Day Nineteen on the Senda Litoral of the Camino Portugués
~ Caminha to Praia de Area Grande, La Guardia, 8.08 Kilometers (5 Miles)

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Our day nineteen on the Senda Litoral of Camino Portugués is a very short seaside diversion if you wish to spend more time on the coast than walk through the town of La Guardia (A Guarda). For the route description after this diversion, on the Coast Route, click here.

"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever." ~ Jacques Yves Cousteau, French explorer, filmmaker, and conservationist

Map and Stats of Day Nineteen, Senda Litoral, Camino Portugués

Here is my Google, interactive map of our GPS tracks. It contains both routes for your convenience, to compare. You can see that after A Guarda, the Coastal and the Senda Litoral are one and the same routes for the remainder of the day.

It may be that with the Taxi Boat Peregrinos, by the Camping Orbitur, you can arrange to go directly across the river from Caminha to join the Senda Litoral in A Praia, if you prefer that landing to the one at the old ferry landing in A Pasaxe. Always ask!

The other two taxi boat services from the dock on the north side of Caminha to A Pasaxe are the Taxi Mar and Xacobeo Transfer. The Taxi Mar station is in the building at the dock, and the Xacobeo Transfer, has no station, but will pick you up at the far end of the dock, by their small sign. 

Here is the elevation profile for this short diversion on just the Senda Litoral. There essentially is no elevation change!

Elevation Profile, Day Nineteen, A Pasaxe to Praia de Area Grande, Camino PortuguésElevation Profile, Day Nineteen, Senda Litoral, Camino Portugués, A Pasaxe to Praia de Area Grande

The Senda Litoral joins the Coastal about 4.7 kilometers into it at the Praia de Area Grande. The Senda Litoral loop is shown in orange on the map.

You will need to add about 3.3 kilometers to the 20.6 day’s journey if you take this diversion, the difference between the coastal and the senda litoral, for a total of 23.9 kilometers. Because there is no elevation gain along this coastal stretch it won't add much exertion unless you choose to walk on the sand.

Don't forget, if you are going onward to the albergue in Mougás it will be about a 26.5 kilometer day total if you choose the Senda Litoral.

Photo-Rich Travelogue of Day Nineteen, Senda Litoral, Camino Portugués

If you choose the eight kilometer Senda Litoral, from the A Pasaxe dock, walk past the maritime station and take the first left onto the Praza Avelino Vicente that runs along the waterfront. Walk on the street through town, past a tennis club, and until the edge of town where there is a nice picnic area and the road turns to sand.

Continue on this sandy road, and after about 1.3 kilometers, arrive at a nice lookout and the first beach, the Praia do Muíño. Muíño means mill in Gallego, the language of Galicia. The road ends at a parking lot, but a sandy lane continues onward down the beach. There is another nice picnic area just beyond the parking lot. 

All along this portion of the Senda Litoral you can choose to walk on the hard packed sand of the beach or the sandy road that runs right alongside it. 

Next is the Praia A Lamiña, pictured below, indistinguishable from the prior beach. 

Rich on the Gorgeous Praia A LamiñaRich on the Gorgeous Praia A Lamiña

There is a boardwalk that starts at the Praia A Lamiña, photo below, after about 2.3 kilometers, and takes you  to the next town called A Praia. This is the beach where you can request the Taxi-Boat Peregrinos to drop you off, if it suits your plans and you wish to do the Senda Litoral! 

Boardwalk to A Praia, Spain on Day Nineteen, Camino PortuguésBoardwalk to A Praia

As you walk along this boardwalk, you will see the fort, the Fortaleza de Insua, below, to the west, built in the 17th century guarding the harbor of the Minho from its island perch. It is a romantic place and I would have loved to explore it, if we had more time. If you wish, the Taxi Boat Peregrinos will take you there as well!

Fortaleza de Insua on Day Nineteen, Camino PortuguésFortaleza de Insua

The Praia A Lamiña also blends into the Praia de Camposancos by the Hotel O Molino (O Muiño), in the town of A Praia, after turning inland a bit at a small roundabout. You have accomplished 2.5 kilometers at the hotel. Pass the hotel (unless you are charmed into staying), and pick up the boardwalk around the back of it, where you will see a yellow arrow! 

There is a tapería just beyond the boardwalk's left turn, on the right side of the road, that is built into an old mill, hence the name of the hotels in this area. However, since it is not a café, but serves tapas, it doesn't open until later, around 11:00 a.m.

There is also the Hotel Novo Muiño immediately north of the Hotel O Molino, if you wish to spend more time here on the beach.

On this peninsula, on the hill above, is a marvelous historic site, the 16th century village called the Castro de Santa Trega. If you have the extra time to see it, the museum along with it and the views surrounding it, it will be worth your while!

By the hotel O Molino, you are now beginning a long boardwalk and paved trail system called the Vieiro Litoral for about the next 3 kilometers and around the point (El Punto) where the Minho River meets the sea at the fort described above. 

Follow this lovely seacoast way, first through a wonderful pine forest, then rocky coastline after rounding the point, until it then becomes the Senda Litoral de la Guardia on the west side of the town of La Guardia (A Guarda). Along the way, you will pass more lookouts, salt production flats (salinas), old windmills (muiños) and cetáreas, little structures along the seacoast to store seafood. Keep your eyes out for these historical sites!

After rounding the point, there are no beaches through here, so keep that in mind if you are expecting lots of beaches on this section of the Senda Litoral. 

As you walk northward along the La Guardia senda litoral, you will begin to see more houses and buildings and eventually restaurants and cafés as you approach the La Guarda harbor. You will even pass a long wall with graffiti art! The lovely seaside pathway becomes a paved road once again, after approximately 5 kilometers total. 

When you reach the harbor jetty at La Guardia, pass through a small roundabout, staying straight and head for the small beach, called non-other than the Praia do Porto, after 6.5 kilometers. Continue to circumnavigate the harbor on the paseo provided for you at the far end of this beach. It is a lovely seaside walkway! 

If you are going to the Municipal Albergue in La Guardia, you should go straight north into town at the end of the Port Beach for the most expedient access to it. You will join the Coastal Route in only 200 or so meters, climbing steep stairs up the hill, by the Convento de San Benito. You will find the albergue after you pick up the yellow arrows again, at the town hall. After passing the town church next, the albergue is only a few more meters right along the Camino.

Back on the harbor paseo, you will pass a skate park and more graffiti art murals along the jetty at the far end of the harbor, rounding another point at the Sea Museum of La Guardia (Museo do Mar da Guarda), after about 7.0 kilometers. This highly distinguishable building looks like a sort-of fortress to me. Continue on the walkway along the sea after the museum for the final kilometer or so, where the paseo joins the road for the final steps to the Praia Area Grande, where the Coastal Route meets up with the Senda Litoral. You will see a concrete mojón (waymark) on the road where the two routes meet! 

You have completed the Senda Litoral for this day after 8.0 kilometers. Click here to continue onward on the Coastal Route.

Reflection on Day Nineteen, Senda Litoral, Camino Portugués

The beaches here on the southern shores of Spain, along the Minho River are super-nice. They are very busy in the summer months as you might imagine. Indeed, I would have loved to stay here several nights, but did not, due to the ever-present time constraints! 

After one of our Portuguese Caminos, we had a few extra days, and we did actually spend more time with our friend from Viladesuso on the beaches of Baiona. We even explored the Monte de Santa Tecla, mentioned above. It was a truly enjoyable time! 

For me, the sea always casts its spell, and I did not even explore under the surface! 


May your own day nineteen on the Senda Litoral of the Camino Portugués cast its spell on you and may it hold you in its net of wonder forever! Ultreia!

Downloadable Camino Portugués eBooks in PDF Format ~ Get Your Copy Today!  Don't carry a hard copy guide book to increase your pack weight. Use our digital guides on your next Camino instead. 

The Variante Espiritual is Brand-New, Hot off my writing desk!

The Lisbon to Porto eBook is now updated to include the brand new boardwalk route along the river on the first day out of Lisbon!

And the Journey Continues:

~ Lisbon to Porto

~ Porto to Santiago Via the Coastal Route and/or the Sendal Litoral

~ Porto to Santiago Via the Central Route

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