The Winter Way was traditionally used by pilgrims to avoid the snows of O Cebreiro in winter. A solitary and little travelled road that penetrates into Galicia through the valley of the river Sil and crosses important villages of the Ribeira Sacra until it reaches Santiago de Compostela.

It is the perfect route for all those pilgrims who wish to escape from the overcrowding of other routes. It will allow you to discover places of great scenic beauty and historical interest such as the castle of the Templars of Ponferrada, the Roman exploitation of the Médulas, medieval bridges, river walks, wineries and hundreds of vineyards that make up a unique setting.

Precio
From
650€

Travel Itinerary

Welcome to Ponferrada, emblematic and historic Templar city. Starting the Camino de Invierno here is the perfect opportunity to take a day of preparation and tourism, enjoy moments of leisure and the rich gastronomy of Bierzo, of which you should not miss tasting a good botillo accompanied by a wine from Bierzo. You can enjoy all this and more by strolling through its historic quarter and visiting its spectacular Templar castle, one of the best preserved of this order.

In this first stage of the Winter Way you will head for Carucedo from Ponferrada. The route leaves the city bordering the Pajariel mountain and later you will arrive to the locality of Toral de Merayo. From here you will continue walking in a slightly ascending direction until 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, the road continues towards Borrenes to reach the end of the stage, Carucedo.

Carucedo is a small village in the province of Bierzo that receives thousands of visitors every year due to its proximity to Las Médulas, an ancient gold mine from Roman times that is now a World Heritage Site. On the natural level this small place has a great ecological wealth, thanks to environments such as the lake of Carucedo, an enclave of great natural value in terms of flora and fauna, which arose as a result of the gold mining in Las Médulas. On a cultural level you can visit its church, in Romanesque style, which preserves one of the most important pieces of silverware in the whole region.

Today’s stage begins by heading towards Las Médulas, where you will enjoy one of the most impressive landscapes of the Winter Way. From this point you will walk towards Puente de Domingo Flórez. After crossing the river Sil you will leave Castilla y León and enter Galicia. You will enter the Galician community 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 you reach O Barco de Valdeorras, the end of the stage.

O Barco de Valdeorras is the regional capital of Valdeorras, very famous for its wine production. This place has an important natural heritage spread between the Natural Park of the Encina de a Lastra and the Trevinca Massif, an area with the highest altitudes in Galicia, with its main peak exceeding 2000 metres in height.

This is the shortest stage of the Winter Way, so we recommend you take it easy and take the opportunity to rest. You will start today’s route walking among vineyard landscapes, passing through places like Arcos and the central core of Vilamartín de Valdeorras, where you can visit wineries located in ancient caves, originated by the search for gold. From this point you will continue towards the end of the stage in A Rúa.

In A Rúa de Valdeorras you can continue to marvel at the beautiful natural surroundings of this area, located in the valley of the river Sil. Among other things, you can visit the reservoir of San Martiño, the Roman bridge of A Cigarrosa, the Casa Grande de Fontei and the church of San Esteban. As in El Bierzo, in the gastronomic offer of the place is very famous the botillo, botelo in Galician, the empanada de Castrelos and the tortas de roxóns.

In this stage you will say goodbye to the province of Ourense to enter the province of Lugo through the municipality of Quiroga. You will walk along the right bank of the river Sil to continue between vineyards and olive groves to Montefurado and Bendilló. You are in the Ribeira Sacra, land of rich Denomination of Origin wines. Before reaching Quiroga, you can take a short detour to visit the monumental complex of Hospital, which consists of a church of pre-Romanesque origin, the church of San Salvador, the Casa Torre de Hospital and the Casa de la Encomienda, dating from the 16th century.

Quiroga is located in a natural environment of great value, the Sierra de O Courel. Within the municipality itself you can visit several points resulting from various Roman settlements used for gold mining. To regain your strength, we recommend you try the typical dishes of the place, including eels, trout and empanada de raxo, all accompanied by some good wines from the Ribeira Sacra.

This stage is the longest and hardest of this Winter Way, so we recommend leaving early. You will start walking from Quiroga towards Monforte de Lemos, crossing small villages, nature trails, valleys and beautiful landscapes until you reach Barxa de Lor, from where you will climb to the top of O Castro da Lama and Castroncelos. Once in Pobra do Brollón, you will have all the services to make a stop on the way. The route continues towards Cereixa and passes by a cross with a carving of Santiago Peregrino, before starting to climb to the Alto da Serra. All that remains is to descend the mountain and a few more kilometres will take you to Monforte de Lemos.

On the banks of the river Cabe, Monforte de Lemos is considered the capital of the Ribeira Sacra for being the largest of the municipalities in population. The monastery of San Vicente do Pino, which forms a monumental complex of the same name, stands out, together with the Palacio Condal and the Torre del Homenaje, which are part of the medieval legacy of the town.

You will leave Monforte de Lemos crossing the river Cabe by the medieval bridge of the city. The first points you will pass through today will be Pantón and O Saviñao, walking between 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. After crossing the Miño, the ascent to Chantada, the end of the stage, begins.

Chantada is a village of the Ribeira Sacra of great wine tradition, in fact the landscape of the cultivation of the vine in the socalcos formed by the river in its margins is impressive. If you are a wine lover you can visit many wineries dedicated to the production of Denomination of Origin wines in the area.

In this stage you will ascend through valleys and wooded trails to Monte do Faro. This mountain is located on the border between the provinces of Lugo and Pontevedra, acting as a natural frontier. The place is perhaps the most significant natural landmark of this route and from it you can get breathtaking views of natural environments of great value: Pena Trevinca, Ancares and Courel, Cabeza de Manzaneda or Farelo. From Faro, the path continues descending the mountain towards Rodeiro, a route that crosses the Fragas do Arnego and small villages such as San Juan de Camba, until it reaches Rodeiro.

The most significant thing you can visit in Rodeiro is “Porta de Arcos”, an archaeological site that testifies the presence of an ancient Roman villa in the area. It also has examples of Romanesque churches such as the one in Rodeiro. Gastronomically, the star dish of the place is the wild boar, perfect to regain strength and rest to face the next stages.

At this stage the Winter Way joins the Sanabrés Way. You will start the route leaving Rodeiro towards Lalín, crossing the river Arnego by the “Ponte do Hospital”. The first town you will reach is A Ponte de Pedroso, from where you cross the river again, this time over a medieval bridge from the 12th century. From here your route will continue along forest and asphalted tracks until you reach Lalín.

In the heart of Galicia, Lalín is the capital of the region of Deza, very famous for its stew. You can visit the Romanesque church of Goiás, take a photo at kilometre 0, contemplate the peculiar statue do porco, located in the centre of the village, and of course enjoy some good dishes of cocido (stew).

Starting the route from the centre of Lalín, you will have to follow the milestones and arrows to reach the Pontiñas river walk, an extremely pleasant stretch for pilgrims. After crossing the industrial estate of Lalín, the path alternates to the left with the road, passing by the medieval bridge of Taboada. This section of the Camino 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 can stamp your credential; after passing by the Pazo de Trasfontao before reaching Silleda, all that remains is 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 Centre is one of the most outstanding heritage buildings in the centre. You are in the ideal place to taste the traditional Galician empanada, the typical dish of the town.

Today you will leave Bandeira by the national road to continue along a dirt track to Dornelas, with its magnificent church. The route continues alternating road and dirt track until San Miguel de Castro and Taberna do Seixo, where you can stamp your credential and recharge your batteries before starting the descent to Ponte de Ulla. From here you will follow the same national road to the river Ulla, stopping at the chapel of Nuestra Señora de Gundián, of great devotion in the area. After crossing the old bridge over the river Ulla, you will say goodbye to the province of Pontevedra and enter A Coruña through Santa Cruz de Rivadulla, where the stage will come to an end.

In Santa Cruz de Rivadulla your path crosses one of the most popular routes for lovers of vegetation during the winter season: the route of the camellias. The pazo of Santa Cruz de Rivadulla has one of the most exotic and interesting gardens in Galicia. Of course, one of the jewels of the botanical walk is the camellia and its many subspecies, how many will you be able to distinguish?

Today we recommend leaving early to make the most of the day in Santiago. During the first three kilometres of the stage you will walk under lush forests until you reach Lestedo, where you can take a detour to the Pico Sacro, which has impressive panoramic views of the area. After reaching A Susana, you will be in the municipality of Santiago. The Way enters the city through the Sar district and, after crossing its Roman bridge, goes up through Castrón Douro to enter the historic centre through the Mazarelos Arch. Savour your last steps through the old town of Compostela and enjoy your triumphal entry into the Plaza del Obradoiro. Congratulations!

You are in Santiago! Be happy and proud to have completed your Winter Camino. Now we just need to pick up the Compostela certificate and enjoy an incredible day getting to know the Galician capital.

This last day you are in charge, you can go back home or enjoy one more day in Santiago. And how beautiful is Compostela.

Did you know that all roads end in Finisterre? If you have been left with the desire to walk and you have 5 days more, we encourage you to complete the 5 stages from Santiago to Finisterre. The most magical and spiritual route that hides real treasures such as Ponte Maceira, one of the most beautiful villages in Spain or the extraordinary sunset of the Finisterre lighthouse.

Map of the Way

Type of accommodation

Detalles

Services included

13 days / 12 nights accommodation13 days / 12 nights accommodation
Luggage transfer during the stagesLuggage transfer during the stages
Complete documentationComplete documentation
Pilgrim’s CredentialPilgrim’s Credential
24 hour emergency telephone assistance24 hour emergency telephone assistance
Travel insuranceTravel insurance

Optional Services

ServiceIn hotels, guesthouses and rural houses on the winter way
BreakfastBreakfast85€ per person
MP (Breakfast and dinner)MP (Breakfast and dinner)240€ per person
Supplement for single roomSupplement for single room230€ per single room
Extra night in Santiago de CompostelaExtra night in Santiago de Compostela55€ (sing. room) / 70€ (doub. room)
Breakfast Breakfast
In hotels, guesthouses and rural houses on the winter way 85€ per person
MP (Breakfast and dinner) MP (Breakfast and dinner)
In hotels, guesthouses and rural houses on the winter way 240€ per person
Supplement for single room Supplement for single room
In hotels, guesthouses and rural houses on the winter way 230€ per single room
Extra night in Santiago de Compostela Extra night in Santiago de Compostela
In hotels, guesthouses and rural houses on the winter way 55€ (sing. room) / 70€ (doub. room)

Photos

Frequently Asked Questions

In this modality you will do the Camino de Santiago at your own pace and you will only have to worry about choosing the route you like the most, the type of accommodation and your departure date. If you choose this option you will travel alone or with the people that appear in your reservation, and you will have all the services included so that you only have to worry about walking and enjoying the experience.
The Way of Saint James on your own includes the following services
  • Accommodation
  • Luggage transport
  • Dossier with information about the stages
  • Pilgrim's credential
  • 24-hour helpline
  • Travel insurance
In addition, you can customize your trip by adding the following optional services
  • Breakfast or half board
  • Private transfers to the start of the stage from Santiago de Compostela or from the airport.
  • Extra night at the beginning or end of the stage
Unlike the group trips, no bus service, guide or support vehicle is included between stages. But you will have a 24-hour hotline where you can contact us in case of any problem or unforeseen event, which we will solve quickly.
Yes, you will have total freedom to choose your departure date. However, if you want to do your Camino de Santiago in the months of December, January and February, we recommend that you check availability before making your reservation. At this time of year most accommodation is closed and many services may not be available.
In your travel documents, you will find the names of the accommodations assigned to you, as well as their contact telephone number and location.   As a general rule, all accommodation is located in the centre of the different towns along the Pilgrims' Route to Santiago de Compostela, without the need to deviate too far from the route. But sometimes, due to lack of availability, it is possible that some accommodation may be a little far from the village or even in neighbouring towns.   For all the accommodations that are at a considerable distance from the route of the Camino, we will provide you with a free taxi service that you can use to get to your accommodation and return to the Camino the next morning.   In any case, these are exceptions that we will inform you at the time of booking.
Luggage transport service by default is included in all our trips and it is not necessary to request it. You will be able to do the Camino de Santiago without your luggage on your back with the peace of mind that your suitcase will be at your next accommodation on your arrival.   Along with your credential you will also receive stickers, which you must cover with the requested information and stick it in a visible place on your suitcase.   Once you have arrived at your accommodation, we recommend that you ask at reception where you can leave your luggage. You will have to leave your luggage at the indicated place first thing in the morning for our carrier to pick it up. This way, when you arrive at your next accommodation your luggage will already be there.
We have a taxi service that you can hire whenever you need it. You can hire it, for example, to go from the airport to the start of your Camino, or to go from Santiago to your starting point to pick up your car once you finish the stage.   The price of the transfers will depend on the distance from your point of origin to the destination. If you have any questions about this service do not hesitate to contact us.
We include a compulsory insurance with each trip that will cover you for any inconveniences that may arise during the Camino de Santiago. We will send you the insurance policy together with your travel documents.
The basic travel insurance included in our packages has a wide coverage against unforeseen events, with which you will also have guaranteed medical assistance and numerous benefits that you can consult in the General Conditions of Travel Insurance.
In your travel documents you will find an emergency telephone number where we are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This way you will travel with peace of mind knowing that one of our companions will help you to quickly solve any problem, incident or doubt that you may have along your Camino de Santiago.
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