Hidden gems of the Camino Portugues

In 2013 I was twice on the Camino Portugues, deviating at Barcelos to visit beautiful Braga and the nearby hill top church, Bom Xesus.

The portugues camino is not as well walked as the “French” route, so walking is a lot quieter. There are lovely rural sections in Portugal on the main route and I was lucky to be in Ponte de Lima at festival time. I always love the view over the Minho valley and into Galicia from the Fortaleza, the old area in Valaenco do Minho.

The camino doesn’t go up to the Fortaleza, but its not a hard deviation, go up diagonal left towards an open car park next to the walls.. and once up there follow the cobbled entrance left and right into the old area.. full of tourist shops that specialize in local made textiles. You don’t need to retrace your steps to get back on the camino.. contine to the far (eastern) end of the Fortaleza, taking a downward narrow street just to the right of the modern Pousada. This street goes through an arch tunnel and town some steps to rejoin the camino on the old main road, crossing the bridge to Spain and entering Tui. Tui is worth some time to look around as well.

Futher on the camino portugues the views over the Vigo Estuary to the Isles Cies are outstanding.