Portuguese Camino in May: Day One

From Porto to Arcos

On our first day we decided to take a soft option and catch a train for the first ten kilometres or so of the Camino so that we could avoid walking along the main highways. Not exactly the kind of thing real pilgrims do!We have also decided to walk the classic central route of the Portuguese Camino (about 250 kilometres) instead of the increasingly popular coastal route.

Today we were lucky with the weather, a fresh morning, clear blue sky and no wind whatsoever. Surprisingly we didn’t get lost once and found the way marking of yellow arrows to be excellent. About eighty percent of the route was flat so today’s 20 kilometres has been a gentle introduction to the Camino for us both.

Sometimes walking along the roads became tiresome and potentially dangerous but overall today’s walk was scenically pretty because of spring colours and some wonderful historical buildings.

The old Variao Monastery built in the eleventh century was a highlight just before Vilarinho. It was an unexpected treasure as we walked around a bend. It has been restored and now operates as an albergue for pilgrims.


Vairao Monastery

A few kilometres after Vilarinho we walked across Ponte Zameiro a fabulous old medieval bridge built in the thirteenth century.

Ponte Zameiro

Arriving in Arcos in early afternoon with the sun becoming intense we were delighted to find our Villa d’Arcos hotel on the main route. Wonderful to have a shower, enjoy lunch in the garden by the pool and put our feet up.

Dinner was a 4 course beautifully presented meal which we shared with other pilgrim guests from Germany and Switzerland. Our host Katarina was especially hospitable.

At Villa d’Arcos


11 thoughts on “Portuguese Camino in May: Day One

  1. It looks fabulous Anne Marie! What an interesting trip. I envy your stamina for so much walking. Also the weather looks perfect.


  2. Hello Anne-Marie

    I’m really enjoying your chronicle of the trip and your observations of place and food. And now you’re on the Camino! Hope you continue to enjoy the days and the surprises that are around the bend!

    Best wishes for your walking to you and Giulio! Divertitevi!


    Madeleine Regan


    0400 904 440 madeleine@ideasandwords.com.au Box 359, Torrensville Plaza, SA 5031


  3. Hello Madeleine, keeping a blog is one way of remembering what we’ve done! It was time that we moved on from touring towns and started walking, Anne-Marie


  4. Hi Susanna I think we can all develop the stamina bit by bit. It’s lovely to get away from crowds and come upon unexpected places, Anne-Marie


  5. Hello my favourites pilgrims!
    Thanks Anne Marie I enjoyed myself reading your stories and also I feel envy .
    Good way


  6. I hope you don’t mind but I’m going to include this on my Monday walk’s post tomorrow? The Portuguese Camino is something quite a few people won’t have heard about. I’ve seen a couple of variations on it and been tempted a time or two. 🙂


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