The Porto – Vairão stage starts in the historical area of the undefeated city. Among the streets and old buildings, filled with different shades of blue, we walk along narrow sidewalks, alongside cars, crowds and wine cellars. This route, interesting for architecture lovers, can be boring for those who prefer contact with nature and the “true” spirit of Santiago.
However, on arrival in Vairão, pilgrims are welcomed by the immense greenery and a beautiful monastery hidden among the ancient trees that live there.
The path leaves from thePorto Cathedral. One of the oldest monuments in Portugal, right in the center of the undefeated city, we can see the arrows that will guide us along the next kilometers. And don’t worry, they are well signposted all the way to Santiago de Compostela.
From now on we begin to say goodbye to the city of Porto. At this intersection, which has as its protagonist the old chapel of Carvalhido covered with the iconic blue tiles so common in the undefeated city. Now it’s time to follow the arrows. Straight ahead, until we reach the countryside.
Araújo is between Moreira de Maia and Porto. Here is the first space where you can stop for a while, without the hustle and bustle of the city. Near the church, which dates back to at least the 17th century, is a square with several benches to sit on. And, next door, a cafe to reinforce your energy.
After the most urban stretch, between the City of Porto and Moreira da Maia, the trail begins to return to rurality and the small towns that make up much of the route. There are many places that could be disclosed, but there is a secret hidden in this first stage. The Azevedo pharmacy. Which is one of the oldest pharmacies operating in Portugal since April 1737. Located in the Lameira square is the perfect place to rest.
The small town of Vairão is a treasure from inland Portugal. Hidden between the green of the mountains and more urbanized areas, it has a monastery prepared to receive several pilgrims and some affordable cafes and restaurants. Now it is time to rest. The Pilgrims’ Hostel of the Monastery of Vairão is the center of the village and is the ideal place to get into the pilgrimage spirit. With an outdoor living space, kitchen, and plenty of rooms, you will meet people who are also walking the path. Don’t be alarmed at the entrance.
Incidents tend to be minimal, and many people do the path alone. However, safety can be subjective. Many walkers make the path, so if you’re concerned, you can always ask for help.
This is the most urban stage of the Portuguese route. Upon entering Vairão, the difference in natural landscape is noticeable.