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The Portuguese Way to Santiago de Compostela

Luís Feliciano All rights reserved

When life invites us to follow the path of introspection, the city of Santiago de Compostela calls for you. To get there, there are beautiful routes that cross or start in the city of Porto and can be covered on foot, by bike or by car.
Finally, without much haste, many people take a break in life to meet with themselves and reach the Galician city where the Apostle of Jesus Christ, Saint James, is buried. Compostela is one of the destinations of choice for Christian pilgrims and equates to Rome and Jerusalem in the devotion that is nourished.

Choose to follow one of the three routes: the Main or Central Portuguese Way, the Way through Braga or the Coastal Way and you will see how gratifying it is to reach Santiago through the North of Portugal.

It all starts in Porto

Porto to Santiago is about 250 km and these are usually covered in pilgrimage way, although there are those who go through path sections in leisure or sport way, with no religious connotation.

Being a spiritual path, it was created to pass through the historical icons and attractions that invite to prayer and appeal to the Faith. Cathedrals, churches, chapels, buildings and other religious and architectural references can be visited in the historical centre of Porto, World Heritage.

Usually the Way begins or passes through the Cathedral of the XII century, a mandatory point of passage and departure, followed by the Igreja de S. Lourenço, the Arco de Sant'Ana and crossing the Largo de S. Domingos. The facade of the Church of Mercy, by Nicolau Nasoni, the Torre dos Clérigos, among other references, leads you to Maia, from where you can wander until you reach your final destination.

Do not leave Porto without first sitting by the Ribeira or take one of the cruise ships that take you to appreciate the flow and unmistakable beauty of the river Douro; look to Gaia, where you will find some rabelos boats, and come back to visit it, visit the Caves and taste the renowned Port Wine; try the typical Invicta dishes (as this northern city is known), be it Francesinha or the Sarrabulho Popes, as both will give you strength for the next walk.

Main or Central Portuguese Way

If you opt to travel along the Main Way (the most common route), with a total distance of 242 km, after passing in Porto and arriving Maia, you will go up to Galicia, passing Vilarinho, Barcelos, Ponte de Lima, Rubiães and Valença (in Portuguese territory), entering Spain from Tui.

Many Pilgrim Hostels and Youth Hostels welcome you along the way, at an average distance of 25 km between them, allowing you to take the itinerary at a slow and carefree pace with the Faith and certainty that nothing will lack you.

As some walkers claim, this Path works as a physical, mental, and spiritual therapy. And to achieve maximum satisfaction, we suggest you walk calmly in an open and peaceful mind. You have all the conditions for such.

Portuguese Way through Braga

No longer widely used, since the bridge of Barcelos was built and the Roman bridge of Ponte de Lima rebuilt, making the Main Way a more comfortable alternative, this route goes from Águas Santas (in Maia) further inland, passing through Famalicão , Braga and, 20 km later, joining to Ponte de Lima. It was the way of the ancient Via XVI, connecting Lisbon, Santarém, Coimbra, Porto and Braga.

From the historical center of Porto, follow the Cathedral to the Casa da Câmara and, going up Rua dos Clérigos, will continue to the North, passing by the Capela de Nossa Senhora do Socorro, where is the image of Santiago (dated from the 17th century). After the Church of S. Veríssimo de Paranhos arrive to Águas Santas, from where it will go to other localities.

Portuguese Coastal Way

This Way is the most practical for those who arrive aboard a ship, for those who come from the river Douro and want to continue along the Coast. Within the city of Porto, the route is identical to that of the Main Way. Its variant begins in the detour to Matosinhos that goes to Vila do Conde, Póvoa do Varzim, Esposende, Viana do Castelo and Caminha. Not only for the beaches, this course is refreshing and has landscapes that combine with a walk of Faith, looking at the horizon and seeing the immense Atlantic in constant motion.

Along the Way, are guaranteed to pilgrims safety and health conditions, with accommodation, pharmacies and hospitals nearby; are made to know elements of Sacred Art; an immense nature that makes us think how special we are to be part of it and a possible interaction with people who, in silence, walk side by side with us.

Take with you the Jacobean symbols: a pilgrim’s scallop and a staff. Feed yourself of the peace of the place, between water courses and bridges, fountains, cruises, monasteries, toponyms, legends and pilgrimages in honor to Santiago.

A journey surrounded by villages, historic towns and cities, which also cross fields and woods and take you wherever you want, making you feel like a true citizen of the world, in harmony with yourself and respect for the Other.

We'll go with you whenever you need to. Contact us and we will make a proposal to the extent of your intention, to get to know Porto and Northern Portugal as well as we do.

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