Ian Trevaskis and his wife take on the lasser-popular Portuguese Coastal Camino.

"For many serious hikers, the Way of Saint James features high on their bucket list of ‘must-do’ hikes.
Commonly referred to as the Camino de Santiago, it is a network of routes traversing Europe; routes that have been followed by pilgrims since the beginning of the 9th century, when the tomb of the Apostle James (Santiago) was discovered.

Since then, people from all over the world have walked the Ways leading to the cathedral in Santiago, Spain, where relics of the Holy Apostle are venerated.

We had decided to take the road less travelled and opted to walk the Portuguese Coastal Camino, rather than its more popular counterpart, the Camino Frances, or French Way.

Our route followed ancient paths through thick forests, villages, historical towns and cities, and was marked by innumerable chapels, churches, convents, shrines, and crosses, and the distinct shell symbol of ‘The Way’.

Ours was not a religious pilgrimage, but more spiritual in style – a retreat from life’s daily humdrum; an immersion in a richly textured culture, and an opportunity to experience the different customs and flavours of Portugal and Spain."

For the full story pick up the Dec-Jan issue of Great Walks.

Words and photos_Ian Trevaskis.

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