Walking the Camino Frances from Leon to Ponferrada
Medieval & Roman Heritage of Leon – Camino Frances 6/8
This Walking Holiday explores the sixth section of the Camino Frances – French Way, the most traditional of all the pilgrims’ ways to Santiago de Compostela and the best known internationally.
Start in Leon, one of the greatest cities in Spain and finish in Ponferrada, built by the Templars in the 12th century. The Camino de Santiago, or Way of Saint James, starts on the central high plateau, and traverses the untouched Leon Mountains.
Everyday, during the walk, you are guaranteed a high level of comfort and gastronomy. The Camino de Santiago is clearly marked with the Scallop Shell showing you the way. This walk can be physically demanding and requires a reasonable level of fitness. However, it’s a highly rewarding walk that includes numerous cultural highlights.
Day 1 – Leon – Start of your journey!
The historic centre of Leon is well preserved and worth visiting. Over the course of time, Leon became the capital of the kingdom in the Middle Ages; a historic enclave on the pilgrim’s road to Santiago de Compostela. Don’t miss The Pulchra Leonina (the ‘Sistine Chapel’ of Spanish architecture) & the old Hospital de San Marcos.
Day 2 – Leon To Villadangos del Paramo (5h45, 20km)
Leaving Leon, the urban area continues almost as far as Virgen del Camino (7km). From this point on, the route becomes more interesting as you follow the historical Camino along the Plateau of Leon.
Day 3 – Villadangos del Paramo to Astorga (6h30, 28km)
You pass the famous “Puente de Orbigo” and leave behind the Plateau of Leon. The Leon Mountains can be seen up ahead and the end of this stage will bring you to Astorga, the capital of Maragateria. Not to miss in Astorga: Episcopal palace, the cathedral, and the city walls.
Day 4 – Astorga to Rabanal del Camino (5h, 20km)
We are now deep in the region as we gradually make our way up to the first foothills of the Leon Mountains. This part of the countryside is characterised by broom, oak trees and conifer plantations.
Day 5 – Rabanal del Camino to Ponferrada (7h30, 33km)
One of the most rewarding days. Enjoy the beautiful broom and heather surroundings as you ascent to “Mount Irago”. Witness the “Iron Cross” on the mountain pass before making your way downwards to the wealthy area of Bierzo.
Note: Here we can split the day in two stages (24 km and 8 km). Accommodation is in a superb chalet hotel in Molinaseca.
Day 6 – Ponferrada, end of the Camino
After breakfast we bid you farewell
- Great mix of comfortable accommodation in 2-3* hotels or equivalent
- Bed & Breakfast
- Luggage transfers from hotel to hotel
- Our Holiday/ Pilgrim Pack
- 24/7 Customer Service
- Great dinners with local food
- Extra nights
- Upgrade to authentic & luxury accommodation
- Airport transfers
To Leon: Madrid airport with Aerlingus, Ryanair, Iberia, Easyjet or Norwegian Air.
From Ponferrada: Santiago de Compostela airport with Aerlingus or Ryanair.
It is best to fly to Madrid or to Santiago de Compostela. More info: http://www.spanish-airport-guide.com/
Fly to Madrid
Fly to Santiago
Ryanair and Iberia/BA fly direct to Santiago de Compostela from the UK. Ryanair fly from Stansted, Nottingham East Midlands and Liverpool and Aer Lingus operates from Dublin.
Many of the flights that arrive at the airport are from internal Spanish destinations. Iberia offer the best selection of flights and you can fly to and from Santiago De Compostela from: Frankfurt, Paris and Rome and Barcelona, Bilbao, Fuerteventura, Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, Madrid, Malaga, Palma, Seville, Tenerife and Valencia.
To start your walking holiday: Leon
Train 4h30, several per day
Bus 4h, several per day
Train 6h, several per day
Back home, from Ponferrada
To Santiago de Compostela
Train takes 6h
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