Caminho Português Central ou Principal (Central or Main Portuguese Way)

Window Porto Cathedral
Photo:  Fernando Mendes PedroCC BY-NC-SA - Some Rights Reserved

​242 km

Follows what was the Roman Via XIX connecting Braga to Lugo, passing through Ponte de Lima, Tui and Pontevedra, and along the old Porto-Barcelos-Valença royal road. This is the most important Portuguese Way of St. James and was regularly travelled, from the 14th century, by common pilgrims as well as high dignitaries of the clergy and nobility. It is important to note that pilgrims on foot always followed the shortest and straightest route. This was also the main road used by people travelling from the south to the north of the province of Entre-Douro and Minho.

Stages (*)

  • Porto > Vilarinho (Vila do Conde) - 25 km
  • Vilarinho (Vila do Conde) > Barcelos - 26 km
  • Barcelos > Ponte de Lima - 33 km
  • Ponte de Lima > Rubiães - 20Km
  • Ruibiães > Valença/Tui - 16 km (more 4 Km to cross the Valença bridge to Tui)
  • Valença/Tui > Redondela - 34 Km
  • Redondela >Pontevedra - 18 Km
  • Pontevedra> Caldas de Reis - 23 Km
  • Caldas de Reis >Padrón - 19 Km
  • Padrón > Santiago de Compostela - 24 Km


You must start at or pass by (1) the Cathedral (12th century). From Terreiro da Sé, go down the narrow streets in the medieval centre, Rua das Aldas and Rua da Pena Ventosa, where you will see, on your left, (2) the Church of S. Lourenço (16th – 17th century), and Rua de Sant’Ana, passing through the (3) arch with the same name, marking one of the main entrances to medieval Porto. Crossing Rua Mouzinho da Silveira and Largo de S. Domingos, heading towards Rua das Flores, you will come across the (4) Church of Misericórdia, with its façade designed by Nicolau Nasoni (1749/1750). From here, go up the narrow Rua do Ferraz to Rua da Vitória and on towards Porta and Campo do Olival and Cordoaria (now Campo dos Mártires da Pátria), where you will find the (5) old Prison and Court of Appeal (1750-1765). Just a few metres away, You will be able to see one of Nasoni’s most iconic creations, (6) the Clérigos complex of tower, infirmary and church (1732-1763). In Praça Gomes Teixeira (Praça dos Leões) is the impressive building that currently houses the administration offices for the Porto University and the (7) side-by-side churches of Carmelitas Descalços de Nossa Senhora do Carmo (1754-1760), belonging to the Discalced Carmelites, and that of Venerável Ordem Terceira do Carmo, by the architect José de Figueiredo Seixas (1756). From Praça Carlos Alberto take the pedestrian Rua de Cedofeita. Where it crosses Rua de Álvares Cabral, you will see, on your left, (8) the Romanesque Church of S. Martinho de Cedofeita (11th century). Following Rua Barão de Forrester to the end, towards Ramada Alta, you will come across (9) the small Chapel of Nossa Senhora das Dores and Senhor do Calvário (1737). Your route continues along Rua Nove de Julho and, where this merges with Rua de Oliveira Monteiro into Praça do Exército Libertador, you will find the (10) Cross of Senhor do Padrão (1738), with its inscription on the base referring to the pilgrims that passed this way. Also In Carvalhido is the (11) Chapel of N.ª Sr.ª da Conceição (c. 1760) with its tile-dressed façade. Heading on down Rua do Carvalhido and Rua do Monte dos Burgos, you will pass Quinta da Prelada, to the left. Nearby are the (12) Prelada house and gardens (1743-1748), another of Nicolau Nasoni’s masterpieces. The route carries on across the ring road Estrada da Circunvalação to Padrão da Légua and Araújo, and then on towards Maia.



  • Pilgrim’s Refuge ViaPortuscale (Senhora da Hora)
    Rua Vasco Santana, 264 | Tel: +351 960 227 134 (call before arriving)
    20 beds - Donation
  • Camping Orbitur Angeiras (Matosinhos)
    Rua de Angeiras / 4455-039 Lavra - Matosinhos | Tel. +351 229 271 178
    Capacity for 1.145 pax - 12 to 20 €
  • Casa Família Vidal (Vilarinho)
    Rua do Salteiro, 87 | Tel: +351 252 661 503
    9 beds - 10 €
  • Temporary Refuge Polidesportivo (Sports complex facilities) (Vilarinho) - Farmácia Rei
    Rua D. Ildefonso, Nº 313 – Vilarinho | Tel: +351 252 661 610
    4 beds – Donation
  • Casa da Laura (Vilarinho)
    Rua Estreita | Tel: +351 917 767 307 (call before arriving)
    8 beds – Donation
  • Pilgrim’s Hostel Mosteiro de Vairão (Vilarinho/Vila Conde)
    Rua do Convento, 21 | Tel: +351 936 061 160
    50 beds - 14:00-22:00 – Donation
  • Pilgrim’s Hostel S. Pedro de Rates
    Rua Sto. António, 189 |
    60 beds - 13:00-22:00 - Donation
  • Pilgrim’s Hostel Cidade de Barcelos (Barcelos)
    Rua Miguel Bombarda, 36 | Tel: +351 252 951 492
    10 beds - horário  12:00-22:00 – Donation
  • Pilgrim’s Hostel Casa da Recoleta (Tamel/S. Pedro de Fins)
    Tel: +351 253 884 360 | 41 beds - 15:00-21:00 - 5 €
  • Casa da Fernanda (Vitorino de Piães)
    Lugar do Corgo | Tel: +351 914 589 521
    12 beds – Donation
  • Pilgrim’s Hostel Casa do Arnado (Arcozelo/Ponte de Lima)
    Tel. +351 925 403 164 | 60 beds - 16:00-22:00 - 5 €
  • Youth Hostel (Ponte de Lima)
    Rua Papa João Paulo II | Tel. + 258 751 321
    50 beds –08:00–24:00 – 10€/42€
  • Pilgrim’s Hostel S. Pedro de Rubiães (Rubiães/Paredes de Coura)
    Tel: +351 965 053 751 | 34 beds - 11:00-21:00 - Donation
  • Pilgrim’s Hostel S. Teotónio - Av. Bombeiros Voluntários-Valença
    Tel: +351 966 473 409
    50 beds - 15:00-20:00 - 5€

Local tourist information

  • Vila Conde - T. +351 252 248 473
  • Barcelos - T. +351 253 811 882
  • Ponte de Lima -T. +351 258 942 335
  • Valença - T. +351 251 823 329


(*) LIMA, João Gomes d’ Abreu, 2005 – Guia do Caminho Português de Santiago (Porto –Santiago). Ponte de Lima: Associação dos Amigos do Caminho Português de Santiago.

Published 09-04-2014
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