WINTER WAY FROM PONFERRADA (263 Kms)
The 263 kilometres separating Ponferrada from Galicia are covered on the Winter Trail. This route was configured as an alternative to the traditional entry to Galicia of the French Way through O Cebreiro, when pilgrims arrived in Ponferrada and the weather was so bad that it was impracticable to get there. It is a solitary way of beautiful landscapes, that penetrates in Galicia by the valley of the river Sil. It crosses regions of great vitivinícola tradition, reason why it is very advisable for the lovers of the wine.
*In this section we present the complete Winter Trail, so that you can configure the stages as best suits you. Contact us to request your personalized budget.
Arrival in Ponferrada
Welcome to Ponferrada, emblematic and historical city, did you know that the city of Ponferrada had its origin in the Middle Ages, associated to the route of the Way of Santiago?
Starting the Way in this city gives you the perfect opportunity to take a day of preparation and tourism, and enjoy moments of leisure and the rich gastronomy of Bierzo, of which you should not miss to taste a good botillo accompanied by a wine from Bierzo. You will be able to enjoy all this and more by strolling through the historic Barrio del Temple, where you will also have the opportunity to have a drink and get to know the city’s leisure and nightlife.
Ponferrada – Carucedo
In this first stage of the Way you will set course to Carucedo from Ponferrada. You will leave the city bordering Mount Pajariel and then arrive at the town of Toral de Merayo. From here you will continue walking slightly upwards to Priaranza del Bierzo, where you can visit the Castle of Cornatel, related to the Order of the Templars. Once you have made this stop on the way, you will follow the march towards Borrenes and then you will reach the end of your stage in Carucedo.
Carucedo is a small village in the province of Bierzo, which integrates different territories such as Las Médulas, an ancient gold mine from the Roman period which is now a World Heritage Site. In the natural plane this small place has a great ecological wealth, thanks to environments such as Lake Carucedo, an enclave of great natural value in terms of flora and fauna, emerged as a result of gold mining in Las Médulas. Culturally, you can visit its Romanesque church, which preserves one of the most important pieces of silverware in the entire region.
Carucedo – O Barco de Valdeorras
Today’s stage begins by heading towards Las Médulas, where you will obtain impressive views. From this point you will walk towards Puente de Domingo Flórez and then cross the river Sil and leave Castilla y León to enter Galicia. You will enter the Galician region, specifically through the province of Ourense, walking along a path that runs parallel to the river. You will pass through the reservoir of Eirós, the village of Pumares and Carballeda de Valdeorras, until entering O Barco de Valdeorras crossing the village of Éntoma and crossing the river Galir by a bridge of medieval origin.
O Barco de Valdeorras is the regional capital of Valdeorras, very famous for its wine production. This place has an important natural heritage distributed between the Natural Park of La Encina de a Lastra and the Massif of Trevinca, space in which the highest altitudes of Galicia are found, surpassing its main peak the 2000 meters of height. At the gastronomic level you must taste its wines and cooked Denomination of Origin, accompanied by its rich wines.
O Barco de Valdeorras – A Rúa de Valdeorras
This is the shortest stage of this Way, so we recommend you take it easy and take advantage to rest, and thus better face what remains. You will start today’s route walking among vineyard landscapes and you will pass by places like Arcos and the central nucleus of Vilamartín de Valdeorras (homonym), where you will be able to visit wineries located in the old caves originated by the search for gold. From this point you will continue towards the end of the stage in A Rúa, the place where the oldest settlement of Valdeorras is supposedly located, the Forum Cigurorum, home of the Cigurros or Egurros.
In A Rúa de Valdeorras you will be able to continue marveling at the beautiful natural environment of this area, located in the Sil valley. Among other things, you can visit the reservoir of San Martiño, the Puente da Cigarrosa (from Roman times), the Casa Grande de Fontei and the church of San Esteban. As in El Bierzo, in the gastronomic offer of the place it is very famous the botillo, botelo in Galician, the empanada de Castrelos and the tortas de roxóns.
A Rúa de Valdeorras – Quiroga
In this stage, the province of Ourense is abandoned to enter the province of Lugo, specifically the municipality of Quiroga. Walk along the right bank of the river Sil to continue between vineyards and olive groves to Montefurado and Bendilló. You are in lands of the Ribeira Sacra, lands of rich wines Denomination of Origin. Before arriving in Quiroga, you can make a small detour to visit the monumental complex of Hospital, which consists of a pre-Romanesque church, the church of San Salvador, the Tower-House of Hospital and the House of the Encomienda, dating from the sixteenth century.
In Quiroga you will continue to be surrounded by a natural environment of great value, such as the Sierra de O Courel. Within the town itself you can visit several artistic heritage sites, the result of various Roman settlements in the area over the years, dedicated to the search for gold. To recharge your batteries, we recommend tasting the typical dishes of the area, including eels, trout and empanada de raxo, all accompanied by good wines from the Ribeira Sacra.
Quiroga – Monforte de Lemos
This stage is presented as the longest and hardest of this road, so we recommend leaving early to take the day calmly. You will start walking from Quiroga towards Monforte de Lemos. The first place you will come across today will be San Clodio, from where you will continue towards Nocedo and then Carballo de Lor. You will continue walking along natural paths, crossing valleys and beautiful landscapes until you reach Barxa de Lor, from where you will ascend to the top of O Castro da Lama first (here there is a Roman auriense exploitation) and then to Castroncelos. The next point will be Pobra do Brollón, where you can stop to rest a bit in a recreation area next to the river Saa. From Pobra do Brollón you will follow your way to Cereixa and you will pass by a cross with a carving of Santiago Peregrino, before beginning to ascend to Alto da Serra.
Here you will already be very close to Monforte, you will descend by the Moncai mount until Reigada and you will only have 3 kilometers to finish. Monforte de Lemos is a place of passage of great Jacobean tradition, located on the banks of the Cabe river, considered the capital of the Ribeira Sacra because it is the largest of the town halls in population. Here you can visit several heritage elements, such as the monasteries of San Vicente do Pino and Nosa Señora da Antiga. The monastery of San Vicente do Pino forms a monumental group of the same name, next to the Condal Palace and the Torre del Homenaje, which is part of the medieval legacy of the walled enclosure and the castle of this city, of which remains are preserved today. You can also take a walk through its Jewish quarter and its old town and rest tasting some portions of empanada.
Monforte de Lemos – Chantada
You will leave Monforte de Lemos by crossing the Cabe river over the city’s medieval bridge. The first points you will pass today will be Pantón and O Saviñao, from where you will continue walking among small parishes, meadows and oak groves. In this stage you will descend towards the river Miño through the Cóbados de Belesar following the remains of a Roman road. When you cross the Miño you will begin the ascent towards Chantada, your end of stage.
Chantada is a place in the Ribeira Sacra of great winemaking tradition, in fact the landscape of vine cultivation in the socalcos formed by the river on its banks will dazzle you. Here you will be able to visit an infinity of wineries dedicated to the production of the wines of the Denomination of Origin of the zone. In Chantada you can also visit Castro Candaz, if you visit the area in summer when the river is less flowing, as it is half flooded by it. You can also relax taking a walk through its old town and getting to know places such as the Plaza de Santa Ana or the church of San Salvador de Brigos.
Chantada – Rodeiro
In this stage you will ascend through valleys and wooded paths to Monte do Faro. This mountain is located on the border between the provinces of Lugo and Pontevedra, acting as a natural border. The place is perhaps the most significant natural landmark of this path and from it you can get impressive panoramic views of natural environments of great value: Pena Trevinca, Ancares and Courel, Cabeza de Manzaneda or Farelo. Here you can also visit the chapel of Nuestra Señora do Faro. From Faro, your path continues descending the mountain towards Rodeiro, during which you will cross the Fragas do Arnego and small population centres such as San Juan de Camba, until you reach Rodeiro.
The most significant thing that you will be able to visit in Rodeiro will be “Porta de Arcos” an archaeological site that testifies the presence of an ancient Roman villa in the area. You can also visit examples of Romanesque churches such as Rodeiro. Gastronomically, the star dish of the place is the wild boar, with which you can replenish your strength and then rest to face the coming stages.
Rodeiro – Lalín
At this stage the Winter Road joins with the Sanabrés Road. You will start the route leaving Rodeiro in the direction of Lalín, crossing the river Arnego by the “Ponte do Hospital”. The first town you will reach is A Ponte de Pedroso, from where you will cross the river again, this time by a medieval bridge from the 12th century. From here your way will continue along forest and asphalted tracks until you reach the end of your stage in Lalín.
In the heart of Galicia, Lalín is the capital of the region do Deza, very famous for its stew. You can visit the Romanesque church of Goiás (dating from the 12th century), take photographs at kilometre 0, contemplate the peculiar statue of the porco, located in the centre of the village, and of course enjoy some good stew dishes.
Lalín – Bandeira
Starting from the centre of Lalín, you will have to follow the landmarks and arrows to reach the river promenade of the River Pontiñas, a very pleasant stretch for pilgrims. After crossing the Lalín industrial estate, the path alternates to the left with the road, passing by the medieval bridge of Taboada. This section of the Way is really interesting, both for its monumental richness and for its natural and environmental beauty. You will find the Romanesque church of Santiago de Taboada where you will be able to stamp your credential and you will pass through the Pazo de Trasfontao before reaching Silleda, from where you only have to cross the bridge over the river Toxa to reach the end of the stage in Bandeira.
Bandeira is the second largest town in the municipality of Silleda. The Vista Alegre Cultural Center is one of the most outstanding heritage buildings in the nucleus. In this place you will be able to taste the traditional Galician empanada, which is a typical dish in the locality.
Bandeira – Santa Cruz de Ribadulla
You will leave Bandeira on the national road to follow a dirt track to Dornelas, where you can visit its magnificent church. The road continues alternating road and dirt track to San Miguel de Castro and Taberna do Seixo, where you can seal the credential and replenish energy before starting the descent to Ponte de Ulla. From here you will follow the same national road up to the river Ulla, stopping at the chapel of Nuestra Señora de Gundián, a chapel of great devotion in the area.
After crossing the old bridge over the river Ulla you will say goodbye to the province of Pontevedra to enter A Coruña through Santa Cruz de Ribadulla, where you will end your stage. in Santa Cruz de Ribadulla, concello de Vedra, the pazo of the same name stands out, which is also known as Granxa de Ortigueira and formerly as Torre de Ortigueira.
Santa Cruz de Ribadulla – Santiago de Compostela
Today we recommend leaving early to take advantage of the day in Santiago. During the first three kilometers of the stage you will cross lush forests until you reach Lestedo, where you can take a detour towards Pico Sacro, from where you will have impressive panoramic views of the area. After reaching A Susana, you will find yourself in the municipality of Santiago. The Way enters the city through the Sar district and after crossing its Roman bridge, you will go up Castrón Douro to enter the historic centre through the Mazarelos Arch, until you reach the Plaza del Obradoiro.
You have reached Santiago de Compostela, the city where rain is art. After having stamped your credentials in each stage and having collected your Compostelas, after all the effort, it will be time to enjoy the city, you will have earned it. We hope you will enjoy strolling through the historic quarter, enjoying a fresh beer accompanied by a delicious tapa, dancing and singing in a foliada, or trying some of its traditional liqueurs, among a thousand and one things that this small but great city offers.
Santiago de Compostela
This is a day of farewells for many, the end of a road, and why not, the beginning of many. The last day will dawn with a road more in your lives, but not a road of miles, but of experiences, emotions and new friendships, a journey that will project into your lives and help you to continue walking free towards your own goals.
*After leaving the lodging, end of service.
THIS TRIP INCLUDES
- 13 days / 12 nights of accommodation
- Backpack transfer service (1 package – máx. 20 kg.)
- Credencial (Pilgrim’s passport)
- Telephone assistance service 24/7
- Travel assistance insurance
- Single room supplement: 290€/pax
- Extra night in Santiago: 55€/ind. // 35€pax/double
- Breakfast: 90€/pax
- Half Board: 240€/pax
- 670€ pax double room
The accommodation will be in hostels and/or guesthouses always in private room with its own bathroom.
Hostels and rural accommodation 670€
* All accommodations are of the best quality, carefully selected after years of experience and approved by our customers.
Alojamiento en Hostales, hoteles y alojamientos rurales
El alojamiento en Hostales o Pensiones cuenta con habitaciones dobles, triples o cuádruples, siempre con baño privado. Son habitaciones sencillas,confortables y sin grandes lujos, pero muy acogedoras, ideales para dormir y descansar.
*En el caso de una reserva individual tendría un suplemento.