Caminho Francês

Foncebadón - Ponferrada

27 km Difficulty
The route leaves Foncebadón and follows closely along the LE-142 motorway until the famous Cruz de Fierro or Cruz de Hierro, which indicates the 1,500m   elevation at this point of the Camino, the highest on the Spanish side of the French Way. This is also the place where the chapel devoted to Santiago Apóstol can be found.

Follow the path along the provincial road towards Manjarín, where the hostel is. From here you have 7 kilometres until the next village, El Acebo, with the first part over a flatland and the second descending on a stone footpath. 

From El Acebo, pilgrims need to head towards Compludo, Riego de Ambrós and Molinaseca, the next stops on the way, and with that they will have completed twenty kilometres. Before Ponferrada, one can still stop at Campo, with its Roman fountain and the church of Nuestra Señora de la Encina.

The capital of El Bierzo is the last city on the French Way before reaching Santiago de Compostela. Ponferrada can boast of its fantastic Templar Castle, erected in the 11th century and preserved throughout the ages. Pilgrims can also visit the Calle del Reloj with its tower, and the Plaza del Ayuntamiento with the Town Hall.

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Tips from our postmen and women

“On this day’s journey, pilgrims will find themselves before the Cruz de Fierro, a symbol of spirituality. It is customary for walkers to throw a stone with their backs turned to the cross while making a wish. There are thousands of stones gathered there.  In el Cruce a Compludo we recommend visiting the Herrería de Compludo, a very well-preserved blacksmith’s forge now recognized as a national monument. You will come upon it before entering the town, at the meeting place of creeks Miera and Miruelos". Mª Teresa Marques, Correos of Ponferrada. 

“In Ponferrada I recommend trying the botillo del Bierzo, stuffed tripe with chopped pork, smoked and cured. This is typical of our area. A nice wine of our denomination of origin is the perfect match for this meal”. Carlos Llanos, Correos of Ponferrada.