Camino Frances Camino from Ponferrada to Santiago Last 200km

Activity:
Walking or Easy Walking or Cycling or Easy Cycling
Duration:
5 Nights
Distance:
205 km
Difficulty:
Challenging
Tour Type:
Self-Guided
Time To Go:
All Year Around
Price:
6 nights from €558
Rating:

Camino from Ponferrada to Sarria: 2 weeks walking or 1 week cycling

This section of the Camino Frances, starts in the city of Ponferrada, with its imposing medieval Templars Castle.  This section of the Camino Frances, the Camino from Ponferrada, takes pilgrims to the market town of Sarria, in Galicia, the most popular Camino starting point.

You will begin your Camino journey in the city of Ponferrada. The city of Ponferrada developed as a settlement on the road to Santiago in the middle ages.

It is in Ponferrada that the Templars settled in the 12th century to protect pilgrims on their way to Santiago.

The city of Ponferrada received its name from ‘Pons Ferrata’ meaning Iron Bridge in Latin. The bridge was constructed in the 11th century to help pilgrims to cross the Sil river.

Walking the Camino from Ponferrada

On the Camino from Ponferrada, you will be heading to Villafranca del Bierzo, a gorgeous mountain town surrounded by idyllic countryside.

The St. James church in Villafranca del Bierzo is the only other church on the Camino de Santiago where pilgrims can receive a plenary indulgence. A plenary indulgence can also be recieved at the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela. You can read more about plenary indulgence and the religious history of the Camino de Santiago.

After Villafranca, a challenging ascent takes pilgrims to the mountains of O Cebreiro and into the famous and beautiful Galicia.

O Cebreiro is a quaint mountain village of centuries-old thatched cottages in a region of outstanding natural beauty. After O Cebreiro, the Camino continues across rural Galicia along forest tracks towards Sarria, just over 100km away from Santiago.

Click below to create your trip. You can customise your trip to start anywhere along the Camino Frances by selecting your start and Endpoint. You can walk or cycle.

Map of the Camino from Ponferrada to Sarria

Itinerary of the Camino from Ponferrada to Sarria

This is the most popular itinerary, you may be able to combine or split the distance for each day. Click on get a quote to customize your trip.

Ponferrada
You arrive in Ponferrada.
24 km
Villafranca del Bierzo
Villafranca del Bierzo

After your night in Ponferrada, the Camino takes you across the heart of the lush region of El Bierzo, nestled in the mountains. Take the opportunity to taste the local delicious cherries if you are travelling in Summer, exquisite cured meats and other regional delicacies. In Villafranca, known as ‘little Compostela’, visit the garden of the Iglesia de Santiago, St James Church. The church has a ‘Forgiveness Gate’, Puerta del Perdón, that only opens during Holy Years.

30 km
O Cebreiro
O Cebreiro

After your night in Villafranca, known as ‘little Compostela’, visit the garden of the Iglesia de Santiago, St James Church. The church has a ‘Forgiveness Gate’, Puerta del Perdón, that only opens during Holy Years.  Your route passes by the ranges of ‘Os Ancares’ and ‘Serra do Courel’ and it should be noted that this stage to O Cebreiro holds a steep climb in only a few kilometres but the views are truly spectacular.

Easy Option: Split your long day above, from Villafranca del Bierzo to O Cebreiro, into two easier stages of 21km & 9km. You will stay in the small hamlet of Herrerías, in a traditional farmhouse with views of the mountains, and getting ready for your ascent to O Cebreiro.

21 km
Triacastela
Triacastela

After your stay in the village of O Cebreiro you will walk the ‘Serra de Ranadoiro’ (Ranadoiro Mountains) and reach Alto do Poio where you will encounter the pilgrim statue and enjoy fantastic panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. From the Alto you will start descending into the village of Triacastela.

19 km
Sarria
Sarria

After your night in Triacastela, you have the choice of two Camino options, the ‘San Xil’ Camino offers scenery that will lift your spirits. It has many ‘corredoiras’ (narrow forest tracks) with paved pathways through native Galician oak woods. If you wish to visit the impressive Samos Monastery, you will walk across the valley of the river Ouribio to reach Samos and continue on to reach the larger town of Sarria.

Easy Option: Split your journey from Triacastela to Sarria with a stay in the village of Samos.

22 km
Portomarin
Portomarin

After your night in Sarria, expect a calm walk through pretty villages and peaceful hamlets under the shade of oak trees and along quiet country roads. Along the way, you will spot many Galician traditional ‘hórreos’ (granaries). Visit the beautiful Romanesque church in the village of Barbadelo. Your destination for the night is the town of Portomarin.

Easy Option: You can choose to split this day between Sarria and Portomarin in two and stay in the hamlet of Morgade.

22 km
Palas de Rei
Palas de Rei

After your night in Portomarin, your Camino will cross the river Miño (Galicia’s longest river) and rise uphill steadily towards the Serra de Ligonde. You will pass nice hamlets such as Gonzar and Ventas de Narón. Stop to visit the Romanesque Church of Santa María in Castromaior and the Romanesque church in Eirexe, with its portal featuring a sculpture of Daniel with animals, as well as Pilgrim Santiago.

Easy Option: You can choose to split this day in two and stay in the hamlet of Ventas de Narón.

28 km
Arzua
Arzua

After your night in Palas de Rei, the Camino trail continues downhill, passing the village of Casanova and the delightful village of Leboreiro. You should take a break in the lively market town of Melide (454m), where you should try octopus, Galicia’s most classic dish, in one of the many ‘pulperías’. The Camino crosses several streams and follows a forest track bringing you to the village of Boente and the church of Santiago. Next is the pretty medieval hamlet of Ribadiso and finally the town of Arzúa (389m), famous for its local cheese. In Arzúa, you should visit the churches of Santa María and A Magdalena.
Easy Option: You can choose to split this day in two and stay in the the town of Melide

23 km
Amenal
Amenal

After your night in Arzúa, your Camino will take you through pretty woods, sleepy villages and across streams for most of the day. The chapel of Santa Irene, with its unique statue of Santiago, is worth a visit. En-route, don’t miss the lovely hamlet of Rúa (310m) where you can choose to stay tonight and split this walking day. The rest of the route to Amenal is along a mix of good and calm country roads and forest tracks.

16 km
Santiago de Compostela
Santiago de Compostela

After your night in Amenal, your next point of interest is Lavacolla in the outskirts of Santiago, where pilgrims used to wash themselves in the river in preparation for their arrival in Santiago de Compostela. Rows of tall eucalyptus trees line your journey to Monte do Gozo (‘Mount of Joy’ 368m) and it is from here that will catch your first glimpse of the spires of the cathedral in Santiago. When you arrive in the city (264m, population 80,000), explore this UNESCO World Heritage Site’s architecture and delight in the wonderful atmosphere of this spiritual and cultural city. With only 16.5km to walk today, you should be in Santiago in time for the pilgrim mass (12pm). After visiting Santiago Cathedral and recovering from your walk, take time to explore this gem of a city, small and vibrant. Its old town will enchant you. In Santiago the Compostela you will find not only pilgrims but also locals and students, enjoying a few bites and socialising over a glass of wine in the many bars, restaurants and cosy cafes. Read our blog post: Top 10 things to do in Santiago de Compostela for ideas before your trip.

Superior Collection now including complimentary spa treatment in Santiago.

Easy Option: Last stop before reaching Santiago.  Choose to stay in Lavacolla and after a deserved rest, arrive in Santiago the next day feeling refreshed and calm.

End of your Camino de Santiago tour after breakfast the next morning. Consider adding an extra night in this gem of a city or perhaps a day tour.

Accommodation

Standard Hotel & Guesthouse

We have hand-picked hotels and guesthouses along the Camino for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to your Camino trail. All rooms are en-suite with bathroom.

For our family packages, we have hand-picked establishments with outdoor space and swimming pools where possible. Where accommodation with private outdoor space is not available, we have selected comfortable hotels with spacious common areas as well as a convenient location close to recreational areas and sights. As your comfort is our priority, we try to book hotels located within walking distance of the Camino. Despite our effort, on rare occasions your accommodation can be located a few kilometers away from the trail, so we organise transportation to/from your accommodation.

Country Cottages

Country Cottages or  ‘Casas Rurales’ are beautifully restored country homes and farmhouses in the heart of peaceful rural communities. Our Country Cottages are renowned for their exceptional food, unique settings and personal touch. Rest assured when you select Country Cottage you will enjoy the full experience of our collection of beautiful Casa Rurales when and where this option is available, however, bear in mind, that sometimes due to location factors, only our choice of standard collection hotels and guesthouses may be available. All rooms are en-suite.

Superior Collection

Stay in very special hotels and unique properties along the Camino.  We have selected luxurious 4 and 5-star hotels, boutique guesthouses, relaxing country homes and stunning heritage ‘Parador’ hotels so you can feel pampered. Rest assured when you select Superior Collection, you will enjoy the full experience of our best hotels and top guesthouses when and where this option is available, however, bear in mind, that sometimes due to location factors, only our choice of standard collection hotels and guesthouses may be available. All rooms are en-suite.

Access

How to Get There

Live information on Rome2Rio. We can also arrange private transfers if you prefer, just ask us.

Ponferrada

Santiago de Compostela Airportt 200km: Bus (takes 3h, 4 per day @11.45, 15.45. 18.45, 20.45, Alsa.es), Train (takes 3h, 2 per day Renfe.com)

Madrid Airport 400km: Train takes 6h Renfe.com

Sarria

Santiago de Compostela Airport 120km: Fastest is to take a combination of 2 buses: First, from Santiago airport to Lugo bus station (1h50, everyday at 7:10, 11:10, 16:10, 18:40 + 20:10 except on Saturday). See: www.empresafreire.com. Then, take a local bus from Lugo bus station to Sarria bus station (30min). Total cost for journey roughly €10pp. Alternatively, you can book a taxi transfer from Santiago Airport to Sarria costing approx €120. Or a taxi from Lugo to Sarria cost approx €20. There is also a direct bus between Santiago de Compostela bus station and Sarria but only departing once a day (except Saturdays and Sundays), approx. 2h30 travel time. See www.monbus.es.

A Coruna Airport 120km: In A Coruña, there is a bus from the airport to the train station (Line 443 stop: Avenida A. Molina) departing every 30 min, see www.autoscalpita.es. There is a direct train from A Coruña to Sarria four times a day (2h-2h30). See www.renfe.com.

Vigo Airport 180km: From Vigo you will have to travel to Santiago de Compostela by bus (1h) www.movelia.es or train www.renfe.es; and then follow instructions from Santiago to Sarria above.

Madrid Airport 487km: In Madrid, there is a train from the airport (Terminal 4) and the train station (Chamartin). There is a night train from Madrid Chamartin to Sarria (once a day/ 8h30), as well as three other trains per day connecting Madrid and Sarria (one direct, two with change of train, 6hr approx.). For details, times and tickets, see: www.renfe.com.
It is also possible to take a bus from the airport in Madrid to Lugo (3 times a day, taking 6h30-7h30). From Lugo to Sarria you can take a bus from the bus station or a train from the train station (4 times/ day – 30min). The bus and train stations in Lugo are approximately 1km apart (taxis are also available at the stations).

Whats Included

  • Included: Selected accommodation with private bathrooms, Holiday Pack on your mobile phone (Route ebook and Google Maps) and a 24/7 support number providing assistance during your trip, for instance organising a support vehicle if needed. In 2021 we also offer a Free Postponement with every booking made
  • Not included: Flights, drinks, city tax, Travel Insurance (Recommended)
  • Optional: Luggage transfers (On by default. One bag up to 20kg per person), dinners (On by default, where available), bike rental (On by default) and airport transfers, etc…

Manage your trip online

Note on Accommodation: We aim to book you into each of the towns listed on the itinerary, however in case of low availability we may book you 2 nights in the same town with provided transfers. If you are booking Superior collection or Country cottages, please note it is subject to availability and therefore cannot be guaranteed. Superior/Country cottage accommodation may be away from the route with included transfers. More details.

Have questions? Read our FAQ pages.

Rod, Canada - June 2016
“As a first-timer on the Camino de Santiago, we were reluctant to travel without some support on the Camino Frances. Camino Ways was the answer! They booked suitable accommodation, transferred our heavier luggage and made sure everything was just right. We thoroughly enjoyed the surprise of not knowing exactly what we were getting each night, but a comfortable bed, a fine meal, often with complimentary wine, and places with character and comfort made our first Camino thoroughly enjoyable. Often our accommodation was beyond expectation! We started in Ponferrada and met up with friends in the 2nd week in Sarria, which was a separate booking, and everything meshed flawlessly. Extra nights were added on as required to make each day's journey doable. The three-way communication between us, Camino Ways and our friends was excellent, as we worked out the details of the 2 trips. Staying in the Parador in Santiago de Compostela was a superb upgrade and a fine reward for our 2 weeks of walking. If I return to do the remaining sections of the Camino, I will certainly book through Camino Ways! You should too!"
Claire
Specialist: Claire
Customer Experience Director Claire hails from the lovely Midlands and spent some years living in Galway in the West of Ireland, where she completed a degree in languages. She ...
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