top of page

The Camino de Santiago along the coast is increasingly sought after

More than 10 thousand pilgrims in 6 months

From year to year, the number of pilgrims who choose to head to Santiago de Compostela along the Portuguese coast continues to grow, along the coastline of Matosinhos.

In the first six months of this year alone, 10,144 pilgrims visited the tourist offices in Matosinhos and Leça da Palmeira, representing 75% of the total number of visits.

In relation to 2021, which was a year still strongly affected by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it represents a growth of about 360% (there were 1,942 pilgrims last year).

The Municipality of Matosinhos, remember, is preparing the installation of a Pilgrim Service Station in Praia do Marreco.

The new space is part of the municipality's tourist strategy and will serve as a reception, support and complementary information to the Matosinhos and Leça da Palmeira Tourist Offices, with a special focus on the product of the Caminhos de Santiago.

Matosinhos is an almost mandatory crossing point, mainly due to its connection to one of the most important icons of the Ways of Santiago de Compostela – the scallop.

In the year 44 AD, a vast stretch of sand in the place of Bouças (name, until the beginning of the 20th century, of the current municipality of Matosinhos), known as Praia do Espinheiro, is the place chosen by the great Roman and pagan lord of the region. , Cayo Carpo, to celebrate his wedding with the young Claudia Loba.

During the festivities, the groom challenges the other riders to an unusual horse race: whoever manages to enter the furthest out to sea would win. To everyone's surprise, Cayo Carpo's horse advances, unrestrained, over the waters without sinking. He goes to a boat, made of stone, that passes by carrying the body of Santiago from Palestine to Galicia. Faced with the miracle he witnessed, Cayo Carpo converted to Christianity. Swallowed by the waters of the sea, rider and horse reappear on the beach completely covered with scallops, converted, from then on, into one of the symbols of Santiago. It is also said that Cayo Carpo arose completely “matizadinho” from scallops and, for that reason, it became known as the “Matizadinho” on the beach of “Matizadinho” - a toponym that evolved, in the following centuries, to Matosinhos.


bottom of page