Day 1: Arrival and transfer from Porto airport
Pick up from the airport and transfer to the Ipanema Park Hotel or riverside Pestana World Heritage hotel (included in the "premium" option), located in the Ribeira, the city's iconic living postcard. You have a free afternoon to visit the beautiful and cozy city of Porto, rich with history and monuments like the Clérigos Tower and the D. Luis Bridge. The old quarters of Baixa with its local shops, restaurants and pastry shops, Ribeira a quarter by the river Douro, facing the wine cellars of the Port wine, full with the city’s traditions and historical connection to the wine and the wine country of the Douro. Shopping areas such as Santa Catarina and Aliados Avenue. Not to miss are the great restaurants around town with some of the tastiest food in the country.
Day 2: Porto – Ofir (40 miles/65km)
After breakfast, transfer from your hotel to the Porto Cathedral from where you’ll begin your pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, cycling the Camino. In Sé Cathedral, you can enter and pick-up your pilgrim passport, that you can ask to be stamped in several hotels and restaurants as you go through the Camino.
From Sé, you’ll start your adventure through the city, descending Sé Velha and Mouzinho da Silveira street, to Porto’s riverside, cycling by the cycle paths alongside the Douro river, until you get to Leça da Palmeira. From here on, you'll start following the yellow arrows north along Portugal's coastline.
From Leça da Palmeira, the Camino will be a mix of cycle paths, paved roads, and walkways all the way until you reach the historical city of "Vila do Conde" and the beach resort and fishermen's town of "Póvoa do Varzim" – both of which offer good stops for lunch. After "Póvoa do Varzim," keep riding by small fishermen's villages until you reach Fão, where you'll turn left towards the ocean once more and the pine tree forested area of Ofir.
Day 3: Ofir – Caminha (37 miles/59km)
After breakfast at the hotel, start your day riding north, crossing the river to Esposende and alongside the Cávado river – then, start going inland, through the quaint villages of the north of Portugal.
At the 15th km, you'll start climbing and enter a more technical trail until you cross a very narrow bridge across the Neiva river – another climb will follow until you reach Viana do Castelo, across the river, where you will be able to see the "Santa Luzia" church on top of the sierra nearby. The historical city center is a good option to stop for lunch and visit.
After Viana, keep riding north by inland, by the Sierra – some urban single tracks and ancient paved roads will follow, until you reach "Vila Praia de Âncora," from where you'll ride by the Ecopista, by the shoreline, until you reach your hotel.
Day 4: Caminha – Baiona (24 miles/38km)
Leave Caminha by ferry boat (there's one every hour, except on Monday), towards "A Guarda," entering Spain. The initial part of the day offers no big climbs, just ups and downs, until you reach Bayona, a beautiful coastal town. Meanwhile, enjoy the medieval villages across the Galician coastline, tasting wonderful tapas and seafood along the way.
Stop in Bayona for lunch to admire this beautiful city and restat the local "Parador", located by the Marina of this piscatory city. This is a short but sweet ride, toprepare you for your next day, which is the toughest ride of the wek, so take your time to relax in Baiona.
Day 5: Baiona – Vigo – Pontevedra (40 miles/65km)
This might just be the toughest day of your Camino! After breakfast, resume your ride towards Vigo which is 25km away, tackling a short, but steep climb to reach Saigráns and to experience one of the most beautiful views in the region: Vigo's "Ria," where the sea water mixes with the river, and you'll be able to see the "bateas" where mussels are produced (a local delicacy) and the Ciés islands in the background –a natural park in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean.
You will then descend into the busy city of Vigo and then back up, towards a mountain range that overlooks the Ria de Vigo – 12km of macadam trails overlooking the Ria, followed by a descent towards Redondela – from Redondela, the "central camino" and the "coastal camino" become one! Another climb near Cessantes and then a descent to cross the Verdugo river over the romanic bridge of "Ponte Sampaio."
One final push after and then, from km28 on, it's a long descent until you reach Pontevedra and its beautiful Parador right in the middle of its historical center. Take your time to explore Pontevedra's center on a walk at nighttime by the Galician plazas of Ourense and Ferraria, where you'll find the city's Basilica and Chapel.
Day 6: Pontevedra – Padrón (25 miles/41km)
After breakfast you'll continue your pilgrimage feeling you're already getting close to Santiago. You'll notice another change in the landscape since you'll be abandoning the coast and returning to inland Galicia, with its lush green woods and forested areas. Your hotel of the day is located in Padrón, a village known for being the cradle of Galicia and for its Green Peppers, the Padrón Peppers.
Take some time to visit the village, climb to the Santiaguiño do Monte lookout point, visit the botanical gardens or Toxa waterfall and taste the food, If you're adventurous and it's in season try the Lamprea.
Day 7: Padrón – Santiago de Compostela (17 miles/28km)
After breakfast you'll begin the last stage of your Way of St. James. This will be a small test to your will and tenacity as the route starts going uphill almost from the start.
You'll go through small villages and churches with clear signs that the end of the Way is near. When you arrive, visit the Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, the end point of your pilgrimage. Compostela is a millennial city with places and monuments that deserve a visit, such as its plazas in the central area of the old town, the narrow streets and traditional markets. Check in at your hotel, and then dedicate the rest of your afternoon to visit the pilgrims' office and discover this medieval city's traditions, culture, and heritage.
Day 8: Departure
Breakfast at your hotel, followed by check out. At the scheduled time, transfer from Santiago de Compostela back to Porto airport.