We are hoping to walk from Lisbon to Santiago in September, but understand the effects of COVID-19 may prompt a cancelation of our plans. Has anyone heard if Portugal will be opening up to visitors this year?
Portugal has come out fairly well from this Pandemic, unlike its neighbor Spain, they acted fast and declared state of emergency earlier. The issue I see is that you will have to cross the northern border between Portugal and Spain to reach your final destination Santiago de Compostela (which is in Spain), this border is currently closed, with the potential for continuing border controls into June/July. Making this pilgrimage is difficult enough in normal times, I am doubtful if international tourism will be back in the Iberian peninsula by September.
My wife and I walked from Lisbon to Santiago a few years ago. So beautiful. Portugal will probably be open by July, but not all albergues and hotels. The walking distance between daily accommodation on the Portuguese Camino are longer than in Spain and if some are closed it could be a problem.
Right now the Camino in Spain is closed. I read recently that mid June it will open, but ONLY TO RESIDENTS OF SPAIN. How long will that last?
We have walked Caminos in both spring and fall. Spring is definitely the best time for me. The wildflowers are spectacular and the weather is better.
My humble advice is to postpone your pilgrimage until May 2021.
This source, Pauline Frommer, says June 6.
'Portugal Reopens to Tourism June 6, but with an Odd Twist'
If this is important to you, get a second or third validation, just to make sure. She references an 'announcement', but I didn't see any confirmation of that opening date on link she provided. You also may need to check the situation at the Portugal to Spain border.
I saw the confirmation on the Visit Portugal website. https://www.visitportugal.com/en/node/421175
But it says "flights" and does not say anything about tourists.
Flights from Schengen countries are permitted as well as from the
European Union with the exception of Spain and Italy. Outside of the
EU and Schengen countries, flights to and from the UK, Ireland, USA,
Canada, Brazil, and other Portuguese language speaking countries are