Caminho Francês

Villafranca del Bierzo - O Cebreiro

28’5 km Difficulty
This is the last stage in Castilla and León, with a first phase along the river Valcarce and then under several viaducts towards Pereje, a town located 5 kilometres away from the departure point. Walk another 2 kilometres, and there is a rest area in Trabadelo, just before the village of the same name, where you can get supplies.

The Camino continues towards La Portela de Valcarce, with almost 14 kilometres behind you already. The path begins to ascend here, first mildly, and then steeper from Las Herrerías onwards, where 8 kilometres remain until the end of the route.

Climbing O Cebreiro Mountain requires a calm but steady pace, as it can be very hard at times. After kilometre 23 you will come upon La Faba, where you can take a break. Just a little bit further, and Laguna de Castilla is the last village from Castilla and León. From there—at last! – Galicia welcomes pilgrims crossing its threshold into the province of Lugo.

The village of O Cebreiro is a beautiful prehistoric settlement with its original pallozas -traditional architecture of these mountains- carefully preserved. Here you can also visit the 9th-century church of Santa María la Real.  There are four pallozas from the 16th century that you can still visit. One of them is a museum open from Wednesday to Sunday from 11:00 to 14:00 and from 15:00 to 18:00. (Mondays and Tuesdays you can book a visit at the Tourist Office.)  Regarding services, O Cebreiro does no offer much, except for restaurants or places to sleep. Pilgrims needing to use a bank, pharmacist or bike repair services should go down to the neighbouring Pedrafita do Cebreiro.

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Tips from our postmen and women

“One of the pilgrim traditions  in O Cebreiro is to  draw near to the Tesón da Cruz monument on the hilltop of Monte Pozo de Area,  from which you can view  the amazing sunset over the  Ancares Mountains. You can get there by walking from the church towards the hostel and taking the footpath to your left. Along the way you will find a wooden cross initially erected in 1972 to shoot a film by Spanish director Adolfo Marsillach (the current one atop the hill was erected later,) at which pilgrims customarily make wishes and leave coins”. Mª Zoilo García, Correos of Becerreá. 

“On the 8th and 9th of September, O Cebreiro celebrates the “Romaría de Santa María a Real e do Santo Milagre”. This Romaría (a local religious festival involving a procession around the church) attracts people from all corners. The Romaría celebrates the miracle of the Holy Grail. According to legend, while the sacramental bread was being consecrated, it became flesh, and the wine became blood, with Holy Mary bending over to behold the miracle. The day ends with a very large feast of our typical delicacies, in particular octopus and our local queso do Cebreiro, one of the best cottage cheeses in Spain”.Juan Manuel Ferreiro, Correos of Becerreá.