This second stage of the inland Portuguese Way is much more attractive for pilgrims. After leaving the urban area behind, we will have about 27 kilometers ahead that cross rural areas and agrarian landscapes without major difficulties.READ MORE
The reward for this day is the arrival in Barcelos, a monumental city where you can discover the famous legend of the Barcelos rooster, which will surely remind you of what you heard in Santo Domingo de la Calzada.
The exit from Vilarinho takes place by the national road N306. At 1km we already take a path that will take us to the first point of the day: the medieval Zameiro bridge, built over the river Ave. After traveling the first 5km of this second stage, we will arrive at São Mamede and, from here, we will head to São Miguel dos Arcos.
On this journey we can admire the church of Los Arcos and cross its medieval bridge. The small village of Borgonha anticipates our arrival in São Pedro de Rates, where we cannot miss its Romanesque church (see the previous stage). After this break we go to the upper part of the town, passing by the Sao Pedro fountain, the hostel and the Santo António chapel.
From Sao Pedro de Rates to Pedra Furada (about 7km) a pleasant journey through a purely rural environment awaits us. Pereira and Carvalhal will be the small population centers that we will go through in this stage that directs our steps to Barcelinhos. We are already in the final stretch of our stage.
We go down to the beautiful medieval bridge and here we have two options. Those of you who want to sleep in the Barcelinhos hostel, you just have to follow the street parallel to the river. If you prefer to finish this second stage of the Portuguese Way in Barcelos, you will cross the bridge that will take you directly to the city. Whether you sleep in the hostel or if you do it in Barcelos, do not hesitate to take a walk around the town. And if you have time, you can make a stop on the Camino de Santiago and get to Braga.
This Portuguese town, the third most populated city in Portugal, is only 20km away. Known as Bracara Augusta in its Roman times, the famous Via XIX starts from here, a Roman road through which we will walk along our Portuguese Way. Braga is also known as the city of the archbishops and it is the oldest cathedral in Portugal. In it there is also the Bom Jesus do Monte sanctuary, a place of pilgrimage and tourist interest, in which its monumental Baroque staircases stand out, which evoke the Via Crucis with chapels that represent different scenes of the Passion of Christ.
Alternative stage. São Pedro de Rates- Barcelos (16km). If you followed the Federation's recommendation and finished your first stage in San Pedro de Rates, a lighter stage awaits you today. Direct your steps to Barcelos, a journey of about 16km, which will make up for the effort of the previous day.
What to do and see in Barcelos? This Portuguese town with a beautiful monumental complex, in which its main church (14th century) stands out, the Pelourinho de Barcelos –located next to the ruins of the Count of Barcelos palace- and, of course, the Barcelos cock cross. And at this point, do you know the legend of the Rooster of Barcelos? The story is sure to be familiar to you.
Legend has it that the inhabitants of Barcelos lived in fear of an unsolved crime. The arrival in the city of a Galician who was leading his steps to Santiago de Compostela to fulfill a promise made to the Apostle made the population suspicious. The authorities decided to arrest him and, despite the fact that the pilgrim swore and perjured that he was only going to Santiago, they sentenced him to hang.
Before being hanged, the man asked as a last will to be brought before the judge, who was holding a banquet. To demonstrate his innocence, the inmate pointed to a roasted rooster that was on the table and assured: "My innocence is as certain as it is true that that rooster will crow when they hang me." Nobody believed it, so the pilgrim was hanged.
And at the moment that he was being executed, the roast rooster got up and crowed. The judge immediately went to correct his error and allowed the pilgrim to continue on his way to Compostela. Tradition assures that, years later, the pilgrim returned to Barcelos and ordered to raise the Barcelos rooster cruise in homage to Santiago and the Virgin for having saved him from the gallows.