St James Way
St James Way
Starting in Porto or Lisbon, the Saint Jacobs Way offers two distinct routes in Portugal. The “Caminho da Costa” is the easier option, characterized by a more straightforward terrain along the scenic coastal path. In contrast, the “Caminho do Centro” presents a greater challenge with its hilly terrain and more difficult landscapes as it winds through the northern Portuguese mountains.
Both routes use partly unpaved hiking pathes, partly normal side routes and a few times even high traffic roads. Due to the loads of pilgrimers drivers are very aware of hikers and cyclists and drive quite respectfully.
Specially the central way uses some forests paths with thick roots and on ancient cobblestones. Even if the popular Saint James Way mainly follows broad and well maintained roads and paths, mountain bikes might be the better choice.
The highest elevation on the central way, Labruja, features steep inclines and challenging terrain, occasionally requiring bike pushing or carrying, especially with heavier e-bikes in mind.
Usually the bikes for the St. Jaimes Way are picked up in Lisbon or Porto and dropped of in Santiago de Compostela.
Alternatively you can pick up the bikes at our service partners in
- Ponte de Lima
Availability and price for one-way rentals between Porto/Lisbon and Santiago de Compostela depend on bike type and quantity of bikes. more information…
We work out customized packages, personalized for your wishes and requirements.
The northern part of the route is very different to the southern part. Therefore the most requested packages are the routes between Porto and Obidos for more relaxed cycling or from Nazare to Lisbon for a more challenging route.
Both routes are mostly booked as 5 day packages and including…
- Rental Bikes
- Daily luggage transfer
- Private transfer to the start point
- GPS Routing
Find more details…
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The Saint Jacobs Way is the most used pilgrimage way of the world. The “Caminho Portugues”, the Portuguese version with start in Lisbon or Porto is quickly winning popularity over the last years, but is still a hidden secret in compare to the traditional French way coming from northern Spain. Vibrant citys and charming historic cities border the way, no matter if it is the Caminho da Costa, the way along the coast, or the Caminho do Centro, the way through the northern Portuguese mountains.
As you traverse ancient routes and meander through picturesque countryside, every turn of the wheel unveils the raw beauty of Portugal. Pedal through sun-dappled vineyards, where the aroma of grapes fills the air, and feel the refreshing breeze as you ride along pristine coastal cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
Discover the hidden gems of charming villages and towns along your path, where the warmth of the locals matches the Mediterranean sun. Cyclists become pilgrims, forging connections with fellow travelers from around the world, sharing stories by the campfire, and creating lasting bonds amidst the tranquility of nature.
With each ascent through rolling hills and descents into lush valleys, you’ll find your spirit soaring, your body rejuvenated, and your mind attuned to the serenity of the open road. This is more than a bike trip; it’s an immersive experience in which cycling becomes a gateway to unlocking the extraordinary beauty and untamed nature of Portugal. Let your journey along the Portuguese St. James Way be a symphony of cycling and nature, where your soul finds its rhythm amid the breathtaking landscapes of this unforgettable pilgrimage.”
Ponte de Lima - Valenca
Crossing its centuries-old Roman bridge over the Lima River is the beginning of the queen stage of the Portuguese Way to Santiago.
After all, the mythical climb to the Serra da Labruja lies ahead, where the famous “Cruz dos Franceses” lives. In just over 4 km you will have to overcome a difference of 300 meters. It’s not a sweet pear, but if you take the climb calmly, you’ll be able to overcome this challenge, while the close contact with nature will be a huge help. We pass by the typical village of Minho de Rubias and shortly later it’s time for a farewell to the Portuguese lands, when the way continues in Spain from tomorrow on. It’s relatively short and with little unevenness, which will allow you to rest a little from the “beatings” of the previous parts.
The stage of the following day is longer again, so it might be convenient to explore the beautiful border town of Valença do Minho already after your arrival. Be sure to visit the towering Forte de Valença, the Capela de São Sebastião, the Military Chapel of Bom Jesus, the Paços do Concelho, the Igreja Matriz de Santo Estêvão and the Church of Santa Maria dos Anjos. To end the day on the Portuguese Way in beauty, there is nothing like watching the sunset from one of the strongholds of Forte de Valença, with a superb view over the river Minho and the Spanish city of Tui, where you will pass tomorrow.
Esponsede - Barcelos
Today we need to leave the coast for a bit to find the first highlight of the stage: the impressive Monastery of Rates. The part of the monastery that has survived to this day is the bell-tower and, most importantly, the Church dedicated to St Peter of Rates, which is a national monument since 1910. Reconstruction of the church began at the turn of the 11th to the 12th century, turning it into one of the oldest extant Romanesque churches in Portugal. The origin of the temple, that relate to the church itself, is dated to the Suebi-Visigothic period, although it incorporates older elements dating to the Roman period. Other elements also relate it to Asturian-Leonese period, prior to the prevailing Romanesque reconstruction.
Once we are back at the sea we enter the district of Braga and the way leads us along some of the most beautiful beaches in the north of Portugal, such as Aver-o-mar and Apúlia bordered by its photogenic windmills. Between Apúlia and Esposende, where the Cávado river flows, we cross the North Coast Natural Park, famous for its extensive dunes, green pine forests and wonderful beaches. Once in Esposende, we find the famous lighthouse and the São João Batista Fortress, before we leave the coast and turning towards to the Central Way to Santiago, which we reach a little up the river valley of Rio Cávado in Barcelos. The best known of Barcelos is indeed the famous legend of the rooster of Barcelos, which became kind of a worldwide known Portuguese symbol over the years and is present everywhere in the region.
Rondela - Padron
The route passes through the town of Ponte Sampaio, ancient stone paths, including Roman Via XIX sections like Brea Vella de A Canicouva. Then it approaches Pontevedra via Santa Marta Chapel, Tomeza, Casal do Río, and O Marco, leading to the historic city center.
Leaving Pontevedra via A Santiña Street, it crosses O Burgo Bridge, runs beside A Xunqueira de Alba wetland, and reaches Pontecabras and Santa María de Alba Church. Archbishop Diego Gelmírez once stopped in Guxilde on his way to Compostela.
After San Caetano Chapel, it goes through Reirís and Lombo da Maceira woods, crosses O Rego do Cárcere stream to Barro. Passing San Mauro to San Mamede da Portela, it leads to Valbón with three intriguing stone crosses, marking crossroads.
The route continues with varying terrains, passing Tivo, then entering Caldas de Reis, an ancient spa town mentioned in the Antonine Itinerary. It follows Santa Marta and Ferrería streets, crosses bridges over Umia and Bermaña rivers, reaches Santa Mariña de Carracedo, and proceeds through Mount Castelo.
Next stops are Cimadevilla, the Fontenlo River bridge, Cedelo, and Condide in Pontecesures, with a viewpoint at Pino Manso offering a view of the Ulla River valley. The route then crosses the Ulla River, separating Pontevedra and A Coruña provinces, entering Padrón, home to the Jacobean tradition.
The route enters the historic town of Padrón through Paseo do Espolón, featuring Santiago de Padrón Church, housing O Pedrón, a Roman altar stone with a carved cross attributed to St. James’s disciples.
Valenca - Larache
The bridge over river Rio Minho marks the entrance to Spain and leads into the historic district of Tui. A milestone indicates that it is 115.4 km to Santiago. The historic and artistic charm of Tui – one of the seven capitals of the ancient Kingdom of Galicia – make their presence felt in every street, alley and passageway of its fine historic district.
The route passes Virxe do Camiño Chapel, Paredes de Baixo and the iconic San Telmo Bridge, also known as As Febres Bridge. After this, it runs through a dense wood known as A Ribeira before coming to the small village of A Magdalena. The Louro River flows beside the trail. In the distance, it is possible to make out the pink granite quarries to which this spot owes its fame.
After leaving O Porriño, the route soon reaches the chapel As Angustias. O Enxertado, with the valley to the east, there is a slight climb up to Santiaguiño de Anta Chapel, a simple monument surrounded by a lovely carballeira (oak wood) and a Roman milestone which once formed part of Via XIX – linking Braga and Astorga – guides the way to Redondela. After leaving Redondela, to the east, is the spectacular Ria of Vigo. The islands of San Simón and San Antón emerge from the center of the Ria and in the background, the panoramic view is completed by Rande Bridge, a cable-stayed bridge that rises above the mussel farmers’ rafts. Shortly later we cross the wall that seperates de Salinas de Ullo from the bay and find the end of this stage in the village of Larache.
Travel Bikes – MTB – E-Bikes – Gravel
Travel E-MTB (M/W)
Caminho da Costa, Caminho Central or our own way: We create your bike holidays on the way to Santiago de Compostela. No matter if you want a 3 days challenge from Porto or a relaxed 3 weeks trip from Lisbon, we care about everything you need to enjoy your trip the most!
Our Accommodation –
Charm, Comfort and tradtion
Comfortable hotels, authentic holiday homes and charming farm and nature stays characterize our accommodations.
Ask us for your individual holiday program or join one of our existing trips
Lay back and relax: farms, rural villages and wine yards provide a comfortable and authentic way to discover the original Portugal.
Enjoy a journey with the best hotels along the route.
Ocean view, spa, Pool, Michelin kitchen: A few high class hotels wait along the way from Lisbon to Lagos. Reserve the high class with us
Small touristic villages dominate the region. Owner run hotels are a cheap option to discover the Alentejo and the Algarve in an authentic way.
Depend on season & availability this can be shared or private rooms
8 days / 7 nights
1 day: Arrival in Porto
2 day: Bike Tour from Porto to Ovar
3 day Bike tour from Ovar to Mira
4 day: Bike Tour from Mira to Figueira da Foz
5 day Bike Tour from Figueira da Foz to Sao Pedro de Moel
6 day: Bike Tour from Sao Pedro de Moel to Obidos
7 day: Drop off of the bikes and departure from Obidos by train to Lisbon
Road book with map, route description and GPS tracks (self-drive option)
1 Muscle bike p/person
Train tickets from Obdios to Lisbon
Daily luggage transport
7 overnight stays as indicated
Assistance from qualified staff and 24-hour phone support with our office staff
Meals not listed in the detailed itinerary and all beverages except tea and coffee for breakfasts included
Optional tours and activities and extra services due to force majeure
Tips, phone calls, and extras of a personal nature
Personal clothing and medications
Anything not included under “Included”
EXTRAS ON REQUEST
Single room (390€/week)
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