiago de Compostela, 25km

Padrón – Iria Flavia – A Esclavitude – Teo – Milladoiro – Santiago de Compostela.

A very exciting day some people from our albergue started very early. There were quite a few food place in the town opened by 6.30am you can have breakfast on the way. The trail most of the time goes through the forest and small towns. There are many albergues and hotels for pilgrims on the way between Padrón and Santiago as well as cafés and restaurants. The last couple of kilometers to the cathedral through the city I  don’t remember well we were very excited.

Highlights

Arriving in Santiago de Compostela is absolutely thrilling experience, you see pilgrims from different Caminos coming here; walking or cycling, taking off their backpacks and sitting around Plaza del Obradoiro  (the Obradoiro square) in front of the cathedral, everybody is very excited, hugging, shaking hands, crying, smiling. You see here people you met somewhere on the way, it’s an amazing feeling to be part of this pilgrims’ crowd! You made it, now it’s time to chill, relax and celebrate of course, luckily there are hundreds of bars and restaurants around! And don’t forget to get your Compostela at the Pilgrim’s Office in Santiago. 

If after completing the Portuguese Camino you still feel strong you can continue walking from Santiago de Compostela to Finisterre/Muxía, a beautiful 3-4-day walk to “the end of the world”.

Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Santiago de Compostela, the end of the Camino. We made it!

Accommodation in Santiago de Compostela

We’d suggest to book accommodation in Santiago in advance especially in summer as the best places might be fully booked. We didn’t book anything and couldn’t find a budget place to stay for two nights, the next day we had to move to a different albergue. 

I believe by the time you are finished with the Camino you might not feel like staying in albergues anymore, which is understandable, we all need some privacy. There are hundreds of hotels and pensions in Santiago for different budget.

Looking for something private, in the center but don’t want to pay a fortune then Hotel PR La Paz is a perfect option. Located 10min. walk to the cathedral close to the supermarket and bars. It’s not a luxury place, the rooms with private bathroom though quite small but clean and have all the necessary. The staff speaks some English, very helpful and friendly, good value for money in this area of Santiago. Price; double rooms – 47 Euro, single 30 Euro.

Would you like to have more privacy than a hotel can offer, why not to rent an apartment? Look at Nova Compostela Apartments – brand new, spacious apartment complex only 5 min. walk from the historical center in a quite green area of the city. Each apartment has a double bed and a sofa, private bathroom with free toiletries, fully equipped kitchen, washing machine, ironing facilities, flat screen TV, wi-fi and more. Everything you might need to have an enjoyable and relaxing stay in Santiago. There is a beautiful private garden with tables and chairs outside. Price; studio apartment – 100 Euro, two bedroom apartment (sleep 4) – 150 Euro.

If you want to stay in a comfortable and cozy place a short walk from the center but away from tourist crowds Hotel Casa Lois is a great option. Located 1km away from the cathedral still close to the main bar and restaurant streets, this hotel is a perfect place to relax after the Camino, to enjoy privacy and comfort. The building is an old big house with wooden panels on the walls, heavy curtains, parquet floor. Each room has flat screen TV, wi-fi access, heating, free toiletries, big double bed and all you can need for a pleasant stay. Price; double room – 140 Euro, family room (two double beds) – 175 Euro.

Nova Compostela Apartments, Santiago de Compostela
Private garden, Nova Compostela Apartments, Santiago de Compostela. @booking.com

Download for free PDF file Portuguese Camino Coastal Route stages.

Related posts

Disclosure: Stingy Nomads take part in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. We earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. If you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost for you. Thank You!

PIN IT FOR LATER!

Written By
More from Stingy Nomads

Choosing the Best Dive School in Koh Tao

There are more than 50 diving schools in Koh Tao, How do...
Read More

11 Comments

  • Thank you for a wonderful, informative blog. Gets all the adventure juices flowing! Friends and I would really like to savour as much of the walk as possible by taking in many of the towns, villages, churches etc. As a result, might not get to walk more than 15km a day. Is this feasible? Are there many albergues in between the areas you have mentioned? Thanks once again and well done!

    • Hello, Beryl! Thank you for the comment! We’re glad you’ve found our post helpful! Regarding your question, it’s a good idea to walk shorter days in order to have more time for sightseeing. There are albergues and hostels almost at every town on the way. At the end of this post there is a downloadable PDF file Coastal Route stages it has all the towns on the way with distances, albergues, ATMs, supermarkets etc. You can use it for planning your route.
      Buen Camino!

  • Hi thank you for a wonderful blog. Some of the distances will probably be too far for me and I’m wondering if you could please tell me if there’s anywhere to stay in between. I’m not sure if I can walk much further than 20km a day. Thank you again for such a great blog.

    • Hello, Judy! Thank you for the comment! We’re glad you’ve found our post helpful. At the end of the post you can find a downloadable PDF file with the itinerary where you can find places (towns, villages) with albergues, restaurants, supermarkets etc. on the way.
      Buen Camino!

    • Hello, Gary! Amazon in what country doesn’t show this guide book? We had purchases of the book through Amazon from US and UK. If you can’t buy it online for some reasons you can check for it at a shop in the cathedral of Porto or Lisbon, depending where you start the Camino. We bought ours at Se Cathedral in Lisbon. Buen Camino!

    • Hello, Judy! Thank you very much for your comment! I’m sure you’ll enjoy the walk, May is a good time for the Camino Portugues!
      Buen Camino!

  • Hi,

    Have just been reading your blog. We are planning doing the Camino Portugues May 2018 and wish to do the spiritual route with the boat trip. Do you know if you are still eligible for the compostela if you do the boat trip?

    Kind regards

    Cindy

    • Hello, Cindy! Thank you for your comment! Taking a boat on the Spiritual Way is an official part of this route, you’ll definitely get your Compostela. In fact anybody who walked 100km+ can get Compostela in Santiago.
      Buen Camino!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.