Stage 07. Porto – Esposende
Porto – Esposende
In Porto we are presented with 2 options and a great dilemma.
The path along the coast or the path inland.
Our advice is to make the way along the coast and always looking for the proximity of the sea. The informal and most publicized path is the interior and the one that goes through BARCELOS, PONTE DE LIMA, VALENÇA, TUI and then REDONDELA, which is where both options are linked.
Before entering to narrate the one we recommend along the coast and to describe its route, I would like to argue a little why we did not choose this option a priori. (We will also try to create a special section for this path and develop a guide with the description of the stages along the path of the interior, but in our case that will be a secondary option).
The inland road as a counterpoint to the coast is going to take us out of Porto as it brought us if we had started in Lisbon …, through roads, cobblestones and a lot of traffic and housing estates.
On the other hand, the one on the coast leaves Porto for the riverside, for bike paths and later for placid beaches with easy and comfortable pedaling trails.
The inland road as the main attraction has the cities through which it happens that at a monumental and historical level they really do have a lot of attraction but in contrast and in consideration to the coast it has some mountainous areas quite complicated to travel by bicycle. The area that comes after PONTE DE LIMA, known as LABRUJA is one of the most complicated sections of all the roads in Santiago at a cycling level. On the other hand, due to the layout of the coast we will find some tack but much more acceptable than this …
There will be time to narrate the passage through these places if we can guide this route, but now, as we commented, we are going to take sides and we are going to recommend the option of the coast as the main and most recommended for bicycles.
So let’s go there:
Taking the Porto Cathedral, known as SÉ, as a reference, we will have to descend through the streets that we will see from its viewpoint and towards the river. The route is marked with arrows, but if we lose them we should not hurry, it is as easy as looking down the river and the tourist area next to its shore. Then looking straight ahead at the river we will have to make sense to our right and close to the water we will advance up the bank. We will pass just ahead of our Bicigrino information foothold: TRICLAS & BICLAS, are a little from the subway and next to the bus station. Apart from going to say hello, also if we have doubts we can discuss them with them and they will know how to give us the appropriate indications.
Soon we should see more signs on the road and we should also reach open areas with promenades frequented by people who do sports and a relaxed and playful atmosphere.
There are some signs but there are not as many as if there is on the other more unofficial layout of the path inside.
Here it should be enough to follow our intuition and simply go through areas of promenades and bike lanes as close to the water as possible …, always with the water now from the river and further on from the sea, on our left.
In FOZ DE DOURO we already leave the delta and the mouth of the river and we are already glued to the sea.
Before leaving the city and through this area of promenades with bars and a tourist atmosphere, we will stop by 2 bicycle shops if we need to stock up on something or some support.
We will find the BIKEZONE PORTO store and a little later one specialized in E-bikes (ELECTRIC BIKES – EBIKES).
If we heed what is recommended and we limit ourselves to advancing next to the beach, we will advance calmly and we will not have to worry until the first conflictive and delicate place: MATOSINHOS (km 10 of the stage) where to save the port area we will have to crossing a bridge that is also the main car crossing is somewhat confusing and convoluted to take it through roundabouts and turns that will make us lose sight of the water and our logical sense of progress.
Be very careful and enter the streets of MATOSINHOS for nothing, losing the proximity of the sea. If this happens, we will lose ourselves hopelessly and it will be difficult to get back on track. Our sense of direction must always lead us to look for the sea and the water.
The bridge that we must cross is gray and is in the same port next to some stowage cranes.
If we carry the GPS track that we provide in Bicigrino, we should have no difficulty in overcoming this difficulty of the bridge .., if not, we should simply be cautious not to lose the proximity of the sea and look for how to cross this bridge .., when we go to the other side again we will have a promenade and a beach that we will only have to continue pedaling north and in a calm and calm way.
So after crossing the bridge, we make a descending loop, we retrace our steps a bit and go down to look for the proximity of the water and the mouth of the port …, we take a wide avenue towards the sea and turning right in a curve we will head north again and with the sea on our left, we will be passing through the town of LEÇA DA PALMEIRA or more specifically through its beach.
We will pass next to an imposing lighthouse and a little further on we will come across an ugly industrial area. To our right will be the red and white chimneys and the large deposits of what looks like a refinery…
Even with the proximity of this industrial sector, it is strange but we will find ourselves relatively comfortable walking through this area of open spaces and the smell of the sea and the beach that will make us move forward happily …, “the flat terrain will also help”.
A red pavement bike rack will make us travel through this area without too much effort.
We arrive at LABRUGE and turn slightly to the right to make a small ascent (LUGAR DO PINHAL) and move slightly away from the sea for approximately 2 kms. In order to get to MOREIRO (km. 25 of the stage) where we resume the circulation by the sea.
And so we continue pedaling until we get to BARRIO DA LOUÇA, to then cross the municipal area of AREIA and shortly after reaching AZURARA where we will find another one of the few milestones or small difficulties of the stage … we must save another bridge to save the mouth of a river and thus enter VILA DO CONDE (km 35 of the stage) pay close attention as just after passing the bridge you have to go back, go down to some gardens that we will see on our left just after crossing the bridge and look for the riverbank to advance well glued to the water and downstream, following its course we will reach the sea and we will turn right up the beach to continue our pedaling with the waves of the sea always on our left.
Soon we will be pedaling happily along the POVOA DE VARZIM beach where if we need it we will find a bicycle shop:
Av. Infante Dom Henrique 520
4480-670 Vila do Conde, Portugal
The store is right on the beach and shortly before passing through the city’s marina.
We will travel comfortably by bicycle which will be a great relief and more for those who leaving this road from Lisbon have suffered the last two stages before arriving in Porto with those areas so urbanized and confused…, here you just have to go north with priority as a cyclist and protected from people and cars. Magnificent !!!
The bike path will allow us to comfortably cross the urban and populous area of POVOA DE VARZIM with a lot of traffic and people moving, but that will not affect us because we will be circulating protected by a preferential bicycle path that even will give priority to pedestrians who will walk on the sidewalk between us and the cars.
At the end of the beach we skirt the sports area of the city and continue our peculiar walk by the sea.
A VERO-O-MAR (km 45 of the stage) and its beach will deliver us against a large parking lot where there is a restaurant called PRAIA DO MESTRE and there we will have to turn right and then left to continue our progress north on a parallel paved road but not as close as before to the sea.
This is a detour that will take us away from the sea, through an area of open fields and greenhouses we will reach the AGUÇADOURA beach and just as we pass the ESTALAGEN SANTO ANDRÉ hotel we will find beach sand again and we will be able to pedal almost touching the sand and with the little houses to our right.
Leaving AGUÇADOURA the route of the path will make us deviate little by little towards the interior and abandon the vision of the sea a little. With this maneuver we will be avoiding a golf course that stands between us and the sea. We will drive on asphalt through an area of cultivated fields and greenhouses (Rua do rio alto). 7 kms of asphalt separate this area with the following population APÚLIA where we will see the sea and the dunes again.
We cross the coastal area of this small town and we approach an area of forests and pine forests that will take us to PRAIA DE BOFINS where we will have to make a sharp turn to the right. We will come advancing through the “Estrada das Pedrinhas” and at the end of this street we will have to turn right so that through the “Avenida Antonio Veiga” we will access a bridge (PONTE DE FAO) that we will take on our left to save the Cávado river and thus access after passing some cultivated fields and a couple of roundabouts to the ESPOSENDE promenade.
We have already reached our destination and we will only have to advance along its promenade and the bicicarril, we go up the beach to the end of the promenade and just before reaching an old fortified building, on our right we will find the HOTEL SUAVE MAR which is the place we recommend as accommodation at this stage.
Reflection on the Stage
For those who start the journey in Porto this will be an excellent and easy stage to acclimatise to the path and adapt to the bicycle.
For those who come from Lisbon and are already a little bit punished, tired and obfuscated by the previous hard stages, this is an excellent opportunity to rest a little and regain strength.
It is an easy and comfortable stage in every way. Being almost flat, we can move light and without much effort. The proximity of the sea and the beach will make us relax and not having to be so attentive to the signs (you just have to go up the beach), they will also have a relaxing effect on us.
There is a possibility in Porto following the arrows and locating that we are wrong and without realizing it we see ourselves circulating on the road to Santiago but by mistake this is not the path of the coast but that of the interior … (we should be on the river , beach and sea in the first 5 kms.)…, if that happens there is an opportunity for the amendment that we now explain.
In RATES (Km 34 of the stage of the central or interior Portuguese road) there is a deviation indicated by arrows and signposted that will take us to ESPOSENDE with the same mileage proposed in this stage (about 65 kms) but missing the transfer by placid and flat promenades, by the sea.
Accommodations in Esposende
Via Castelo do Queijo 964, loja 13/14,
4100-429 Porto, Portugal
*Si tomamos la opción de
la costa la encontraremos
a pocos kms a la salida de
la siguiente etapa en dirección
por la costa hacia MATOSINHOS*
|Bicicletas Elétricas / E-Bike|
Av. da República 1734450-241
Tlf: +351 22 099 7417
|Velo Culture – Mercado de Matosinhos|
R. Álvaro Castelões loja 46 A
4450-039 Matosinhos, Portugal
Tel: +351 22 242 4790
Av. Infante Dom Henrique 520
4480-670 Vila do Conde, Portugal
Av. Dr. Henrique Barros Lima 4,
4740-233 Esposende, Portugal
Tel: +351 253 966 831