Winter Way

8 Stages | 202 km

The Winter Way begins in Ponferrada, crossing the valley of the river Sil and the Ribeira Sacra to Santiago de Compostela.

The Winter Way emerged as the alternative route followed by pilgrims on the French Way to avoid the high mountains of O Cebreiro which, in winter, were totally impracticable due to heavy snowfall. Due to its recent signposting and officialization it is one of the most virgin routes of the Camino de Santiago. A paradise to be discovered.

Our journeys of the Winter Way of Santiago

Information of the Winter Way

The Winter Road

This route, unknown by many pilgrims, is the only one that crosses the four Galician provinces (Ourense, Lugo, Pontevedra and A Coruña). And now you may be asking yourself… “and what can the road of Winter offer me?” Well, the Winter Way offers the pilgrim the most absolute escape that there can be, at the same time that it offers the opportunity to see impressive natural landscapes that remain intact after the passing of the years.

If you want to disconnect to reconnect with yourself, discover exceptional places and enjoy an incredible gastronomy, this is your route.

The Winter Road

Where to start the Winter Way?

From Ponferrada

The capital of El Bierzo is the starting point of the winter route; from here you can easily reach Santiago de Compostela in just 13 days, covering a total of 260 kilometres. Undoubtedly this route has established itself as a perfect alternative to escape from the growing overcrowding of the Galician section of the French Way.

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Stages of the Winter Way of Santiago Winter

History of the Winter Route

Although there is no general consensus among historians about the birth of this route, it seems that the most accepted thesis is the one that points to this route as a variant of the French road to the arrival of this to Ponferrada.

If we make an exercise of reflection and we put ourselves in the shoes of medieval pilgrims, it seems sensible to think that they sought an alternative to the passage of O Cebreiro to enter Galicia before the huge snowfalls that cut the way. Hence the name “Camino de Invierno” (Winter Road).

This detour allowed pilgrims to enter Galicia through the valley of the river Sil, a natural entrance route with a much more favourable terrain than the alternative of the mountain passes. It was recognized by the Xunta de Galicia as an official pilgrimage route in 2016.

Other routes of the Camino de Santiago