March – November 2020
Date
North Portugal, Spain
Location
8 days
Time
14+
Age limit
1/5
Difficulty
Guesthouse, Hotel
Accomodation
Individually
Travel

Cycle the Portuguese Central Camino to Santiago de Compostela and enjoy an ancient pilgrimage route that provides unforgettable experiences for those who travel along it. Cycling the Portuguese Camino de Santiago allows you to appreciate the beauty of Portugal’s Minho region and Galicia in Spain. Pass by old bridges and paths that remain from Roman times. Visit the most important pilgrimage landmarks of Santiago and be amazed by the 800 years old Santiago de Compostela Cathedral. Once a pilgrim, always a pilgrim…

O Caminho faz-se caminhando.” – which means, that the way is made by walking along it. In our case, of course, cycling along it, but the idea is the same. We’ll take the time, to appreciate everything that this ancient pilgrimage can offer us. This is no race, we’ll stop several times along our daily ride. It can be for a cup of coffee or a pint of beer, a nice view over the hills or taking a dip in a creek along the way. This is all part of the experience, to get to know the Portuguese and Spanish culture, cosine and habits.

The mood of the Portuguese Camino, cycling along ancient paths.
A medieval bridge along the way, after the city of Tui.

After leaving Porto, our way towards the North along the ancient path leads through historical cities, forests and national monuments. We’ll see the estuaries of Vigo and Pontevedra, enjoy the soothing thermal waters of Caldas de Reis, and discover Padrón’s history, which lays claim to St. James’s first burial spot.

At the end of our journey, we arrive to the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

During our one week long journey, we’ll cycle 142 mi (230 km) in total. The daily distances vary between 24-31 mi (40-50 km), which is doable for the less experienced cyclist too. We’ll overnight in historical cities like Barcelos, Ponte de Lima and Pontevedra in smaller hotels and comfortable guesthouses.

When?

This tour was designed for small groups of friends or families, traveling together. For this reason, there is no predefined tour dates. Every booking is considered a closed group, without mixing guests and groups. This tour can be booked between March and November.

Price

– 1410 € / Pers. for groups of 7/8 people – Down Payment: 400€ / Pers.

– 1500 € / Pers. for groups of 5/6 people – Down Payment: 500€ / Pers.

You can book this tour for less than 4 persons/group. Please reach out to us for more details!

Help

Do you have some doubts or/and need more information? Call us (+351 938 076 430) or write to us to the info@wncyclotouring.pt e-mail address. Under the Contact menu you can find alternative contact information too!

The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela - The ending point for this journey
Our final destination – The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela

The price includes

  • Accommodation for every day during the tour in small hotels and guest houses.
  • Trekking bicycle rent.
  • Transfer by van from Porto airport to the city, and from Santiago de Compostela back to Porto.
  • Luggage transfer for every day during the tour.
  • Tour guiding
  • Van support
  • Liability insurance and personal accident insurance according to the Portuguese law (go to the Terms and Conditions for more info)
  • One dinner in a authentic Portuguese restaurant on the day of the arrival.
  • Personalized Pilgrim’s Credencial
  • Water supply during cycling
  • Technical support

The price excludes

  • Traveling to Portugal and/or any other traveling costs excluding the above mentioned.
  • Travel, sport, luggage, sport accident insurance (Highly Recommended)
  • Meal costs excluding the above mentioned.
  • Entry fees for tourist attractions.
  • Other additional or optional expenses.

 

The road signs along the Portuguese Camino
The road signs planted along the Portuguese Camino

Bicycle

The tour price includes the bicycle rental fee. The trekking bicycles have 700c tyres and equipped disc brakes, bell and racks. These lightweight bicycles, ideal for longer distance cycling.

There is a possibility to rent E-bikes for this tour, which is an extra cost of 180€ / bicycle / tour. Please let us know at the booking if you would like to rent an E-bike for the tour. E-bikes are very useful, they allow to do bicycle tours for those who do not cycle normally much, or their health condition doesn’t make it possible.

This tour is recommended to

  • For those, who haven’t been to Portugal and like the longer bicycle tours.

  • For those, who have been in Portugal, but haven’t done any bicycle tour in Portugal yet.

  • For those, who are interested in religious pilgrimages, and have some bicycle touring experience.

  • And finally, for those, who would like to collect a lifetime experience.

Difficulty

The Portuguese Central Camino is not considered as a difficult route, besides of some exceptions. There are some slopes though along the way, and some days might be more exhausting than others, because of the rolling hills. The daily distances are between 24-31 mi (40-50 km) which are often interrupted by stops and refreshing points.

1,5/5 – 2,5/5

Physical preparation: 2/5

About the accommodation

The accommodation will be in different location each of every day of the tour. This comes from the nature of the tour, doing point-to-point cycling. We’ll overnight in smaller hotels and guest houses, in double bed rooms (if available). The cities where we are going to overnight: Porto, Barcelos, Ponte de Lima, Valença, Pontevedra, Padrón and Santiago de Compostela.

To book this tour, please fill in the fields below. We reach out to you, after you have sent the the booking form.

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1

1st Day: Arrival to Portugal/Porto

Yeah! You have arrived to Porto! I’ll be waiting for you at the airport Francisco Sá Carneiro to pick you up. After a short transfer to the city center, we’ll arrive to the hotel! Depending on your flight, you might have some spare time to look around in the city. We’ll meet before dinner, to do the main briefing. At the briefing, I speak about the whole week, which we have ahead of us, and a little bit more in detail about the next day. This will take 30-40 minutes maximum. After the briefing, we’ll have our dinner together in a authentic Portuguese restaurant and we’ll get to know each other better.

2

2nd Day: Porto – Barcelos 34 mi (56 km)

We’ll meet by the hotel after your breakfast, already prepared to cycle. Although, we are going to do the first couple of hundred meters of our pilgrimage on foot. We’ll walk to the Porto Cathedral first from the hotel. After we take a glimpse on the Cathedral and appreciate the view of the city, we’ll hop into the van. We take a short drive to the outskirts of Porto. By doing this, we avoid the busy, noisy roads through urban areas of Porto and its suburbs.

The cycling will start from Mosteiró’s square. Our way to Barcelos will be along cobbled lanes and dirt tracks through a series of villages, surrounded by fields and patches of forest. We’ll go over several impressive Romanesque bridges today, including the one in Barcelinhos, where pilgrims used to bathe before entering historical Barcelos. The historical Barcelos is rich in monuments and stories. One of the most famous one is the legend of the Barcelos Cock, who saved a pilgrims life. Also became the symbol of Portugal. This legend is closely related to the pilgrimage. We’ll overnight in Barcelos.

3

3rd Day: Barcelos – Ponte de Lima 20 mi (33 km)

Leave Barcelos to enter a more rural and picturesque landscape of Northern Portugal, punctuated with small villages that allow you to observe traditional agricultural practices. The main activity of the villages along today’s stage is agriculture. The 12th century Ponte das Tábuas offers an attractive rest spot, although you have plenty of lovely places to choose from as you make your way through the vineyards, forests, orchards and fields of the Minho. We can take a dip as well in the river during the Summer months.

These moments of journey makes our pilgrimage memorable! On the approach to the exceedingly pretty town of Ponte de Lima, we’ll see the Padela, Nora and d’Arga mountains as well as the more distant Corno do Bico. Ponte de Lima is one of Portugal’s oldest towns. The name of the town comes from the bridge which spreads over the River Lima, built in the Roman times. We’ll overnight in Ponte de Lima.

4

4th Day: Ponte de Lima – Valença 23 mi (38 km)

This day will be remembered, I assure you that! After leaving Ponte de Lima, we have a steep mountain to negotiate, called the Labruja Mountain. It is the most challenging part of the The Portuguese Central Way. But we do agree, that all pilgrimages have challenges, right?

After conquering the mountain, we’ll pass by the Romanesque church and Roman milestones at Rubiães then cross an ancient stone bridge over the River Pedreira before heading to Cossourado. The finish line for today is in Valença. After arriving to the Fortress of Valença, we also reach the northern border of Portugal. Today will be the last day we sleep on Portuguese soil.

5

5th Day: Valença (PT) – Pontevedra (ES) 34 mi (56 km)

Ladies and Gentleman, please prepare you passports for control! As soon as we begin to pedal, we leave Portugal behind by crossing the bridge over the River Minho. Welcome to Spain! Our first stop will be in the atmospheric town of Tui with its fortified cathedral.

We collect our stamp near the main square, than we’ll leave the city. Once past the rather industrial town of O Porriño, cycle through a series of villages and the Chan das Pipas pine forest. The downhill approach to Redondela offers glimpses of the Vigo estuary. Merge with the Central Camino de Santiago in the center of Redondela and head through the riverside town of Arcade. Soon we’ll arrive to Pontevedra, where we are going to spend the rest of the day and sleep there as well.

6

6th Day: Pontevedra – Padrón 25 mi (41 km)

We’ll leave Pontevedra in the morning to cycle towards Caldas de Reis. We can follow the pilgrim tradition of bathing our feet in the hot springs at Caldas de Reis. After crossing the river in the city, we can find the Burgas hot spring, where we can do this. We’ll continue gently uphill through a string of tiny villages and the forest at Valga. We can explore Padrón’s strong connection with St. James and its medieval center, since we’ll stay overnight here.

7

7th Day: Padrón – Santiago de Compostela 14 mi (23 km)

Our last stage is relatively short and surprisingly scenic with welcome shade in the pretty woodland area. As we reach Milladoiro, we’ll be able to see Santiago on the opposite hill. We’ll head downhill through more villages, cross the river then up through the city into its historical heart and our journey’s end, Santiago de Compostela Cathedral.

We collect our final stamp and our certificate at the Pilgrim’s Office. We’ll spend the rest of the day in Santiago to explore the beauty of the city, visit the cathedral and to celebrate the end of our successful pilgrimage.

8

8th Day: Santiago de Compostela – Porto (by van)

After breakfast, we’ll leave Santiago de Compostela and we drive back to Porto. This takes up to 3,5 – 4 hours in an easy pace. We’ll reach Porto more or less by noon, at this point we can have our last lunch together before I do the drop off of the group at the airport.

Cycling along the Way of Saint James - Cycling the Portuguese Camino de Santiago
Church in Ponte de Lima and the typical hydrangea flowers - Cycling the Portuguese Camino de Santiago
The traditional certificate of completing the Way of St. James - Cycling the Portuguese Camino de Santiago
the road signs planted along the route - Cycling the Portuguese Camino de Santiago
The entrance of the city of Barcelos - Cycling the Portuguese Camino de Santiago
The tower of the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela - Cycling the Portuguese Camino de Santiago
The final destination of our tour The Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela - Portuguese Camino de Santiago
The signs along The Way of St. James - Cycling the Portuguese Camino de Santiago
Bridge made of stones - Cycling the Portuguese Camino de Santiago
Caldas de Reis in Spain - Cycling the Portuguese Camino de Santiago
The mood of the Portuguese Camino, cycling along ancient paths - Cycling the Portuguese Camino de Santiago
The silhouette of the pilgrim in the outskirt of Tui - Cycling the Portuguese Camino de Santiago
Cycling in Spain - Cycling the Portuguese Camino de Santiago
A bridge made of stones from the Roman times - Cycling the Portuguese Camino de Santiago
The Green Vine territory - PCycling the Portuguese Camino de Santiago
Medieval stone bridge along The Way of St. James - Cycling the Portuguese Camino de Santiago
Romanesque style church in Barcelos - Cycling the Portuguese Camino de Santiago
Souvenirs left by the pilgrims in a small restaurant - Cycling the Portuguese Camino de Santiago
The symbol of the Camino, and a bell below - Cycling the Portuguese Camino de Santiago
Cycling along the Way of Saint James - Cycling the Portuguese Camino de Santiago
Cycling the Portuguese Camino de Santiago
Cycling the Portuguese Camino de Santiago
Cycling the Portuguese Camino de Santiago
My completed Pilgrim's Credetial with stamps - Cycling the Portuguese Camino de Santiago

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