Reasons to Walk the Portuguese Coastal Way

Discover why the Portuguese Coastal Way is the fastest-growing Camino de Santiago route: stunning landscapes, easy terrain, rich culture, and excellent cuisine.

5/18/20243 min read

The Portuguese Coastal Way has seen a significant rise in popularity in recent years. This Camino de Santiago route stands out for several reasons that have contributed to its growing success among pilgrims from around the world. Here, we explore the main reasons for its appeal and growth.

1. Scenic Beauty

One of the main reasons for the success of the Portuguese Coastal Way is the stunning beauty of its landscapes. Throughout the route, pilgrims enjoy spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean, golden beaches, dramatic cliffs, and picturesque fishing villages. This coastal setting offers a refreshing change compared to other Camino routes, which may be more rural or mountainous.

2. Easy Terrain

The Portuguese Coastal Way is known for being one of the easiest routes on the Camino de Santiago. The terrain is mostly flat and follows the coastline at sea level, meaning there are few steep ascents and descents. This accessibility attracts both beginner pilgrims and those seeking a less physically demanding walk.

3. Good Infrastructure

The infrastructure along the Portuguese Coastal Way has improved significantly, with a wide network of hostels, inns, and tourist services. This enhancement makes trip planning easier and ensures that pilgrims have access to necessary accommodations and services along the way. Additionally, the route is well-signposted, reducing the chance of getting lost and increasing the comfort for pilgrims.

4. Rich Cultural and Historical Heritage

The Portuguese Coastal Way is steeped in history and culture. Pilgrims can visit numerous historical sites, such as the Monastery of Oia, the Monterreal fortress in Baiona, and the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela at the end of the way. Each stage of the route offers an opportunity to explore the rich cultural heritage of Portugal and Galicia, enriching the pilgrim's experience.

5. Gastronomic Experience

The route offers an exceptional gastronomic experience. Pilgrims can savor the delicious local cuisine, including fresh seafood, Galician and Portuguese wines, and traditional dishes such as Galician empanada and Portuguese bacalhau. The gastronomy is a significant attraction that adds considerable value to the journey.

6. Tranquility and Less Crowding

Unlike other busier Camino routes, the Portuguese Coastal Way offers a more tranquil and less crowded experience. This lower influx of pilgrims allows for a more intimate connection with nature and provides a more relaxed and contemplative atmosphere.

7. Pleasant Climate

The climate along the Atlantic coast is generally milder and more pleasant, especially in the summer months. The sea breezes and moderate temperatures make walking more comfortable, contributing to the route's popularity.

8. Flexibility in the Route

The Portuguese Coastal Way offers flexibility in terms of starting points and stages. Pilgrims can begin their journey at various points such as Porto, A Guarda, or Vigo, and adjust their route according to their preferences and available time. This flexibility attracts a broad spectrum of pilgrims with different needs and schedules.

9. Promotion and Recognition

The growing recognition and promotion of the Portuguese Coastal Way by tourist organizations and local communities have increased its visibility and appeal. Marketing campaigns and word of mouth among satisfied pilgrims have played a crucial role in its growth.

10. Community and Hospitality

The warmth and hospitality of the local communities in Portugal and Galicia enrich the pilgrim's experience. Interaction with local residents, participation in festivities, and the welcome at hostels contribute to a memorable and enriching experience.

The Portuguese Coastal Way has emerged as one of the most popular routes on the Camino de Santiago due to its unique combination of scenic beauty, ease of travel, rich cultural heritage, and excellent infrastructure. These features, along with local hospitality and the tranquility of the path, continue to attract a growing number of pilgrims each year. If you are considering embarking on the Camino de Santiago, the Portuguese Coastal Way is an option that offers an unforgettable and rewarding experience.