Portugal
Vila do Conde

Here you’ll find travel reports about Vila do Conde. Discover travel destinations in Portugal of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

15 travelers at this place:

  • Day7

    Valega and Porto

    May 20 in Portugal

    The church of Valeger was a place I had read that was highly recommended for its painted tiles. So I had it in my plan to visit. The previous day I had got the train information. I got a metro to the train station, and I had plenty of time before the train,so I went and got some crackers for lunch worse case scenario. The train and everything else seems to come on time.metros are down to the minute. So all good. Valeger pronounced Vulgar was I the middle of no ware.
    I had been chatting to a few Germans in the train and they were going to Aveiro. But they had flown to Porto for the weekend from Munich. The plus side of living in Europe personified.

    There was a taverna kind of place ( I don't think taverna is the correct word need to find that out yet). Asked the locals sitting doing nothing, other than watching the world go by. One guy could speak a smattering of English and he point to the one and only road, said walk in hat direction. So with that piece of valuable information I took off. How long I had asked, he said 1 km, Google was saying more like 2.5 kms. What's the difference on a soul that was going to walk 300 kms.

    After about 15 minutes i could see the church from a far. And it looked as lovely as seen on the internet. A renewed spring in the step. The roads were deserted, it was the typical day you see on buying a house in rural, France, Portugal 0or Spain.nothing on the road, now and then a car would go past, the roads were cobble stone more than tar on it, the birds were singing loud as, and the heat of the sun was just lovely not scorching. There were a few old character houses for sale. One for me, one for Nino and one for Barbara. We are sorted guys.lets move to Valega

    Coming closer there were people outside. Ok so it was Penticost Sunday. But surly why all of this crowed. No one spoke english. So after admiring the church from the outside for awhile I thought I will peep into the church to see what was happening. It was jam packed inside. And the reason for the crowed was that it was first communion celebrations for the little boys and girls. Brought back memories of SL. It is very much a celebration day in SL too. Party afterwards, all relations and family get together,everyone dressed grandly, the little ones in white lovely long dresses, and the boys in white and black bows etc. What a blessing to see this. The loft had been opened to accomadate the crowds, so got this bright idea as soon as mass was over to sneak up there and see the inside of the church which was also all in painted tiles. That was great, to see it from that view point priceless. Must be my lucky day.

    After a photo shoot, and prayers I had to head back quick smart to catch the train back. It was once each hour. Getting closer to the station I thought I had got it wrong , false alarm I was a few minutes ahead of time. There had been one stall selling refreshments at the church, I had bought this kind of something between a cake and a biscuit. After some of that while waiting for the train, and also washed down with some water. I was sorted.org.

    Next stop was the port wine cellers. This was on the way back. So off I hop from the train, asked a gent who again was very helpful, and said to come with him as he was going to the metro too, didn't mind missing the metro that came by in order to help me. Thought I will go to the Sandeman sellers as I have drunk their Port wine. The Next English tour was at 6,00pm. And the time was around 3.00. Bugger that. You could have just wine tasting. That was good enough for this alcoholic who had never ever been drunk at the age of 58. That was soon to be remedied.

    So I thought I would first try the ruby you get 3 glasses of this for tasting, and a human being explains about the 3. Well liked 2 not much about the very old one which was 10 years old. So in for penny in for a pound I would not get another opportunity like this on this trip, so went back and asked for another tasting of the other 2 different ports. White, and Twarny. Hmmm my head was feeling light, and no way could I have walked a straight line. Yeppiiii I think I was as high as I would ever get.

    Most of the first 3 was yet remaining. They give you a glass of water to cleanse you palette. Emptied my were bottle into that, and a another glass. Poured the rest o f the two I liked from my first tasting to the bottle and I was out of there before I went to sleep.

    In my best interest I needed to eat some food. It was on the river side, and not sure if it was like this everyday but there are stalls and cafes galore. Stopped at one of the cafes sat out side and ate steamed spiced squid. The life of the rich and famous drunk, sunnying and watching the world go by. Could get used to this. (There is one photo where I am just about sleeping sun bathing at the cafe).

    Even after all of this time I was yet not fully in charge of my faculties,but I found a cure for druck or slightly drunk, and that was so climbing up a steep hill. To get to the river side I had, had to come down the hill. I could have crossed the river on a bridge at that level, but I needed to get back up to get to the cathedral where I was going to get my Camino passport stamped for the first time. Well by the time I got to the top again I was as sane as my normal self would ever be.

    Walked the bridge and crossed the river, found the cathedral, got the stamp, and now had to start my walk. As my hotel was about 8 kms out of Porto in order for me to be true to my self I needed to walk that part so I could say I started my walk in Porto. That was a lovely walk. Part way I took a tram to experience that.

    Back at the hotel, getting laundry done was on the agenda. By now it was close to 7.00pm. Had a quick chat with Colin and went to the laundry mat. Everything was in PORTUGESE. So went off looking for someone to help. Found these 3 boys and a young girl who came back to the self service, but even they could not work it out. Then a lady came to self service and helped me out not just to work it out but I was short of .10cts. While that was happening went for some dinner. The Manager there was so helpful, I had asked about the fish having bones. Once the meal came to my table he cut the fish up for me and took off the bones. ( I was loved by this stranger who cared for my well being )And gave me complimentary fried squid to try as well.

    A long full on day. I sure know how to rest on my holiday!!!!!.
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  • Day8

    Matasinhos to Vila do Condo

    May 21 in Portugal

    Up and early today. Today was the trying and testing day. 22 km, on my own, on a prayer and good will I stepped out. Leaving the families room of the last 3 days was scary. Hmmm.......... . The pack was full, but not too heavy on the back. As it was a long day I was caught between packing for every eventuality or wanting some thing and that was not going to be in my day pack. My main luggage was being transferred. It is very well organised these days. I often think I would have loved to live in the 1800s but living intodays world has its pluses.

    The photos speak of the trip. The white sandy beaches are endless. The walk , was great 98% of the journey is on walkway built over the sand. I am glad to be alive and well.

    My plan is to keep to 4 km an hour, and also have rest periods each hour. That worked out fine for the first hour. I needed to check my body, pack find a toilet, attend to a toe that had been playing up. ( ie just needed to put a sticky tape, no blood and gory yet). But more importantly I needed to find a toilet. Well that was going to be hard at 8.00 in the morning. Along the coast once I left the residential and commercial area it is all high rise apartments. There was the familier golden archers of Mc Donalds, but they were not opened. Just as I was leaving they opened. So great.

    But I walked an extra 3 km on top of the 22 as I had to keep drinking water, but then it also meant I had to find toilets. Rather than contemplating or meditating, my reflections were of how and where is the next toilet going to be.😂

    One time I was tired and there were little fish that were no longer than 3 inches but rather than swimming they just shoot from the bottom and jump and get the food, and then go down and just stay vertical. It was mesmering to watch. I stopped to look, sat down on the walkway gave my legs a break by leaning my legs on a walkway post that was good to get the blood going the other way. That was a yoga posture. See learning comes in handy.

    Into the accomodation at 2.00pm. Or the relief and a hot shower. Legs were hurting and getting stiff. Up goes the legs on the wall, Hot water bottle on the legs, 2 hours later good as gold, no aches no pain, no stiffness. Went for a walk round the block. Other Camino travellers were coming in to the city looking tired, stressed and tired😀 and I felt good, that i had got in early, and had a rest already. In the middle of the night , the sole of the foot was hurting. Applied some cream, and this morning there good as gold.

    Whether wise the day was breezy, a bit cold, needed my jacket on for most of the day.

    It is 4.30 in the morning, everyone is sleeping and I am writing my travel journal.
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  • Day6

    Porto

    May 19 in Portugal

    When things go wrong they don't just go wrong they go majorly wrong. And when things go your way they just keep coming your way. Today was a testomany to that. Just around the corner from the hotel was the bus stop. I needed to go and get my Samsung gear watch looked at, as it had gone to watch hell. Got to the stop. Thought I will ask this gent if I could get a ticket on the bus, as in Italy you needed to get it before you got on the bus. This nice human being not only gave that information but also asked where I as going to and then informed me I was standing in the bus stop going in the wrong direction. So he crossed the road and showed me round the corner where I should go to in order to catch the bus. All good so far. 10.00 minutes later the bus comes. And when I ask the driver he tells me no I should be where I had been. Confusing!!!!!!.

    Back I go, a bus comes along. After 3 stops that's it, the bus is Not going any further. Not where I should be at all. So back to the place I just got down from. Now what there was a metro station there too. I asked a couple who were seated. These two were also super helpful. The man even went down the road asking people if they new where I was looking for, he got the necessary information and informed me, drew a diagram where I should get down etc. His partner made sure I got in with them when the metro came and so on. All good.

    Now I come to where I need to get off the metro, looking looking no such place as what I want, but I need a SIM card too for my phone. And there is a Vodafone shop. I had read it was best to get a SIM card from them while on the camino. I go in there and the guy serving me talkers very good English, and handsome to boot. He was super friendly too. We discuss what I want and he had done the camino 4 times. The last time was from Spain on a bike. 1200 kms. He gets the SIM card for me, and then things turn bad.

    I blame it all on Colin. I had gone to the main farm with him in his truck and was going to walk from there to blue mountains and back. When getting out of his vehicle he made a wise crack and I dropped my phone. My screen protector cracked at that time, which I replaced. But what I did not know was that it also damaged the SIM card tray. The darn thing could not be opened how ever much handsome dude tried to get it opened. Which meant no SIM card could be put in. So what now. Either buy a new cheap smart phone or get it repaired. The place he thought might be able to help when I went there was closed. So back to Handsome and I asked him how to get to the Samsung shop I was originally supposed to go to.

    Got there by another metro ride, but this time I bought a ticket that was valid for 24 hours. Got to the Samsung shop and to coin a phase used by Barbs a lot. "They were as useful as tits on a bull". Went to Waltens an electrical and appliance shop. The sales rep was of the same caliber as the Samsung guys. But there was a repair area too. And that man tried his best to get it opened. No luck. But he suggested i go to another shop of theirs in the same mall but a larger one. Mind you this was as big as Harvey Normans. In Lower Hutt. He said thre they had a Samsung repair station. So off I went. That man was hopefully regards the phone but not the watch. It needed to have the software installed in NZ. By now I could not care a hoot about the watch. He said leave the phone with him for 2 hours.

    So after a bite to eat I thought I will go to the Porto city centre, using my metro ticket. Got there and walked out of the metro station and realised oh bummer I do not have my phone for taking photos, so what's the point in going anywhere. Back into the metro station, when I spotted an information officer (IO). Thought I would ask about a place I wanted to visit the next day. I new I needed to take a train to get there. When I explained where I wanted to go to he said oh no that is in the next metro station. I said no, and he said no, in the end it was better for me to listen to him after all he was the information officer. But I new he was wrong. Where i needed to go was a long way put of Porto. This man also told me that there was also a train station a few stops away which had the entire foyer in painted tiles and murals.

    Back to my phone repair place and he had good news for me, my phone was back on the job. No cost to me either. I thought I will go to the first place the IO had recommended. Well it was lovely. Might not be what I had read about, but it was yet fully worth seeing. The avenue their was very busy. Something for the rich and the poor and the average a like on the same street. Walking down the street to the end came to a beautiful old church. I have a feeling those three words are going to used a lot in this journal.

    Month of May is dedicated to our lady . And normally in the evenings on each day the rosary is recited. This was just about to happen in the church. So I stayed for that,an did mine in English. Then there was Saturday vigil mass which was also the Pentecost Sunday mass. After that feeling very pious and holy I went on a different route. Annoyed a Ching Chong China man by trying out a few articles of clothing and not buying any. And then saw a building which had a large tourist map on the window. Went in their out of curiosity in case it was an information centre. It was actually the train station that my IO had told me. So talk about the blind finding things in the dark by fluke.

    After that had a jaunt around that area, which had a lovely square and back on the metro to get back to the hotel. My day was done.
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  • Day9

    I had been told the day before by this useless as receptionist when asked that I could have breakfast early in a take away bag that would be left out side my bed room door that evening. Well it was not there, that night, and the reception was closed ( no 24 hour service at this place.). I sent an email, but no answer, so when breakfast served the next morning g it was 8.30, the owner was apologetic, she gave me a packed breakfast had a cup of tea and I was on my way.

    Another day of 18 km to walk according to Google,. I ignored the route google was informing me, instead I was going to walk along the sea front. The walkway was not known to Google, made sure by asking locals, along the way and I was happy as Larry. Even managed to clap my hands and walk to the sound of the surf on my left. Interestingly when I walk in NZ I normally listen to audible books, or meditate or tell the rosary. Well the last 2 days I have said the rosary but not listened to a single story book.

    Met an Amercian lady walking with a French guy. She was limping, no accomodation booked, but was going to Santiago before me. She was not a spring chicken either. Had been to India 7 times and thought there was something in India that called to her. She was carring all of her pack, which was smaller than my day pack. Go figure that. Quite an alternative thinker. Was interesting making small talk with her. Her partner in the mean time was walking ahead of us bellowing french songs.

    After about 11 km I thought I would stop for lunch. The previous day in my haste to get from A to B I didn't stop at this small taverna which had a lovely aroma of fried sardines. I should have but didn't. So today I thought I will stop on a way side restaurant not a taverna. The food was average. The Portuguese use a lot of oil. The food is litteraly swimming in oil. But you would not say that there obese. Interesting.

    Well after a few more km of walking things turned bad. Started off by my switching off the mobile phone to reserve battery when having lunch. When I tried switching it back on it wanted the SIM card pin number. Which I didn't think i had in my back pack. Once back in the hotel I found out I did have it the back pack. Durrrr and grrr......

    I came to a point where the walkway ended. And where do I go. Ini mini money moo. There was a car park and a few surfers around. Picked 2 that were together and asked these guys. They were from France and spoke English. And were lovely. Both looked up where i needed to go and were willing to take me to the hotel. Several times they asked. They were so sweet. But I said I needed the exercise as they had not heard about the camino walk,. was easier rather than explaining it all.

    Now I was walking along market garden area. Kilo meters of it. I stopped to ask ever so often. I was then told to go on this God for saken road. Honestly the road was so off the beaten track I could see no hotel, the road was not even a road, and my pack was heavy, I was wondering what on earth was I doing, would I have to walk all the way back to where I turned to come down this road.

    I had, had enough. I came to a junction which kind of had a better road. And a car came by, I waved my hand and he stopped. But he spoke no English and did not know my hotel or the where about of it. Just then another car came by. I stopped him,, he had a t shirt that had the name Patrick. So I asked him, and he spoke no English but said get in. He was in a 2 wheel drive Ute. Wanted me to put mu pack on the deck. No way. I was holding on to my pack I had the walking poles. These were my fighting tools. ( I had contingency plans). This fellow was happy and tried to get too familiar, so I showed him my ring finger. He smiled and was good about it and took me all the way to the hotel. This must havebeen atleast 4 more kilo meters. Wow that felt good to be at the hotel.

    The hotel could not find my booking, what ? So showed then my booking confirmation, they were good about it, but I got 5 star service due to that. All's well and ends well.
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  • Day17

    Maria’s dad taught her to be ridiculously cheap. Drive for gas that’s 10 cents cheaper. Never use more postage than absolutely necessary (actually, that’s her mom.) Portugal has the weirdest toll system around. In much of the country there is the normal toll booth and one can manually pay a toll, but on certain roads one can only pay electronically. It’s very confusing to figure out which roads have which system. You have to either enter Portugal at one of four designated entry sites or you have to set it up online. It took an entire morning to set up it seemed...Maria calculated the needed toll, paid it, and then drove on different roads🤦‍♀️.

    The short story is...I had 7 dollars of prepaid toll burning a hole in my pocket...so we went back to Portugal! This time to Vila do Conde...a lovely seaside town known for ship building during Portugal’s Age of Discovery and one of the earliest known settlements in Portugal. It has a river that runs into the sea, some lovely beaches, and it’s not known well outside Portugal.

    Again, we didn’t get a super early start. Luckily Portugal is an hour behind Spain, but even with that, we barely made lunch before it closed😂 A walk around the center square, a visit to a tiled chapel, and a drink on the beach, followed by a stroll, completed our day.

    Tomorrow: Great plans to wake before 10😂 and travel to the Beach of the Cathedrals! It’s already 2:30am, so Maria needs to get off to bed!
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  • Day3

    Lavra

    May 27 in Portugal

    20 km

    Portugiesen sind unheimlich freundlich 😊
    Buon Camino 🐚

    Bon dia, Obrigado

    Wäsche trocknet auch im Süden nicht schneller

    Man begegnet sich immer mehrmals im Leben

    Es kommt wie es kommt

    Glück muss man haben (5- Bett- Zimmer für uns allein)

    Lachen ist gesund

    Super Bock 🍺🍻....das Bier schmeckt!

  • Day5

    On the Caminho Portuguese.
    I have arrived at Vila De Conde after travelling from Porto. I saw Estelle off to the airport. We had a great time in Porto. The finale was a fantastic meal in the smallest restaurant you've ever seen. An awful day in Porto but we did manage to do a tour of the Croft Port house. Very tasty.Today, it rained constantly.
    Thankfully when I arrived at Vila De Conde, it has finally stopped raining.
    This afternoon, I have carried out my peregrino admin. Washing my kit and planning my route tomorrow. I am glad I packed my waterproofs as it looks like I am going to need them.
    Early start tomorrow, I am aiming for Barcelos 27.3 km (17 miles). Depending on how I feel I may go further. This time, I am not under any pressure.
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  • Day12

    We're lost...

    September 20, 2015 in Portugal

    Sooooo,der Tag hat gut angefangen. Dann haben wir uns verlaufen 😦 kurzzeitig war ich etwas panisch,aber Hey! wir haben den Weg wieder gefunden. Heute sind viel mehr Leute unterwegs, macht richtig Spaß 😀 jetzt wo wir wieder richtig sind...

  • Day4

    22km, Sonnenschein und Fisch

    April 15, 2017 in Portugal

    Dritter Tag. Legenden, Geschichten und Fisch. Ostersamstag 15.04. - Matosinhos - Vila do Conte - 22 km. Heute morgen haben wir es nochmal gemütlich angehen lassen. Ausschlafen, gut Frühstücken und dann mal langsam anlaufen. Die heutige Wanderung brachte viele neue Eindrücke. Zuerst dieses Industriegebiet und der riesige Hafen, der umlaufen werden musste. Dieses Teilstück zog sich länger hin, als ich gedacht hatte. Ich musste mal wieder üben, mit dem Weg einverstanden zu sein. Es waren nicht viele unterwegs, so dass es ein ruhiger Tag zu werden versprach. Sonne, Wind und Meer. Einfach wie Urlaub. Eigentlich glaubte ich, dass dieser Tag langweilig werden würde. Ohne Höhepunkte, denn es ging hauptsächlich nur auf Holzwegen die Küste entlang. Aber ich wurde eines Besseren belehrt. Der Küstenabschnitt hatte einiges zu bieten. Sandstrände, Felsenlandschaften, Fischerdörfer und Touristenhochburgen, alles war hier anzutreffen. Heute sind wir mit kurzen Röcken gepilgert, zeitweise auch mit Bikini Oberteil und Rock. Von unseren Mitpilgern wurden wir allerdings etwas seltsam angeguckt. Sie trugen das übliche Outfit mit Trekkinghose, Hemd und Pulli. Wir legten häufig eine Pause ein, nicht aus Müdigkeit, sondern weil wir überwältig waren von der Natur. Hier wuchsen Blumen und Pflanzen, die bei uns teuer verkauft werden, frei und wie Unkraut. Aber erst einmal der Reihe nach: Ich hatte mich bei den Reiseplanungen bewusst gegen den zentralen Weg nach Spanien entschieden, sondern für die Küstenvariante. Auch diese Strecke ist ein traditioneller Pilgerweg. Nach der Legende wurde Jakobus dort das erste mal gesichtet. Man erzählt sich, dass die auf einer Hochzeitsfeier am Strand anwesenden Männer eine Wette abschlossen. Es ging darum, wer mit seinem Pferd am Weitesten ins Meer reiten kann. Der Wagemutigste schaffte eine große Strecke, drohte aber schon bald mit seinem Pferd in den Fluten zu versinken. In seiner Not sah er ein steinernes Schiff, in dem Jakobus nach seinen Tod in Spanien angekommen sein soll, welches mit (Jakobs)Muscheln überzogen war. Die Muscheln setzen sich an sein Pferd und brachten beide an das rettende Ufer. Jedes Jahr im Mai und Juni wird dort drei Wochen lang dieses Ereignis gefeiert. Soweit der Jakobskult. Unser erstes Etappenziel ist heute Matosinos. Diese Stadt ist äußerst geschichtsträchtig. So belegen Funde die Anwesenheit von Menschen seit der Altsteinzeit, wirklich belegt ist die vorgeschichtliche Besiedlung seit der Jungsteinzeit. Auch haben die Römer eine Siedlung aus der Bronzezeit eingenommen und bewohnt. Eine Römerstraße verlief dort von Porto nach Braga. Die Stadt ist ein Besuch wert. Von dort aus wanderten wir immer an der Küste entlang nordwärts. Solange der Atlantik auf unserer linken Seite lag, wussten wir, wir sind richtig. Das war die Antwort auf für Frage, kann man sich verlaufen? Wie ist der Weg ausgeschildert ? Findet man Übernachtungsmöglichkeiten? Auf dem Weg weiter kommt man am Farol da Boah Nova vorbei. Er gilt als einer der höchsten Leuchttürme Portugals. Es folgen weitere Denkmäler auf dem Weg, die sich mit Krieg, Entdeckungen oder mit in Not geratenen Seeleuten beschäftigen. Noch heute kann man an den Felswänden der Küste Gravuren von Nordmännern oder Wikinger sehen. Auch kommt man an Felsformationen mit erstaunlich gleichmäßigen rechteckigen Löcher vorbei. Zuerst dachte ich an Reste frühzeitlicher Siedlungen. Solche gibt es dort sehr oft. Diesmal waren es allerdings Löcher, die dazu dienten, Sardinen zu salzen und haltbar zu machen. Es gibt so viel auf diesem kleinen Stück zu entdecken, dass wir mit unserer Zeit in Verzug kamen. Wir gönnten uns dennoch einige kleine Pausen und schnupperten ein wenig Kultur. Einen längeren Stopp legten wir am Strand der Diebe ein. Dort wurden Schiffe mit falschen Leuchtfeuern ins flache Wasser gelockt, um sie zum Kentern zu bringen. Piraten nutzen diese flachen Gewässer zudem, um leicht an Land zu kommen, die Siedler zu überfallen und zu versklaven. Auch über unser heutiges Etappenziel gibt es viel zu erzählen. Jetzt macht sich bei mir allerdings der Wein bemerkbar und ich werde müde. Ich verabschiede mich deshalb und sage "bis morgen liebe Leute". Eines noch: Der Fischreichtum ist hier sagenhaft. Wir genießen es, uns jeden Tag frischen Fisch servieren zu lassen. Am liebsten bei den kleinen Fischern mit ihren bunten Häuschen und selbst gebauten Fischgrills. Es duftet so gut. Die Fischer sind dort so freundlich, dass wir am liebsten bei jedem einkehren würden. Nicht nur zum Essen und Trinken, sondern auch, um ihren Geschichten zu lauschen lauschen. Aber dazu müssten wir viel mehr Zeit einplanen. Das nächste mal vielleicht. Das war es für heute.Read more

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Vila do Conde

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