We tell you the reasons why more and more pilgrims decide to start the Portuguese Way in Coimbra and everything you need to know before starting your route
Although there are many routes of the Camino de Santiago that start from Spanish cities, we also have the opportunity to enjoy this adventure knowing the countries bordering Spain. One of the best known is undoubtedly the Portuguese Way, which also has different starting points.
Due to its excellent location between Lisbon and Porto, Coimbra is becoming an increasingly popular starting point for the Portuguese Way. This is because if we start our adventure in this city, we will have the opportunity to travel this route in depth, but with 200 km less than if we start from the Portuguese capital.
In addition, although from Coimbra we can reach Santiago in approximately 16 days, not all pilgrims may have this time. Therefore, leaving from this place allows us to make a very interesting part of the Portuguese Way, without having to reach the Galician capital.
Another reason to take into account to start our adventure in Coimbra is that it is a city worth visiting. In addition to being crossed by the Mondego River, Coimbra has several points of interest, including its University, listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
As if all this were not enough, leaving from Coimbra will also allow you to choose between different routes to get to Santiago. As well as enjoying incredible landscapes as far as Oporto, here we can decide to continue both inland and along the coast.
First of all, we must take into account that it is a journey of more than 300 kilometres, so we need time to do it. Specifically, we will have to be prepared to put our backpack on our backs for more than 15 days, no matter which route we take.
On the other hand, it is important to know that the Portuguese Way is one of the busiest routes of the Camino de Santiago, which has different advantages and disadvantages.
On the one hand, this means the existence of many places to sleep, which grow even more from Galicia, as well as all the necessary services, which gives us more facilities to walk it at any time of the year.
But on the other hand, this also means that, especially in summer, many of the stages are overcrowded. Although it is true that you will never lack company if you decide to walk alone, you may not find the peace and quiet you are looking for.
Furthermore, we must not forget that the climate is a very important element to take into account when organising our trip. Therefore, taking into account the places that we will travel, it will be essential to be prepared for rain almost at any time of the year, and for the cold in the winter months.
As mentioned above, if our idea when leaving Coimbra is to reach Santiago de Compostela, we expect a journey of more than 15 days that can be extended depending on the route we take. But that will not be until the city of Oporto, which will take us 6 days to reach, following the following stages.
Once in Oporto, apart from enjoying some of its most famous monuments such as the Don Luis I Bridge or the Church and Tower of the Clérigos, we will have to decide which direction to take towards Santiago. If our idea is to continue inland, we will have a shorter trip made up of 10 stages.
If we want to enjoy the Portuguese Way along the coast, we can also do so. Of course, in this case, the route is a little longer, but it is certainly worth it.
While Coimbra does not have an airport, Lisbon and Porto do, so we can fly to these cities and then take a bus to our destination. And although Porto is closer, it is possible to find more flights and better connections in Lisbon.
Another option is to travel by train. From Madrid there is a direct train to Coimbra every day, which stops in different cities such as Salamanca or Ávila. In addition, we can also get there by bus, with trips from many cities, including Madrid.
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© Copyright LA VOZ DE GALICIA S.A. Polígono de Sabón, Arteixo, A CORUÑA (ESPAÑA) Inscrita en el Registro Mercantil de A Coruña en el Tomo 2438 del Archivo, Sección General, a los folios 91 y siguientes, hoja C-2141. CIF: A-15000649