The Camino de Santiago: The Portuguese Route

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  • Portugal & Spain
  • October 7-16, 2021
  • 10 Days/9 Nights
  • 8-12 Guests

Overview

For over a thousand years, pilgrims have traversed The Camino de Santiago. Follow in their footsteps as you spend 10 days in Northern Spain. Walking the Camino is said to change in little and big ways forever.

This Camino is not a race. This is a slower-paced more relaxing experience where we average about 17 kilometers (10.5 miles) per day and cover a total of 115 kilometers (71 miles). Completing this tour will make you eligible to receive the Compostela, the official certificate of completion issued by the Cathedral in Santiago.

Join our expert Camino guide who will be with you every step of the way to share facts about the history of this sacred trail and tips on how to make the most of the trip. Maps and historical information will be provided each day. One this particular walk we’ll be doing the Portugese way.

Highlights:

  • Walking ancient pilgrimage pathways 1000+ years old
  • Visiting archaeological and historical sites
  • Enjoying medieval villages
  • Getting your Pilgrim Passport stamped in churches & bars
  • Setting foot on a 2,000 year old Roman route
  • Savoring delicious local Galician cuisine
  • Enjoying a massage for your tired feet
  • Experiencing the walk with new friends led by expert guides and facilitators
  • Fun communal dinners with your GG2P crew
  • Walking tour of the city of Santiago de Compostela
  • Learning about the history of Spain
  • Connecting with other women and pilgrims on the Camino

A support van will assist with your luggage, freeing you up to travel light during the day. A Girls’ Guide to Paris facilitator will also be on this trip to ensure a smooth experience. You’ll be very well taken care of all along the way.

All hotels, breakfasts, and delicious Galician dinners with wine are included in the tour price. You can purchase lunch and snacks at frequent checkpoints and rest stops along the way (plus, there will be snacks in the van at our checkpoint stops).

You’ll also want to get your pilgrim’s passport stamped at each place you stop whether it be a bar or a church, almost every place will give you a stamp when you ask for it! This will allow you to obtain the Compostela in Santiago.

Are you ready to embark on your Camino? Leave the details to us and get ready to be inspired!

Your Guide: Monica is from Galicia, Spain. Before becoming a guide, she worked as a journalist and Spanish language teacher (you can practice your español with her!). She has walked the Camino many times and loves sharing it with new pilgrims.

You Facilitator: Regina is from the Pacific Northwest. She lived in Spain for 10 years and speaks fluent Spanish. Trekking the Camino is one of her fondest travel memories. Regina will make sure your journey in Spain runs smoothly.

Itinerary

Day 1 – October 7 – Thursday

Start in Vigo

Fly into the Vigo airport from Madrid or Barcelona. Our private driver will pick us up at the airport and take us to Vigo, our home for the first night.
Enjoy a group welcome dinner and get to know your walking buddies. Tonight we’ll hit the hay early because we head into Portugal tomorrow and start our trek in the morning light.

Meals included: Welcome dinner

Day 1 Hotel: Hotel NH Collection Vigo

Day 2 – October 8 – Friday

Valença do Minho to Orbenlle

Good morning, Pilgrim!

A filling breakfast is offered at the hotel. Sip a frothy cafe con leche to get you going. After breakfast, we head south and stop off at the 1st-century ruins of Santa Tecla, positioned high above the Atlantic Ocean.

After a look around, we continue south and cross the border into Portugal. Boots on and our luggage in the support van, we are ready to begin the first leg of the journey.

Our first point of call is Valença, a walled town of Roman origins located on the left bank of the Miño River. From the fortress, we’ll look down on the Tuí (or Valença depending on which side you are standing on) International Bridge which connects Portugal with Spain. We will walk across this bridge – which also acts as the border between Portugal and Spain – in order to spend the night in the fascinating little town of Tuí.

The route today has a great variety of scenery: expect natural woodland paths, quiet country roads, and lots of vines–both grape (for wine) and kiwi – indicative of the fertility of the Minho Valley.

You’ll grab lunch on your own along the trail. There are many local places to stop for a quick bite or a more leisurely meal with wine or beer.

Our group will stop in Orbenlle for the night. Your luggage will be waiting for you at the hotel.

Wash off the trail dust and relax a bit before a hearty communal dinner served at the hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Kilometers walked: 12.5

Day 2 Hotel: Pazo Larache

Day 3 – October 9 – Saturday

O Porriño to Cesantes

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and fill your water bottle for today’s trek.

We pick up the Camino in the center of O Porriño (we do this to avoid the dull industrial section of the trail). The town is famous for its pink granite and is also home to the stunning edifice of the Casa Consistorial, built in 1919 by the town’s own architect, Antonio Palacios.

Onwards and upwards we go, ascending to the Capilla de Santiaguiño de Antas on Monte Cornedo (232m). We are rewarded with sweeping views of the valley of Redondela as we descend through rambling vines and charming lanes to the town below.

Lunch is on your own. Eat at a local restaurant along the way with a walking buddy or grab a quick bite sola. Our group will travel together each day, but that does not mean we are joined at the hip. Your pace may be faster or slower, depending on the day. You might feel chatty in the morning and need space for self-reflection in the afternoon. You do you. There is time and space for it.

We’ll continue onwards from Redondela, climbing past exuberant gardens and vineyards to a little bar in Cesantes where we will end our day. Stop to admire the expansive views to the Puente Rande over the Ria de Vigo.

Freshen up and then swap trail stories over drinks. Enjoy a delicious Spanish dinner at the hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Kilometers walked: 18

Day 3 Hotel: Pazo Larache

Day 4 – October 10 – Sunday

Cesantes to Pontevedra 

You’re awake early for breakfast at the hotel before lacing up and heading down the trail. You have been walking for a couple of days now. You are finding your stride and getting used to the rhythm of the Camino.

Onwards from Cesantes, we walk along ancient stone paths – the Camino Reales – through quiet woodlands.

We have two significant but beautiful climbs today. You’ll tackle these ascents on either side of the small fishing town of Arcade, the “oyster capital” of Galicia.

The walk today is delightfully varied and offers plenty of cafés and fountains during the morning. Vineyards play a significant part in our route for the first half of the day, and onwards through the next couple of days, as we are in Rias Baixas, an important wine producing area. The afternoon is mainly shady eucalyptus woodland before our final stop in the city of Pontevedra.

Tonight, we will sleep right in Pontevedra, so we will walk to our hotel for a well-earned dinner and a good night’s rest.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner 

Kilometers walked: 17 kilometers

Day 4 Hotel: Casal dos Celenis

Day 5 – October 11 – Monday

Pontevedra to Caldas de Reis

After breakfast at the hotel, lace up those boots and grab your walking sticks, because we’re off to Caldas de Reis today, an ancient Roman spa town!

You are halfway through your 115-kms journey. How do you feel? Each day you settle into Camino life a bit more.

Today is a peaceful day of gentle walking in the rural countryside with minimal services. The forest paths, replete with eucalyptus and pine, are calming places to get into the zone of simply walking and meditating on the rhythm of breath and body.

The end of the day brings you to Caldas de Reis, a town that is famed for its thermal waters. The Celts and Romans settled here for this reason and named it Aquis Celenis.

Caldas de Reis has been enticing travelers for centuries to come and “take the waters.” Do as the pilgrims before you did and experience the healing waters. Join in with the tradition and soak your feet in the lavadero filled with hot water and quench your thirst at the cold spring found just across the Roman Bridge. Caldas de Reis could be a great spot to indulge in a foot massage!

We’ll spend the night in this pretty spa town. Enjoy dinner with your walking buddies tonight after some needed R&R.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Kilometers walked: 23

Day 5 Hotel: Casal dos Celenis

Day 6 – October 12 – Tuesday

Caldas de Reis to Padrón

Pilgrim, you can take it a bit easier today. After breakfast, the plan calls for a short and peaceful day of walking with just a few hills and delightful forest tracks of eucalyptus and pine.

The climb to O Pino is through historic villages proffering sweeping views of the surrounding countryside and hills. We’ll only pass by four churches before arriving in Padrón, the most beautiful of which is the complex of Santa Marina de Caracedo, set amongst the fields on the edge of the village of Campo.

Arriving to Padrón is an important moment in your Camino journey because of its long-held association with the legend of Santiago. It was here that the Apostle Saint James first preached on the rocks above the town and a miracle occurred–he made a spring appear using his staff. Additionally, the story goes that it was also in Padrón that the boat carrying Santiago’s body from Palestine was moored.

Don’t forget to sample the spicy side of Padrón. The village is also well-known for its little green peppers which are fried whole in olive oil and are highly addictive! Eating them is a gamble because one in every five or six has a spicy kick. Wash down a few with a chilled glass of Spanish wine and toast to a successful day of trekking.

Our private driver will take us from Padrón to a beautiful rural retreat, our basecamp for the next two nights.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Kilometers walked: 18

Day 6 Hotel: Parada de Francos

Day 7 – October 13 – Wednesday

Padrón to Milladoiro

You’re getting closer to our final destination, Santiago de Compostela. But today, we will enjoy the journey.

Our pilgrim posse begins the day by climbing up to Santiaguiño do Monte in Padrón to claim our jubilee.

Expect a day traversing gentle terrain through the sleepy villages of Romeris, Rueiro, and Villar allowing our final, up-close glimpse into how locals live and the simplicity of rural Galician life.

Have a quiet lunch on your own or grab a bite with friends you’ve connected with along the Camino.

At A Escravitude, our climb begins as we ascend through pine forest on alternating woodland tracks and country roads, with a short stretch of main road, and then rolling hills. The beautiful village of Rua do Francos is nestled amongst enormous, ancient oak trees and home to one of the oldest wayside crosses in Galicia. We finish our trek for the day in Milladoiro, a satellite community of Santiago, where we will shuttle back to our hotel for our last night on the trail before arriving in Santiago de Compostela.

Our driver will meet us in Milladoiro and take us to our hotel for some much deserved refreshments and dinner.

Meals included : Breakfast, Dinner

Kilometers walked: 19

Day 7 Hotel: Parada de Francos

Day 8 – October 14 – Thursday

This is our last day walking the Camino together. Enjoy breakfast at the hotel and then lace up your boots. It’s time to see the finish line! Our goal is to arrive in Santiago in time for Pilgrims’ Mass at 12noon.

Leaving behind the buildup of Milladoiro, we begin a gentle descent through a scattering of villages. Along the way, we’ll get a brief glimpse of Santiago de Compostela and its cathedral spires.

Eventually, we’ll arrive in “civilization.” The last few kilometers are along busy sidewalks before entering the medieval heart of the city.

The walking portion of our journey ends today at the steps of the cathedral. Stop in to partake in Pilgrims’ Mass at 12 noon.

After mass, enjoy a hearty lunch with the group before checking into the hotel.

You’ll have time today to get your Compostela stamp and look around this beautiful city. You might just want to sit in a plaza and pat yourself on the back while enjoying a glass of wine.

We have much to celebrate. Walking so many kilometers is a great accomplishment, and while your feet may be tired, your heart will be full. Together, we will meet for a champagne toast followed by a special dinner.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Celebratory Dinner

Kilometers Walked: 7

Day 8 Hotel: Parador de Santiago de Compostela, this is said to be the oldest hotel in the world dating back to the 15th century. You’ll be spoiled here and you deserve it.

Day  9 – October 15 – Friday

You did it, pilgrim. Wake up slowly and enjoy your beautiful hotel room!

Today, it’s time to see what Santiago is all about. Indulge a leisurely breakfast at the hotel followed by a two-hour walking tour of Santiago and the cathedral with an expert guide. Fall in love with a city that has been stealing hearts for centuries.

The afternoon is yours to explore Santiago and do some shopping. Find a lunch spot and linger.

Our group meets this evening for a dinner experience fit for a foodie. Our tapas crawl will take us to the city’s best while we taste and explore the best tastes and delights of this gorgeous historic town.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Kilometers walked: Zero!

Day 9 Hotel: Parador de Santiago de Compostela

Day  10 – October 16 – Saturday

It’s time to say “adios” to your pilgrim friends. After breakfast at the hotel, a private driver will take the group to the airport in Santiago. Or, extend your trip and keep exploring Spain. We can help you arrange this.

Meals included: Breakfast

Kilometers walked: Zero!

Optional Extension: A Guided tour to Finisterre on the sea, please inquire.

Note: A support van will assist with your luggage, freeing you up to travel light during the day.  All hotels, breakfasts, and delicious Galician dinners with wine are included in the tour price. You can purchase lunch and snacks at frequent checkpoints and rest stops along the way. You’ll also want to get your passport stamped at each place you stop whether it be a bar or a church, almost every place will give you a stamp when you ask for it!

GG2P always reserves the right to alter the itinerary based on weather or availability as well as exciting opportunities that might crop up!

NOTE -> Not to worry – Vegetarians will be well fed in all cafés and restaurants as well as those allergic to seafood or gluten. Options are plentiful.

Trip Cost

Trip Cost: 6,995 Euros

 

  • *All our trips are organized and priced based on single occupancy at all the places we stay. If you’re traveling with a friend/relative, or would prefer to save some money by sharing a room, double occupancy is often available for a reduction in cost. There is limited availability, however. Please inquire.
  • Interest-free payment plans are available. Please inquire.

What’s included?

  • 7 nights at beautiful hotels and B n B’s
  • 2 nights in a 5* Parador
  • A GG2P welcome gift
  • Breakfast and dinner nightly
  • A support van to carry your heavy packs
  • An English & Spanish speaking facilitator accompanying you every step of the way
  • Group airport transfer from Santiago de Compostela on arrival and departure
  • Private land transfers for the group throughout the entire adventure, if you feel you need a break from walking
  • Local expert bilingual guide walking with us
  • Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel
  • A planning guide to get you ready for this adventure and a pre-tour planning meeting on Zoom
  • A much needed massage
  • A champagne toast upon arrival to Santiago!
  • A tour of Santiago de Compostela with a guide

What’s not Included?

  • Roundtrip airfare (or other transportation) to Spain.
  • Any additional spa treatments desired beyond what is described (1 massage included).
  • Any personal souvenirs or purchases
  • Additional wine, beer or spirits beyond what is offered at meals
  • Lunches unless otherwise specified (you will eat lunch on the trail each daily)
  • Gratuities.
  • Expenses of a personal nature – telephone calls, laundry, etc.
  • Any other services not specified above
  • Travel insurance – highly recommended, medical travel insurance is required for anyone over 50 years of age

I’m interested, so what do I do next?

If you have questions, press the Inquire Now button above, and complete the form. We’ll get back to you ASAP.

If you’d like to come, press the Reserve Now button above. You will be prompted to complete a form with your pertinent details, put down a refundable $250 deposit, and schedule a time to speak with a GG2P representative. We like to speak with everyone before they embark on their first trip with Girls’ Guide to Paris & Beyond. This allows you to ask any questions or voice any concerns you may have. These are intimate, small group trips; a quick yet personal conversation allows you to get to know how our trips work and make sure it’s right for you. If it’s not, we’ll immediately refund your $250 deposit.

If it’s a Go! after your call, we’ll bill you for a non-refundable deposit, usually 35% of the trip’s cost (less the $250 place-holder deposit, if you already paid it) and your place is reserved. At this point, you’re committed to the trip, so we recommend that you purchase Travel Insurance to protect you in case your plans change unexpectedly. The balance will be due approximately 2 months before the trip.

Our cancellation policy is here.

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