Taking the best of all Caminos de Santiago (The Way of Saint James), there is one especially unique for the little known and the spectacular of its route: it is the Portuguese way along the coast. It offers the possibility to follow this milenary path in a very different manner than usually expected. Beaches, cliffs, boat trips and forests await the traveller.

The Portuguese Way is one of the most popular pilgrimage routes, always behind the iconic French way, but as each traveler begins his path from a variety of places, it offers an alternative that was used by the Portuguese pilgrims who started from Oporto or by those who arrived by boat to the portuguese coast.

Still today, the portuguese way by the coast starts in the city of Porto, runs along the north coast of Portugal, crosses in Caminha the Miño river to Galicia and ends in Redondela, where it meets the cross country Portuguese way.

From there to Santiago, there are 280 kilometers that can be organized into 13 stages. If you decide to do only the Galician part of the itinerary, there are 8 stages from A Guarda to Compostela.


All paths are a unique experience, but this has the particularity to run by the sea during a good part of the journey, walking along white sand beaches, monasteries, rocky promontories and views that comfort the most tired mood. It also offers the chance to visit the province of Pontevedra, which runs 140 kilometers through 15 municipalities, and the Rias Baixas, one of the most beautiful landscape areas of Galicia and Spain.

This path leads to the pilgrim through paths that a car traveller,  never would take and also offers the fan of the Camino de Santiago a totally different experience from the fields of Castilla found in the french way or even the dramatic coast of the Northern way. It is also one of the most suitable ways for cycling.

Although it is becoming more popular, the proposal of Turismo Rias Baixas is far from the crowded french way, so it’s ideal for travelers and pilgrims seeking a more quiet or spiritual experience.



1st Stage: La Guardia - Oia (16 km)

If we come from Portugal, we will have crossed the Miño by ferry from Caminha through a wide mouth surrounded by mountains and presided over, already in Galician territory.

We start the first stage of the Portuguese Way along the Coast from La Guardia, specifically from the port of disembarkation for pilgrims coming from Portugal, A Pasaxe (La Guardia).

A Pasaxe is located on the slope of Mount Santa Tecla, one of the largest and best-preserved castrex and pre-Roman settlements in Galicia, as well as petroglyphs dating back 2,000 years prior to the occupation of the fort, in the 1st century BC. of C and 1 d. by C.

If we get to climb the mountain we can enjoy fantastic views of the mouth of the river Miño, border with Portugal and the largest river in Galicia.

We will enter La Guardia, known as the capital of the lobster, it is a fishing village where the Pilgrim will visit the historic center, being able to visit the Plaza del Reloj and the chapel of Nuestra Señora de la Guía, among others.

Leaving La Guardia behind, we will begin to walk along the coastal path through practically flat terrain, leaving the Atlantic Ocean on our left until we reach Oia, where it is worth highlighting the Monastery of Santa María de Oia, it has a strategic location, in fact, in In the 17th century, its monks managed to defend themselves from an attack by the Turkish fleet.

The journey has a distance of 16.5 km with 159.85 km to reach Santiago, the terrain is practically flat.

In the stage there are hostels and hotels, pharmacy, cashier, restaurants and shops.

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2nd Stage: Oia - Baiona (18 km)

We begin our second stage leaving Oia behind us, we will pass near Cabo Silleiro, you will be able to appreciate the cannons that defended the coasts from possible invaders, such as the pirate Francis Drake, who arrived in our waters in 1585.

Before reaching Baiona, we will go up the old royal path to reach Baredo, we will shorten the journey by about 2 kilometers if we choose the coast, there are unpaved roads but the ascent is not too hard. My option is to go down to the Virgen de la Roca, the work of Antonio Palacios, made of granite and marble, to reach the gates of the Castle of Monte Real-Parador Nacional de Turismo, we can do the path that surrounds it if we are not very tired It is worth it, we can also visit the replica of the caravel La Pinta, the food market and many other popular architectural works.

On March 1, 1493, Baiona was the first port in Europe to receive the news of the discovery of America, as the Caravel La Pinta arrived, captained by Martín Alonso Pinzón.

Baiona is also the southern start of the Vigo estuary, protected by the Cíes Islands, which are the heart of the Atlantic Islands National Park, which can be visited depending on the season from the port of Baiona.

The stage has a distance of 17.8 km, remaining 143.35 km to Santiago.

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3rd Stage: Baiona - Vigo (25 km)

We say goodbye to Baiona. We will do the next stage all along the coast, the path is easy and for my taste, much more beautiful. We will cross the marshes of La Foz and reach Ramallosa, where we can see the Roman bridge on our left. Instead of going up to Prgamos, we will continue towards Playa América and Panxón, following the beaches, we will go through a fantastic walk through Playa América until the end of the Panxón pass, we must see the votive temple of the Sea, built on the remains of a Visigoth temple of the s. VII, we go down again to go right along the Madorra beach towards Patos to get to a Surf school, there we will follow a dirt road next to the beach until the end of a cut path, we will have to go down the beach a few 20 meters to reach the access to the descent of the Playa de Prado, where we will go up the slope to the National Highway (PO325), continuing to the left towards Canido, before reaching a gas station, it would go down Rua Canabido to continue along Rua del Arquitecto Gomez Román to get to Rua de Canido, I suggest stopping to regain strength at the Cochón restaurant, El Puerto or Canto da Area, an octopus tapa or some typical dish will help us recover from the effort. We are already entering the Vigo estuary, we will make the journey parallel to the Bao, Sirenita, Samil and La Fuente beaches until we reach the Museum of the Sea, there we will take another path to continue on the flat that will take us to Bouzas where the last section begins , Orillamar avenue, we will see the most important shipyards in Galicia and one of the largest inshore ports in the world, the Berbés to reach Vigo. In the APP you have the most emblematic places to visit, if it were you I would be in the city for a few days, I would take the opportunity to visit the Cíes Islands, check the availability on our website, it is worth it.

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4th stage (Winter): Vigo - Cangas (by boat) - Marín (22 km)

It is important that you know in advance that this route is unusual and very few people have done it before, it is hardly signposted, we are talking with the local authorities of each municipality to sign it, hopefully they act quickly, it is a pioneering route since Most of the way we will do it next to the beaches of the Pontevedra estuary, it has been an alternative route to the already known stage that goes from Vigo to Redondela and later to Pontevedra.

We start our route from Vigo, taking the boat to Cangas with the only shipping company that makes this journey, Mar de Ons, there are departures every hour every day. When we arrive at the Port of Cangas we must visit the ex-collegiate Parroquia de Cangas and Islas Cíes (16th century), the great jewel of the municipality with Renaissance architecture and sculpture. We will follow the path towards Ruta dos Muiños de Coiro until we reach the hermitage of San Cosme, we will continue straight on Lugar a Portela street until we reach a crossroad, at the end of the road, we will find a laundry with a path that passes under the road , we take it and it will take us to the Church of San Martiño de Bueu, then we will continue towards the port of Bueu, either along the sidewalk or along a path that begins next to the fountain that is going down when leaving the church towards the port, there we can take the boat to Portonovo or Combarro (if we get a group of 12) or continue towards Marín crossing spectacular beaches such as Loureiro, Portomayor (Ramón restaurant), Lapamán, Loira (Tapería A Figueira), Aguete, Portocelo to finally reach our destination, Marin.

In my opinion, we can rest on one of the terraces of the Alameda, next to the entrance of the Naval School and take a bus to spend the night in Pontevedra, this 7 km stretch from Marín to Pontevedra is all road and passes next to a pulp mill, it is not a recommended route.

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Portuguese Way of Santiago along the Coast from La Guardia: Vigo-Cangas-Bueu-Marín-Pontevedra, 22 km, 4th stage

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5th stage (Spiritual Variant of Father Sarmiento): Pontevedra-Armenteira (21 km)

If you listened to me, you will have taken a bus from Marín to rest in Pontevedra, if you arrived in the early afternoon I would visit the Basilica of Santa María la Mayor and the chapel of the pilgrim virgin and of course, the Ravachol parrot, in the square Pilgrim, it’s worth it. In the morning, it is time to start the Spiritual Variant of Padre Sarmiento, we will cross the Burgo bridge following Calle de La Santiña, 2 km we will find a detour to the left, the Spiritual Variant begins, we will go through little traveled rural roads to reach the Monastery of San Juan de Poio, of general interest since 1971. We will follow the Camino towards Combarro, a coastal town full of granaries, with narrow and winding streets, wonderful. Then it is the climb to Armenteira, about 430 meters of altitude, sections of road and dirt tracks to finally reach the Monastery of Armenteira, a very quiet rural enclave in the middle of the mountain where we can spend the night and rest after having traveled about 21 km.

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6th stage: Armenteira - Vilanova de Arousa (24 km)

Without a doubt, one of the most beautiful stages, practically downhill and flat, has no difficulty. We will walk through “The Stone and Water Route” that runs through a natural setting of great beauty, between the Ribadumia and Meis councils, in the Salnés region. We will walk under the shade of the trees we will find old water mills that rest on the banks of the Armenteira river. Once we get to the flat part, after crossing the road, resting at the Bar O Chiringo de Concha, it is worth it, after the stop we will go through the “Rías Baixas Vineyard Route”, orchards and vineyards that indicate that we are approaching the Ría de Arousa, after having traveled about 24 km we reached the beaches and Vilanova de Arousa.

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7th stage: Vilanova de Arousa - Pontecesures (by boat) - Santiago (24 km)

I have to indicate that this “River Route” does not count as the Camino de Santiago, but with the kilometers we carry in our backpack, we will not mind enjoying this wonderful route and thus avoid a 28 km walk to Pontecesures.

We will make the journey in a private boat, at a cost of approximately 19 euros the journey of 1 hour and 15 minutes where they will explain the operation of the rafts and the details to take into account of the crossing, its Via Crucis, the Cortegada Island, the famous Carril clams, for example.

We will cross the Ría de Arousa and ascend the Ulla river, recalling the journey that Teodoro and Atanasio made from Palestine in AD 44 with the remains of Santiago Apóstol.

We will arrive in Pontecesures to continue the Portuguese Way to Santiago, about 24 km of travel to finish our Way and get the Compostela, remember that now you have to get a ticket before 14:00 P.M. to have the Credential stamped.

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TitleAddress Description
4910 Caminha, Portugal
A Guarda
La Guardia, Pontevedra, España
Mougás, Pontevedra, España
A Ramallosa
San Pedro de la Ramallosa, 36393 Bayona, Pontevedra, España
Vigo, Pontevedra, España
Pontevedra, España
Caldas de Reis
Caldas de Reyes, Pontevedra, España