Ponferrada has more to offer than initially meets the eye. The Templar castle is one of the best-preserved examples of its kind and offers a good glimpse into what castle life must have been like. The Basílica Nuestra Señora de la Encina is named after a Templar legend according to which her image was found in the trunk of an Oak tree. It is located in the oldest part of town, near the castle.
Saturday is market day.
The Fiesta de La Encina is held September 8th and celebrates the patron Saint of El Bierzo, La Virgen de La Encina (oak). It lasts a week.
We begin in Ponferrada at the Albergue de Peregrinos where you can pick up a credential and a very basic map of the camino as it passes through El Bierzo. Turn left out of the albergue gate and continue to the first cruceiro. On the sidewalk across the street is the first mojon marking the...