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Getting To Portugal From Usa

Discussion in 'The Camino Portugues' started by JJB, Feb 21, 2018.

  1. JJB

    JJB Member

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    I plan on doing the Camino Portuguese sometime late May or early June. I plan on hiking from Porto to Santiago. I did the Frances last year but wanted to try something else and I don't have the time I had last year. I am coming from the States and wondering the easiest way to get to Porto. I am assuming a flight into Lisbon then a bus up to Porto but if anyone has any better ideas please let me know.

    Thanks!

    JJB
     
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  2. danvo

    danvo Super Moderator Staff Member

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    you can try to find flight directly to Porto. (or indirect flight from the States through any european airport, it can be sometimes cheaper) Or find a train from Lisbon - I think it is fastest option. (www.cp.pt)
     
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  3. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    JJB, we flew Azores Air to Porto, which flies out of Boston and stops briefly in Terceira (you go through customs in Terceira, since it's technically in Portugal as part of the Azores). I can't, however, recommend JetBlue, which is a partner of Azores Air if you need to connect as part of a ticket. The Azores Air part of our flights was very good, though.

    TAP Portugal also has a flight directly between Porto and EWR/Newark on some days. TAP also flies between Porto to Lisbon and back to JFK, but some find the train between Porto and Lisbon easy. Danvo put the train information above. TAP also books one-way without charging an arm and a leg like so many airlines do.

    There's an ALSA bus between Santiago and Porto also. I think Wily and his wife used it when they did the Portuguese. There's a train that goes Santiago to Vigo (Renfe), then Portugal's train system between Vigo and Porto, but the train times aren't particularly convenient unless you want to stay over in Vigo.

    What Danvo said is a good way to do it...... take a discounter on the way back from Santiago (say, Ryan Air to London Stansted), take the Express train to London from the airport, and you can get Norwegian (discounter, take food), back across the pond for cheap.

    Buen Camino to you!
     
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  4. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey JJB - My wife and I did the Camino Portugués just a year ago. Although I live in NY, the closest international airport for me to use is Montreal. We flew directly into Porto, although we did have to change planes in Brussels. From there, it was direct to Porto. We flew Air Canada to Brussels and then Brusseks Airlines down to Porto. On the way back we flew Lufthansa all the way. So, there are a number of airlines that fly into Porto. Unless you want to go to Lisbon, there are options out there for you to go directly into Porto.

    After reaching Santiago, we took the bus back to Porto. It was a very pleasant trip and if my recollection is correct, it took about four hours. We hadn’t purchased tickets in advance and had no problem buying them in Santiago as the bus was hardly crowded. I, too, have walked the CF. Although the CP isn’t as demanding, except perhaps for the cobblestones, it was a most pleasant walk and one my wife enjoyed as her first Camino. My blog below this posting will give you a pretty good idea of how we experienced and enjoyed this Camino. Bom Caminho!
     
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  5. JJB

    JJB Member

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    Thanks everyone for the great suggestions. I live 2 hours from NYC and was able to find direct flights to Lisbon where I could take the train to Porto or for a few more bucks right into Porto.

    A couple more questions if anyone can help. Is there a Main Pilgrim office in Porto to get your passport. Also when I did the Frances I relied heavily on the Brierley book. Is that recommended or are there other resources for finding albergues and destination points.

    Any other recommendations would be appreciated.
     
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  6. Wily

    Wily Francés 2016; Portugués 2017; Inglés/Fisterra 2018

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    Hey JJB - I do not believe that there is a Pilgrim’s Office in Porto. However, you can pick up your Credencial at the cathedral. It opens at 9 am. From the cathedral, we caught the bus that took us along the Rio Douro up to Matosinhos where we began our walk up the coast to Vila do Conda. It was a most pleasant first day on the Camino. We had the Brierely book with us. If you liked the guide on the CF, you’ll find the information provided in his Portugués volume helpful as well. Regarding other resources for finding accommodations, check out gronze.com if you’re not already familiar with it. Bom Caminho!
     
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  7. JJB

    JJB Member

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    Thanks Wily,
    I used Gonze at your recommendation on the CF. It was very helpful. I also used booking.com at times and that was great as well. I’m thinking of booking in advance so if anyone has any “must stay” albergues please let me know!
     
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  8. BenL

    BenL The Burghers of Calais

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    @JJB, I am walking the Camino Portugues too. And one of my kids gave me this latest edition from John Brierley this past Christmas. It has the Coastal and Inland routes from Porto. Just published in Dec 2017.

    https://www.amazon.com/Pilgrims-Gui...preST=_SY344_BO1,204,203,200_QL70_&dpSrc=srch
     
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  9. Crepes4Suzette

    Crepes4Suzette Well-Known Member

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    JJB, we stayed at BlueSock Hostel in a great location down by the Ribeira in Porto. All renovated - a very old Portuguese tile-faced building with loads of stone inside. As hostels go, it was very nice, although it was predominantly young kids and the desk people messed up our reservations. We would have stayed at Gallery Hostel Porto, which it seems like Wily and others recommended, but couldn't get a room or bed during our dates.

    Here are some others that I liked: Ideas Peregrinas in Tui (as long as there's not a festival going on....). Alojamiento Camino Portuguese in O Porrino - the town and the albergue were much better than expected and they have a lovely hospitalera with excellent English. We stayed in two non-albergues that I can recommend also, in case you want a break from the albergues as we did: The parador in Pontevedra and Casa do Meixida in Escravitude (really more like Os Muinos) the night before Santiago.

    I've stayed at a few places in Santiago, but like the pilgrim's rooms on the 4th floor of San Martin Pinario's Hospederia - huge old historically significant building, vaulted stone dining rooms, 24 Euro for a small single monk's cell with rooftop and sometimes Cathedral views. Full breakfast is included in that price, and they have much nicer rooms through their booking system (you have to write to ask for pilgrim room).
     
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  10. samantha davies

    samantha davies Member

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    You can take a flight directly to Porto, and usually flights there are cheaper than to Lisbon. Take a look at skyscanner, TAP Portugal and Iberia have checked luggage included and they're pretty good airlines (better than Norway Airlines or Air France)
     
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