The Camino de Santiago from Leon to O Cebreiro

The Camino de Santiago from Leon to O Cebreiro

This section of the Way of St. James, from León to O Cebreiro, definitively crosses the Castilian plateau. It crosses the fields of León and the historic Maragatería and, further on, continues through the region of El Bierzo, discovering its spectacular Mencia wines and landscapes. All this just before climbing the Os Ancares mountain range to the gates of Galicia.

Itinerary

The Camino de Santiago from Leon to O Cebreiro
The Camino de Santiago from Leon to O Cebreiro

Day 1. Arrival at León

To do the Camino de Santiago from León, the first thing to do is to get to this provincial capital. You can do it on your own, because it is well connected, or hire the optional transfer that we offer.

In any case, León offers a wide variety of monuments of great relevance and if you have an extra day, we recommend you to book an extra night to dedicate time to it.

One of the finest Gothic cathedrals awaits you here, the Cathedral of Santa Maria, with its high ceilings and impressive stained glass windows. Also located here is the so-called "Sistine Chapel of Romanesque art", the crypt of the Basilica of San Isidoro. Tickets are limited and sell out quickly in the summer months. If you want to visit it, let us know and we will reserve them for you.

Day 2. Stage León - Hospital de Órbigo

Distance: 31.8 km.
Duration: 8 hours.
Accommodation: Hospital de Órbigo

This first stage is basically flat. When we reach the town of Virgen del Camino we will have to decide between the historic route or the variant via Villar de Mazarife.

We recommend that you continue along the historic section, because despite being urban, it allows you to shorten your journey today by 4.2 km. However, if you opt for the variant, let us know so we can find you the best accommodation in Villar de Mazarife and not in Hospital de Órbigo.

Be careful with this fork because the signposting gets a bit confusing as both paths are marked with yellow arrows. The jewel of Hospital de Órbigo is undoubtedly the magnificent medieval bridge of Paso Honroso, dating from the 13th century, which is located on the old Roman road León-Astorga.

Day 3. Stage Hospital de Órbigo - Astorga

Distance: 16.5 km.
Duration: 4 hours.
Accommodation: Astorga

From Hospital de Órbigo we will gradually perceive the beginnings of a mountainous terrain. These are modest mountains that have nothing to do with what is to come in the final stages as we enter Galicia.

Just outside Hospital de Órbigo there are again two good options: the first, turning off to the right, goes through villages such as Villares de Órbigo or Santibáñez de Valdeiglesias along paths through woods and fields, but the route is 1.2 km longer.

The second option, straight on, follows a path alongside the main road to the Santo Toribio crossroads, which offers a panoramic view of the city of Astorga, which is only 3.6 km away.

Named as Asturica Augusta , the city was built by the Romans, so when you arrive you can enjoy some of its most notorious charms. We recommend a visit to the Cathedral and the impressive Archbishop's Palace, and, if you have a sweet tooth, a visit to the Chocolate Museum.

Gaudí Palace in Astorga, on the Way of St. James from León to O Cebreiro
Gaudí Palace in Astorga, on the Way of St. James from León to O Cebreiro

Day 4. Stage Astorga - Rabanal del Camino

Distance: 26.8 km.
Duration: 6:30 hours
Accommodation: Rabanal del Camino

We continue along the Camino de Santiago from León to O Cebreiro, leaving behind Astorga to find the small Ecce Homo Chapel, a place of great symbolism. Further on, in Murias de Rechivaldo, you can choose to continue along the official route or take a variant (less than 1 km further) that takes you to the village of Castrillo de los Polvazares, declared a historic-artistic site and a magnificent example of Maragata architecture.

From there, you will soon reach Santa Catalina de Somoza and further on Rabanal del Camino, where you will find the 18th century hermitage of the Bendito Cristo de la Vera Cruz. Also here is the Four Corners House, where it is believed that Felipe II spent the night on his pilgrimage to Compostela. A magnificent end to the stage to get to know this picturesque town.

Day 5. Stage Rabanal del Camino - Ponferrada

Distance: 26.8 km.
Duration: 6:30 hours
Accommodation: Ponferrada

In the fourth stage of the Camino de Santiago from León we will cross the mountains of León, the natural barrier between the regions of La Maragatería and El Bierzo, through a fully mountainous route.

The section begins with a steep ascent to the Cruz de Fierro, an emblematic point on the Way of St. James at 1,496 metres above sea level.

From there we continue onwards and upwards to the village of Manjarín, where we can see the unique Tomás Martínez hostel-shelter with Templar images, which offers the assistance services of the ancient order.

We are now close to reaching an altitude of 1,505 metres, the highest point of the stage, to then begin the long descent to Ponferrada, crossing two beautiful villages: El Acebo and Molinaseca, where it is worth stopping to recharge our batteries.

On your arrival in Ponferrada we recommend you visit the Castle of the Templars, the church of Santo Tomás de las Ollas, from the 10th century and one of the best examples of Mozarabic style, or the basilica of La Encina, in Renaissance style and which houses the patron saint of El Bierzo.

The Camino de Santiago from Leon to O Cebreiro
The Camino de Santiago from Leon to O Cebreiro

Day 6. Stage Ponferrada - Villafranca del Bierzo

Distance: 22.5 km.
Duration: 5:30 hours
Accommodation: Villafranca del Bierzo

After the toughness of the previous day, this fifth stage takes pity on us. Without significant slopes, the section corresponds to the region of Bierzo, a large bowl surrounded by mountains, with a microclimate ideal for wine production but which can lead to high temperatures without shade for pilgrims.

When you reach Pieros you have to make a new choice: you can either continue along the official route or take the shortcut along the road. Our recommendation is to continue along the official road, which is better conditioned and less dangerous, until you reach Villafranca del Bierzo.

At the entrance you will pass by the Romanesque church of Santiago, where you will find the famous Puerta del Perdón (Door of Forgiveness). Here, disabled pilgrims could obtain the Jubilee thanks to a privilege granted by Pope Calixtus III in the 15th century without having to reach Santiago de Compostela.

Villafranca's historical heritage, with elements such as the castle, the Calle del Agua (Water Street), the collegiate church and the church of Santiago are well worth a visit after lunch.

Day 7. Stage Villafranca del Bierzo - O Cebreiro

Distance: 28 km.
Duration: 7 hours.
Accommodation: O Cebreiro

Last stage of this section of the Camino de Santiago from León to O Cebreiro and, undoubtedly, one of the hardest of all the French Way, especially the last 8 km.

On leaving Villafranca del Bierzo you can take the Pradela variant path, also known as the "mountain variant". It is 1.5 km longer than the historic route and has a steeper climb, but you can enjoy stunning views of the Valcarce valley and a quiet walk through chestnut forests, returning to the official route at Trabadelo.

If you continue along the official route, the first town will be Pereje, whose pilgrim influence can be seen in the church of Santa María Magdalena, the pilgrims' hospital, the old prison and the hostel. In Trabadelo you can still appreciate the traces of the Romans who extracted gold in this area. Just four kilometres away is La Portela de Valcarce, which owes its name to the payment (portazgo) that the feudal lords imposed on all those who wished to pass into Galicia.

From this point onwards, the Way of St. James that we start in León requires a special effort due to the hard ascent to O Cebreiro. The cultural jewel of this stage is located at an altitude of 1,300 metres, with its privileged views, its legends, its Perromanesque church and its restored pallozas .

Day 8. Welcome to O Cebreiro, congratulations!

After yesterday's stage you deserve a good rest and to enjoy the views and the landscape of a town with real charm, despite being really small.

Barely a kilometre and a half from O Cebreiro you will find a large milestone that informs you of your entry into Galicia, perhaps one of the most photographed on the route. And no wonder.

Be sure to enjoy the cheese with the Designation of Origin of O Cebreiro, a soft cheese with a rich flavour that you will find in the small shops in the town.

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Frequent Asked Questions

MaribiArana
I have done part of the Camino de Santiago with Proguías, specifically from Roncesvalles to Logroño. My Camino has been a unique, emotional and unforgettable experience. I am very grateful to Proguías and especially to Alba for helping me to prepare it, with great enthusiasm, and for feeling accompanied throughout the journey. Next spring, without a doubt, I will do it again with them, from O Cebreiro to Santiago. Thank you very much!
Maribi Arana
Juanma Pastor
We would like to thank Proguías (specifically Alba, as she was the permanent contact, even in hours and days out of hours), the attention, kindness, empathy and ability to work to make us feel at home. We started to enjoy the route from the first day we contacted you, it was all very easy and uncomplicated.
Juanma Pastor
The experience was great in every way. The accommodation was perfect, the luggage transport, the contact and follow up with you all ideal. The weather was unbeatable and the trail very easy to walk, with clear signage and beautiful at every turn.
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Joan
It is impressive what a small agency like this can do. Fluid and direct communication, without promising the impossible and always with the truth up front. Some bigger companies could learn something.
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The English Way to Santiago
The wonderful organization of the trip has greatly enhanced the experience of our journey. Any problems that have occurred (which have been minimal) have been solved quickly and efficiently. I have travelled with peace of mind. The experience with you has been 10 out of 10 and I will recommend it, and of course I will count on you for my next trip.
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My experience has been very good. You have been very attentive at all times. The accommodation was very good and very close to the way itself. I can't say anything bad about it. A hug and thank you for everything.
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andres
I wanted to do the Camino de Santiago, but I didn't want to walk so many kilometres. So I contacted Proguías and they took care of everything with professionalism and exquisite treatment.
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Request a quote for this programme

We prepare a personalised quote and send it directly to your e-mail. 

Person responsible for processing: Your data will be processed by ALBA RODRIGUEZ SILGO with registered office at Rua do Rego 6C 5°D - Milladoiro, 15895 - Ames (A Coruña). Purpose and legitimacy: Your data will be processed for the purposes specified in the reason for contact and in order to respond to your requests or queries, legally based on express consent. Transfers: they will not be transferred to third parties, unless legally obliged to do so. Term: Your data will be processed for the time strictly necessary to fulfil the specific purpose or purposes for which they were collected, until the loss of relevance of their use or, in any case, until they are cancelled in response to the exercise by the owner of the corresponding rights. Rights: We inform you that you can exercise your rights of access, rectification, cancellation and opposition to the processing of your data through this contact form or by sending an e-mail to the following address: administracion@proguias.es, or in writing, attaching a copy of a document proving your identity to the address: Rua do Rego 6C 5°D - Milladoiro, , 15895 - Ames (A Coruña). Additional information: You can consult additional and detailed information on Data Protection in our privacy policy.