Camino

Everyone! Your age and level of physical fitness are not constraints to undertaking this experience. We can adjust the length of the stages to suit your pace. Contact us!

Yes. The Portuguese Way of St. James is very well signposted in Portugal and Spain with yellow arrows marking the route. In Spain, as well as yellow arrows the path is indicated with tiles on which the lines of the scallop shell point in the direction to follow.

The “Credencial” is a passport-like document that identifies you as a pilgrim along the Way and upon your arrival in Santiago de Compostela. Along the Way, you can have it stamped by the hotels, parishes, police stations, cafés and shops that have witnessed your passage.
When you arrive in Santiago, take your “Credencial” to the Pilgrim Office to obtain your “Compostela”. We provide all our clients with a blank official “Credencial” passport from Santiago Cathedral.

These are years in which St. James’ Day (July 25) falls on a Sunday. Jacobean years occur cyclically every 6, 5, 6 and 11 years. The last was in 2010 and the next will be in 2021.

The “Compostela” is the official accreditation of pilgrims completing the Camino de Santiago. The certificate is awarded by Santiago Cathedral, through the Pilgrim Office, to those pilgrims who have completed the journey along one of the official routes, collecting stamps or signatures in their “Credencial” passport from parishes, hostels or refuges along the route and who have a spiritual or religious motive for undertaking the journey. To qualify, you must have completed at least the last 100km of any one of the recognised Caminos (or 200km if you go by bike).

No. These days, the Way of St. James attracts thousands of people from all over the world, representing all faiths and those with no faith. Non-religious pilgrims are typically attracted by the ancient architecture, Portuguese and Galician culture and the natural beauty that the Camino has to offer.

On a self-guided tour, you navigate the route yourself with the aid of our Roadbook and the markings that indicate the Way as opposed to relying on a guide. We provide all the information you need including suggestions, maps, instructions, directions, and things to see or do during self-guided tours.

Each of our self-guided tours is a complete and affordable vacation, tailored specifically for independent travellers. They offer the same quality, style, service and comforts of typical guided trips with the freedom and flexibility of making your own decisions about how you spend your time.

Don’t worry, you’re not completely alone. If you run into problems, we’re available 24-hours a day to help you.

Walking (or cycling) such a long distance is physically and mentally challenging at times, which adds to the sense of achievement. You should start your training months in advance and be realistic about how far you can comfortably travel in one day. Some stages are easier than others and there will be a few hills to climb. Unless you are exceptionally fit, you are likely to feel quite tired at the end of a full day (approximately 20 km) of walking.

Payment

If you have to cancel your trip, we retain some money to cover our costs:

  • More than 30 days before the expected arrival date – 10% of total cost
  • From 29 to 15 days before the expected arrival date – 50% of total cost
  • Less than 14 days before the expected arrival date – 100% of total cost

After confirmation we will request a deposit. The final payment should be made at least 30 days before your arrival date.

We offer several payment methods. We accept payment from all major credit cards (through a secure link), bank transfer or PayPal.

Preparation

  • Your backpack should be waterproof, soft, with double stitching and back cushioning, with adjustable straps.
  • Take 2 or 3 pairs of trousers or shorts, 2 or 3 breathable t-shirts/tops, a jumper/fleece for chilly mornings and nights, a raincoat, several pairs of underwear and walking socks with no stitches.
  • As for footwear, you should bring a comfortable pair of waterproof trekking shoes or boots, larger than your usual size and already worn in, plus a pair of shoes/sandals to rest your feet at the end of each stage.
  • Bring your personal hygiene items, a hat, a flask or water bottle and a walking pole or staff, a much-needed object to maintain the rhythm of your walking or to lean your body on and activate the circulation in your hands and arms.
  • It is up to you to bring your mobile phone, camera, chargers, a notebook and a pen.
  • Don’t forget your identity card/passport, health certificate, credit card and some cash in Euros. Please read our page with more detailed preparation advice.

We recommend that before starting your Camino you do plenty of preparation to adapt your body to long walks. You will be walking from 4-6-hours per day and the average walking stage is 22km (13 miles) per day. You’ll need to be in good health and able to walk for a few hours, with some ups-and-downs on varied terrain, from tarmac roads to dirt paths and rocky or muddy tracks. If you have any health problems we recommend getting a medical evaluation to assess your ability to cope.
Please read our page with more detailed preparation advice.

Reservation

Please send an email to info@portugueseway.com and tell us the number of people, date of departure and the services you need.

Demand for the Portuguese Way of St. James has increased over recent years and in some places, suitable accommodation is limited. For that reason, we recommend reserving your place as soon as possible.

Yes, the Portuguese Way of Saint James is safe for solo travellers. You can be sure of finding the company of other pilgrims along the Way during popular months and on the Central Route.

We recommend you play it safe and purchase travel insurance before your Camino trip.

Each morning you leave your luggage at the hotel reception before departing. Our team will collect and deliver your luggage to the next hotel. Full instructions will be included in the travel documents.

We recommend that you fly to Porto airport (Francisco Sá Carneiro). When you arrive at the airport you have several options for reaching Porto city centre:
– By private transfer (we can provide this service)
– In a taxi (approximately 25 euros)
– By metro (line B – costs about 2 euros)
If you start the Way in Ponte de Lima, Valença or Caminha, we will explain how to get there for your start date.

It is your responsibility to ensure you obtain any visas required for your trip. Rules and regulations regarding visas change constantly and vary for different nationalities so you should check visa requirements with your relevant consular authority well before travel.

The self-guided tours are available daily from March to November. As this is a very popular walking route and hotels can fill up quickly, we recommend you confirm your trip as far in advance as possible. Due to the heat we recommend you avoid walking long distances in the months of July and August.

After confirmation of the tours and payment of the deposit, we will send you some preparation advice. On Day 1 of the tour you will receive your road book, which includes detailed route notes and 24-hour emergency contact details. If you have any questions, our travel specialists are available to answer to all your questions.

Weather

The Portuguese Way of St. James can be walked at any time of year but we recommend the period from March to November to avoid the grimmest winter weather.

In spring and autumn, there is always a fair chance of experiencing some rain during your Camino. Days can be warm and sunny or chilly and possibly windy, especially on the coast, so come prepared for changeable conditions. May, June and September tend to be warmer, even quite hot at times, with less chance of rain. July and August are typically the hottest months, with temperatures regularly exceeding 30oC, making long walks particularly challenging.