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Portuguese Coastal Way
Portuguese Coastal way or the Camino da Costa is another alternative to the Portuguese Camino.
The Camino da Costa will start in the beautiful city of Porto and will take you along the charming coastal towns of Portugal.
Once we get to Caminha we will turn inland to Valenca (the last city of Portugal), and into the first city of Spain- Tui.
We will then join the traditional Camino Portuguese at Redondela where we will encounter gentle undulating woodlands and agricultural regions with cobbled country roads and dirt tracks. The steeper slopes and rural villages of Galicia provide a verdant landscape as one approaches the city of Santiago.
The Way of St. James
Many of the legends relating to St. James are concerned with his travel to Spain and his activities there. It is thus not surprising that he is the Patron Saint of Spain, and many Christians throughout the ages believed his body was buried in the town of Santiago de Compostela, in Galicia in northwest Spain.
The greatest of the legends states that in 813 AD a hermit was led by a vision to a spot where a body was found buried in a field. The body was quite fresh, remained so, caused miracles to take place, was presumed to be St. James, and this fact was soon authenticated by the local bishop. Of course how the saint’s body ended up in Spain is shrouded in mystery, but the story got around, more miracles were reported, the faithful began to flock to the site, and have done so ever since. A church was built, a town grew up around it and eventually a great cathedral was built to house the Saint’s relics.
The pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela became the most important Christian pilgrimage outside of those to the Holy Land. The traditional pilgrimage is known as El Camino de Santiago (in English: The Way of St. James), and it has always been a walking pilgrimage. In fact pilgrims have walked there from many sites all over Europe since the ninth century, so there are many different routes. The most travelled route is known as the Camino Frances; it starts at the border between France and Spain in the western Pyrenees, and winds its way for approximately five hundred miles across northern Spain.
The Camino Frances has been such a popular pilgrimage that it has been designated a World Heritage Site.