A hiking expedition in search of the traditions of the cult and the Order of Santiago, through the culture and unique places of Alentejo and Ribatejo.
Embark on this Author’s Tour with Paulo Almeida Fernandes, historian specialized in the Ways of Santiago, in the cult of the Apostle James and in the Portuguese heritage. We explore the secret corners of southern Portugal and side by side, walk with the author of the works of "Saint James Way", and co-author of "Guide of the Ways of Santiago" and of "Guide of the Ways of Santiago Alentejo and Ribatejo".
Pilgrims from all over the world, head to Santiago de Compostela to venerate the Apostle James. For reasons of faith, cultural motivations, or just for the challenge, countless are those who decide to walk the Way.
In the company of Paulo Almeida Fernandes, we follow the presence of Order of Santiago in the south of Portugal, through sites where one breathes history and symbology stands out. In the façades and arcades, in the tile panels and in the confectionery, we observe the red cross in the shape of a "fleur-de-lis", with vertical segments that simulate a sword, used by the friars of Santiago.
The white banners also depict the scallop, a symbol "par excellence" of the Jacobean pilgrims. Originating in the Caceres friars, a group of thirteen warrior friars who, in the second half of the 12th century, assembled themselves and were recognized as a military militia by the Portuguese King D. Fernando II. The Order of Santiago was thus born, in the spirit of a crusade, which marked the medieval imagination, high-lighted by the conquest of Jerusalem in 1099 and other successes in the Holy Land.
In Portugal, the oldest documents relating to the Order of Santiago dates back to 1172, actively participating in war efforts of the kingdom. They were responsible for conquering much of the current southern Portuguese territory and promoting the main population flux and socioeconomic ordering actions of the vast expanses of Alentejo and Algarve during the Middle Ages.
In the 12th century, the Orders of the Temple and the Order of Hospital were active, to which Kings D. Afonso Henriques and D. Sancho I had entrusted the defense of certain regions. The Order of Santiago was the last of these Orders to be formed, but it soon supplanted the rest in status, dynamics, and relevance.
On the right path, come and discover!
Day 1 - Alcoutim (Algarve) – Mesquita (Alentejo) – Mértola (Alentejo)
– Meeting point in Alcoutim with welcome briefing.
– Hiking trail of Stage 1 of the Eastern Pathway, in Alentejo and Ribatejo (14 km).
– Lunch in a traditional restaurant, in Mesquita village.
– Transfer to Mértola followed by guided tours.
– Check-in at the hotel and free evening in Mértola.
Day 2 - Castro Verde – Cercal do Alentejo – Porto Côvo – Santiago do Cacém
– Transfer to Castro Verde followed by guided tours.
– Regional lunch in Castro Verde.
– Transfer to Cercal do Alentejo.
– Partial hiking route of Stage 3 of the Central Pathway, in Alentejo and Ribatejo (15 km).
– Transfer to Santiago do Cacém.
– Check-in at the hotel and free evening in Santiago do Cacém.
Day 3 - Santa Margarida da Serra – Grândola – Alcácer do Sal
– Transfer to Santa Margarida followed by guided tours.
– Partial hiking route from Stage 9 of the Central Path, in Alentejo and Ribatejo (9 km).
– Traditional lunch in Grândola.
– Partial hiking route from Stage 10 of the Central Path, in Alentejo and Ribatejo (9 km).
– Transfer to Alcácer do Sal followed by guided tour.
– Check-in at the Herdade da Barrosinha Hotel and free evening.
Day 4 - Évora – Nª Sr.ª de Machede – Monsaraz
-Transfer to Évora followed by guided tours.
– Regional lunch in Évora.
– Partial walking route from Stage 9 of the Eastern Path, in Alentejo and Ribatejo (13km).
– Guided Tours.
– Transfer to Monsaraz, check-in at the hotel, and free evening.
– Guided tour by night.
Day 5 - Vila Viçosa – Estremoz
– Transfer to Vila Viçosa with guided tours in Terena and Vila Viçosa.
– Traditional lunch in Vila Viçosa.
– Partial hiking trail of Raia’s Pathway, in Alentejo and Ribatejo (12 km).
– Pilgrim’s Blessing (optional, included) and guided tour in Estremoz.
– Check-in at the hotel and free evening in Estremoz.
Day 6 - Alegrete – Portalegre – Marvão
– Transfer to Alegrete followed by guided tour.
– Hiking trail of Raia’s Pathway, in Alentejo and Ribatejo (11 km).
– Guided tour in Portalegre.
– Lunch in Portalegre.
– Guided tour in Marvão.
– Check-in at the hotel and free evening in Marvão.
Day 7 - Samora Correia – Benavente – Salvaterra de Magos – Santarém
– Transfer to Samora Correia followed by guided tours.
– Partial walking route Stage 15 of the Central Way, in Alentejo and Ribatejo (10 km).
– Transfer and lunch at a regional restaurant in Escaroupim.
– Transfer to Salvaterra de Magos and Santarém for guided tours.
– End of tour and optional transfer (optional) to Lisbon.