Cycle the Camino Frances from Ponferrada to Santiago

Starting in the mountain-hugging town of Ponferrada and finishing in Santiago de Compostela, this section covers both the Castilla y Leon and Galicia regions. Leaving the medieval city of Ponferrada behind us, this Camino crosses the magnificent O’Cebreiro Mountains before heading towards the heart of Galicia and its lush green hills.


This section can be physically demanding and requires a good level of fitness, but it is also a highly rewarding leg of the Camino, offering beautiful landscapes and numerous cultural sights.

From Ponferrada to Santiago
sry 7 days
sry 6 nights
sry 208.4km
sry
sry
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec
Get Itinerary
From
€890
FREE CO 2 This trip creates 0.125 tonne(s) of CO2, we offset it for free

Itinerary

Day 1

Ponferrada
(Arrival)

Ponferrada is a lively city with a pretty, medieval town centre, that sits below a castle built by the Knights of Templar. The old part of the city is a pretty pedestrian area where tourists and local people like to chill out on the terraces of Plaza del Ayutamiento and Plaza de la Encina.

Day 2
23km

Ponferrada
to
Villafranca del Bierzo

The first cycling day of this section is also the only full day that you will spend in the province of Castilla y Leon, cycling through the valley of Bierzo, surrounded by mountains. You then spend the last few kilometres passing through red earth vineyards until you reach the charming Villafranca del Bierzo. This first day is of a short length and with no particular difficulty, so it enables you to warm up before the more difficult day tomorrow. Because of this, you can take it easy with the cycling and enjoy the lively buzz of Villafranca del Bierzo later on!

Day 3
33km

Villafranca del Bierzo
to
O'Cebreiro

Today will be a challenging day with an ascent of 1000m. Passing firstly through the narrow valley of the river Valcace before tackling the ascent to O Cebreiro. Situated between the ranges of “Los Ancares” and “La Sierra do Courel”, this stage involves a steep climb over only a few kilometres. Take your time, we have designed this cycling day to be short, taking its difficulty into consideration. So, enjoy the magnificent scenery as you ascend higher and higher throughout the day, and say hello to Galicia as you arrive in O’Cebreiro!

Day 4
43km

O'Cebreiro
to
Sarria

As we continue across the undulating terrain of the Galician mountains, the route offers more stunning sights and historical buildings. Finally, we reach Sarria, where all pilgrims travelling by any means seem to know each other!

Day 5
73km

Sarria
to
Melide

This penultimate day starts with an ascent up through oak woods, passing by the Romanesque Church of Barbedelo, before cycling over the Belesar Dam in Portomarin.  Continuing on the Camino Way to Melide is not too difficult – despite the typical Galician ups and downs!

Day 6
55km

Melide
to
Santiago

This is probably the most exciting day of cycling the whole Camino, as today we finally reach Santiago de Compostela! Before that, we will have to cycle the now-usual rolling hills of Galicia.  The most exhilarating part of today will probably be on reaching El Monte de Gozo (Mount of Joy), where you can see the cathedral in the distance for the first time, before arriving into Santiago de Compostela!

Day 7

Santiago

After breakfast we bid you farewell

Section 1

Ponferrada
to
Villafranca del Bierzo

Ponferrada is a lively city with a pretty, medieval town centre, that sits below a castle built by the Knights of Templar. The old part of the city is a pretty pedestrian area where tourists and local people like to chill out on the terraces of Plaza del Ayutamiento and Plaza de la Encina.

Section 2

Villafranca del Bierzo
to
O'Cebreiro

The first cycling day of this section is also the only full day that you will spend in the province of Castilla y Leon, cycling through the valley of Bierzo, surrounded by mountains. You then spend the last few kilometres passing through red earth vineyards until you reach the charming Villafranca del Bierzo. This first day is of a short length and with no particular difficulty, so it enables you to warm up before the more difficult day tomorrow. Because of this, you can take it easy with the cycling and enjoy the lively buzz of Villafranca del Bierzo later on!

Section 3

O'Cebreiro
to
Sarria

Today will be a challenging day with an ascent of 1000m. Passing firstly through the narrow valley of the river Valcace before tackling the ascent to O Cebreiro. Situated between the ranges of “Los Ancares” and “La Sierra do Courel”, this stage involves a steep climb over only a few kilometres. Take your time, we have designed this cycling day to be short, taking its difficulty into consideration. So, enjoy the magnificent scenery as you ascend higher and higher throughout the day, and say hello to Galicia as you arrive in O’Cebreiro!

Section 4

Sarria
to
Melide

As we continue across the undulating terrain of the Galician mountains, the route offers more stunning sights and historical buildings. Finally, we reach Sarria, where all pilgrims travelling by any means seem to know each other!

Section 5

Melide
to
Santiago

This penultimate day starts with an ascent up through oak woods, passing by the Romanesque Church of Barbedelo, before cycling over the Belesar Dam in Portomarin.  Continuing on the Camino Way to Melide is not too difficult – despite the typical Galician ups and downs!

Fly in Icon

Fly In

Option 1 – Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela airport with Aerlingus, Ryanair and Iberia/BA.

Option 2- Madrid
Virtually every company flies to Madrid
Spanish national company: www.iberia.com

Spanish Airport Website



Getting Home Icon

Starting Point

1 – From Santiago de Compostela.
– Take a shuttle bus to the bus station. Then a direct bus to Ponferrada (3-4hrs).
– Take a train to Ponferrada. Takes 4hrs, 2 per day.
2 – From Madrid, train (5 – 6HRS), several per day



Getting Home Icon

Getting Home

Regular shuttle bus from Santiago city centre to Santiago Airport, takes 45mins.



Our Great Service

Included
  • Great mix of comfortable stay in 2-3* hotels or equivalent
  • Bed & Breakfast
  • Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel
  • 24/7 Customer Service
  • Our Holiday/ Pilgrim Pack
Add-On
  • Premium Accommodation
  • Airport Pick-up
  • Additional Night
  • Dinners
  • Day Tours Available
Not Included
  • Flights/train
  • Insurance
  • Drinks/Lunch

“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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