Since King Alfonso II the Chaste walked 325 km from Oviedo, the capital city of the Kingdom of Asturias to Santiago in Galicia in 814 AD, thousands of Christians have been inspired to walk at least part of the journey as part of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage.
The pilgrimage came to prominence when the Kingdom’s capital changed to Leon in the 11th century and a few centuries later, the pilgrimage to the tomb of St. James became one of the ‘three great pilgrimages’ thanks to Pope Alexander VI.
Today, thousands of Christians make part of the journey at least, to honour the pilgrimage. It is known as the way of St. James.
One of the more popular Camino walks is from Portugal known as the Portuguese Way. There are several starting locations and each one has its own cultural value. One of the great things about a Camino walk is that you’re often walking off the beaten track and you see things few tourists get to see.
So with this in mind, let’s look at why you should undertake your pilgrimage, the Portuguese Way.
If you choose a route that is longer than 100 km, you’ll receive your Compostela certificate. This shows that you have completed your pilgrimage. It works by visiting specific locations along the walk and getting a stamp on your Camino passport.
Places where you can get your official stamp are numerous and tend to be either convenient like where you are staying overnight, or historical so worth a visit even if you didn’t have a passport.
The Portuguese Way has plenty of 100 km routes to choose from.
Historical and Cultural Value
Portugal is a deeply historic part of the world. The small country is packed with history and many locations are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Every Portuguese walk you undertake will feature historical and cultural sites in abundance. This combined with the changing landscapes really brings a country alive and you’ll gain an understanding of Portuguese people simply by walking up to 32 km a day.
One thing you can’t fail to notice walking the Portuguese Way is the differences in local cuisine. Some of the places you’ll visit will be famed for seafood or wine, but others will be quiet little known about gems where what gets served on your plate will be some of the best food you’ve ever had. It’s exciting!
Many Portuguese Camino de Santiago walks take you across varying landscapes. Some feature the Atlantic coast or historical rivers such as the River Mino which is the border between Portugal and Spain.
As you pack away the kilometres you can’t help but feel one with your surroundings and you’ll have a greater appreciation for all that you see.
Undertaking the Camino de Santiago is a fantastic pilgrimage and undertaking. Many that walk it are Christians but many are also hikers that just love the journey and its history.
Whichever you are, this is a walking holiday you must undertake simply for the beauty in everything that you’ll find. It is