Tui, life in the slow lane
Tui is a historic town that takes you back in time and transmits peace.
Whether you are a traveller hoping to spend a few days calmly discovering a unique cultural and natural heritage, or if you are a pilgrim who wants to make a longer stop than usual on the trail, this is your destination.
Located in an extraordinary cultural landscape—the border formed by the River Miño—Tui has the character of a stately city, and not for nothing was it the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Galicia. It is the second largest historical city in Galicia, surpassed only by the historic centre of Santiago, so to explore it we suggest a good walk that will not leave you indifferent.
One way to get to know the city is via the iBeaken platform: it is very simple, just click on turismotui.mobi or take a stroll along the cobbled streets, as they will guide you through centuries of history.
Anyway, we will offer you a selection, so when you come you will already be familiar with some places!
Visit to the historic city
Porta da Pía
It is the main access route to the historic centre.expand info
It was one of the four main gateways of the medieval city and the only one that retains part of its structure, both the hinges and guide rails of the grating and the base of the tower that protected it.
Santa Maria Cathedral
A must-visit.expand info
Spend a little time exploring all its corners, such as the chapels, the choir, altarpieces, cloister or the gardens that offer stunning views of the site.
The cathedral is of Suebi origin, and the bishop’s house was built in the 6th century. At the end of the 11th century, work began, based on the model of Santiago de Compostela, to build a pilgrimage church. Its style is predominantly Romanesque, projected as a fortress and a symbol of the religious and state power of bishops over the city.
In the 12th century, the vaults and the main door of Gothic style were made, and it was consecrated in 1225. Over the centuries, new elements were added, such as the Gothic cloister (the largest medieval cloister in Galicia), the Tower of San Andrés in 1419, or the Tower of Santa Catalina in 1485.
Convent of the Poor Clares, "As Encerradas"
It dates from the 15th century.expand info
The current monastic ensemble was created thanks to donations by the bishops of Tui in the 16th century. The square-shaped convent was built in two periods: in the Mannerist style of 1605 and the Baroque style of 1748. Domingo de Andrade was the architect of the convent church in 1688.
Chapel of San Telmo
Fray Pedro González, later known as San Telmo and patron of Tui…expand info
Fray Pedro González, later known as San Telmo and patron of Tui, preached here in 1246. The house where he stayed and died became a place of worship, and in 1767 it was rehabilitated. In 1803, the work was completed with a crypt where the remains of the former house are preserved.
Casa da Vara
We challenge you to find the measuring stick in the corner of…expand info
We challenge you to find the measuring stick in the corner of this house. It was a Gothic shop-house where, in addition to the stick, there is a mullioned window on the ground floor that makes it unique.
Casa de Taboado
It is the only one of this kind left in the city...expand info
It is the only one of this kind left in the city; it is a traditional 15th century medieval house that used wooden planks to finish off the façade. A common technique until the 19th century.
Tunel das encerradas (Passageway of the nuns)
One of the historical places you have to visit...expand info
One of the historical places you have to visit, this passageway and its surroundings are the remains of the defence system of the cathedral citadel.
Rúa Entrefornos and the Tripería (tripe mongers)
Behind the cathedral you find this spot...expand info
Behind the cathedral you find this spot, which is one of our favourite places to take photos of.
The carnicería (butchers quarter) was located in Entrefornos, one the most important streets of the city, home, among others, to the only documented Jewish butcher shop in Galicia. Entrefornos leads to the tripería (tripe monger’s quarter), dating from pre-Roman and medieval times. It was a trade street where tripe mongers, who used this area for cleaning their ware, were located.
Church of Santo Domingo
This set of buildings dates back to the 13th century...expand info
This set of buildings dates back to the 13th century, when the Dominicans moved to the new location. The highlights of the interior are its Baroque altarpieces: the main one, made by Antonio del Villar in 1744, and on the southern transept, the outstanding altarpiece of Our Lady of the Rosary. The Dominican convent is almost completely preserved, but its cloister disappeared in the 19th century.
It is a church where the region’s nobility (Soutomaior, Correa, Valladares, Troncoso de Lira) and also the rich merchants and artisans of the city, were buried.
It is possibly one of the most unique bridges known...expand info
It is possibly one of the most unique bridges known—for its history, its aesthetic ironwork structure, for being on a river as spectacular as the Miño, and for joining towns like Tui and Valença while merging two countries in one short stretch.
The bridge was opened in 1886, and considered one of the most important engineering works of its time in Spain. It was the work of the engineer Pelayo Mancebo.
At the lower end of the historic city, there is a wooden promenade...expand info
At the lower end of the historic city, there is a wooden promenade, with areas to rest, beckoning you to take a stroll along the River Miño. Also from here you can see the remains of the old city wall.
The border formed by the Miño is one of the oldest in the world, and was established in the 12th century in response to the political tension between the new kingdom of Portugal and León.
Discover the Jewish heritage
The Jewish community of Tui settled at the highest ...expand info
The Jewish community of Tui settled at the highest part of the city in the area around the synagogue, although Jewish families dispersed in many streets, living side by side with Christians. Thus, several vestiges of Jewish heritage can be found in Tui, such as the remains of the old synagogue, the Casa dos Capeláns (House of the Chaplains), with the faces of Moses and Aaron (first priests of Israel), Torre do Xudeu (the Jew’s Tower), Casa da Botica (House of the Apothecary) and the Casa de Salomón (House of Solomon), as well as many other symbols and sights that you will appreciate while walking round Tui.
The historic Portuguese Route
The Portuguese Route you are about to take has great historical importance: for centuries this road has been travelled by thousands of pilgrims who have made their mark, leaving a bit of themselves behind along the pilgrim trail. There were several pilgrimage routes that began in southern Portugal and Lisbon, passing through Coimbra and Porto until reaching Tui.
This route has inherited ancient roads and paths of the Via XIX Braga-Astorga Roman road on its journey through Ponte de Lima, Tui, Pontevedra, Santiago and Lugo.
Jacobean devotion was promoted by kings, nobles and high-ranking clergymen, such as King Sancho II in 1244 or the notable example of the pilgrimage of Doña Isabel of Portugal, the “Holy Queen”, who in the 14th century offered her crown before the altar of Santiago and was later buried in Coimbra with a pilgrim’s cane. Another example is that of the Portuguese king Manuel I, who undertook a pilgrimage from Lisbon to Santiago in 1502, and ordered, in memory of his stay in Compostela, for a lamp to be kept shining day and night in the Santiago temple.
You are about to experience this trail, and we encourage you to discover its true value.
Where does the route start?
If you set out from Lisbon, you will need about 24 days, making a daily average of 25 kilometres, to complete the 600 kilometres to Santiago. If you start at Porto, you will need about 10 days to travel the 240 kilometres; and if you start in Tui, it will take about 5 or 6 days to travel 117.5 km.
Therefore, you must plan the stages depending on your physical condition, the time you have or even around what you like to do after completing each stage, such as taking enough time to know the place where you spend the night.
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We are in Tui, we would love to give a summarised explanation… but we have so much to contribute!
Many pilgrims wonder where they should start their route in Tui. There are two options: from the Cathedral of Tui to the Cathedral of Santiago or going down to the international bridge and taking the first step right on the border between the two countries. Getting to the river from our hostel is very simple, because all you have to do is walk out of the door for a few metres down to the river and go along the Miño for about 15 minutes to reach the international bridge.
Once you have crossed the bridge, you can go down to the A Fábrica river beach, where pilgrims used to disembark before the bridge was built. Although the road continues along the Avenida de Portugal, we recommend you take this path because by walking along the Miño, you will be following in the footsteps of thousands of pilgrims who passed by in the Middle Ages. Then when you arrive at a modern building, the Centro Interfederado of Tui, you will find the first signpost that indicates Santiago, and you will enter the historic city through the Bispo Maceira and Baixada or Arrabal de Freanxo streets.
The itinerary continues until you reach the cathedral, and keep on going past the Praza do Concello, our Ideas Peregrinas Hostel, the Poor Clares Convent, Tide and Antero Rubín streets. You leave the town behind and pass through San Bartolomé, and then the route continues past the Chapel of the Virxe do Camiño, Paredes de Abaixo and the iconic San Telmo Bridge, known as the Ponte das Febres.
Shortly afterwards, you will reach Orbenlle, and at this point there is an alternative, as the trail becomes a tarmac road that goes through an industrial estate, crossing between warehouses and with heavy traffic. We recommend you take this alternative track, which is only half a kilometre longer. IMPORTANT! When you see a painting of the Portal of Glory next to the giant face of Elías Valiño (who invented the symbol of the arrow on the road), make sure you take the alternative detour 200 metres away along the course of the River Louro.
The itinerary goes through the parish of San Xurxo de Mosende and then crosses a winter pass known as Paso de Botate. After going through several villages, you will reach O Porriño, an industrial town that has several places where you can take a break from the trail, such as the Praza do Concello, work of the architect Palacio, or try the famous tortilla while having a couple of beers with friends in the typical arcades of Galicia. And if you want to discover somewhere a bit different, visit Chicoria Ultramarinos, a shop that is modern but loaded with tradition!
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After O Porriño, continue along As Angustias and you will have to walk along the national road N-550, so take extreme caution. You will reach the A Rúa, following the cross of St James, and then continue through Os Cabaleiros.
Through Inxertado, with the valley to the east, we ascend slightly to the Chapel of Santiaguiño de Antas, a simple building surrounded by a beautiful carballeira (oak grove). A Roman milestone of the XIX Braga-Astorga Roman road that leads to the town of Redondela. In no time, you will reach Vilar de Infesta, and the legendary site, Chan das Pipas. Saxamonde, Quintela and O Muro lead to Redondela.
In Redondela, you mustn’t miss the parish church of Santiago, consecrated by Gelmírez in 1114, the Convent of Vilavella (16th century), the Casa da Torre (16th century) and the railway viaducts (19th century). Cuttlefish are a very typical dish in this town, and if you happen to be there in May, don’t miss its gastronomic festival.
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We leave Redondela behind to reach Cesantes, with the impressive Ria de Vigo as a backdrop. The estuary encompasses the San Simón and San Antón islands, mussel farms and the cable-stayed Rande Bridge, and in is depths lie the remains of the galleons of the battle of Rande of 1702.
The road continues to the parish of O Viso, and in Soutomaior, you will reach Arcade, passing through the Portas, Lavandeira, Cimadevila, Velero and Barroncas streets, arriving at the historical medieval Ponte Sampaio Bridge, on the River Verdugo.
As you cross the bridge, you enter the municipality of Pontevedra, passing through the town of Ponte Sampaio, continuing along cobbled roads and stretches of the XIX Roman road to then go up Brea Vella da Canicouva. Pontevedra is now approaching, on your pass through Boullosa, Santa Comba de Bértola, the Chapel of Santa Marta, Tomeza, Casal do Río and O Marco. The Rúa Otero Pedrayo and the Glorieta de Compostela lead to the Sanctuary of the Virxe Peregrina, Rúa Soportales, Praza de Teucro and Rúa Real.
You are in Pontevedra! This city will amaze you because it is bursting with life, full of places to visit and with an impressive gastronomic selection.
Pontevedra-Caldas de Reis
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You leave Pontevedra behind after passing through the Rúa da Santiña, and crossing the River Lérez over the O Burgo Bridge. You have to skirt the marsh of A Xunqueira de Alba. The route passes between the train track and the River Granda.
The road ascends to Pontecabras and the church and rectory of Santa María de Alba. After passing the Chapel of San Caetano, you will reach the forest of Reirís and Lombo da Maceira.
To get to the municipality of Barro, you must cross the bridge over O Rego do Cárcere, passing through San Mauro and San Mamede da Portela until arriving in Balbón. Two interesting stone crosses can be seen on the route. One of them is next to the Casa de Amonisa, and the other has a sculpture of St James the Pilgrim on its shaft facing north, to Compostela. After the third stone cross, Soutelo, you should pay close attention to the road because you will go past several crossroads, with the national road N-550 and a high-speed road, so be careful for safety reasons and move with haste as the scenery is somewhat spoilt.
You are about to reach Caldas de Reis, you will pass through the beautiful hamlet of Tibo and almost at the entrance to the town you will pass the Church of Santa María.
And finally you will arrive at Caldas, a thermal town flanked by the Rivers Umia and Bermaña. The path continues along the streets of Santa Marta, Ferrería and you cross the bridge over the River Umia, which brings the pilgrim to the hot springs that have lent their name to the town since Roman times. You go along the Rúa Real, to cross another bridge, a medieval one with great charm spanning the River Bermaña. The Chapel of San Roque.
Time for a break! And also time to bathe; after a long day of walking, there’s nothing like taking a dip in the waters of its spas.
Caldas de Reis- Padrón
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The trail continues along the national road N-550, before once again taking a beautiful route, ascending until reaching Santa María de Carracedo to pass through Casalderrique and Casal de Eirixo. You won’t take long to reach the town of Valga. The town of O Pino makes way for the Monte Castelo, deep forests flanked by the waters of the River Valga and dotted with old mills. The next places of this stage are Cimadevila, the bridge over the River Fontenlo, Cedelo and Condide.
From the scenic viewpoint at Pino Manso, you can enjoy a beautiful panoramic view of the valley of the River Ulla. The route now travels through the oldest neighbourhood of the town of Pontecesures. After, you will cross the Roman bridge over the River Ulla that separates the provinces of Pontevedra and A Coruña. This marks the start of the municipality of Padrón, cradle of the Jacobean tradition, and a beautiful town full of sights.
You will enter Padrón through the grounds used for fairs and along the Paseo do Espolón. The highlight of the historic centre is the church of Santiago de Padrón, which houses the Pedrón (ancient Roman altar).
Padrón- Santiago de Compostela
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This is the last stage of your journey, and it will be an emotional day full of memories. You will even have that strange pilgrim feeling of wanting to see your goal but being sad that the journey is over.
You leave Padrón crossing the River Sar to get to Iria Flavia. Now one of the parishes of Padrón, it was once a Roman city before becoming an episcopal see, until the 6th century.
The trail passes through the Camilo José Cela Foundation, crosses the national road N-550. It then crosses the Sar valley, which shelters traditional villages such as Pousa, Souto, Rueiro, Cambelas or Anteportas, until reaching the sanctuary of A Escravitude. Time to go down to Angueira de Suso. We cross O Faramello and arrive at the Teo Hostel.
After passing Rúa de Francos and continuing through Osebe, you will reach O Milladoiro, where the first pilgrims "humbled themselves" or went down on their knees when they first saw the cathedral.
Here you have two options: either follow A Choupana (next to the hospital), Santa Marta chapel and Rúa Rosalía de Castro, or go through the historic quarter of Conxo. Both converge in the Praza de Vigo. The route enters the historic centre through Porta Faxeira and the Rúa do Franco. The traditional pilgrim entrance to the cathedral from the Portuguese Route is through the impressive Praza das Praterías. You are in Santiago! Now you can hug the apostle, surely it will be the hug of your lifetime!