The Road to Santiago is a journey of faith that is very well-known by most Catholics. As the story goes, Santiago was an apostle of Christ who was buried in Santiago de Compostela. Catholics have been crossing Portugal for many centuries. Along the path, the pilgrims will encounter places of special interest, whether religious temples or breathtaking scenery.
If you are a fan of hiking, this challenge is for you. There is something that you can’t miss: stop and experience a little more of the northern region of Portugal. The Portuguese Way to Santiago is a complex network of paths leading to Santiago de Compostela. Along the path, there will be hotels where you can rest. And don’t worry because pilgrims make this journey all throughout the year.
With the headwaters of the Douro River and the lush landscapes, do not miss the opportunity to walk through the city of Porto to learn a little more about its history and to marvel at the charms of the northern region of Portugal.
The city of Porto was born and developed during the Middle Ages, making it one of the oldest cities in Europe. Start your journey through the historical center, passing by the Sé Cathedral and the Torre dos Clérigos.
If you follow the coast, stop in Rates, a parish in the town of Póvoa de Varzim, which is certainly worth visiting and where, according to legend, São Tiago ordained Bishop São Pedro, who gave his name to the region’s Romanesque Church.
Pass by Esposende and savor the beauty of the coast, from Apúlia to the mouth of the Neiva River, which is a Protected Landscape Area. Take some time to climb the Fóssil Cliffs and enjoy the panoramic views of the plains and the coast of Esposende. As for the monuments, be sure to visit Castro de São Lourenço.
Viana do Castelo, the land of quintessential pilgrimage. Passing through Viana do Castelo, climb up to Monte de Santa Luzia and enjoy the landscape, where the sea and the Lima River meet. Many of the first pilgrims on the Path to Santiago arrived in Viana do Castelo. It was from this city’s port that they embarked, beginning their walk to Santiago de Compostela.
If you want to extend your stay in Viana do Castelo, make the Axis Viana Business & Spa your place of refuge. And if time allows, from the terrace of this hotel with 87 rooms is a great place to admire the architectural features of the city and the surrounding landscape. Also, take a dip in the pool.
Dedicate some time to your journey to Caminha, a land with very rich soil, and Vila Nova de Cerveira where you can experience the picturesque historical district with so much to discover. Stroll through the narrow streets and discover the historical monuments: the stately homes from the 17th and 18th centuries, and the green mountains that meet the Minho River.
There is also Valença, which borders Spain and is enclosed by walls. Valença is the main point of departure from Portugal when continuing on the Road to Santiago, across Spanish soil and on to Santiago de Compostela.