Puente la Reina bridge reflection from the water along the Camino route in France

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Camino de Invierno Route

The Camino de Invierno, also known as the Winter Way, is a lesser-known and less-traveled alternative route to the traditional Camino Frances, which leads to the final destination of Santiago de Compostela in northwestern Spain. The route was historically used by pilgrims during the winter months to avoid the harsh weather conditions and find safer paths through the rugged terrain.

One of the main attractions of the Camino de Invierno is its diverse and breathtaking landscapes. The path takes pilgrims through dense forests, rolling hills, picturesque valleys, and charming villages, providing a closer connection to nature and rural life – walkers can enjoy a sense of tranquility and seclusion, making it a perfect option for those seeking a more introspective and reflective journey.

One unique aspect of the Camino de Invierno is the chance to visit thermal baths in the town of Ourense. The hot springs offer a rejuvenating experience, allowing weary pilgrims to relax and revitalize their bodies after long days of walking.

260km

of walking trails

10

days of walking

2

different stages

Camino de Invierno Stages

The Camino de Invierno or Winter Way traditionally developed as an alternative route for pilgrims to walk in Winter when the climb up to the summit of O Cebreiro would be impassable due to snow. The route followed by the Camino de Invierno has been in use since Roman times and was also used by Napoleon’s troops in the early 19th century. It is also through this area that the first railway connection with Galicia and the rest of the peninsula was built in 1883. The Camino de Invierno passes through all four provinces of Galicia. Starting from Ponferrada which is just outside Galicia the route quickly enters the province of Ourense where it follows the Sil River. As you move closer to Santiago then the route passes through the southern part of the province of Lugo before briefly going through the Deza district which is part of the province of Pontevedra before finally arriving at Santiago de Compostela in the province of A Coruna. Today the solitude that can be experienced on this route appeals to people who are looking a more reflective experience. During the peak season on the Camino Frances for those that find the crowds too much this is a great alternative route to Santiago from Ponferrada. Solitude is not all you will find on this route. Just one day walking from Ponferrada you will come upon the World Heritage site of As Médulas. Moving on you then pass through parts of the Valdeorras and Ribeira Sacra wine regions. Romanesque churches and monasteries abound and a particular highlight is the town of Monforte de Lemos. From Lalin you then join the last section of the Via de la Plata to arrive from the south-east into Santiago de Compostela.
This Camino explores the first section of the Camino de Invierno or Winter Way from Ponferrada to Monforte de Lemos. The route begins in Ponferrada and finishes in Monforte de Lemos, traversing initially through the Birezo region of Leon you quickly cross into Galicia and the province of Ourense. Everyday, during your Camino walk, you're guaranteed a high level of comfort and gastronomy. The Camino de Santiago is clearly marked with the scallop shell, showing you the way. This walk can be physically demanding and requires a reasonable level of fitness. However, it's a highly rewarding route that includes numerous cultural highlights and a tremendous feeling of achievement when you receive your Compostela, your Latin certificate of completion, at the Camino de Santiago Pilgrimage Certificate.
Welcome to the remarkable Last 100km section of the Camino de Invierno, leading pilgrims from the picturesque town of Monforte de Lemos, known as the capital of the Ribeira Sacra wine-making region, all the way to the sacred destination of Santiago de Compostela. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the Ribeira Sacra region, where natural landscapes harmonize with a rich tapestry of archaeological wonders. Here, pilgrims can marvel at an extraordinary collection of Romanesque religious buildings, making it the epitome of Europe's Romanesque heritage. Upon completing the Last 100km of the Camino de Invierno, you will be eligible to receive your Camino Pilgrim Certificate at the prestigious Pilgrim Office in Santiago.


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