The Camino Portugués
From Porto to Redondela on Central Route
The cultural gem of this detour is the Monastery of Vairão (with an albergue).
Shortly before arriving at the Monastery the camino turns left sharply. Follow that road 500m, and turn right onto a trail through the forest.
Where the forest ends turn right, and at the next big road (N318), turn left again into Vilarinho.
A pleasant and shaded square and your choice of three albergues.
The camino follows the road out of town in the direction of Fontaínhas and keeps to the left at the fork, leaving the busy road just before a curve. It passes through a small hamlet and then crosses back over the road. Old arrows indicate that the camino continues along the road, but this way...
The bridge and a small village of Ave, no services.
Turn right at the first fork after the bridge. Cross through town and back uphill to the N306, which has wound its way back from where you crossed it last.
Turn right on the N306, and then left on the first road. It is well marked with many arrows and a Camino de Santiago information...
The camino leaves the road to pass through this small village and returns to it once past.
It continues along the road and under the A7. Here it changes to a gravel and stone path before crossing the Puente de Arcos.
From the bridge, it is a short climb into the village of São...
At the beginning of town the camino is unclear and confused by the presence of new arrows taking you along the road. The way to Rates is better along the old path described below.
Likewise, keep an eye out for arrows which take you to Esposende on the Coastal Way, they are near the...
At the start of town, you will find a small intersection with a tree set in a triangular retaining wall. Turn left here and follow the curvature of the road to the first fork and turn right. The path takes you through farmland and forest and directly into Rates. An alternative route, which is...
Directly at the entrance to town sits the most Romanesque church in all of Portugal, the Igreja Românica de Rates. It, and a bell tower, are all that remain of the Benedictine monastery that stood here. Adjacent to the church is the church museum.
São Pedro de Rates’ designation as an important stop along the Portugues way to Santiago is attributed to the legendary namesake of the town, Saint Peter of Rates. He is also known as Saint Peter of Braga as he was the first bishop of Braga, ordained as such by Santiago himself. The two were...
At the start of town the camino splits. Keep to your right, following the arrows along The Central Way. The other variation will take you west to join The Coastal Way.
Saint Peter of Rates is celebrated on his feast day, the 26th of April.
The sign indicating the entrance of Pedra Furada would have you believe that the town is much smaller that it is. Pass through the narrow streets and at the main road turn left into the rest of town. After turning left, keep on the road.
At the start of Góios, a small detour takes you off to the left to bypass a blind curve in the road. Soon the scenery changes slightly, to more businesses and traffic, even a gas station. The camino stays on the road through this stretch to the end of town. Beyond the edge of town, it turns left...
After passing the small chapel in the center of the intersection of Santa Cruz, the camino nears the cities of Barcelinhos and Barcelos and the tangle of roads that encircle them.
You will pass straight across a roundabout onto a road adjacent to a car dealership. The road looks like a...
Barcelinhos sits across the river from Barcelos, and by proximity to both it has grown to be a city of its own.
Leave town across the bridge over the Río Cávado. At the end of the bridge, turn left (against traffic) and follow the curve in the road up to the church and the ‘palace’.
The ruins at the entrance to town are from the palace of a former Duke, and although there were several attempts to rebuild it subsequent to the earthquake of 1755 the only thing we are left with today is the open air Museo Arqueológico, which is more like an open park than a formal museum....
The Feast of the Cross is held on May 3rd at the Igreja do Bom Jesus.
Market every Thursday in the feria space opposite the Igreja.
A fresh set of arrows and signs direct the way through town, past the Igreja Senhor da Cruz and the large market square opposite it (open on Thursdays).
Accommodation in Barcelos
Albergue Cidade de Barcelos
Miguel Bombarda, 36
Dr. Sidónio Pais 67-77
Hotel Dom Nuno
Dr. Francisco Torres, 141
Hotel do Terco ⭑⭑⭑
São Bento, 7
Hotel Bagoeira ⭑⭑⭑
Sidónio Pais, 495
da Liberdade, 35
The Council of Vila Boa has installed a set of highly visible yellow signs that guide you through town.
After rounding the church, keep on the road to the first side street and turn right. At the next fork (identifiable for the wash basin and cruceiro) keep to your left. One more right-hand turn and you are heading straight for the railway.
At the tracks, the arrows turn left, but that is a...
The camino passes a convenient bakery on your left as it crosses through town. Pass the front of the chapel and keep to your left, passing another chapel and park not far after.
At this point you begin the steady uphill climb to Portela de Tamel, passing along the way intermittent strings...
Arrows at the end of town, opposite the ‘Restaurante 2000,’ direct you up the stairs and to your right to pass the church and albergue.
They eventually bring you back to the road, which you must follow for about 400m. Follow the road signs for Quintiães to the left, and shortly thereafter...
The track will bring you to the modern church in Aborim. The church is nothing spectacular, but the enormous eucalyptus tree in the open lot just beyond is.
If you are after the ATM, coffee, or the shop, you have to keep RIGHT at the left arrow after crossing the tracks, otherwise see below.
Cross the railway on your right and keep an eye open for the arrows that will take you left shortly after that.
The camino turns to track and passes through the countryside, across a stone bridge and eventually to a paved road that leads into Gandara.
At the far end of Gandara keep an eye out for the arrows that indicate a sharp right-hand turn off the road. It is often blocked by the trucks and traffic parked around the farmer store.
From there it is back to the countryside, passing the Puente de Tabuas on the way to Balugães.