Camiño de Santiago across Gerês Hiking

Camiño de Santiago across Gerês (Hiking- 6d)

Includes

Pick-up & drop-off from Braga/Terras de Bouro
Lunch + snack + water
Insurance
Conservation support

 

Duration and  availability

5 Stages | 6 days
Spring / Summer
Autumn / Winter

Price

775€  | Entire Camiño
180€    | Single Stage
geology
biology
wilderness
history and culture

Camiño de Santiago across Gerês – from Braga to the Spanish border 

This tour is perfect for pilgrims looking for a less travelled ‘camino’ and for History lovers! 

We suggest exploring the Portuguese half of the “Geira and Arreiros’s Camiño”, one of the oldest and the most difficult Santiago Way starting in Portugal.

Explore the Geira, the XVIII route of the Roman Empire, which started being built in 14b.C. to connect Bracara Augusta (Braga) and Asturica Augusta (Astorga), back when Octavius Augustus was leading the Western civilization. The green Minho will delight you and offer distinct aspects of the surrounding area to admire. 

Starting in Braga and ending in the Spanish border (the 2nd time, because we’ll be crossing the Spanish border twice to cross Xurés), where you can either keep in the ‘camino’ and walk the remaining 150 km (93 mi) to Santiago or go back to Braga. 

For a comfortable and safe route, we divided it in 5 stages, on a total of 100 km (62 mi). Each day, you’ll have guide, pick-up and drop-off, packed lunches delivered midway, snacks, water, photos and insurance guaranteed. This way, you don’t have to carry any weight (the SUV will do it for you) and you can comfortably go back to Braga each day (or to an accommodation closer to the finish/starting points of each stage). 

pilgrims credential is also included, so you can collect stamps along the way to Santiago de Compostela and prove you walked on one of St. James Ways. 

Stage by Stage

You can choose to do thcamiño at your own pace. Freely choose 1 or more stages, according to your availability, fitness level and interests. For example: you can choose 3 stages in a row or every other day; 3 Saturdays in a row; a few stages this month and some the next month, or even next year… you decide. 

Each stage is a full-day tour on its own, meaning it always includes guides, pick-up and drop-off in Braga or around the area you will be hiking, packed lunches, snacks, water, insurance and photos.

Relax, everything is taken care of. 

Specifics

Difficulty | Moderate
Length | 22.80 km (14.17 mi)
High. elev. | 465 m (1525 ft)
Elev. gain | 766 m (2513 ft)
Avg. incline | 5%

Braga – Portela de Santa Cruz

Braga’s Cathedral is our majestic starting point. Learn how Braga and Santiago de Compostela cities’ History cross, especially about their rivalry, and let its beautiful façade bid you farewell as it leads you off to an auspicious hiking day. 

From the Roman and Suebian capital you will explore a progressively greener landscape as you head northeast towards the Portela de Santa Cruz and have the opportunity to discover monuments like a chapel from the VII century or a Benedictine monastery from XII century. 

We can’t say for sure this first stage does follows the path of the roman road XVIII that names this Camiño due to the uncertainty of its location. It will, however, take us to the beautiful town of Caldelas, with its SPA and springs used since the roman times due to of its therapeutically properties. 

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geology
biology
wilderness
history and culture

Specifics

Difficulty | Moderate
Length | 23.2 km (14.42 mi)
High. elev. | 646 m (2119 ft)
Elev. gain | 929 m (3048 ft)
Avg. incline | 5%

Portela de Santa Cruz – Campo do Gerês

Miles XIV to XXVIII

The second stage starts at the point where most scholars agrees the Via Nova (the Geira) is the exact same path built by the Romans. This important road connects Braga (former Bracara Augusta) to Astorga (former Asturica Augusta) two of the most important cities in North-Western Iberian Peninsula. 

In this stage you’ll hike from the rural countryside to the mountains of the Peneda-Gerês National Park. 

Trees, ancient causeways and stone walls will be with us a big chunk of the way, in half-slope, wakening our imagination: how was it walking this same path 2 millennia ago? How would a pilgrim from the X century endure this long walk up to Santiago de Compostela? 

geology
biology
wilderness
history and culture

Specifics

Difficulty | Moderate
Length | 16.4 km (10.19 mi)
High. elev. | 759 m (2490 ft)
Elev. gain | 512 m (1680 ft)
Avg. incline | 6%

Campo do Gerês – Os Baños

Miles XXVIII to XXXIX

We’ll hike on the most well-preserved part of the roman road and through the Albergaria woods (a European Council Biogenetic Reserve). You’ll find the impressive milestone collections that confirm we are on the right track, should you have any doubts! This area is bound to amaze you. 

By the end of the day we’ll have crossed the Spanish border already (for the 1st time) and have our prize waiting for us: open-air thermal waters of Aquis Originis to help us relax our muscles! And if it’s too hot for you, inviting fresh river water is but a few steps away. 

geology
biology
wilderness
history and culture

Specifics

Difficulty | Moderate
Length | 20.4 km (12.68 mi)
High. elev. | 792 m (2598 ft)
Elev. gain | 924 m (3031 ft)
Avg. incline | 6%

Os Baños – Ameijoeira

This is the Galician stage, entirely within the Baixa-Limia/Serra do Xurés Natural Park, which starts at the famous hot springs of Lobios. 

Step out of the Geira and start walking on old medieval roads traveled by arrieiros (muleteers) that used to carry wine and goods to Santiago and bring back fish and sea-food from the sea side. 

Explore the rural landscape of Lobios and discover the delicate details of the churrigueresco-barroque façade of the church of the Santa Maria la Real in Entrimo.  This stage ends as we transpose the Portuguese-Spanish border back to Portugal. 

geology
biology
wilderness
history and culture

Specifics

Difficulty | Moderate
Length | 13.2 km (8.20 mi)
High. elev. | 1044 m (3425 ft)
Elev. gain | 624 m (2047 ft)
Avg. incline | 8%

Ameijoeira – Alcobaça

Explore the Laboreiro Valley, with its majestic oak forests and fresh creaks through a network of medieval roads and bridges linking the ‘Inverneiras’ – winter villages – to the ‘Brandas’ – summer villages – up in the hedge of the plateau, result of a complex transhumance system. 

In Castro Laboreiro, the climb to the medieval castle will be totally worth it, enabling you to see both the route you’ve hiked the last two days. 

Discover wonderful paths and cosy villages in a land full of contrasts as it is the border between the sharp granite mountains and the smooth plateau, up until the end of this tour at the border with Galicia (Spain). 

geology
biology
wilderness
history and culture
Specifics
  • 5 stages with long rides (from 5 to 10 hours)
  • Suitable for everyone from 2 to 75 years old
  • Minimum group size: 2
  • Maximum group size: 5
  • Available all year round
  • Duration of each stage: full day – 9:00 to 20:00
Recommendations
  • Wear weather and hiking appropriate clothes and shoes
  • Depending on the stage, bring swimwear – to dress up and take off on location (to avoid returning wet) –, a towel (you can rent one for 2€) and flip-flops (not essential)
  • Bring sunscreen (if relevant)
Background
All the tours include:
  • Pick-up and Drop-off at accommodation
  • SUV with all seats facing forward
  • Toddler/child car seats available (9 to 36 kg)
  • Lunch, snacks and water
  • Photos and videos
  • Specialized local guide with first aid training and carrying a first aid kit
  • A 2,00 € contribution for a conservation project
  • Small-group tour
  • All equipment necessary for the activities
  • Insurance, both personal and liability
The tours do not include:
  • Accommodation*
  • Personal expenses
  • Gratuities
  • Swimwear
  • Towels (you can rent one for 2€)

We can help you find a nice place to stay – for 10,00€, we’ll send you between 3 to 5 options; just share the kind of accommodations you prefer (hotel, hostel, house), the type of room (single, double, shared) and your budget per night.

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