The coastal variant of the Portuguese Way every year gains more followers; we tell you everything there is to know about this special Jacobean route
The Portuguese Way by the Coast is a popular variant of the Portuguese Way that is born in the city of Oporto and that concludes in Redondela, Pontevedra. This variant leaves the main interior path of the Portuguese Way to continue for 150 kilometers along a parallel coastal route that crosses towns such as Viana do Castelo, Caminha, A Guarda, Baiona, Nigrán or Vigo.
When reaching the town of Redondela, the Portuguese Way along the coast joins the main Jacobean route in a northerly direction to Santiago de Compostela. In total, it will be necessary to travel 270 kilometers from Oporto to Santiago, counting the variant and the final stretch of the Portuguese Way.
Recognized in 2009 as the official Jacobean route by the Xunta de Galicia, this variant that runs along the coast enters Spain through the town of La Guardia / A Guarda, from where the Portuguese Way along the coast is also known as Camino Monacal (for the number of monasteries that were in the route).
Despite its growing popularity in recent years, this journey along the coast has been recorded as a pilgrimage route since the twelfth century, used both by the walkers of northern Portugal and by foreign pilgrims arriving by sea to the Portuguese coasts to pay respects to the Apostle Santiago.
The boom of the Portuguese Way along the coast is unstoppable, especially in recent years, when it has succeeded in defeating other little-traveled Jacobean routes, but of which there are annual records, such as the Vía de la Plata.
Its coastal layout of enviable Atlantic landscapes, its interior forests, its light, mild temperatures and little physical demand make more and more pilgrims consider trying this variant from Porto. It is a very easy route to travel, especially for the pilgrims debutantes and is suitable to travel during all seasons of the year for the temperate climate of the area.
The Portuguese Way along the coast can be a good alternative for pilgrims who, traveling the Portuguese Way from Lisbon or Coimbra in high season, want to leave aside the crowds of the main road for a long distance. During 150 you can enjoy coastal landscapes and land practically without elevations, without so much agglomeration of pilgrims, although the variant is becoming more known.
According to the data of the Pilgrim's Welcome Office, in 2018 up to 13,841 pilgrims chose the Portuguese Way along the coast, 90% more than just a year before, in 2017. This Jacobean route managed to attract 5% of the total number of pilgrims in 2018, a remarkable fact to be only a variant of just 150 km and that does nothing but grow year after year.
The Portuguese phenomenon along the coast is something quite recent, so the locations of its route do not stand out for having a large number of services for the pilgrim; This, however, is changing in an accelerated way and each time we will find more facilities.
The route of the Portuguese Way along the Coast runs from the city of Oporto (Portugal) to the town of Redondela (Pontevedra) for 150 km. From that point on, the pilgrim must join the last section of the Portuguese Way (84 km) to get to Santiago de Compostela. In total, the journey between Porto and the holy city is 13 days and 280 km.
(Continue on the Portuguese Way to Santiago de Compostela)
© 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