Coast to Coast

Minho River

Guillarei – Valença


Click here for a map of the walk along the Minho.

We travelled by bus from Tordesillas to Ourense where we spent the night and then by train which speed along the banks of the Minho to Guillarei .

From Guillarei to Tui and across the border to Valença in Portugal was on the Camino Portuguese, in reverse, 6.8 km in 1 hour 45 minutes. There were lots of pilgrims heading to Santiago. We had walked the Portuguese Camino years ago (click here) but remembered little of Tui or Valença, a walled city on the banks of the Minho River in Portugal. The city dates back to Roman times and its walls were first constructed in the 13th century.

There are many elaborately carved granite pillories, like the one on the left, in Galicia and northern Portugal.

Galician grape vines supported by stone pillars
San Telmo in Tui, an example of Portuguese baroque in Spain
The border on the Minho Bridge between Spain and Portugal – Tui (Spain) left and Valença (Portugal) right
Entrance to the Fort at Valenca
Our first dinner in Portugal – we shared this €10 one-person meal of chicken, chips, rice and salad

Valença – Vila Nova de Cerveira

29 May 2019 via MINHO RIVER

18.5 km, 4 hours 10 minutes along the Minho River. There’s an off road path almost all the way; very pleasant walking along the river. Vila Nova de Cerveira was founded in 1321 and the original castle remains, more or less deserted.

We left from the 1st century Roman Milestone which markes 42 miles from Braga on the Roman Road to Tui
It was very pleasant walking along the Minho looking over to Spain
16th century San Cipriano Church in Vila Nova de Cerveira was reconstructed after the storm of 1877
We stayed in a dear little one bedroom 18th century house attached to the wall of the fort

Vila Nova de Cerveira – Caminha

30 May 2019 via MINHO RIVER

Again we followed the Minho as closely as possible along the award winning Greenway path for 12.8 km, 3 hours 5 minutes to Caminha.

This is Vinho Verde (Green, as in young, Wine) country and we are taking every chance to try some. Light and fresh, slightly effervescent it’s perfect on a warm evening.

Walking along the Rio Minho Greenway …
… on a bright sunny day …
… looking across the Minho to Spain
We liked this unusual house – Villa Idalina, built 1908 by a returning Brazilian
Caminho Rio Minho – River Path – runs for many kilometers along the Minho
Beautiful Chapel of St. Benedict from the Middle Ages, a good place to take a break
Main plaza at Caminha beside the 500 year old Church of the Misericordia
Mother Church of Caminha, 15-18th century inside the fort walls

Caminha – A Guarda

31 May 2019

To get to Spain there is a ferry crossing the Minho but with very low tides departures are limited. We took the first one at 11.00 am and walked to A Guarda the longer way around via the Punta de Santa Terga on the Coastal Path boardwalk: 7.4 km, 1 hour 50 minutes.

Man taking advantage of the low tide – ferry crossings are restricted until the tide comes in
The ferrycoming into Spain maneuvers to avoid the sandbanks
Ínsua Fortress, built in the 15th century by the Portuguese to defend the River mouth
An hórreo is a typical granary from Galicia, made of stone and raised to deter rats
The Blue Trail – Coastal Path boardwalk makes for easy going along the coast
An old fish trap in the Atlantic Ocean
A Guarda is a pretty Galician fishing village
You don’t see this often these days – a woman using the public lavandería to do her washing
Suffering Vermouth withdrawal symptoms so we had to do a cross border run to Spain
Fabulosa Galician Vermouth is particularly good (made from a Catalan recipe)

We walked up to Castro de Santa Terga a 5.9 km 1 hour 45 minutes round trip. Normally entrance is €1 but if you walk it’s free! This relatively recently discovered (1980s) pre-Roman archaeological site is on Mount Santa Trega about 250 meters above the sea. It overlooks the Atlantic on one side and the Minho River on the other.

Santa Trega is a ‘Castro-Roman’ settlement on a hill 250 meters above A Guarda
It was inhabited between 100 BC and 100 AD with a population of 3000+
A reconstructed Castro house gives an idea of how the people lived