Not all routes can boast of offering a swim at the beach after the end of each stage. The Portuguese Way along the coast from Porto to A Guarda is the perfect route for all those who love the sea. During the little more than a hundred kilometres that separate the bohemian city of Porto from the seaside town of A Guarda, you will find beautiful panoramic views of endless sandy beaches and estuaries where you can observe hundreds of species of birds.

You will have the opportunity to get to know the life and culture of the northern region of Portugal and taste the best dishes of the Portuguese gastronomy. A smooth and flat route with few slopes, ideal and accessible for everyone. What more could you ask for?


Travel Itinerary


You will start your adventure in the bohemian and beautiful city of Porto, which is home to a large number of heritage sites and cultural legacies of Portuguese history. We recommend you to arrive in the city in the morning, leave your things in your accommodation and go out. You can start your visit at the Avenida de los Aliados, the heart of the city, a flagship for the locals and a meeting place for a multitude of cultural events. Drop by Praza da Liberdade and stroll to the famous and beautiful Lello e Irmão bookshop. Afterwards, and immediately next door, you must visit the Torre de los Clérigos. The town of Oporto is, in short, a magnificent start for the Portuguese Way.

For a snack we recommend you to try the famous francesiñas and for dessert, a cream cake. After lunch you can walk down to the Ribeira, passing by the São Bento station and the Cathedral. Porto is a wonderful city to get lost in the streets of its monumental area… cobblestones, tiles, colours, wine, culture and tradition come together in its narrow streets.

With this stage you start your Portuguese Way, having ahead of you a distance of 30 km totally along the coast from Oporto. If you want to avoid the tedious and cumbersome exit from Porto, you should take the metro to Matosinhos, a very common practice among pilgrims who do the Portuguese Way along the coast.

Póvoa de Varzim is a perfect stop to enjoy a relaxing day at the beach on its large sandy beaches. One of the iconic places of this town is its aqueduct, declared a National Monument. Of great cultural interest are also the Fortress of Nuestra Señora de la Concepción, the Church of La Misericordia and the Chapel of Santiago. But you can’t miss a walk through the traditional fishermen’s quarter, along Paseo Alegre and Rúa da Junqueira, appreciating the beautiful tiles of the Manueline architecture and enjoying the rich local gastronomy: fresh fish and, for the more carnivorous, the famous picaña.

Today the natural ecosystems will be the main protagonists. You will cross the Parque Natural del Litoral Norte, a protected natural area consisting of various habitats: majestic beaches of fine white sand with imposing dunes, vegetated back dunes, interesting tree formations, wetlands and estuaries, an important fauna and traditional crops located very close to the coastline because they are fertilized with the “sargassum” seaweed. After crossing the iron bridge over the river Cávado you will arrive at the end of the stage: Esposende.

Located at the mouth of the Cádavo River, the most representative of Esposende is its privileged natural coastal environment. On the cultural level, this city has two important museums: the Maritime Museum and the Municipal Museum. As for its heritage, you can visit several religious sanctuaries, the Castro de São Lourenço, the church of Misericórdia, or the Fort of São João Baptista, among others. Finally, gastronomically we recommend you to try the star dish of the area, “polvo de Esposende”, an octopus, potato and cabbage stew.

From Esposende, the route continues through the Parque Natural do Litoral Norte, crossing ridges, beaches and dunes. After visiting the church of São Bartolomé do Mar, you will arrive at the mouth of the Neiva River, entering the municipality of Viana do Castelo. During the last stretch you will go a few kilometers away from the coast to return to it at Rodanho Beach, entering a forest path. Finally, you will cross the river over the Eiffel Bridge and enter the beautiful city of Viana do Castelo, which has one of the most beautiful and best preserved historical centres in Portugal.

A place with seafaring roots, Viana do Castelo will be the perfect place to enjoy a good cod, a food that is closely associated with Portuguese gastronomy. If you wander around its historic centre, you will come to Praça da República, where you can see the Misericórdia building and the chafariz (fountain), built in the 16th century; also in this square, you can visit the Casa Consistorial (Town Hall). As for religious buildings, you should at least know the cathedral, in Romanesque style, and the Church of the Agony.

Known as the city of gold filigree, Viana do Castelo also offers various cultural plans such as visits to the Museum of Costume, the Chocolate Museum, the Museum of Art and Archaeology, or the Gil Eanes Ship.

During this stage the level of difficulty will decrease, as it is a shorter stretch and flatter terrain. Starting from the Cathedral of Viana do Castelo, you can choose whether to continue the route along the coast or go a little further inland. We recommend continuing your route along the coastal section, where you will pass numerous beaches, promenades and coastal paths. This route is a quiet walk, in which you can enjoy the views and get to know heritage elements such as the windmills of Montedor. As you complete the route, you will leave behind towns such as Areosa, Carreço and Afife, until you reach Vila Praia de ncora.

Being very close to Galicia, Vila Praia de ncora is a place of fishing tradition, belonging to Caminha. The most remarkable thing is its huge and wild beach, where you can walk until you reach the Fort of Lagarteira, an old military fortress with a star-shaped floor plan. Another of the icons of the town can be found in the centre: the dolmen of Barrosa, a good example of the megalithic of the northwest of the peninsula.

On this day you will start the last stage of this Camino. The walk starts from the beach of Vila Praia de ncora, passing by the beach of Moledo, until it reaches the village of Caminha. From Caminha you will have to take a ferry to cross the river Minho, and arrive at Camposancos (A Guarda), crossing the natural border between Portugal and Galicia. From this point, you will have to climb the Monte de Santa Tecla (or Trega), and then continue along the path that runs parallel to the coast. A short distance away you will have reached your destination and the end of the stage, A Guarda.

A Guarda is a small maritime village, situated in a privileged natural environment, the majestic estuary formed by the Miño river at its mouth. The panoramic view of the estuary, where the river meets the sea, from the highest point of Monte de Santa Tecla is a must-see. Perhaps the Monte de Santa Tecla is the most recommendable place to visit, for its views and its well-preserved Celtic forts. Once in the centre of the town, you can stroll around the port and sample some of the local gastronomy, specialising mainly in fish and seafood. A perfect place to end your Portuguese Way along the coast from Oporto to A Guarda.

Congratulations! You have completed your Portuguese Way along the coast from Oporto to A Guarda. This last day you’re in charge. You can return home or add more days to your trip to continue the Portuguese Way along the coast to Santiago de Compostela. The Galician section is simply spectacular. You will walk parallel to a rugged and rugged coastline, finding beautiful fishing villages that, in addition to its landscapes, stand out for its exquisite seafood cuisine.

After leaving the lodge, end of our services.

Map of the Way

Type of accommodation


Services included

7 days / 6 nights accommodation7 days / 6 nights accommodation
Luggage transfer during the stagesLuggage transfer during the stages
Complete documentationComplete documentation
Pilgrim’s CredentialPilgrim’s Credential
24 hour emergency telephone assistance24 hour emergency telephone assistance
Travel insuranceTravel insurance

Optional Services

ServiceIn hotels, guesthouses and rural houses from Oporto to A Guarda
BreakfastBreakfast45€ per person
MP (Breakfast and dinner)MP (Breakfast and dinner)140€ per person
Supplement for single roomSupplement for single room125€ per single room
Extra nightExtra night70€ (sing. room) / 95€ (doub. room)
Breakfast Breakfast
In hotels, guesthouses and rural houses from Oporto to A Guarda 45€ per person
MP (Breakfast and dinner) MP (Breakfast and dinner)
In hotels, guesthouses and rural houses from Oporto to A Guarda 140€ per person
Supplement for single room Supplement for single room
In hotels, guesthouses and rural houses from Oporto to A Guarda 125€ per single room
Extra night Extra night
In hotels, guesthouses and rural houses from Oporto to A Guarda 70€ (sing. room) / 95€ (doub. room)


Frequently Asked Questions

In this modality you will do the Camino de Santiago at your own pace and you will only have to worry about choosing the route you like the most, the type of accommodation and your departure date. If you choose this option you will travel alone or with the people that appear in your reservation, and you will have all the services included so that you only have to worry about walking and enjoying the experience.
The Way of Saint James on your own includes the following services
  • Accommodation
  • Luggage transport
  • Dossier with information about the stages
  • Pilgrim's credential
  • 24-hour helpline
  • Travel insurance
In addition, you can customize your trip by adding the following optional services
  • Breakfast or half board
  • Private transfers to the start of the stage from Santiago de Compostela or from the airport.
  • Extra night at the beginning or end of the stage
Unlike the group trips, no bus service, guide or support vehicle is included between stages. But you will have a 24-hour hotline where you can contact us in case of any problem or unforeseen event, which we will solve quickly.
Yes, you will have total freedom to choose your departure date. However, if you want to do your Camino de Santiago in the months of December, January and February, we recommend that you check availability before making your reservation. At this time of year most accommodation is closed and many services may not be available.
In your travel documents, you will find the names of the accommodations assigned to you, as well as their contact telephone number and location.   As a general rule, all accommodation is located in the centre of the different towns along the Pilgrims' Route to Santiago de Compostela, without the need to deviate too far from the route. But sometimes, due to lack of availability, it is possible that some accommodation may be a little far from the village or even in neighbouring towns.   For all the accommodations that are at a considerable distance from the route of the Camino, we will provide you with a free taxi service that you can use to get to your accommodation and return to the Camino the next morning.   In any case, these are exceptions that we will inform you at the time of booking.
Luggage transport service by default is included in all our trips and it is not necessary to request it. You will be able to do the Camino de Santiago without your luggage on your back with the peace of mind that your suitcase will be at your next accommodation on your arrival.   Along with your credential you will also receive stickers, which you must cover with the requested information and stick it in a visible place on your suitcase.   Once you have arrived at your accommodation, we recommend that you ask at reception where you can leave your luggage. You will have to leave your luggage at the indicated place first thing in the morning for our carrier to pick it up. This way, when you arrive at your next accommodation your luggage will already be there.
We have a taxi service that you can hire whenever you need it. You can hire it, for example, to go from the airport to the start of your Camino, or to go from Santiago to your starting point to pick up your car once you finish the stage.   The price of the transfers will depend on the distance from your point of origin to the destination. If you have any questions about this service do not hesitate to contact us.
We include a compulsory insurance with each trip that will cover you for any inconveniences that may arise during the Camino de Santiago. We will send you the insurance policy together with your travel documents.
The basic travel insurance included in our packages has a wide coverage against unforeseen events, with which you will also have guaranteed medical assistance and numerous benefits that you can consult in the General Conditions of Travel Insurance.
In your travel documents you will find an emergency telephone number where we are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This way you will travel with peace of mind knowing that one of our companions will help you to quickly solve any problem, incident or doubt that you may have along your Camino de Santiago.
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