How we got there: We flew with Ryanair from Dublin to Porto, overnighted in Porto, spent the following morning sight-seeing in Porto then took a lunch time bus from the Bus Terminal in Porto (Casa Musique, Goeuro Bus - €36 including taxes for the two of us) to Tui. Duration: 2 & 3/4 hrs.
When we went: Early September 2016. The weather was unseasonably warm with temperatures averaging 30°C.
We arrived in Tui and walked the 1.5km to our hostel, Hostal Albergue Villa San Clemente, where we had booked a private room for €40 (for two). The room was fine, no air con - just a very noisy fan (not a super night's sleep) and we shared a bathroom with two other rooms.
We had a lovely time exploring Tui. It's a beautiful town on the Mino River with lots of nice bars, parks and cafes.
We had drinks in a funky bar called Bar Central and ate in a restaurant just around the corner from the Cathedral. All very good.
Anywhere to swim?
We saw people swimming in the river and also spotted what looked like a public pool in the main park. There was a small 'dip' pool in the garden of our hostel.
We picked up our Credencials from the Cathedral in Tui. We had read on-line that you could only get credencials up until 2pm but we arrived at 5pm and had no problems. They cost us €2 each.
Day 1: Tui to Redondela (took us 34.8km and 7.22 hours)
Our first day on the Portuguese Camino...in Spain! Up and on the road for 8.15am. It was a beautiful morning and 20°C already. The first few kms were off-road, walking along a forest path.
Underfoot it was a mix of gravel path and we walked over this beautiful stony bridge.
After about 10km it started to get busier. We hadn't had food yet and our stomachs were rumbling so we stopped at a roadside cafe beside a busy factory a few kms outside Porrino. Breakfast consisted of a tasty roll with serrano ham, coffee and juice and it hit the spot.
In your guidebooks there is a lot of talk about the industrial estates on the way into Porrino but now you can bypass that. There are lots of signs indicating a detour that enables you to avoid the section into Porrino that takes you through the industrial areas. We chose to take the detour and it was quite pretty, walking along the rio Louro and through woods again.
Porrino is a popular place to stop for a lot of people. However we had chosen to walk on to Redondela so we walked straight through Porrino. The Old Quarter looked quite pretty but no where was calling to us as a lunch spot!
By lunch time temperatures were up at around 30degrees...hot!
The next stretch from Porrino to Redondela was a lot of road and concrete footpaths. Not so nice and quite monotonous. We eventually arrived in Mos which was a lovely surprise. Cute little village with a super cafe (the first one you see as you come into the village). We stopped here for lunch and enjoyed a delicious tortilla, patatas bravas and a tasty beer. There was a beautiful view down through the valley and off to the east.
Onwards, we had about 10km to take us to Redondela. There was a solid uphill out of Mos and then a steep down hill to Redondela which was hell on the knees.
Redondela seemed quite nice but we had booked a hotel about 5km outside the town so apart from a quick stroll around and a post-walk beer we didn't get much time to explore the town properly.
We were staying in Pazo Torres Agrelo which is a beautiful old estate. The staff from Torres Agrelo very kindly picked us up in the town centre which was super handy. We checked in and were shown to our room which was lovely, it had a bath, a comfy bed and best of all it overlooked the pool which we promptly hopped into! Such joy after a long hot day!
We had pre-arranged that we would eat in the hotel which was a good decision as we were too far to walk into town. The meal was very good. It was a set menu so no choices but all courses suited our palettes. Delicious breads and olives to start, then scallops served in a sort of curried carrot puree. Followed by monkfish and pepper kebabs which were really tasty. Dessert was the only let down, a local delicacy of a dry sponge with whiskey poured over - interesting though.
That night we stupidly left the window open and Laurie got destroyed by the Mozzies....25 bites...not that she counted. So top tip - CLOSE THE WINDOW.
Our dinner, b&b cost €130 including wine and an after-dinner drink - for the two of us. That was great value compared to Irish prices.