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IF YOU ARE GOING TO TRAVEL TO THE CÍES ISLANDS OR THE ONS ISLAND FROM EASTER AND MAY 15 (EXCEPT CAMPERS), before buying the ticket, you must obtain the authorization requested by La Xunta de Galicia, in which they will provide you with the pre code -reserve (necessary to acquire the boat ticket).

Discover the Portuguese Camino de Santiago Coastal Route

by | Feb 1, 2024 | Cíes Islands, Islas Cíes, Ons archipelago

The Portuguese Camino de Santiago Coastal Route is a unique journey that will immerse you in the astonishing beauty of the Atlantic coast

For many, this is one of the most enriching personal experiences. Don’t miss the opportunity to take this journey and enjoy the marvellous views that the Galician coast has to offer. 

In addition, to complete the journey or even during the journey, you can visit two iconic symbols of the Rías Baixas, the Cies Islands and the Island of Ons, with the Mar de Ons Ferry from ports near to the route

The stages of the Portuguese coastal route

The pilgrimage can be started from Porto or from the coastal village of  A Guarda. From this point, the route continues in a north-westerly direction along the shores of the Miño river, offering the best views of the Santa Tegra Mountain.  

Passing through towns such as Oia, which is well-known for its Cistercian monastery and its medieval church, you will arrive at Cape Silleiro, and then enter the  Ria de Vigo estuary through the historic town of Baiona

Towards the north, you will go over the medieval bridge of A Ramallosa to reach Panxón. Then, before reaching Vigo, you will cross the iconic Samil beach.  

Once you have passed through the city of Vigo, the route intertwines with the Portuguese Camino at Redondela, passing through Pontevedra, Caldas de Reis and Padrón, to finally reach the long-awaited Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela.

Keep reading, to discover all the stages of this route from A Guarda!

Stage one: A Guarda – Oia

The first stage on Galician territory begins by entering Galicia  along the coast, more specifically through  A Pasaxe, in A Guarda

Of special note in this small coastal village is the Santa Tegra mountain, which is its most prized gem of tourism and history. This is the most visited mountain of the Galician Galaico-Roman settlements, and it offers some impressive views of the estuary of the River Miño, the Portuguese border and the historic centre of the village. 

Next, the Portuguese Coastal Route follows the path towards the charming municipality of Oia, which is home to the historic Cistercian Monastery of Santa María de Oia. Dating back to the 12th century, this building is a mixture of Romanesque, Renaissance and Baroque elements, due to the many restorations it has been subjected to over time. 

Camino Portugués por A Guarda

Stage two: Oia – Baiona

The second stage of this Portuguese Coastal Route leaves Oia behind, heading towards Baiona, where the Vigo Estuary begins, sheltered by the idyllic Cíes Islands.

At the start of this stage, you walk along the foot of the cliffs and head towards Cabo Silleiro until you reach its lighthouse, which was inaugurated in 1886. This headland is situated in the far south of the Vigo estuary and is the main orientation point for ships sailing through these waters. 

The route continues with a climb towards Baredo and, after covering some kilometres, you will reach Monterreal Castle which, today, is the National Parador (state-run hotel) of Baiona. The walls of this castle have resisted numerous assaults by Portuguese invaders and English corsairs between the 14th and 16th centuries. In the latter century, 3 kilometres of walls were built, as well as the fortress’ defensive towers which are preserved to this day. 

As you pass the Castle, you enter Baiona. A large part of the importance of this town relates to it being the first European port to receive news of the discovery of America in 1493, as this is where the caravel, La Pinta, arrived on its return.

Stage three: Baiona – Vigo

Leaving historic Baiona behind, it is now time to set off towards Vigo, passing through A Ramallosa, Nigrán and Coruxo.

The path of the Portuguese Coastal Route heads towards the parish of Sabarís, passing by the historic fountain known as O Pombal

In front of the market at Sabarís you can marvel at the Roman bridge crossing the River Groba. On reaching the manor house at Cadaval, you arrive at the bridge of the ten arches in A Ramallosa, which is also Roman.

When you get to Nigrán, you will be captivated by the popular architecture, and the historic ‘pazos’ or manor houses, such as the ones at Mallón and O Pereiro. Before you get here, you will also find the manor houses of Urzáiz and Cea as you ascend the Sanromán mountain.

When you enter the municipality through Saiáns, and subsequently cross the parishes of San Miguel de Oia and San Salvador de Coruxo, you arrive at Vigo, one of the main Galician cities. Finally, following the route known as the Camiño de Muíños, you reach Samil beach, Vigo’s most popular beach, a meeting point for its inhabitants, and where you can see the Cíes Islands right in front of you.

Peregrino haciendo el Camino de Santiago

Stage four: Vigo – Redondela

Once you have reached Vigo, specifically the Paseo de Alfonso XII, you will find the olive tree that is the symbol of the city. Descending through San Francisco, the route heads towards the district of O Berbés

At Rosalía de Castro Street, you can admire Roman Vigo at the archaeological site of Salinae, which is just one of the historical attractions that dates back to Roman times, along with the Roman Villa at Toralla, the Galician Museum of the Sea and the Castro

Lastly, leaving Vigo through the Teis district and passing through Rande and Portela, the Portuguese Coastal Route continues towards Redondela, the point where it meets the Portuguese Camino de Santiago.  

Redondela is particularly notable for its railway viaduct, which dates back to the 1870s.  Redondela is also important for the church of Santiago and the Festa do Choco (the Cuttlefish Festival), which takes place in the town each May. 

Stage five: Redondela – Pontevedra

On leaving Redondela, you enter the parish of Cesantes. The island of San Simón emerge to the west of the middle of the Vigo estuary, and you can travel to these on our Mar de Ons Ferry.

In these waters you will find the remains of vessels from the Battle of the Rande and, from this  point, you can also see the Rande Bridge, which is another symbol of Vigo. 

Following the route, on reaching Arcade you will find the historic medieval bridge of Ponte Sampaio crossing over the Verdugo River. The municipality of Pontevedra begins halfway across the bridge. In fact, the route approaches the provincial capital passing through A Boullosa, Santa Comba de Bértola, Tomeza, Casal do Río and O Marco.

Concha del Camino de Santiago

Stage six: Pontevedra – Caldas de Reis

Once you have reached Pontevedra, crossing the River Lérez by the O Burgo bridge, the Portuguese Coastal Route continues along the Rua da Santiña, climbing towards Pontecabras and the church of Santa María de Alba.

This is the most beautiful stage for nature lovers. When passing the Chapel of San Caetano, the lush woodlands of Reirís and Lombo da Maceira will treat you to some incredible experiences within the natural Galician surroundings. 

Once inside the municipality of Barro, the route continues towards San Mamede da Portela. Lastly, it passes through the parish of Briallos, which belongs to the Local Authority of Portas, and the route continues towards Caldas de Reis.

Stage seven: Caldas de Reis – Padrón

Although the seventh stage from Caldas de Reis begins along a road, the N-550, it continues along a beautiful natural track that climbs until it reaches Santa Mariña de Carracedo. Once in the municipality of Valga, the Castello uplands will welcome you with dense woodlands surrounded by ancient mills with the River Valga flowing through them. These are an astonishing natural sight.  

Continuing towards the municipality of Pontecesures, there are incredible views of the Ulla River from its Pino Manso viewing point. The bridge crossing this river is the gateway to the province of A Coruña. This is where the municipality of Padrón begins, bathed by the River Sar and well-known for its famous Padrón peppers.

Stage eight: Padrón – Santiago de Compostela 

The final stage leaves Padrón behind and heads towards some of the rural hamlets of La Coruña which are located at the bottom of the Sar valley, including A Pousa, O Souto, O Rueiro, Cambelas and Anteportas. 

The Portuguese Coastal Route continues towards O Milladoiro, and, on its way, passes through A Angueira de Suso, O Faramello and Osebe.

Once you arrive at O Milladoiro, there is just a short walk to the Cathedral at Santiago. 

Descending towards A Rocha Vella, you can take one of two choices. Firstly, you can follow the route through the Santa Marta district of Compostela and then along the Rúa de Rosalía de Castro, which climbs towards the famous Alameda de Santiago. Secondly, you can take the alternative route through the district of Conxo and the Avenida de Vilagarcía. This second route also continues along the Rúa de Rosalía de Castro.

The route makes it way around the historic centre of Santiago, through the Porta Faxeira, one of the seven ancient gates that give access to this town.  It continues along the Rúa do Franco, to finally reach the Praza das Praterías, the traditional entrance to the Praza do Obradoiro where the long-awaited Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela is located. This is the end of the Portuguese Coastal Route of the Camino de Santiago. 

Catedral de Santiago de Compostela

Don’t miss this opportunity to visit the Cíes Islands and the Island of Ons

Some of the towns and villages that this Camino de Santiago route travels through are home to the ports from which you can travel to the Cíes Islands and to the Island of Ons.  In fact, this plan will liven up some of the stages of the journey, but is also an ideal choice for a relaxing getaway after completing the route

Our Mar de Ons Ferry Company offers you the opportunity to travel to the Cíes Islands from Vigo, Cangas, Sanxenxo, Portonovo and Baiona. You can also sail with us to the Island of Ons from Vigo, Bueu, Sanxenxo, Portonovo, Combarro and Pontevedra

A unique plan to include in your Portuguese Coastal Route, or something to enjoy at the end of this hard, but extremely enriching experience. 

Don’t forget to book your tickets on our website!