Chemin d'hiver

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.

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. 

The Winter Way 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.



How to get to the starting point?

Here you have different options to reach Ponferrada, the starting point of the Winter Way.

- How to get to Ponferrada by train: From Madrid, there are two trains to Ponferrada departing from Chamartín station. They are the “Regional” and the “Atlántico”, you can check prices and timetables at Renfe (Ph: 902 240 202).

- How to get to Ponferrada by bus: There are buses from different Spanish cities and towns arriving at Ponferrada’s bus station daily. You can check the different routes and timetables calling +34 987 401 065. Other connections are available from León (+34 987 211 000).

- How to get to Ponferrada by car: There are 114 kilometres from León to Ponferrada, it takes one hour and a quarter by car, driving on the A-6, then on the AP-71 and going past Astorga. From Madrid to Ponferrada there are 390 kilometres, you need 3 hours and 40 minutes on the A-6.

- How to get to Ponferrada by plane: The closest airport to Ponferrada is in León, with daily flights from Madrid and Barcelona. From there, you can take a taxi to the city (around 14 Euros) and then other means of transportation to Ponferrada.

Confraternity Sites

Asociación de Amigos del Camino de Santiago del Bierzo
Avda. del Castillo, 106
Ponferrada, 24401
Teléfono: +34 987 419 283

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, 27002

Asociación Amigos del Camino de Santiago por Valdeorras
Urbanización Hnos. Losada, 15 ( Casa da Cultura)
A Rúa, 32350