Camino Portugues / Portuguese Way is a marked trail which travels the length of
Portugal from Lisbon to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. It is part of the
iconic Camino de Santiago de Compostela; the famous Way of Saint James.
This holiday will see you cycle along the
first section of this Camino, from the Portuguese capital of Lisbon it travels
North to Porto. The trail starts off in a relatively urban area and moves into
the quiet farmlands of the area known as "the Garden of Portugal".
You will travel along the Tejo river valley along a trail that also doubles as
the Caminho de Fatima. This region of Portugal is soaked in history and
tradition and beautiful cities such as Santarem, Tomar and Coimbra. You will
travel along the Atlantic coast and through vineyards, valleys and woodlands to
finish in the centre of Porto, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Your way on the Camino de Santiago is
made easy by clear sign posting. The famous arrow and the scallop shell will
show you the way. Also, in our holiday pack is included detailed walking notes
and maps making navigation even easier. Although sometime physically demanding,
it only requires a reasonable level of fitness. Moreover, if you feel tired and
need a rest, you often will find bars and restaurants along the way.
Day 1: Lisbon
The capital city of Lisbon is situated where the River Tejo
joins the Atlantic Ocean. It has many sites of historical interests but also
benefis from the seaside atmosphere which makes it a perfect place to relax
before your walk begins. The city is full of beautiful buildings and squares
but probably the most famous of the sites in the city is the Jeronimo Monastery
Belem Tower which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Day 2: Lisbon - Vila Franca de Xira
40km, 50m ASC, 45m DSC: Your cycle on the
Portuguese Way will take you out of Lisbon along the famous Caminho de
Fatima. As the trail follows the river Tejo through the Parque
das Nacoes, the cycling is quite easy. From here you will soon enter the
countryside proper by way of a lush valley. The change in landscape will make
Lisbon seem like a distant memory! From Santa Iris de Azoia you will
cycle along a trail which gradually climbs before dropping down into Povoa
de Santa Iria. From here you will follow the River Tejo once again along a
national road to the beautiful Vila Franca de Xira, where the famous
bullfighting festival is held every year.
Day 3: Vila Franca de Xira – Santarem
62k: The trail from Vila Franca de Xira continues through
a region which is famous for bullfighting and horse breeding. The River Tejo
continues to guide your way as you move inland to Azambuja. The town is
famous for its bull run which is held on the streets of the town every May.
From here the trail includes the highest point which is the final destination
of today, Santarem. However at just 110 metres high this should not
prove to be too difficult. You will travel through vineyards, groves of fruit
trees and fields of crops along the way.
Day 4: Santarem – Tomar
59k, 400m ASC, 325m DSC: Your journey from Santarem will see you
cycle along tranquil country lanes along the banks of the Rio Tejo, as you head
in a north-west direction. You will pass through some beautiful little villages
and farm lands of horses and bulls, for which the region is famous. You will
pass through Golega and head towards Finca da Cardiga, which is one of the most
beautiful manor houses in the country. From here you will continue through
peaceful villages which are set in a landscape of small hills. Your finishing
point for the day is in the centre of the historical city of Tomar, at the
wonderful Praza de la Republica.
Day 5: Tomar – Ansiao
47km, 875m ASC, 900m DSC: Day 5 will see you enjoy a change of
landscape as you travel through lovely woodland valleys and along ancient Roman
roads and farm tracks. Todays cycling is one of the more challenging on this
section of the Camino however it is also very rewarding. From Alvaiazere the
trail rises with a sharp climb which is followed by a more gradual descent. The
rest of the days cycle travels over rolling hills and through olive groves and
crop fields, on the way to todays destination of Ansiao.
Day 6: Ansiao – Coimbra
45k, 550m ASC, 625m DSC: Your cycle out of Ansiao will see you
cross the 17th century bridge of Ponte da Cal as you make your way to Netos.
There are lots of trees along todays stage of the Camino, such as eucalyptus,
pine and olive, which will offer plenty of opportunities for shade. The final
part of the stage takes you over the climb of Alto de Cruz de Mourocos which
sits at a height of 190m, before dropping down into Coimbra. Coimbra itself is
a pretty and energetic city, with one of the oldest universities in Europe.
Day 7: Coimbra – Agueda
48km 220m ASC, 200m DSC: Todays cycle on the Camino will take you
through river valleys and urban areas along a relatively flat trail which
becomes more chellenging towards the end. There is a climb as you leave Coimbra
up to Cioga do Monte. Throughout the day you will see some remains of the old
roman road along which this stage travels. You will pass through the town of Mealhada,
which sits in an area famous for its vineyards and Avelas de Caminho, which has
strong historical links with the Camino de Santiago as you make your way to Agueda
which sits on the banks of the Certima river.
Day 8: Agueda – Porto
78k, 800m ASC, 810m DSC: This particular part of the Camino
follows the ancient Roman road "Via Romana XVI", through forests of
eucalyptus and pine. You will also cross a lovely Roman bridge over the Rio
Marnel on your way to Albergia A Velha. From here you will travel through more
woodlands and gradually into more urbanised areas, which make up the northern
part of the Beira Coast. You will pass through the lovely, historic town of Oliveira
de Azemeis, which boasts the Matriz de Sao Miguel church as one of its main
attractions. From here the trail starts to cross some rolling hills, before
climbing to Sao Joao da Madeira. After this you will pass through the town of Arrifana
with its distinctive blue church before making your way onto the preserved
cobbled Roman road. before traveling gradually downhill by the Monastery
Mosteiro de Gijon, which dates from the 13th century and on to Seixezelo. The
end of your cycling holiday will see you enjoy the refreshing breeze of the
Atlantic Ocean as you make your way to Porto which is famous for being the
capital of the Port wine producing region. The historical city centre is a
UNESCO World Heritage site.
Day 9: Porto
Cycle along the Atlantic coast, starting
from Porto towards Lisbon! This new tour for 2011 became also our easiest one.
With routes by the ocean side you have the chance to enjoy the west coast sunny
beaches, stopping in one beach bar terrace for a coffee or tasting a grilled
fresh fish lunch. Cycle paths, nature conservation areas, the Leiria pine
forest and the Alcobaחa UNESCO world heritage
monastery are some of the trip highlights, ending in style crossing the Obidos
Medieval village gates!