The Portuguese Coastal Way takes pilgrims through the most westerly part of Portugal. Starting from Porto, it follows the coastline north.
The Coastal Portuguese Way of Saint James was mainly used by pilgrims who came by boat from western lands to then head north to Santiago de Compostela on foot. It is less well-travelled than the Central Portuguese Way, and therefore quieter, at least until Redondela where it merges with the Central Camino.
In calm, warm weather, the coastal stretches are particularly enjoyable and the route has plenty of natural charms and historical towns, albeit fewer shrines and monuments than other more popular routes.
From Porto to Caminha, the Coastal Way follows boardwalks and back roads alongside the wide sandy beaches and flowered sand dunes of the northern Portuguese coastline. That said, much of this section is inland, along rural lanes and tracks through traditional villages, forests and historical towns and small cities like Vila do Conde and Viana do Castelo.
Once across the River Minho and through A Guarda, you’ll spend most time next to the mostly rocky Galician shoreline before reaching the attractive seaside resort town of Baiona. After that, the Way continues inland, through a series of villages and forests to the city of Vigo and on to Redondela, where it merges with the Central Way.
You won’t find fresher fish and seafood than on this route.