Here are 6 new camino trails to inspire your next walking trip through Southern Europe. These routes will take you through some truly picturesque scenery in Spain and Portugal.
PORTUGUESE COASTAL CAMINO
This is a scenic coastal alternative to the classic Camino Portuguese route. Pilgrims start their journey in picturesque and vibrant Porto.Then they walk along the Atlantic Ocean, stopping in pretty seaside towns and coastal villages in the undiscovered North coast of Portugal. The route includes stops in Viana do Castelo, Vila Praia de Ancora and Caminha.
From Caminha, you can take a ferry across the Minho River to Galicia and the Rias Baixas region. Here, in Vigo Bay, Martin Codax and other medieval troubadors lived and sang to love and the mighty sea.
Camino pilgrims traditionally continued their journey after Santiago de Compostela to reach the Atlantic Coast at Cape Fisterra. Cape Fisterra was once believed to be very edge of the known world. This is a land of fascinating legends and mystery. It is full of wild landscapes and spectacular beaches. Many believe this route actually pre-dates Christianity and the medieval pilgrimage to Santiago. From Cape Fisterra to the tiny fishing village of Muxia, the ocean will be a magnificent travel companion.
The Lighthouse Way, or the Camino dos Faros, is also in the Fisterra region. The trail takes its name after the lighthouses on the shores of the Costa da Morte. This is a more challenging and technical trail. It hugs the craggy coastline with its cliffs, coves and idyllic sandy beaches. It is ideal for experienced walkers. Walking this route from May onwards is highly recommended because it is spectacular in the summer.
Pilgrims on the Camino del Norte, or the Northern Camino, start their epic journey from elegant San Sebastian in the Basque Country. This formidable route takes in all the Northern coast of ‘Green Spain.‘ It goes all the way to Ribadeo in Galicia, where the trail heads inland towards Santiago de Compostela. Pilgrims walk across Galicia’s countryside.
The Ruta do Cantabrico starts in the historic town of Ribadeo. It is a spectacular new coastal route along the Northern shores of Galicia. The majestic Cathedrals Beach, with its arches carved by the Cantabrian Sea, is one of the highlights of this great route. It is off the beaten track.
This route takes pilgrims along the South of Portugal.The Fishermen’s Trail, or the Rota Vicentina to Cape St Vincent, follows in the footsteps of local fishermen. It hugs this spectacular coastline dotted with quaint Portuguese fishing villages, phenomenal cliffs and wild beaches. The Cape is one of the best spots in Europe for bird watching in the autumn.