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Duration
8 days
Activities
  • self guided cycle
Accommodation
  • 7 nights in hotels
Meals
  • 4 Dinners
  • 7 Breakfasts

Price

$1479USD

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Overview

Trip Code: UPW

Trip highlights


  • Discovering by bike the river valleys, small villages and pilgrimage sites along the Camino Portugués
  • Exploring the historical centres of Porto, Padron and Santiago
  • Experiencing culinary delights and the port wine varieties of the area
  • Cycling into the fabled town of Santiago de Compostela

The Portuguese Road, or Caminho Portugués, is considered by many as the most spiritually connected pilgrimage route. Following the path St James' body took to its resting place at the site of Santiago de Compostela in Spain, the quieter Portuguese path offers a wealth of history and delightful landscapes to discover. While the Caminho Portugués is traditionally walked by pilgrims, it is now possible to enjoy the route by bike. From the lively city of Porto, set on the banks of the Douro River and famous for its port wine production, the journey north travels through small hamlets, past eucalyptus and pine woods, over ancient bridges and through larger market towns dating back to Roman times. You will cross the border in to Spain and cycle into the fabled town of Santiago de Compostela.

Trip Grading

moderate to challenging

More info about grading system

Traveller Rating

 

Set on the banks of the Douro River, Porto's historical centre was declared a World Heritage site in 1996 and in the 12th Century it was in Porto that the country took its name and became an independent nation. Its maritime legacies and importance as a new world trading port have shaped it into the proud city it has become, with its impressive cathedral and port wine lodges. After checking in to your hotel, take the time to explore the city with its many cultural sites.

Meals:  Nil

This morning you go to the bike shop to collect your bike. Today you will cycle along quiet country roads, passing a mixture of churches and historic sites. Even from the first day of cycling you will get a taste of this history of this ancient pilgrimage. You will cycle through eucalyptus and pine forests before arriving in Arcos this afternoon. If you prefer to spend more time in Porto today and avoid the largely urban cycle to Arcos, we can arrange an afternoon transfer from Porto to Arcos. An additional cost will apply and this needs to be pre-booked (speak to our staff for details, including price). You will still qualify for a Compostela Certificate on arrival into Santiago as you will have ridden just over 200kms from Arcos to Santiago which is the minimum requirement for cyclists.

Meals:  B,D

Today you will cycle across rolling hills and through woodlands and little villages. You will pass through the market town of Barcelos. With its impressive medieval bridge, Barcelos is treasured for its history and legends (eg. the Barcelos cockerel) and is a fantastic place to stop for lunch. You will continue on to Ponte de Lima, the oldest town in Portugal. Once you have checked in to your hotel, the cobble stoned streets of Ponte de Lima are a delight to walk through and there are many points of interest including museums, historic houses, a prision tower (now a library) and the main square, Largo de Camoes. The medieval bridge spanning the Lima River has Roman foundations but was rebuilt in 1368. Many festivals also take place here including Vaca das Cordas in June (the day before Corpus Christi), medieval markets in August, and Feiras Novas on the third weekend in September, a party which goes on for 3 days.

Meals:  B,D

Today will be a harder day on the bike, with lots of hills to conquer. However the distance is only short, so you will have time to soak in the scenery en route. You will small churches, cycle over green hills, and then finally cross the international bridge from Valença do Minho, in Portugal, to Tui in Spain.

Meals:  B,D

You will start today by following the Camino de Barca first before reaching the Túnel das Monxas. A sharp climb up to the San Telmo bridge will follow. After this, the terrain will become a little easier as you continue towards O Porriño. Later in the day a short climb leads up to the chapel of Santiaguiño de Antas, and you will then cycle through pine forests en route to the fishing village of Arcade. You will enjoy stunning views over the Bay of Vigo as you pedal towards the historic city of Pontevedra, where you will overnight. In Pontevedra there are some interesting sites to be explored including the Santuario da Peregrin chapel and the Convento de San Francisco. The medieval town centre is a maze of cobbled laneways with tapas bars and cafes.

Meals:  B

Today you will pedal through chestnut groves, pine and eucalyptus forest. You will pass through the hamlet of Tivo and the village of Caldas de Reis, before crossing the River Umia and gradually climbing to the village of Santa Marina. Your destination for today is Padron, where the body of Saint James is said to have first landed, when it was brought to Santiago. As of mid July the O Burgo bridge in Pontevedra is closed, there is a temporary diversion of the Camino via the As Correntes bridge before returning to the usual route in A Santiña. The diversion is signed and local businesses and accommodation are aware, if you need to ask for directions.

Meals:  B,D

The final day takes you again through pine, oak and eucalyptus wood before climbing up to reach Santiago. You will pass a number of small villages en route, before spotting the spires of Santiago's Cathedral in the distance. If you time your arrival well you will be able to attend the midday Pilgrim's Mass in Santiago. This afternoon you are free to discover the many interesting sites of Santiago's charming old town.

Meals:  B

Trip concludes after breakfast.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts and 4 dinners. Breakfasts are usually continental inclusive of breads, cheese, ham, tea, coffee & juices. Dinner will consist of 3 courses, usually starting with a salad, followed by a chicken, red meat, fish or pasta dish & finishing with a dessert of fruit or cakes.
  • 7 nights in a combination of 3-4 star hotels & farmhouse B&Bs on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities
  • Luggage transfer (1 bag of 20kg max pp - additional bags and excess weight will attract a surcharge
  • Information pack including route notes & guidebook per room booked
  • Mountain bike rental (standard model) with repair kit, lock, panniers, water bottle, pump & helmet (gel saddle, toe clips, SPD pedals available - supplement applies, must be booked in advance). MTB e-bikes and Upgraded or Premium 'Profi' model MTBs available on request - supplement applies
  • Emergency hotline

  • Travel to Porto and from Santiago
  • Lunch and drinks throughout, 3 dinners
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Entrance fees
  • Tour guide – this is a self guided cycling trip
  • Transfers - there is an optional transfer between Porto to Arcos available at an additional cost (must be pre-booked, speak to our staff for details)
  • Travel insurance
  • Excess baggage charges - please advise us if you will have more than one bag weighing a max of 20kgs as extra charges will apply for additional pieces of luggage. Please do not tie smaller bags onto your main luggage as we only include one bag and they will be charged as an extra bag. Charges will be higher if not paid when final balance for your trip is due.

Bike information


Grading

moderate to challenging  

MODERATE TO CHALLENGING – GRADE 4 The cycling is moderate to challenging (4) grade with daily cycling distances from 26 to 54 km / 16 to 33.5mi over diverse terrain – from relatively flat to hilly. There will be some dirt roads as well as the occasional rocky path used during this tour. The accent is on keeping a relaxed pace to take in all of the attractions, with time to stop and take photos. It is considered suitable for cyclists with a good to high level of fitness. Minor roads with reduced traffic are customary on this trip and we recommend that you familiarise yourself with road cycling in light traffic in order to participate. *For safety reasons, we insist that cycle helmets be included as a compulsory item on your equipment list or provided with bike on request.


Departure dates

Daily

Notes

DN1
Subject to availability over the Xmas and New Year period and during local festivals. Price supplements are likely to apply for departures coinciding with local festivals and public holidays.
DN2
Optional transfer on day 2 to Arcos to avoid cycling through urban centres - supplement applies - must be requested at time of booking. Delivery of bike will be on the evening of day 2 if taking the transfer option See trip notes or ask our team for further details.
DN3
Departures from November to February are likely to experience wetter and colder conditions than at other times. Winter can be a magical time to experience the Camino with fewer people and more local encounters, but the day is shorter. In addition, hotel closures are possible which may require a change in overnight towns.

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Total Priceper person from

$1479USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Bike upgrade supplement - Advanced MTB model 2021USD$43
  • Electric Bike supplement (e-MTB) 2021USD$130
  • excess luggage (per piece, max 20kg in weight)USD$200
  • Single SupplementUSD$310
  • Single Traveller SurchargeUSD$370
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

Our Wide Range

With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

Videos

Walking the Camino de Santiago with UTracks

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