Camino de Invierno (The Winter Way)
From Ponferrada to Santiago de Compostela. 10 sections. 263 kilometres.
The beautiful town of Ponferrada, historically linked to the Knights Templar, is the starting point for the Camino de Invierno or Winter Way that goes through the valley of the river Sil as the natural gateway to Galicia throughout the centuries. This is a beautiful route, with lots of nature and breath-taking landscapes, which at the same time avoids climbing the high peak of O Cebreiro, a strenuous and almost impossible mission in the winter.READ MORE
This route initially followed an ancient Roman road as the historic alternative for a more accessible entry point to Galicia. This is a good option for rainy weather and snow, although pilgrims increasingly favour this route in the spring and summer when it is lush and green.
Ten stages to Santiago
The Winter Way runs for 263 kilometers through the valley of the river Sil. It is a beautiful itinerary, full of nature and attractive landscapes, which the pilgrim usually does in 10 or 11 stages.
The Camino de Invierno is less crowded than other routes, and, therefore, the walk will be quieter and in solitude. It does have, however, good signage and a network of hostels and accommodation in the final stage of each section.
Besides, this Camino runs through the valley of El Bierzo, and is the only Camino going through the four Galician provinces: it enters Galicia through Valdeorras, in the province of Ourense, to move into the South of Lugo and from there to Pontevedra and A Coruña. The landscape on the way is its best asset: you will be walking through the Médulas (an amazing Roman mine), you will meander along the Canyons of the river Sil or climb to the Alto do Faro - all of those are unique experiences for pilgrims.
Cities like Ponferrada or Monforte
In addition to its impressive landscapes, the Winter Road passes through cities full of history such as Ponferrada. Before leaving, the pilgrim will be able to surround himself in Ponferrada with the Templar past, visiting its castle and its well-kept old area.
In Galicia, Monforte de Lemos stands as the main town on this Winter Way. With a great railway tradition, Monforte has a rich cultural heritage that well deserves a stop on the Camino. The College of the Piarist Fathers, the convent of the Poor Clares or the current Parador are some of the many attractions it offers.
Camino de Santiago associations
Castilla y León
Asociación de Amigos del Camino de Santiago del Bierzo
Avenida del Castillo, 106 Ponferrada, 24401
Asociación Cultural "Camiños a Santiago pola Ribeira Sacra"
Rúa Historiador Germán Vázquez, 15 Monforte, 27400
Asociación de Amigos del Camino de Santiago de la Provincia de Lugo
Praza Comandante Manso, 11 Lugo, 27001
Asociación Amigos del Camino de Santiago por Valdeorras
Urbanización Hnos. Losada, 15 (Casa da Cultura) A Rúa, 32350