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.
This trip createstonne(s) of CO2, we offset it for free
Ponferrada is the last major city before Santiago de Compostela on the Camino Frances. The castle of the Knights Templar is the imposing castle that overlooks the city. 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.
Situated on the alternative route between Triacastela and Sarria, Samos Monastery is well worth a visit. The Monastery of San Julian de Samos is the oldest inhabited monastery in Spain and is a truly magical place. The wall paintings depicting the life of St Benedict are fantastic. Take one of the regular guided visits to learn about this important Monastery.
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.
Ponferrada to Santiago De Compostela
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Included in this package
Specially chosen 2-3* hotels or equivalent
Bed & Breakfast
Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel
Mountain Bike BH Over-X 27V
Bike Breakdown Insurance
24/7 Customer Service
Our Holiday or Pilgrim Pack
Day Tours Available
You will be pre-booked into a traditional hotel in the heart of the town.
Day 2 24.5km
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, whose agreeable climate allows the cultivation of many types of fruit and vegetables. In Villafranca, don’t miss the garden of the “Iglesia de Santiago”.
An option to split into two days, with a stop over in La Portela de Valcarce.
Day 3 28.6km
VILLAFRANCA DEL BIERZO
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 kilometers.
Day 4 38.4km
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 60.8km
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 52.3km
SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA
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!
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
– Continue with us along the wild “Camino Fisterra” (Finisterre Way), and stay overnight at the 2* hotel in the light house!
– or take a bus to Fisterra. (Bus to fisterra: 9am, 10am, bus back in Santiago 16:45 & 19:00. takes 3hours)
– Visit the unspoilt sandy coves and beaches of the west coast. With very few tourists, you are guaranteed a very special experience.
How to Get There
Getting to Ponferrada, Spain
It is best to fly to Madrid or to Santiago de Compostela. More info.
Ryanair and Iberia/BA fly direct to Santiago de Compostela from the UK. Ryanair flies from Stansted, Nottingham East Midlands and Liverpool and Aer Lingus operates from Dublin. Many of the flights that arrive at the airport are from internal Spanish destinations. Iberia offers the best selection of flights and you can fly to and from Santiago De Compostela from: Frankfurt, Paris and Rome and Barcelona, Bilbao, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Madrid, Malaga, Palma, Seville, Tenerife and Valencia.
–Take a shuttle bus to the bus station. Then a direct bus to Ponferrada (3-4hrs).