Camino with a Difference Tour CP1 2017

Sunday 17 September – Wednesday 27 September 2017 (10 days/11 nights*)
Northern Portugal and Galicia, Spain
Total maximum walking distance 150km. Options to walk less and non-walking days
2,230 Euros p/p twin share, 270 Euros single supplement
100 Euros discount applies if full payment is received by 30 March 2017

Walking the Camino: The colours of the Camino Portugues in Spring

Walking the Camino: The colours of the Camino Portugues

We commence our journey in the World Heritage listed city of Oporto and finish in Santiago de Compostela. Our path in Portugal takes us along the Camino Portugues via forest tracks, vineyards and picturesque valleys to charming towns such as Barcelos and Ponte de Lima and peaceful hamlets along the Rio Douro. Crossing into Spain we visit the fortified medieval border town of Tui before setting off to the attractive coastal city of Pontevedra and onwards to Santiago.  Tour ends in Santiago.

* N.B. We commence tour activities on the morning of Monday 18 September.  Accommodation at our hotel in Oporto on Sunday 17 September is included in the tour price.

** An optional one-day extension at the end of the tour can be booked separately. This includes a full day visiting the Finisterre peninsula and a further night’s accommodation at our hotel in Santiago.  Please enquire for further information.

Sunday 17 September
Participants arrive at our hotel in Oporto anytime from 2.00pm onwards.

Walking the Camino: Herdsman with goats

Walking the Camino: Herdsman with goats

Day 1: Tour commences in Oporto (Monday 18 September) (No long distance walking)
Participants meet after breakfast in Oporto, recognised as one of the most important cultural centres in Europe. It once played a significant role leading maritime discovery voyages to the ‘New World’. After discussing tour logistics we visit the old city on foot and take a rattling tram-ride along cobbled streets to avoid a steep climb.  After having our Pilgrim Passports stamped at the Cathedral we wind our way down to the river for a relaxing one-hour cruise. This is followed by a group dinner overlooking the atmospheric port wine botegas that line the riverfront.
Accommodation: Oporto. Meals: B. D.

Day 2: Oporto to Sao Pedro de Rates (Tuesday 19 September) (Max. walk: 11.5 km)
This morning we transfer to the small village of Vilarinho with its pleasant shaded square where we commence our Camino journey.  Crossing the first of many medieval bridges that we will encounter on our journey, we walk via county lanes and hamlets to the tiny Arcos with its attractive church with its blue tiled façade.  Our destination is the small town of Sao Pedro de Rates where there is time to visit the parish church built on the 11th C remains of ancient pilgrim temples of the pre-Roman era. We stay the night in neighbouring Vila do Conde, a seaside town with narrow cobbled alleyways and a well preserved fishing quarter and museum of hand made lace.
Accommodation: Vila do Conde. Meals: B.

Walking the Camino: A stormy day along the Camino Portugues

Walking the Camino: A stormy day along the Camino Portugues

Day 3: Sao Pedro de Rates to Barcelos (Wednesday 20 September) (Max. walk: 18 km)
After transferring back to Sao Pedro de Rates we walk via sheltered woodland paths and vineyards to Pedra Furada with its welcoming café.  Here we can ‘put our feet up’ and enjoy some of the local delicacies prepared by the friendly proprietor, Antonio and his staff.  In the afternoon we walk on through eucalyptus forests to the charming small town of Barcelos, the origins of which date from Roman times. It is better known today as the home of the legendary cockerel that has become a national symbol and as host to one of the liveliest markets in Portugal. After settling into our hotel there is time to wander the delightful streets and visit the alfresco archaeological museum.
Accommodation: Barcelos. Meals: B.

Day 4: Barcelos to Ponte de Lima (Thursday 21 September) (Max. walk: 23 km)
After visiting the famous weekly market, our Camino takes us through the Neiva and Lima valleys to Ponte de Lima. This is one of the most beautiful stages of the Camino with 50% on forest tracks and via vineyards. Ponte de Lima is a picturesque medieval town with narrow cobbled streets and a historic bridge with 24 arches, four of which are of original Roman construction. Arriving on foot along the shady tree-lined path beside the river is most memorable. Before dinner there is time to explore the ancient streetscapes and sample local produce sold by friendly shop vendors.
Accommodation: Ponte de Lima. Meals: B.

A well deserved coffee break along the Camino Portuguese

Walking the Camino: A well deserved coffee break along the Camino Portuguese

Day 5: Ponte de Lima to Rubiaes (Friday 22 September) (Max. walk: 12-20km)
This morning there is a choice to spend free time in Ponte de Lima, take a stroll beside the river or walk on a nearby segment of the Camino pathway. After lunch we are transferred to our rural guesthouse that is located right on the Camino trail.  If it’s hot we can take a swim in the pool that overlooks lush green rolling hills and a pretty garden.  There’s even a chance to have a load of washing done by the guesthouse owners! Tonight we share a relaxing ‘al fresco’ group dinner prepared by our host family.
Accommodation: Rubias. Meals: B. D.

Day 6: Rubiaes to Tui (Saturday 23 September) (Max. walk: 20km)
Today our Camino starts in the small hamlet of Rubias with an easy climb to Alto San Bento da Porta Aberta with its breathtaking views over the Minho valley. The next stretch is mostly downhill via natural pathways, riverbeds and quiet country roads, through forests of eucalyptus, oak and pine trees. As we cross the border into Spain the river is renamed ‘Mino’ and we adjust our watches one hour. Before crossing the bridge into Tui those with a sweet tooth may choose to visit neighbouring Valenca to purchase another Portuguese custard tart!
Accommodation: Tui. Meals: B.

Walking the Camino: Camino Portugues

Walking the Camino: Camino Portugues

Day 7: Tui to Pontevedra (Sunday 24 September) (No distance walking)
Today we take a break from long distance walking. After a slow breakfast, we travel by minibus to A Guarda situated on the Coastal Camino route.  High above this pretty harbour town we visit the remains of an Iron Age Celtic settlement. We then follow the Atlantic coastline to tiny Oia to visit the magnificently situated Cistercian monastery before arriving in the historic seaside town of Baiona. It was here that news of the discovery of the Americas first reached Europe when one Columbus’ ships, the Pinta, docked here for repair. There is time to explore the spectacular seaside fortress before lunching on local delicacies including a most amazing spread of seafood.  Late afternoon we transfer to the historic city of Pontevedra.
Accommodation: Pontevedra. Meals: B. L.

Day 8: Pontevedra to Caldas de Reis (Monday 25 September) (Max. walk: 23 km)
After breakfast we follow the Camino across the Ponte do Burgo beside the remains of an original Roman bridge.  The pathway meanders via the peaceful hamlets of San Amaro, Barro and Rotonda to Tivo. Further on, we reach the small town of Caldas de Reis situated between the Rios Umia and Bermana. This historic spa town with its thermal springs and botanic gardens was once occupied by the Celts. Here there is an opportunity to enjoy a well-deserved foot or back massage, a thermal spa or simply to relax by the river and partake in a selection of local tapas and sangria.
Accommodation: Caldas de Reis. Meals: B. 

Walking the Camino: On the Camino Portugues

Walking the Camino: On the Camino Portugues

Day 9: Caldas de Reis to Padron (Tuesday 26 September) (Max. walk: 18km)
This morning we follow the Camino via woodlands and country roads beside the Rio Valga to San Miguel de Valga. We travel on beside the banks of the Rio Sar enjoying the ever-changing rural landscape to the delightful town of Padron where legend has it that St James the Apostle commenced his ministry in the first century A.D.  Here we can sample the spicy green ‘Pementos de Padron’ and take group photos beside a bronze statue of a pilgrim heading to Santiago, now only 25km away.
Accommodation: Padron. Meals: B.

Day 10: Padron to Santiago (Wednesday 27 September) (Max. walk: 25km)
As we reach the final stage of our journey to Santiago, there is an option to walk the entire remaining distance or just part of it (thereby avoiding some steep stretches near the city).  It’s best to make an early start leaving plenty of time to visit the 11th C Cathedral and other historic places of interest.  Some may choose to attend a mid-day Pilgrim Mass while others may prefer to explore the colourful streets and mingle with travellers from many different parts of the world. We end the day with a celebratory Farewell group dinner.
Accommodation: Santiago de Compostela. Meals: B. D.  Tour ends.

Optional Extension (Thursday 28 September)
A one day guided tour to historic and scenic sites on the Finisterre Peninsula. Includes visits to the small fishing town of Finisterre with its famous light house at ‘the end of the earth’ and Muxia with its 12th C Romanesque church dramatically sited on the weathered headland beside the Atlantic Ocean.  Lunch is provided.
Accommodation: Santiago de Compostela. Meals: B. L.

What costs are covered?

  • Services of two Australian tour guides (one of whom also speaks Spanish)
  • Accommodation in comfortable hotels and guesthouses with private ensuites
  • Continental breakfast daily
  • A day trip to visit historic sites along the Atlantic coast (Day 8)
  • Up to 10kms daily taxi transfers where required
  • Transport of 1 medium sized piece of luggage eg. 210 deep, 640 high and 380 wide
  • Three (3) group dinners (Days 1, 5 & 10) and one (1) lunch (Day 7)
  • Tips and Gratuities throughout except at meals not included in the itinerary

What is not included in the cost?

  • International air flights and taxes
  • Visas (not required for Australian passport holders)
  • Airport transfers, taxes and excess baggage
  • Meals other than those specified in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses eg. laundry, telephone calls
  • Excess personal (more than 10kms per day) and luggage transfers (more than 1 medium sized piece of luggage).
  • Travel Insurance: Unlimited medical, additional and evacuation insurance is compulsory.

Please Note: Walking distances included in this itinerary are the maximum number of kilometres planned on any given day.  Each day shorter walking options will be offered.  On average shorter distances will be between 8-14 kms.  Some days those keen to walk longer distances may be supported by a guide.  Participants also have the option not to walk at all on some days.  In such cases transport will be arranged to the next accommodation.

This itinerary should be read in conjunction with the Travel Enriched Pty. Ltd. Booking Conditions.

For all bookings and further information contact:

Diane McDonald
Mobile: Australia +61 (0) 404 417 485