Camino: The Portuguese Route
A Walking Pilgrimage
Spiritual Director: Fr. Rogelio Gonzalez
Group Coordinator: Cora Reyes
April 10 - 21, 2023
Porto · Braga · Bom Jesus Shrine · Guimaraes · Tui · O Porrino · Redondela · Pontevedra · Vigo · Caldas de Reis · Padron · Santiago De Compostela (St. James) · Muxia
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare from your local airport
- All airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- Classic & Quaint Hotels (or similar) in double occupancy
- ~ 2 nights: Apr 11 - 13: PortoBay Hotel Teatro, Porto
- ~ 3 nights: Apr 13 - 16: Parador de Tui, Tui
- ~ 1 night: Apr 16 - 17: AC Hotel Palacio Universal, Vigo
- ~ 2 nights: Apr 17 - 19: Parador de Pontevedra, Pontevedra
- ~ 2 nights: Apr 19 - 21: San Francisco Hotel Monumento, Santiago de Compostela
- Breakfast and Dinner daily
- 7 Lunches during walking days
- Bottled water, energy bar snacks along the way
- Wine and mineral water with dinners
- Transfers as per itinerary
- Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
- Headsets where needed
- Vehicle to assist pilgrims who are unable to complete any leg of the tour
- Tour Escort throughout (Javi is confirmed)
- Assistance of a professional local Catholic Guide in Porto, Guimaraes, Braga and Santiago de Compostela
- Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary
- Mass daily & Spiritual activities
- Luggage handling (1 piece per person)
El Camino Accommodations:
Please be advised that we book you in the best available accommodations that are along the Camino trail. There are a limited number of places to stay along the Camino trail, without having to walk extra miles away from the Trail, and then back to the Trail to continue walking the route. These places range in Star Rating - simply because luxury hotels just do not exist.
Santiago de Compostela is the final resting place and tomb of St. James. While you will be removed from the routine of your everyday life, rest assured you will be taken care of with outstanding accommodations, meals and transportation with van / bus driving parallel to the path you walk each day. Should at any point you feel tired, need water, or any medical assistance, it will be readily available to you at check points that are set up along the way on your path. Tourists pass through places, places pass through Pilgrims.What to Know Before You Go on the El Camino Pilgrimage
- Lunches, Beverages not mentioned, Tips to your guide & driver.
Santiago de Compostela is the final resting place and tomb of St. James. While you will be removed from the routine of your everyday life, rest assured you will be taken care of with outstanding accommodations, meals and transportation with van / bus driving parallel to the path you walk each day. Should at any point you feel tired, need water, or any medical assistance, it will be readily available to you at check points that are set up along the way on your path. Tourists pass through places, places pass through Pilgrims.
This itinerary involves a range of 7 - 15 miles daily of walking/hiking. It is essential that participants be in fit condition in order to complete the journey. We will have assistance vehicles (motor coach) available to assist pilgrims who are unable to complete a particular leg of the journey.
Day 1, Mon, April 10: Depart USA for Lisbon
Make your way to your airport where you will board your first leg of flights to Lisbon. Your meals will be served on board on overnight transatlantic flight.
Day 2, Tue, April 11: Arrive Lisbon and Transfer to Porto - Porto
Upon arrival in Lisbon, you will collect your luggage in the baggage claim area, and continue to the Arrival's Hall where you will be greeted by your tour guide and/or driver. Make your way to the bus that will transfer group to Porto. Upon arrival in Porto, we will visit Sao Francisco Church with beautiful Gothic interior. Following Mass, we visit The Clerigos Church with iconic bell tower, continue panoramic view of the Dom Luis Bridge, Church of Saint Ildefonso, a baroque style church with tile facade and the Maria Pia Bridge. Continue to your hotel check in followed by delicious dinner and a restful overnight in Porto before your walking tour begins!
Day 3, Wed, April 12: Porto - Braga - Bom Jesus Sanctuary - Guimaraes - Porto
This morning, you will enjoy breakfast , followed with a transfer to Braga. Braga is a lively city, one of the oldest in the country. Visit the Shrine of Bom Jesus do Monte ("Good Jesus of the Mountain" ) to celebrate Mass. In 1722 the Archbishop of Braga authorized the construction of a Sacred Way, for the faithful to walk the Stations of the Cross for penance and contemplation. The focal point is the Escadaria do Bom Jesus, a grand Baroque staircase that pilgrims sometimes climb on their knees. It leads to a gloriously solemn church with a gray-and-white stone facade and twin steeples, high on a hill. The church offers sweeping views of the city and is surrounded by grottoes and gardens, making it a pleasant place to ramble. Continue to Guimaraes, Portugal's exquisitely preserved first capital city and the birthplace of it's first king Afonso Henriques. At its heart is a medieval old town full of winding cobbled lanes and stone-paved plazas framed by 14th-century buildings with wrought-iron balconies. Visit the 11th-century castle where the eventual monarch was born and Igreja de Sao Miguel de Castelo, a squat and plain Romanesque church that is purported to be the site where Afonso was baptized. Return to Porto for dinner and overnight.
Day 4, Thu, Apr 13: Porto - Tui (Walk of the Coastal Portuguese Camino - 6.25 miles)
Following breakfast continue to the cathedral town of Tui in Galicia. Emerge in beautiful scenery on the way to Tui, passing through vineyards and forest paths. Tui is separated from Portugal by the River Minho. Upon arrival in Tui, you will have experienced coastal walk of the Portuguese Camino. Check in to your hotel and enjoy a delicious Portuguese dinner and glass of wine!
Day 5, Fri, April 14: Tui - O Porrino - Tui (11.9 miles)
Today is the day that your walking pilgrimage (El Camino) to Santiago de Compostela officially begins! Following breakfast, your group will be walking across tranquil woods, farmland and peaceful hamlets. With the guidance of Our Lord, and through the spirit of St. James the apostle, you will become an authentic pilgrim by journeying along the physical road, as well as, the spiritual one. Your first official day of walking will culminate in O Porrino. Enjoy dinner followed by an overnight.
Day 6, Sat, Apr 15: Tui - O Porrino - Redondela - Tui (10 miles)
This morning, you will enjoy breakfast at your hotel and journey from O Porrino, through the woods to the Rendoncela. Known for its famous railway viaducts built in the nineteenth century. Due to these infrastructures Redondela is known under the nickname "Village of the viaducts." Dinner and enjoy a restful overnight in Tui.
Day 7, Sun, April 16: Tui - Redondela - Pontevedra - Vigo (11.90 miles)
Breakfast will be served at your hotel. Your pilgrimage continues as you will travel from Redondela to Pontevedra, historically famous, culturally rich and has a significant number architectural attractions worth seeing. It has a very well-preserved medieval town center along with many small and popular squares. View the "Capela da Virxe Peregrina", a highly unusual building situated in the square of the pilgrim. This chapel is unique and distinctive. It was built in 1778 and is positioned on the main pilgrim's route that leads to Santiago de Compostela from Galicia's neighbor Portugal. As you explore Pontevedra, you will notice joy etched in the faces of the pilgrims. Although they have traveled a long distance, they are not weary. With God and St. James guiding their paths, excitement and anticipation continues for their arrival in Santiago. Continue to Vigo, dynamic seaside town in the heart of the Rias Baixas, famous for its Albarino white wine and delicious shellfish. Stroll along the seafront enjoying views of the magnificent Cies Islands, marvel over fine buildings of Romanesque architecture and relax at the historic town square (Casco Vello) before retiring for the evening. Dinner and overnight in Vigo.
Day 8, Mon, April 17: Vigo - Pontevedra - Caldas de Reis - Pontevedra (14.4 miles)
After breakfast, we will continue our journey to Caldas de Reis. Today we will pass through the villages of Alba, A Portela and Briallos. In Alba, the Church of Santa Maria de Alba is beautiful, in A Portela, you will find the church of San Mamede and in Briallos, a small village of 400 people where there is an albergue. Arrival in Caldas de Reis, which is well known for its hot springs and it sits at the confluence of Bermana and Umia rivers. Dinner and overnight.
Day 9, Tue, April 18: Pontevedra - Caldas de Reis - Padron - Pontevedra (11.9 miles)
After delicious breakfast, we begin today's route which passes through San Miguel de Valga, Cimadevila, Fontelo and the river Ulla. The church of Santiago de Padron is a very important stop for pilgrims. Inside the church, under the altar, we can find the Pedron, a granite block that was tied to the boat that carried apostle St James. Padron is significant as this is where Saint James Santiago first preached the word of the Lord. Enjoy dinner followed by a good night's rest.
Day 10, Wed, April 19: Pontevedra - Santiago de Compostela (15.6 miles)
Today, you will culminate the walking portion of your journey! The walk continues in the same direction as the previous day. You leave Padron and go past the church of Santiago towards the Colegiata of Iria Flavia, where Nobel Literature Prize Camilo Jose Cela is buried. The day continues through Osebe, on paths and main roads, through villages and woodlands, until you reach O Milladoiro, here you will know that you are approaching Santiago because at this point, you will be able to see the spires of the Cathedral. Following lunch, you will complete your walking journey and arrive at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Upon arrival, feel free to say a small prayer in thanksgiving to Our Lord for keeping you safe throughout the walking pilgrimage. At this time, you will check-in to your hotel and enjoy free time to explore Galicia's capital, Santiago. This evening you will enjoy a marvelous dinner, followed by a very restful overnight in Santiago de Compostela.
Day 11, Thu, April 20: Santiago de Compostela - Muxia (Pilgrim Mass & Half-day Tour of Santiago)
This morning you will awaken in the beautiful city of Santiago de Compostela! Formed by Galician granite, this Cathedral is one of the finest architectural examples in Europe as it encompasses Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque styles. Additionally, the Cathedral contains numerous and valuable pieces of art that truly captivate the eye. Upon entering the Cathedral, tradition will lead as you will hug the dazzling statue of St. James. Following this intimate embrace, you will descend into the crypt where the Patron Saint of Pilgrims' relics are kept. Following your visit, you will enjoy free time for lunch on own before your sightseeing tour of the city. Some stops on your tour include the Obradoiro Square, Fonseca Palace, Gelmirez Palace, Franco Street, and much more. From Santiago continue to Muxia, famous for its Nosa Senora de Barca (Our Lady of the Boat) sanctuary by the ocean and 'magic' stones, wild beauty, seafood, and interesting legends. Return to Santiago for farewell dinner and overnight.
Day 12, Fri, April 21: Santiago de Compostela - USA
Though every effort will be made to follow the itinerary, it should be considered as an indication, rather than a contract of places to be visited. Occasionally local religious holidays, national days, weather, traffic conditions and other events may necessitate changes in the sequence of visits or the missing of certain visits.
About your trip
About the The Portuguese Route:
This pilgrimage is unique in that it is a walking Pilgrimage, dedicated to the Way of St. James the Apostle, commonly referred to as El Camino (Spanish) or O Caminho (Portuguese). St. James is the Patron Saint of pilgrims, and for centuries millions of pilgrims have walked in his footsteps to emulate his faith and grow deeper to their own. Explore significant religious sites like, the Shrine of Bom Jesus do Monte, "Good Jesus of the Mountain", Capela da Virxe Peregrina, the church of Santiago de Padron and more!