The pilgrimage from Portugal to Santiago de Compostela is a journey with lots of history. Its origins are in the Middle Ages, the route followed closely the ancient Roman roads of Lusitania and Gallaecia, but nowadays on many sections you will have to walk along a modern road.
This route developed throughout years the commercial and cultural exchanges between the north of Portugal and Galicia. The Portuguese Way increased its importance towards the XII Century. It goes through the most of Portugal, from south to north, crossing the border with Spain at the village of Tui, and then going directly to Santiago de Compostela.
The Portuguese Way is the second most popular path in number of pilgrims, and it is a fantastic route for pilgrims looking for a more rural and less crowded experience than the French Way. Some people decide to start this Camino from the Portuguese-Spanish border town of Tui to walk the last 72 miles. Others choose a more complete adventure and they walk from different Portuguese villages, starting mainly from Porto (141 miles) or Lisbon (380 miles).
The section from Porto to Santiago has many pilgrim hostels and bars on the road, and it is quite busy with pilgrims. But the route from Lisbon to Porto has fewer facilities and the way-marks are not as good, however, it can be still be done without a problem.
The Portuguese Way through Portugal
There are two options to walk the Portuguese Way to Santiago de Compostela: the “Portuguese Way inland” and the “Portuguese Way by the Coast”. It is interesting to note that both have different variations but we will try to find the most classic routes.
The Portuguese Way inland is a 143-mile path also known as the Portuguese Central Way. It starts from Porto and passes through Braga and Ponte de Lima to Valenca and Spanish territory.
The Portuguese Way by the coast is an 87-mile section departing from Porto and going through Viana do Castelo and Caminha. It rejoins the main other route in the village of Tui, in the border with Spain.
The Portuguese Way through Spain
As we have said, the Portuguese Way in Spain goes from Tui to Santiago de Compostela, this section can be completed in six stages to complete the 72 miles of this path. The Camino goes through Tui, Porriño, Redondela, Pontevedra, Caldas de Reis, Padron and finally Santiago de Compostela.