Budget: Cycle Ponferrada to Santiago

Stage 3 of 3

205km

7 days

Budget

Popular time

september

Starting from

€822

Overall

Distance:

24.6 min | 41km average | 60.9 max

Ascent:

329.9 min |1060.4m average | 1547.3 max

Cardio:

3   4.2   5

Follow the Camino Preview Map Trip 1043

Starting in the mountain-hugging town of Ponferrada and finishing in Santiago de Compostela, this section crosses both the Castilla y Leon and Galicia regions. Leaving the mediaeval city of Ponferrada, 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.

Ponferrada

Ponferrada

Ponferrada is the last major city before Santiago de Compostela on the Camino Frances. Synonymous with Ponferrada is the imposing castle that overlooks the city, the castle of the Knights Templar. From 1178, the Knights Templar provided protection to passing pilgrims. A recognised Property of Cultural Interest (BIC) and National Monument since 1924, it is open every day for visits.

Monestary

Samos Monastery

Situated on the alternative route between Triacastela and Sarria, Samos Monastery is well worth a visit and the extra 6km walk! The Monastery of San Julian de Samos is the oldest inhabited monastery in Spain and is a truly magical place to visit. The wall paintings depicting the life of St Benedict will amaze and with regular guided visits you get to see and learn about this important monastery.

Santiago de Compostela

Santiago de Compostela

Just before arriving in Santiago you will pass the Mount of Joy. Get a stamp at the small church and visit the Pilgrim Statues pointing at the city. It is here that you will get your first glimpse of the Cathedral in the distance. There are few feelings that compare to arriving at Praza do Obradoiro in front of the Catedral de Santiago de Compostela. Once in the city, you can explore the bustling medieval streets, filled with market stalls, restaurants, bars and buskers, as well as the many interesting museums.

Budget: Cycle Ponferrada to Santiago

Starting from € 822

PONFERRADA

SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA

Camino Details
Contact Details

Services

Included in this package

Specially Hand-Picked Accommodations

Bed & Breakfast

Luggage Transfers from Hotel to Hotel

Mountain Bike (or E-bike on request for an extra cost)

Bike Breakdown Insurance

Repair Kit

24/7 Customer Service

Our Holiday or Pilgrim Pack

Add-On

Premium Accommodation

Airport Pick-Up

Additional Nights

Dinners

Day Tours to Local Sites of Interest

Not included: Flights/trains, Insurance, Drinks/Lunch

Itinerary

Day

1

km

PONFERRADA

You will be pre-booked into a traditional hotel in the heart of the town. While here, you may wish to visit the Castillo de los Templarios, a castle donated to the Knights Templar Order by King Ferdinand II of León in 1178 to protect pilgrims who passed through on the Camino Frances to Santiago de Compostela.

Day

2

24.6 km

PONFERRADA VILLAFRANCA DEL BIERZO

Today you will cross the region of Bierzo, a sunken plain nestled within a ring of mountains. It is a fertile land, with an agreeable climate that allows the cultivation of many types of fruit and vegetables. In Villafranca, don’t miss the garden of the ‘Iglesia de Santiago’.

If you would like to cycle at a more relaxed pace, we can arrange to split this section into two days, with a stop over in La Portela de Valcarce overnight.

Day

3

28.4 km

VILLAFRANCA DEL BIERZO O CEBREIRO

Prepare for a challenging day with an ascent of 1000m. You will pass through the narrow valley of the river Valcace before tackling the ascent of O Cebreiro. Situated between the ranges of Los Ancares and La Sierra do Courel, this stage involves a steep climb in the course of only a few kilometres.

Day

4

38.7 km

O CEBREIRO 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 pilgrims travelling from all over and by any means get to know each other! While in Sarria, it is definitely worth having a look at the town’s main religious sites, Convento de la Magdalena and Iglesia Santa Marina de Sarria.

Day

5

60.9 km

SARRIA MELIDE

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

Day

6

52.4 km

MELIDE SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA

This is probably the most exciting day of cycling along the whole Camino as today we finally reach Santiago de Compostela! Before that, we will have to traverse 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 city’s magnificent cathedral in the distance for the first time, before arriving into Santiago de Compostela shortly afterwards!

Day

7

km

SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA

After breakfast, we bid you farewell.
If you wish to stay in the area, we recommend that you:
– Take your time and visit the magnificent historic centre of Santiago.
– Continue with us along the wild Camino Fisterra (Finisterre Way), and stay overnight at the hotel in the lighthouse!
– Or take a bus to Fisterra to visit the unspoilt sandy coves and beaches of the west coast. With very few tourists, you are guaranteed a very special experience. Buses depart from Santiago Bus Station at 9am and 10am. Buses return to Santiago at 4:45pm and 7pm. The journey takes 3 hours.

How to Get There

Getting to Ponferrada, Spain

It is best to fly to Madrid or Santiago de Compostela in order to get to Ponferrada.

Fly into Madrid

Virtually every airline flies into Madrid, including Ryanair, Easyjet, and Iberia/BA from Ireland and the UK, as well as most US airlines. Coming from the airport in Madrid, you can catch a shuttle bus to the main train station in the city.

From there, you can get a train straight to Ponferrada. This journey will take 4 hours.

    Fly into Santiago de Compostela

    Ryanair, Aer Lingus and Iberia/BA fly direct to Santiago de Compostela from the UK and Ireland. Ryanair flies from Stansted, Iberia/BA operates from Gatwick and Aer Lingus operates from Dublin. Santiago de Compostela can also be reached by a number of locations around Spain and Portugal, as well as major European cities. Iberia/BA offers the best selection of flights and you can fly to and from Santiago De Compostela returning to Frankfurt, Paris, Rome, Barcelona, Bilbao, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Madrid, Malaga, Palma, Seville, Tenerife and Valencia.

    If you are coming from Santiago Airport, you can take the train or the bus. For the train, head into Santiago de Compostela and then catch a direct line to Ponferrada (this will take 3 hours and 30 minutes). For the bus, head for Santiago city centre, and then catch a bus to Lugo, changing once in the bus station before heading to Ponferrada.

      Getting home from Santiago de Compostela, Spain

      Fly from Santiago de Compostela

      Shuttle buses from Santiago city centre to the airport depart every 20 minutes.

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        A physically demanding section through the mountains of Leon to then tackle the hills of Galicia and arrive at Santiago de Compostela.
        January Off season
        February Off season
        March Off season
        April Good time
        July Good time
        August Good time
        October Good time
        November 4
        December 4