The 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.
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.
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!
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