Portuguese Coastal Way to Santiago walking holiday
Description of Portuguese Coastal Way to Santiago walking holiday
This trip can be tailor made throughout the year to suit your requirements
As the pioneers of responsible tourism, we've screened this (and every) holiday so that you can travel knowing it will help support the places and people that you visit, and the planet. Read how below.
PlanetThe historical and spiritual Portuguese Coastal Camino de Santiago offers a wide range of scenery, and gastronomic experiences. The unspoilt coastal landscapes in Northern Portugal, and in Galicia in Spain, are varied and beautiful, as are the inland stretches through woodland, farmland, country villages and historical towns.
Whether our clients choose to follow the Camino on foot or by bike, the environmental impact of our programme is minimal.
On the first day we provide our self-guided clients with a full in-person briefing with one of our Camino experts, either based in Porto or as close as possible to their starting point in order to reduce the need for transport. During the briefing, we provide detailed instructions of the route, which includes a code of conduct for respecting their environment by sticking to the trail and leaving no litter as well as preventing damage such as inadvertently starting a forest fire.
We also provide refillable water bottles in their welcome pack and encourage clients to use local tap water or approved water fountains along the Camino – we explain how they can tell when water tis safe to drink or not. We also stress the importance of leaving no trace, which includes not following the popular practice of adding stones to cairns to mark their passage.
For luggage transfers, we usually have more than one client undertaking the route at any given time so we arrange bulk delivery and collection with local drivers to reduce carbon emissions.
Our preferred accommodation and catering partners are those who make effective use of eco-friendly practices to save water, utilise solar power and promote recycling.
PeopleThis programme follows an ancient pilgrim route that passes through non-touristed villages and small towns that depend on the revenue generated by the pilgrims for their survival and development.
For this reason, we encourage our clients to make use of local cafés, traditional non-chain restaurants, markets and grocery stores, not only to support the local economy, but also to maximise their opportunities to interact with local people. If there is a local delicacy worth trying, such as octopus in Esposende, or the renowned oysters in Arcade, we point this out in the roadbook (info pack).
Our ‘roadbooks’ contain information about the destination and advice for clients on how to respect local cultures and interact without inadvertently causing offence as well as some helpful phrases in Portuguese and Spanish.
One thing that every pilgrim will agree with is the helpfulness of local people. They are used to seeing pilgrims and pleased to see and support them where possible. If a pilgrim appears to be in any doubt as to which way to go and there is a local nearby, they will point the traveller in the right direction without them even having to ask.
Our office is in Northern Portugal, close to Porto, which is the usual starting point for this programme, and a few days walk along the Camino. Our staff live locally and have in-depth knowledge of the route so they are able to help out rapidly and effectively, mobilising local resources where necessary to help clients if they encounter any difficulties.
We ensure our staff and those who work for us are treated with respect and have fair working conditions. As such, we are directly supporting the local economy and communities in which we operate.
In our office we recycle as much as possible and we do our best to minimize printing and waste in general, e.g. by using washable crockery and cutlery and providing a 20-litre water cooler for staff to refill from.