How to Plan the Camino Portugues to Santiago de Compostela

Ellie Green
Authored by Ellie Green
Posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2024 - 05:48

Are you planning to embark on the epic Camino de Santiago? Forget the Camino Frances and start planning your journey to Santiago de Compostela from the Camino Portugues. It is more than a hike; it’s a transformative experience, and today you’ll learn how easy it is to plan your pilgrimage.

Why the Camino Portuguese? Well, it’s an incredible alternative to the Camino Frances, and you don’t need to embark on a 30+ days journey to complete it. Also, in this case, you have the option to opt for the coastal path and enjoy the breathtaking views

Whether you seek adventure, self-discovery, or a deeper connection with history and spirituality, this ancient trail offers everything you need.

Planning Your Journey

All adventures start with planning and this is especially true when it comes to long-distance trails, despite being a lot shorter than other routes. The Camino Portugues is still a good 11-12 days of walking if you depart from the City of Porto.

Here is a bit more info about it:

Route Variations

The Camino Portugués offers several routes, each with its own charm. You can start from Lisbon, which is 620 kilometers to Santiago de Compostela, a 25-day journey, or start from Porto, which is 230 kilometers and 12 days.

Now, whether you take Lisbon or Porto as your main starting point, both have different routes: the coastal and the central.

The Coastal Route hugs the Atlantic coast, offering stunning views of the sea all along, While the Central Route goes through picturesque towns and vineyards.

Choose the path that resonates with your spirit and aligns with your preferences.

Best Time to Go

Next, choosing the best time to do it is essential. Spring (April to June) and fall (September to October) are ideal for hiking the Camino Portuguese and you will take the most out of both routes.

During this time of the year, the weather is pleasant, and the trails are less crowded. You need to be prepared for occasional rain, but you’ll also spot the blooming wildflowers and mild temperatures.

Summer is a good season too but it’s a lot hotter and crowded, albergues during this season tend to get full quickly.

Accommodation Options

There are plenty of different accommodation options here, you can stay in albergues (pilgrim hostels), which are super affordable, guesthouses, or even hotels if you want more amenities.

I highly recommend staying in the albergues, they offer a unique experience that will take you out of your zone of comfort.

The communal spirit of albergues fosters connections with other travelers, while private accommodations offer comfort and privacy. Plan your daily distances and book ahead during peak seasons.

Packing Essentials

Your next step for planning the perfect Camino de Santiago journey is packing. Packing is usually straightforward when it comes to holidays, but in this case, you need to be careful, you don’t want to pack too much and you don’t want to be missing items.

Packing light is always a good idea, make a list with all the essential stuff you can’t miss like backup glasses if you wear them or prescription medicine.

Here’s a quick reminder of some essentials:

Footwear and Clothing

Make sure you get good and sturdy hiking boots that provide ankle support and cushioning, as well as running shoes (as a backup).

Get moisture-wicking clothing or sports clothes, a lightweight rain jacket, and a hat.

In some cases you’ll need to dress in layers, this is essential to adapt to changing weather.

Backpack Essentials

The most important thing here is to invest in a good backpack, I can’t stress enough this point. Your backpack will be your best friend for 12 days or more, it needs to be sturdy.

Your backpack should contain the pilgrim passport, a refillable water bottle, a basic first aid kit, and a lamp or light.

Keep it lightweight and organized!

Hydration and Nutrition

Hydration is important, stay hydrated by refilling your water bottle at fountains along the way, and make sure to carry enough water for the different distances.

Also, don’t forget to try the different local delicacies, like bacalhau (salted cod) in Portugal, and savor the flavors of the region.

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