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.
A major city in the north of Spain and on the Camino, Leon is worth an extra night stop over so you have time to explore this fascinating city. From the many historical sights to visit during the day to the lively night life this city provides experiences for all age groups and interests. Two major standout attractions are located within the Roman walls of the city, the Cathedral with its magnificent Gothic sculptures and stained glass windows and the Basilica of San Isidoro that is renowned for its ‘Sistine Chapelesque’ frescos. Wander the streets to discover many cafes and restaurants with local gastronomy a specialty on the menus accompanied by the local El Bierzo wine.
Within the Medieval walls of Astorga you will find a vibrant and attractive city. From Roman ruins to neo-Gothic Episcopal Palace designed by Gaudi there is a wealth of different architecture to take in. Be sure to visit the Cathedral with its Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque elements, learn more about the Camino in the Pilgrim Museum located in the Episcopal Palace and when the clock strikes on the hour be at Plaza Mayor to witness the chimes on the Bell Tower where two small figures of a man and woman in traditional dress strike the bell. Having worked up an appetite walking around this compact city try some of the local cuisine in the many cafes and restaurants or for those with a sweet tooth a visit to the Museum of Chocolate!
Cruz de Ferro - High Point of the Camino
1,504, above sea level this is the highest point of the Camino, Cruz de Ferro. Here you will find the simple iron cross atop a tall weathered pole. Marking the entrance to the Leon Mountains this cross has guided pilgrims on the Camino, particularly in the winter when the pass can be covered in snow. Some historians believe the placing of the cross here originates from Roman times as way of marking the boundary between territories. For pilgrims walking the Camino Frances it is hear that the traditions hails of leaving a rock at the foot of the cross that they have carried from the start of their journey. The rock symbolises any sins that the pilgrim has committed, and the undertaking of carrying and leaving the rock is supposed to absolve them of the sins.