2020 Portuguese Coast Camino, A Kinder Camino
Walk in Beauty: Pilgrimage of El Camino de Santiago, Spain
Exploring the stunning coast of Northern Portugal and Galicia, Spain
October 6-17, 2020
Valerie Brown, Pilgrimage Leader
El Camino: An Epic Journey Awaits
Is walking El Camino on your ‘bucket list’?
Are you in transition and wanting space and time to reflect on ‘what’s next’?
Are you celebrating a milestone life event?
Are you seeking a travel experience that aligns with your deepest values?
Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Camino de Santiago, also known as The Way of St. James, is the epic pilgrimage route of Europe. For 2020, we offer two hidden gem pilgrimage options: Portuguese Coast Camino, and Camino Finisterre, a perennial favorite. Both the Portuguese Coast Camino and the Camino Finisterre, Walk in Beauty Pilgrimage combine the stunning beauty of El Camino de Santiago, Spain with the Center for Courage & Renewal® Approach to reflect on your inner capacity to lead a more authentic, meaningful, and resilient life. The Approach includes spacious time in solitude and in community, journaling, and reflection with poetry and prose to life’s big questions. In these exclusive, small group pilgrimages, you are spoiled by breathtaking natural beauty of the sun-drenched north coast of Spain and Portugal, magnificent accommodations, and exquisite food.
The crown jewel of Spanish walking trails, the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela began as an act of faith as Europeans crossed Spain to visit the sacred tomb of the Apostle Saint James. One thousand years later, the Camino continues to draw spiritual seekers worldwide to enjoy the beauty of green rolling hills, stunning coastal views, and small hamlets of northern Spain. Come be part of this magical trail.
About the Portuguese Coast Camino
Two fascinating countries with their own cultures, cuisines, and traditions in one amazing pilgrimage.
The Portuguese Coast Camino or Camino Portugués de la Costa begins in the colorful Portuguese city of Porto, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and follows the coast north to the Galician boarder in Spain, almost in parallel with the inland Portuguese Camino. The Portuguese Coast Camino joins the famed Camino Francés for the last 100 kms into the magnificent medieval city of Santiago de Compostela, Spain. Walking the last 100 kms into Santiago qualifies the pilgrim to receive the famed Compostela, or Pilgrim’s Credential, a capstone of this pilgrimage.
The Portuguese Coast Camino includes one stage, which is done by sea instead of walking, as we retrace the journey of the remains of Saint James, to Padrón, a Galician town steeped in Camino lore and legend. Traditionally, this town has been the starting point of the Camino for pilgrims arriving by sea. This Camino includes the only maritime “Stations of the Cross” in the world and you will be able to see twelve unique and ancient Galician Crosses called “Cruceiros”, which mark each station along the way.
We begin the pilgrimage in Porto, Portugal with a guided visit of one of the city’s famed gardens, and then onto the coastal Portuguese town of Praia Angueiras, covering 117 miles over twelve days, divided into nine walking stages with an additional stage done by boat that includes a visit to a seaside farm.
A stunning alternative to the Portuguese Camino, this new route has recently obtained an official recognition, making it a unique offering among Camino route options.
Enjoy delicious regional cuisine, savor exceptional lodging and hospitality in luxury hotels and Spain’s paradores, located in stunning natural landscapes. Be refreshed by coastal beauty, pristine sandy beaches, beautiful vineyards, and winding rivers of this scenic route to Santiago de Compostela
Pamper yourself in luxury accommodations of Spain’s spectacular Paradores, elegant and exclusive hotels and with outstanding Galician manor houses.
Want to learn more about Porto, Portugal?
To learn more about Porto, view this Best of Porto 2-minute video:
About the Courage & Renewal® Approach to Reflection, Discernment, and Community
Walk in Beauty offers a distinctive opportunity for you to reflect intentionally and purposefully on the ‘big questions’ of your life before, during, and after the pilgrimage. We help you prepare for the pilgrimage with materials designed to support your reflection about your core values, your life meaning and purpose. Our exclusive Camino Community Video Conference Calls allow you to get to know fellow pilgrims and to build community. In other words, you arrive in Spain not with strangers, but with friends. And, since the experience of El Camino is powerfully transformational and non-linear, you’ll be supported in reflection and discernment after you return home.
What to Expect with the Courage & Renewal® Approach
Based on the work of Quaker educator and writer, Parker J. Palmer and the Center for Courage & Renewal, Walk in Beauty Pilgrimage is a ‘moveable retreat’, which distinguishes this pilgrimage apart from all others. You’ll explore what is most meaningful to you, have space and time to listen to your own inner wisdom, reconnect who you are with what you do, and cultivate the courage to lean into action. Guided by core principles and practices, which include the belief that everyone has an ‘inner teacher’, an inner source of truth, the pilgrimage engages contemplative practices to support personal and societal transformation.
As a capstone experience, a version of the Quaker Clearness Committees, a process of individual discernment in community, will be offered during the pilgrimage to support life and vocational issues or dilemmas. Explore Courage & Renewal® reflective practices to deepen your experience, allowing this ancient pilgrimage road to be a metaphor for your transformational life journey.
Do you want to know more about the clearness committee and how this process might support you in gaining clarity about life’s most important questions? Please read, Coming to the Light, Cultivating Spiritual Discernment through the Quaker Clearness Committee, Valerie Brown, Pendle Hill Pamphlet #446, August 2017.
Walk in Beauty Pilgrimage Ethos
We believe that traveling under your own power and at your own pace with a supportive community opens up an opportunity to connect more meaningfully with the world. Our mission is to provide not just a travel experience but rather a pilgrimage journey so transformative that it becomes a defining moment in your life. We provide amazing support on meticulously planned itineraries with superb accommodations and regional-delicious cuisine so you can be totally present enjoying ‘your Camino, your Way’.
We welcome and support people from diverse racial, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds, gender identities, languages, ages, abilities, immigration and socio-economic status, and spiritual practices.
Private Van Support & Guides
Private van support and luggage transfer, an essential feature of the Walk in Beauty Pilgrimages.
Our fully supported private van, loaded with healthy snacks, water, medicine, and first aid kits, sets this pilgrimage apart and makes it accessible to all. A vehicle and guide for logistical support is available during the entire pilgrimage route to assist you, to transport luggage, and to address any other needs. This means you can enjoy the scenery and not worry about the unexpected!
With checkpoints along the way, our support vehicle is waiting with healthy snacks and cold drinks, or other assistance. If you do not want to keep walking for any reason, you can hop on the support vehicle at the next checkpoint.
In this customized pilgrimage, our ground support has signals in places where some people take the wrong turn to ensure you’re on the right path. After the daily walk, and after you’ve had lunch you’ll return to the hotel to shower, freshen up, enjoy well-deserved rest, reflect on the day, and savor a delicious-regionally sourced dinner.
Walk at Your Own Pace
Everyone walks at their own pace and you will be met by our guides and support vehicle at various checkpoints along each stage. At the checkpoints you can enjoy a snack, fruit and cold beverages and our guides will assist you in case you need anything else. We also offer assistance for any emergencies or simply to relieve muscular pain or cure blisters.
If for any reason you do not want to continue walking, our support vehicle is at your disposal. You won’t have to worry about not finding your way as there will always be yellow arrows to point the way. You will never feel alone on the Camino as there will be other pilgrims on the way. After the walk and lunch we will go back to the day’s accommodation to freshen up and enjoy some well-deserved rest.
Luggage is transferred from one hotel to the next using the support vehicle. For the pilgrimage you need only carry a small/medium backpack for your essentials, and leave the rest to us! (Please review luggage requirements under Frequently Asked Questions.)
Delicious local fare is an outstanding feature of the Camino Finisterre.
Carefully selected hearty breakfasts and locally-sourced and delicious dinners served with exceptional hospitality and ambiance are included in our Portuguese Coast Camino. Lunches are not included to provide more flexibility during your walk to sample local foods in the quaint towns at the end of the daily stage. Vegetarians, vegans, or those with a special diet (e.g. gluten-free) can always find suitable options.
Exceptional lodging is a hallmark of the Portuguese Coast Camino.
In this high-end pilgrimage, hotel accommodations include stays in Spain’s national and prestigious Paradores, elegant and exclusive hotels situated in important historical buildings and uniquely stunning locations in rural areas surrounded by lush, peaceful scenery, as well as charming manor houses of Galicia, well known for outstanding hospitality and service.
Our parador accommodations include, the magnificent, Parador de Cambados, located in an old country house known as Bazán, an elegant ancestral mansion, and Parador de Pontevedra, located in the old quarter of the magnificent city of Pontevedra.
*All hotels are subject to change and depend on availability.
Preparation in Body, Mind, & Spirit
Soulful preparation is key to Walk in Beauty pilgrimage experience. We understand that a pilgrimage is different from a ‘hiking vacation’ and we assist you with not only physical training, but soulful training, to open the heart, mind, and spirit. Resources include Pilgrim Newsletters, Pilgrim Training Schedule, maps, comprehensive Pilgrimage Resource Guide, and packing list with recommendations on what to bring, as well as Camino Community Conference Calls via videoconference to get to know fellow pilgrims and build a supportive community.
In the Portuguese Coast Camino, mobile phones with a Spanish line will be handed out for the period of the pilgrimage for every two or three pilgrims. This allows you to communicate with the driver or guides for any reason at all times. The number can also be given to family members back home to receive phone calls.
Click here for a complete profile of route for the Portuguese Coast Camino.
This Camino includes travel insurance, for peace of mind, which will be very useful just in case you have an emergency during your Camino.
About the Landscape
The Portuguese Coast Camino landscape is dotted with watermills, chapels, monasteries, vineyards, estuaries, and beaches, rivers, and breathtaking ocean views. It is the only Camino route in which one entire stage is entirely by boat, crossing the Arousa estuary and the River Ulla.
Catch the spirit of El Camino. Watch this two-minute video on the spirit of El Camino de Santiago
October 6-17, 2020
Day 1 – Tuesday, October 6 – Meeting in Porto (Light city walking) Orientation & Welcome Dinner
Day 2 – Wednesday, October 7 – Obelisco da Memoria – Vila do Conde (9.5 mi/15.3 km) Breakfast & Dinner
Day 3 – Thursday, October 8 – Vila Praia de Ancora – A Guarda (11 mi/18 km) Breakfast & Dinner
Day 4 – Friday, October 9 – A Guarda – Monasterio de Oia (8 mi/12.9 km) Breakfast & Dinner
Day 5 – Saturday, October 10 – Vigo – Redondela (8.69 mi/14 km) Breakfast & Dinner
Day 6 – Sunday October 11 – Redondela – Pontevedra (13 mi/21 km) Breakfast & Dinner
Day 7 – Monday, October 12 – Pontevedra – Armenteira (14.5 mi/23.4 km) Breakfast & Dinner
Day 8 – Tuesday, October 13 – Armenteira – Vilanova de Arousa (14.9 mi/ 24 km) Breakfast & Dinner
Day 9 – Wednesday, October 14 – Vilanova de Arousa – Padrón – by boat (17.4 mi/ 28 km) Breakfast & Dinner
Day 10 – Padrón – O Milladoiro (11.2 mi/18 km) Breakfast & Dinner
Day 11 – Friday, October 16 – O Milladoiro – Santiago de Compostela (4 mi/6.4 km) Breakfast & Farewell Dinner
Day 12 – Saturday, October 17 – Guided visit in Santiago – Light city walking. Breakfast Only
*The daily itinerary is subject to change.
Day 1: Tuesday, October 6 – Meeting in Porto (Light City Walking)
Theme: The Journey Begins
We meet on the first day at 3:00pm at the lobby of our hotel in the city of Porto. Our guides will greet you and then accompany you on a guided visit of the city, which includes a visit to one of Porto’s lovely gardens. In the evening we will meet again for refreshments and a short presentation before enjoying a delicious welcome dinner. Orientation & Welcome Dinner
Day 2: Wednesday, October 7 – Obelisco da Memoria – Vila do Conde (9.5 mi/15.3km)
Theme: The Sound of the Genuine
We begin our Camino from Obelisco da Memoria and follow El Camino, The Way along the beautiful Portuguese coast passing quaint villages and beaches until we reach the town of Vila do Conde from where we will travel in our van to the town of Viana do Castelo. Breakfast & Dinner
Night in Viana do Castelo.
Day 3: Thursday, October 8 – Bila Praia de Ancora – A Guarda (11 mi/18 km)
Theme: Your Deepest Calling
Starting from Vila Praia de Âncora towards Caminha, we will find our last Portuguese city of our pilgrimage, from here we will board our ferry to Camposanco. Once in Galicia, we will go around Santa Tecla mountaintop towards the coastal road. On this stage, we will find the Castro of Santa Tecla, a Celtic-Roman town dated from I B.C. From here we will walk towards our end of the stage, A Guarda port-villa. Breakfast & Dinner
Night in Oia.
Day 4: Friday, October 9 – A Guardo – Monasterio de Oia (8 mi/12.9 km)
Theme: Lay Yourself Open
We will then begin our Camino along the Spanish coast until we reach the town of Oia and its beautiful monastery. At the end the stage, we will return to our accommodation, and in the afternoon, we will enjoy a visit to the historic town of Baiona. Breakfast & Dinner
Night in Oia.
Day 5: Saturday, October 10 – Vigo – Redondela (8.69 mi/14 km)
Theme: The Comfort of Questions
Today we start our walk from the town of Baiona as we make our way to Vigo, the largest city in Galicia. We will walk along the Ria de Vigo and its beaches enjoying breathtaking views of the coast and passing by many picturesque towns along the way. Breakfast & Dinner
Night in Vigo.
Day 6: Sunday, October 11 – Redondela – Pontevedra (13 mi/21 km)
Theme: Cultivating Gratitude
Today we start our first stage along the inland Portuguese Camino. We will walk along forest paths and beautiful vineyards until we reach the town of Pontevedra. Breakfast & Dinner
Night in Pontevedra.
Day 7: Monday, October 12 – Pontevedra – Armentiera (14.5 mi/23.4 km)
Theme: The Way of Tenderness
This stage will take us along the ‘Spiritual Variant’ of the Portuguese Camino to the town of Armenteira. This route will take us along the Ria de Pontevedra and the Parish of Campañó, passing by many quaint villages and towns before finishing our stage in the Monastery of Armenteira. Breakfast & Dinner
Night in Pontevedra.
Day 8: Tuesday, October 13 – Armenteira – Vilanova de Arousa (14.9 mi/24 km)
Theme: Embracing Courage for the Heart, Mind, & Spirit
Today’s stage will take us along the banks of the Armenteira and Umia Rivers on ancient stone roads as we pass by beautiful landscapes dotted by vineyards and watermills until we reach the town of Vilanova de Arousa. Breakfast & Dinner
Night in Cambados.
Day 9: Wednesday, October 14 – Vilanova de Arousa – Padrón – by boat (17.4 mi/28 km)
Theme: Gifts of the Sea
This stage is done by sea instead of walking, as we retrace the journey of the remains of Saint James, the Apostle, to Padrón, a Galician town steeped in Camino lore and legend. This town has been the starting point of the Camino for pilgrims arriving by sea. This path includes the only maritime “Stations of the Cross” in the world and you will be able to see twelve unique and ancient Galician Crosses called “Cruceiros”, which mark each station along the way. On this stage we will have the opportunity to relax and take in magnificent scenery. This is our last stage on the ‘Spiritual Variant’ of the Portuguese Camino. Breakfast & Dinner
Night in Cambados.
Day 10: Thursday, October 15 – Padrón – O Milladoiro (11.2 mi/18 km)
Theme: Listen Deeply, Listen Well
Today’s stage will take us along beautiful paths along forests and vineyards as we get closer and closer to Santiago. We will end our stage just six kilometers from our goal in the town of O Milladoiro, from where we can see Santiago’s superb cathedral for the first time from the top of Agro dos Mostoiros. Breakfast & Dinner
Night in O Milladoiro.
Day 11: Friday, October 16 – O Milladoiro – Santiago de Compostela (4 mi/6.4 km)
Theme: Journey’s End: A Pilgrim’s Heart
On this very special and joyous day, we finally arrive in Santiago! We start our stage early to arrive in Santiago in time for the Pilgrim’s Mass at noon. In the evening we will enjoy a very special farewell dinner and surprise. Breakfast & Farewell Dinner
Night in Santiago.
Day 12: Saturday, October 17 – Guided visit in Santiago (Light city walking)
Theme: The World Before Me
To culminate our Camino, a guided visit in Santiago awaits us in the morning, through the old city and its main monuments, squares, and convents, and markets. Breakfast Only
What People Are Saying
“Wow…is the first word that comes to mind. This pilgrimage was all that it promised to be and more.”
“I came to the experience unaware of the depth and breadth of Walk in Beauty. Thank you for helping me to open my eyes and look more clearly inward and outward.”
“I am seeing and hearing and walking differently. And it’s glorious.”
“Thank you. Thank you. To be split wide open by life!”
“My heart is filled with gratitude”
“The Camino my way! Curiosity, Courage, Laughter, Community, Contemplation, Reflection.”
Valerie shares her spiritual journey in her book, The Road that Teaches: Lessons in Transformation through Travel
“The Camino contributed greatly to help me shift my values. Today, my deepest aspiration is to support myself and others in this process of transformation. I believe that the Camino should be accessible to everyone, not only the physically fit. As a pilgrimage leader, I have escorted hundreds of people of varied abilities along the Way of Saint James and this gives me deep joy and inspiration.”
— Valerie Brown, Lead Smart Coaching, LLC
Want to Know More?
Read Pilgrimage As Activism.
$6,899.00, per person, double occupancy. Deposit: $1350.00 non-refundable and non-transferable deposit secures your place. Single supplement: $1,300.00.
Courage & Renewal ® Approach to reflection and expert facilitation
Comprehensive pre-pilgrimage preparation, including customized training schedule, newsletters, and Resource Guide
Carefully selected en suite luxury accommodations
Fully stocked private van support loaded with healthy snacks and cold drinks
11 Breakfasts / 11 Dinners
Pilgrims’ Kit loaded with resources
Pilgrim’s Passport & Credentials
English-speaking guide assistance
International program and route map
Photos of your Camino
Farewell dinner and surprise
Value Added Tax (VAT)
Stage done by boat, including a visit to a seaside farm
Guided visit to a local garden in Porto, Portugal
Guided visits in Porto and Santiago
Guided visit to the extraordinary Portico of Glory (Santiago only)
Price does NOT include:
Round trip airfare
Ground transportation from Santiago
Tips & gratuities
Registration, Deposit, & Payments
The $1,350 nonrefundable, nontransferable deposit secures your double occupancy. There are very few single rooms available, and these require a single occupancy supplement of $1,300. To complete registration for this pilgrimage, you will need to: (1) Complete the online registration, and (2) Submit the initial deposit.
Please see below for the installment payment plan.
To register for this pilgrimage, complete the online registration and submit the initial deposit to secure your space.
Payment installation information:
Payments for double occupancy are scheduled as follows:
- Initial deposit/registration: $1,350 – To reserve your space
- Payment #2: $2774.50 due by April 6, 2020
- Payment #3: $2774.50 due by July 6, 2020
Payments for single occupancy are scheduled as follows:
- Initial deposit/registration: $1,350 – To reserve your space
- Payment #2: $3,424.50 due by April 6, 2020
- Payment #3: $3,424.50 due by July 6, 2020
Please register here with your initial deposit. To make installment payments on the remainder due:
Interested in Pre-or post Pilgrimage Options?
We will provide you with recommendations on pre-or-post-pilgrimage options, including:
Pre-Pilgrimage Tour of the Douro River Valley-Portugal-Optional and Additional Cost: One of Portugal’s best-kept secrets, the Douro River Valley, is just a short one-hour drive from the charming city of Porto. This makes it perfect for an unforgettable half-day or full-day experience.
Post-Pilgrimage Tour Option in Santiago de Compostela-Optional and Additional Cost: Once in Santiago de Compostela, there are many options, including, a visit to Rías Baixas, located in southwest Galicia, which boasts long, wide beaches, coastal inlets with exceptional natural beauty, and distinctive villages and towns rich in marine life.
About Your Pilgrimage Leader
Valerie Brown is an international retreat leader, writer, accredited leadership coach, spiritual director, and Chief Listening Officer of Lead Smart Coaching, LLC, specializing in application and integration of mindfulness and leadership. She transformed her high-pressure, twenty-year career as a lawyer-lobbyist, representing educational institutions and nonprofits, to human-scale work with leaders and teams to foster trustworthy and authentic connections.
Valerie has been leading pilgrimage since 2004 and has accompanied hundreds of pilgrims on journeys worldwide. She shares her transformational story in her first book, The Road that Teaches: Lessons in Transformation through Travel (Quakerbridge Media, 2012). Learn more about Valerie.