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  • Tim Mathis

Vigo to Cesantes: Portuguese Coastal Camino Day 9

Updated: Oct 16, 2023



In this introduction to the stages of the Portuguese Coastal Camino, I'm focusing on the stuff you actually need to know. You'll sort out accommodation and restaurants and so forth on your own as you travel. I'll cover the things that you don't want to miss along the way. For everything else, check out this article: What do you REALLY need to know about the Portuguese Coastal Camino?


Views from the suburbs of Vigo, Portuguese Coastal Camino
Views from the suburbs of Vigo

A rundown of the Portuguese Coastal Camino: Vigo to Cesantes


Distance


16.4 km/10.2 Miles


Terrain


A bit of industrial blah, then a surprisingly tough climb with nice views on city streets out of Vigo, followed by a long stretch of dirt road out of town and some road walking.


Note: This is where the last 100 km starts if you're following the Coastal Route, so it’s an important spot on the modern Camino. You'll need to make sure you get two stamps a day from here if you want your credential, and no more skipping from here! The trail gets a bit more busy and a good number of people start here.


Experience


This was probably my least favorite section of our Camino, but that doesn’t mean it is bad. It's just to say that all the others have been very nice. Consistently great. This day has its ups and downs. It’s the least great, but still pretty great.


Leaving Vigo was a surprising trip to. Heading out of town, you face maybe the steepest climb of the trip so far. It might be that I was tired from a long day on the previous stage, but it's a real grind out of Vigo's suburbs. Then there was a long period along dirt trail in green space with no services. Despite being in the biggest city thus far, there wasn't much access to food and water after central Vigo.


Once you get up into the hills in Vigo, it is a really nice walk. The route takes you high so you can get sweeping views, and the greenspace outside of town really is pleasant. Add in the larger volume of pilgrims starting here to get in the last 100 km, and it adds up to quite a different feel from other sections.


Redondela, with its bocadillos and coffee and beers is a welcome sight after 13 km today. After Baiona and Vigo, and before Pontevedra, to me Redondela feels like a relatively nondescript place. Still, there's an energy there because it’s where the Portuguese Central and Coastal Caminos come together. The route abruptly becomes significantly more busy, although nothing like the last 100 km of the Camino Frances.


The interior of Redondela's Church of St. James, Portuguese Coastal Camino
The interior of Redondela's Church of St. James

Redondela also has quite a cool church dedicated to Santiago in the historic center. It's been there since the 11th century but the modern structure was built in the 16th century. It's a nice place to reflect on the history. This place has been serving pilgrims for a thousand years. It really feels like we’re on the Camino, once again.


After Redondela, there are a few kilometers of rolling hills, vinyards, orchards and rural roads. The views back to the water and the striking modern bridge out of VIgo are pleasant.


Cesantes is a nondescript spot really, along a busy highway. There is a nice albergue there but not a lot else. Still, it's a fine place, and stopping there makes for a relaxed day out of Vigo.



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