I’ve always enjoyed walking, but I never would have imagined that I would walk more than 200 kilometers (124 miles) in ten days, become a fan of walking holidays, and collaborate with a local tour operator to create self-guided hiking routes in Portugal as part of my business.

A brief taste of the Portuguese Camino de Santiago, an ancient pilgrimage route from Portugal to Spain’s Santiago de Compostela Cathedral, marked the beginning of the transformation from someone who was content with a leisurely three-hour walk to an experienced multi-day hiker.

I went on a one-day guided hike north of Ponte de Lima in 2013 along one of the Camino’s most stunning sections. It was hard work because it was one of the most difficult sections, but the views from the top of Labruja Mountain made the climb worthwhile.

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