We Started walking in Matosinhos after taking the train from Valença to Porto to Matosinhos. We stayed in a small B&B Pensão Central and enjoyed a quiet evening and yummy dinner.
The first day we walked from Matosinhos to Erva Doce house in Vila do Conde along the coast. Most of the 23.8 km walk is along the ocean on beautiful new boardwalks. The small hotel was booked full with Pilgrims, cozy with a lovely view of the inlet.
Our next stage took us to Hotel Suave Mar in Esposend. At Vila do Conde we noticed most of the Pilgrims turned inland and joined the traditional route. We continued to follow the coast with a few detours away from the water to walk around impassible areas. The walk to Esposende was 23.3 km. The most exciting bit was when we took a wrong turn, misinterpreted a yellow arrows direction, and ended up on a golf course. Luckily a golfer helped us find our way out, we had to climb over a chain link fence, and we navigated back to the path. Esposende is a non-descript town, wind blown along an estuary where kitesurfing seems to be the big draw.
The treat for all our walking 22.5 km was a night at the Pousada Viana do Castelo in the town by the same name. The hotel’s iconic position on town of the hill looking out at the sea was well worth the additional steps. One has to take a funicular up the hill and then climb a bit further to the hotel. Sitting on the balcony with a cold beverage was our reward!
Muralha de Caminha was our stop on our last night on this portion of the Camino. A cute family run casa along the river welcomed us. We had a fantastic meal in a small cafe in the center of town. After a restful sleep began the 23,5 km walk in the morning mist.