During the Middle Ages, Santiago was the most ancient, popular and renowned city of the North-Western peninsula. The Romans used to call this place “Finisterra” due to its capacity to inspire a single path, road and route in these remote areas.
All the miraculous songs, heroic romances, narratives and legends that filled the region’s medieval literature, as well as queens, princes, painters, artists, troubadours and jesters followed the Santiago Route. A new Europe and a new society were built along the French and Portuguese Routes and along the Route which extends from Puente La Reina to Santiago, through desolate hills, bridges and valleys. People were inspired with a new ecumenical spirit and their only source of support for the dangerous journey ahead to reach the Eternal Destination was a Scallop Shell, a bag, a staff and a strong faith.
The Route of Santiago was one of the most important paths for pilgrims in the Western History. All countries in Medieval Europe actively contributed to its creation, and as such, a small piece of each nation can be found within it. The Route of Santiago is where the Western Spirit was born, it was a melting pot where men’s thoughts and emotions came together.
If you are looking for a less travelled and more rural experience, the Portuguese Way is the way to go! This is the second most popular route amongst pilgrims on the Camino de Santiago.
In Portugal there is a long history of devotion to St. James and to the patron Saint of Pilgrimage, St. Roch. All along the pilgrim road to Santiago de Compostela, you can find representations of both Saints, as well as other monuments and buildings related to the Jacobean tradition. Many of these are easily found, since they are well known and are in a prominent position. However, there are many others that are well kept secrets; these are hidden in locked churches, high up in the sculptures, depicted in the stained glass of great cathedrals or in the ruins.
Portugal A2Z gives you 5 reasons to make a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela:
1: Simple Pleasures
The Camino is a great way to enjoy some of the simplest pleasures in life, such as walking. Another great thing about it is that you will get home back from your holidays in better shape!
2: Amazing Landscapes, Culture and History
While walking through the Camino trail, you can be sure to see many beautiful and unique landscapes which have been trodden by pilgrims for centuries, giving it a long history and tradition.
3: Easy and Approachable Walking
Don’t worry if you feel out of shape! All the walking paths are properly marked and the vast majority of them are suitable for all fitness levels.
4: Make friends and better your language skills
Throughout the Camino, you will have the chance to meet a lot of pilgrims from all around the World. Take this opportunity to perfect your language skills and to make friends! If you are traveling alone, you will never feel lonely.
5: Delicious Food
Each route and region have their own traditional dishes and specialities. So, make sure that along the way you taste all sorts of local cuisine.