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Walking the Camino Frances from Leon to Ponferrada

Walking the Camino Frances from Leon to Ponferrada map

Explore the medieval and Roman history of Léon, before setting off on your Camino for Ponferrada.

This Walking Holiday explores the sixth section of the Camino Frances – French Way, the most traditional of all the pilgrims’ ways to Santiago de Compostela and the best known internationally.

You’ll start in Léon, one of the greatest cities in Spain and finish in Ponferrada, built by the Templars in the 12th century. The Camino de Santiago, or Way of Saint James, starts on the central high plateau and traverses the untouched Leon Mountains.

As with all of our tours, you’ll be treated to the very best local gastronomy, and stay in comfortable hotels and traditional guesthouses.

Trip Stats

101km

distance to walk

4

days of walking

difficulty level

Itinerary

Day 1

Leon
(Arrival)

The historic centre of Leon is well preserved and worth visiting. Over the course of time, Leon became the capital of the kingdom in the Middle Ages; a historic enclave on the pilgrim’s road to Santiago de Compostela. Don’t miss The Pulchra Leonina (the ‘Sistine Chapel’ of Spanish architecture) & the old Hospital de San Marcos.

Day 2
20km

Leon
to
Villadangos del Paramo

Leaving Leon, the urban area continues almost as far as Virgen del Camino (7km). From this point on, the route becomes more interesting as you follow the historical Camino along the Plateau of Leon.

Day 3
28km

Villadangos del Paramo
to
Astorga

You pass the famous “Puente de Orbigo” and leave behind the Plateau of Leon. The Leon Mountains can be seen up ahead and the end of this stage will bring you to Astorga, the capital of Maragateria. Not to miss in Astorga: Episcopal palace, the cathedral, and the city walls.

Day 4
20km

Astorga
to
Rabanal del Camino

We are now deep in the region as we gradually make our way up to the first foothills of the Leon Mountains. This part of the countryside is characterised by broom, oak trees and conifer plantations.

Day 5
33km

Rabanal del Camino
to
Ponferrada

One of the most rewarding days. Enjoy the beautiful broom and heather surroundings as you ascent to “Mount Irago”. Witness the “Iron Cross” on the mountain pass before making your way downwards to the wealthy area of Bierzo.

An option to split into two days 24km /8km. Accommodation is in a superb chalet hotel in Molinaseca.

Day 6

Ponferrada

After breakfast we bid you farewell

Section 1

Leon
to
Villadangos del Paramo

The historic centre of Leon is well preserved and worth visiting. Over the course of time, Leon became the capital of the kingdom in the Middle Ages; a historic enclave on the pilgrim’s road to Santiago de Compostela. Don’t miss The Pulchra Leonina (the ‘Sistine Chapel’ of Spanish architecture) & the old Hospital de San Marcos.

Section 2

Villadangos del Paramo
to
Astorga

Leaving Leon, the urban area continues almost as far as Virgen del Camino (7km). From this point on, the route becomes more interesting as you follow the historical Camino along the Plateau of Leon.

Section 3

Astorga
to
Rabanal del Camino

You pass the famous “Puente de Orbigo” and leave behind the Plateau of Leon. The Leon Mountains can be seen up ahead and the end of this stage will bring you to Astorga, the capital of Maragateria. Not to miss in Astorga: Episcopal palace, the cathedral, and the city walls.

Section 4

Rabanal del Camino
to
Ponferrada

We are now deep in the region as we gradually make our way up to the first foothills of the Leon Mountains. This part of the countryside is characterised by broom, oak trees and conifer plantations.

Map

Camino Frances from Leon to Ponferrada

How to get there

Fly In

Option 1- Madrid
Virtually every company flies to Madrid
Spanish national company: www.iberia.com

Option 2 – Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela airport with Aerlingus, Ryanair and Iberia/BA.

Spanish Airport Website



Starting Point

1 – From Madrid, train 4h30, several per day
2 – From Santiago de Compostela. Bus 4h, several per day or Train 6h, several per day



Getting Home

Option 1 – Santiago de Compostela
Bus (takes 3h, 4 per day @11.45, 15.45. 18.45, 20.45)
Train (takes 3h, 2 per day)

Option 2- Madrid
Train takes 6h



What you get with us

Included

  • Great mix of comfortable accommodation in 2-3* hotels or equivalent
  • Bed & Breakfast
  • Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel
  • Our Holiday/ Pilgrim Pack
  • 24/7 Customer Service

Not Included

  • Flights/train
  • Insurance
  • Drinks/Lunch

Add-On Options

Airport Private Pick Up

Airport Pick-up

Upgrade to 4 star hotel

Premium Accommodation

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Dinners

Achievement

Achievement - Award icon

Earn Stamps Towards Certificate of Completion

Package Options

Active

from €530

For active walkers of a reasonable fitness level who want a more challenging walk

25km

per day (average)

6 days

(5 nights/4 walking days)

Self-Guided

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Leisurely

from €640

For pilgrims who would rather not rush, and instead go at their own pace and take in the Spanish scenery

20km

per day (average)

7 days

(6 nights/5 walking days)

Self-Guided

Select Package

“From start to finish, Follow the Camino organised our trip with great attention to detail, which left us with more time to enjoy our adventure... they’re the ultimate professionals! ” Read more.
Andrea Smith, Journalist – Ireland

“Our charity Camino trip was made special by the great accommodation organised by Follow the Camino. This played a big part in everyone mixing so well and making it a very special Camino experience.” Read more.
Ann Tracey, Fundraiser & Co-ordinator at Gary Kelly Cancer Support – Ireland.

"Thanks must go to Follow The Camino for facilitating a most wonderful experience.” Read more.
Tim Begbie – Australia

“Follow The Camino did a fantastic job organising our fundraising trip to the Camino de Santiago. The organisation was of excellent quality and all of our 28 travellers had a great time...” Read more.
Frances Black, Senator & CEO of The Rise Foundation – Ireland

“All went like clockwork, including the pick up at the airport, and the luggage drop to the various accommodations. Totally recommend the Follow The Camino crew.” Read more.
John Dillon, Pilgrim – Ireland.

“A transformative two weeks for both of us - thanks to Follow the Camino.” Read more.
Jamie and Flo McIvor – UK

“Our team leader Geraldine O’Callaghan was fantastic – pretty, bubbly, tireless – efficient and very kind. Arriving at the great cathedral of Santiago was an exhilarating, emotional finale to a completely mad week.” Read more.
Joan Flynn, retired – Ireland

“Thank you for helping us plan our journey in Spain. What a wonderful time we had trekking through the countryside. The places we stayed were wonderful!
We LOVED our trip!” Read more.
Georgia Meckes – USA

“Thank you Umberto and the Follow the Camino crew. It was an absolute pleasure to have you make our arrangements, and support us so magnificently along the way, in our efforts to raise awareness for Well Ways. You are all fabulous!" Read more.
Cheryl McInnes, Well Ways Mental Health Charity, Australia

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