Central Way - Via Targus

Azambuja < > Santarém

Stage 2 - Via Targus

In Santarém, a city of great importance to the Order of Santiago, you must visit the Marvila Church, built by the Templars in 1147, with rents offered by the Bishop of Lisbon. Enriched in the 17th century by D. Manuel, its walls are a testimonial of azulejo panels decorative art. Take time to admire the symbolic-cultural richness, the armillary sphere, the Christ cross, the fleurs-de-lys, and the heraldic weapons.On the way to the top of the hill, we enter the citadel protected by the Muralha (Wall), through Porta de Santiago (Santiago Gate), used by thousands of pilgrims. Here you can observe the “Fernandinos of Portugal” coat of arms, which documents the reinforcement of the village walls. Already at the top, visit the Igreja de Santa Maria da Alcáçova church which, after the conquest of Santarém to the Moors by D. Afonso Henriques, was founded by the Templar Knights, masters of Santarém’s ecclesiastic, in 1154.

Finally, stop to visit the museum of Torre do Relógio (Clock Tower) and discover the 8 calabashes, or gourds, associated with the king’s legend. By necessity, the village asked the king a Clock Tower. During its construction, the king, who already suspected that public monies were being mismanaged, was very displeased during his visit. Thus it is said that the king had eight calabashes placed, symbolizing the hollow head of the work’s architects, to the shame of the village.

“Avieira” Culture

In the middle of the 19th century, fishermen from the north fled the harsh conditions of the sea and moved to the Tejo and Sado areas, settling on their riverbanks, which provided them with fish all year round. The particular way of life of these populations, the palafitte houses and docks, and the typical boats, the bateiras, are testimonies that you can still find and visit in this part of the Way, first in Avieira Porto da Palha village, and more to the north, 1 km after the entrance of Reguengo, in the village of Palhota.

Church of Santa Maria de Marvila | Santarém

To leave Azambuja, we overcome again the unavoidable barrier of the railway line. We get immediately into the immensity of the marshland, following the road for 1.5 km until we reach Vala Real, where we deviate to the left and follow the main canal, and then a secondary canal, on your right.

If you come with time, in the place before the road exit follow instead the detour to the right through the cultivated fields, and discover this section of Vala Real until its mouth (about 3.5 km), a canal with a total length of 26 km built at the behest of Marquês de Pombal, in the 18th century.

Near the mouth, be sure to appreciate the natural charm of the surrounding flora and fauna and find the Palácio da Rainha. Although it is in an advanced state of degradation, it was a landmark at the end of the 18th century, functioning as a warehouse and hostel to support the group of steam boats that circulated in the Tejo.

We come back to the previous point and, at the end of the secondary canal, we reach again the almost deserted road, through which we follow, among cultivated fields to lose sight, until Aldeia do Reguengo.

As a curiosity, we suggest here a detour of 1 km towards the river Tejo, to the site of Palhota, where there are important records of the so-called “Avieira Culture”, candidate for National Heritage (see box).

From Reguengo to Valada, we walk 2 km without history, but we advise you to stop and recover your energy in this small but typical Ribatejo village.

Head to Rua da Cova da Onça, along the dyke on the Tejo riverbanks until Porto de Muge, an old resort in Roman times. From here you have the option to take the additional 2.5 km road to Muge and pass over the century-old Rainha D. Amélia bridge over the Tejo.

Before proceeding to Santarém, make sure you have all the supplies and water needed, because you won’t find other support points until the end of this stage. Entering through Rua do Sabugueiro, you now have about 10 km of dirt track ahead, before reaching the tarmac road that passes under a viaduct and flanks the airfield, then passing through the village of Onias, already in the city vicinity. On your left you will now have to face the final ascent of the Calçada da Junqueira sidewalk which, on hot days, turns out to be a real ordeal! Maybe that’s why, almost 200 years ago, someone wanted to ease the pilgrims suffering and ordered the construction of a fountain in the middle of the arduous climb. The water is unsuitable for drinking, but the tanks refresh our sore feet and soul…We finally enter Santarém and head for Largo Cândido dos Reis square. In front of the mall you will find an interpretative panel that marks the place where the Paths of Santiago and Fátima split.


Always carry water, supplies, sunscreen, a hat, waterproof, comfortable shoes, and a map.


 CTT Post Office

 Bank/Cash Dispenser

 Tourism Office +351 243 304 437

Public Entities

 Câmara Municipal de Santarém, Divisão de Turismo +351 243 304 258


 Santarém Hospital
+ 351 243 300 200


Points of Interest

 Alcáçova Church

 Vale Figueira Main Church

 Misericórdia Church

 Santa Maria de Marvila Church

 Santarém Cathedral

 Diocesano Museum of Santarém

 Junqueira Fountain

 Alcorce Bridge

 São Tiago Gate

 Cabaças Tower

 Portas do Sol Belvedere Garden


Emergency: 112
Forest Fires: 117
Santarém Fire Department:+351 243 377 900
Santarém Fire Department:+351 243 333 122
GNR − Santarém Territorial Station:+351 243 300 070
PSP − Public Security Polic: +351 243 322 022


Do not leave the marked and signaled route. Do not approach cliffs. Pay attention to the markings. Do not dispose of organic or inorganic waste during the trail, take a bag for this purpose. If you see garbage, collect it, help us to keep the Paths clean. Beware of livestock, don’t bother the animals. Leave Nature intact. Do not collect plants, animals or rocks. Avoid making noise. Respect private property, close gates and barriers. Don’t light fires and be careful with cigarettes. Do not vandalize the Paths signage.