Camino Francés (The French Way)

Ponferrada - Villafranca del Bierzo

24 km Difficulty
Ponferrada is left behind via a detour of almost 4 kilometres heading towards Compostilla, which features the church of San Esteban, and onto the village of Columbrianos. There are housing clusters until Fuentes Nuevas. where pilgrims can find all the necessary services to continue their journey.

The next village,10 kilometres on from the day’s starting point, is Camponarayara. Here the typical landscape of El Bierzo, with its vineyards that produce this region’s splendid wines, becomes more and more prominent.

The Camino continues towards Cacabelos, passing by the Santuario de la Quinta Angustia and onto the ascent towards Pieros. In order to follow the official route, you have to pay attention to the stone signs leading to Villafranca del Bierzo, a place with a rich artistic heritage. Villafranca, listed as a Historic-Monumental Town, has many historic buildings and streets, such as La Calle Ribadeo or La Calle del Auga. Notable buildings include the Colegiata, the castle, the churches of San Francisco and San Nicolás, and the Convento de la Anunciada, where you can find the tallest (33m) and oldest (400 years) cypress in Spain, and the Romanesque church of Santiago. The latter is especially relevant for the Camino as pilgrims who are impaired by illness to get to Santiago can seek forgiveness for all of their sins here. The Puerta del Perdón is only open during the Holy Years (Años Santos Compostelanos), and is opened by the Bishop of the diocese of Astorga himself. 

Tips from our postmen and women

Javier González, Correos of Villafranca. 
“Villafranca del Bierzo is known as Little Compostela. Apart from its monuments, the food is amazing and inexpensive, abundant in variety as well as in the generosity of the portions served. I recommend trying our traditional dishes with wine of the “Bierzo” denomination of origin. There are several wine cellars in the area who organise guided tours and have shops where they sell their wine to the general public”.. Javier González, Correos of Villafranca. 


We transfer your rucksack

So that you can travel light along the Camino de Santiago


We transfer your rucksack or suitcase from your accommodation at one stage to the next!! This way, your walk is more comfortable, your bag is lighter and you can enjoy every step of the Camino. We will take your luggage every day to your next hostel or hotel.


Bicycle transportation services 

We send your bicycle to your starting or finishing point


Decide where you want to start the Camino and we will send your bicycle there from any branch of Correos. Once you finish the Camino de Santiago you can go to the nearest post office and send it back home again. Your bicycle will be insured and we package your bike without disassembling it.


Luggage transfer

For everything you want in or out of your rucksack 


With our Paq Peregrino you can send suitcases or parcels to any point along the Camino (hostels, hotels, branches of Correos, etc) so that you have your personal belongings when you arrive. You can therefore have extra clothes or other items and not only the ones you carry along the Way. You can also send back whatever you have in your daily rucksack that you no longer need.


Prepaid Card

So that you have nothing to worry about other than just enjoying the Camino 


Correos offers a prepaid card that is not linked to a bank account. In this way, you can defort walk the Camino without taking your credit or debit cards with you. You only have to put the money on the card that you are going to need and then top up again if your balance is low. This is a simple, safe and comfortable way of taking your money along the Camino.



Stamping Your Credential

So that you have the best stamps on your Pilgrim's Passport 

Branches of Correos along the Camino de Santiago stamp your Credential or Pilgrim's Passport with our special stamps. Many of these stamps represent important tourist attractions from that particular place to help you remember your jorney.



Sending parcels along the Camino de Santiago 

Send your parcels without having to go along to a branch of Correos!


You can send a parcel from any of the over one-hundred branches of CORREOS located along the Camino de Santiago and additionally from some of our “Tiendas Amigas del Camino”, a network of shops and accommodation from where you can send parcels any time of the day. This service will help you to get rid of things from your luggage that you no longer need. You can also buy souvenirs or some typical products without having to worry about carrying them with you. 



Lockers in Santiago

So that you can freely visit the Cathedral or enjoy the city

Our Pilgrim's Office at Rúa do Franco, 150 metres from the Plaza del Obradoiro, has lockers. You can leave your rucksack, suitcase, bike or trekking pole before you go into the Cathedral or you can wander around Santiago without having to worry about your luggage.


Correos Branches

To help you with anything you may need 


We have over 150 branches of Correos along all the Caminos. We will be delighted to welcome you and help you with anything you need.