The Camino Frances in León | Page 3 | Wise Pilgrim Guidebooks for the Camino de Santiago
5.20km → Foncebadón
Altitude: 
1141

Now home to 4 albergues and many pensions, Rabanal is a common (and wise) stopping point along the way. Ahead is a high mountain pass that demands a bit of rest.

Vespers are sung by the monks every night at 7pm at the small parish Iglesia de Santa María and a benediction for...

History: 

As the camino leaves Astorga, the terrain becomes more rugged and the risk to pilgrims (historically speaking) increased. It is for this reason that the Knights Templar settled here and in the larger town of Ponferrada on the other side of the mountain.

The Road: 

The camino leaves town along the same cobbled path that you found at the start of town, which leads past the church. It does NOT leave along the road.

Accommodation in Rabanal del Camino

Municipal

1

Albergue Municipal de Rabanal del Camino
Municipal
Plaza de Jerónimo Morán Alonso
34 4€
Private

2

Albergue Nuestra Señora del Pilar
Private
Plaza de Jerónimo Morán Alonso
72 5€ Photo in Albergue Nuestra Señora del Pilar on the Camino de Santiago

3

Albergue La Senda
Private
Real
34 5€ Photo in Albergue La Senda on the Camino de Santiago
Association

4

Refugio Guacelmo
Association
Plaza del Peregrino
44 Donativo€ Photo in Refugio Guacelmo on the Camino de Santiago
Casa Rural

5

Casa Indie
Casa Rural
Calle del Medio

6

Apartamentos Rurales Las Carballedas
Casa Rural
Ganso, 1
Photo in Apartamentos Rurales Las Carballedas on the Camino de Santiago

7

La Candela
Casa Rural
Carretera de Rabanal

8

The Stone Boat
Casa Rural
Real, 7

9

La Posada de Gaspar
Casa Rural
Real, 27
Photo in La Posada de Gaspar on the Camino de Santiago
Pension

10

Posada El Tesín
Pension
Real
Hostal

11

Hostal El Refugio
Hostal
Real, 74
Photo in Hostal El Refugio on the Camino de Santiago
Photo in Rabanal del Camino on the Camino de Santiago
2.30km → Cruz de Ferro
Altitude: 
1410

Various guidebooks (and a few novels) have given Foncebadón a reputation for being the home of rabid dogs eager for a tasty pilgrim snack. While this may once have been true, it no longer is.

In fact the mountain outpost has experienced something of a renaissance. In between utterly...

History: 

Foncebadón is perhaps best known as the home of the hermit Guacelmo. He cared for pilgrims as they navigated their way over the often treacherous mountain pass and was protected by King Alfonso VI. This pass was, until the mid 18th century, the preferred route into Galicia and the townspeople of...

The Road: 

The Cruz de Fierro, or Iron Cross, is a steady climb ahead. If you stopped at the road-side bar be sure to get back to the camino and avoid following the cyclists as they take the road.

Accommodation in Foncebadón

Private

1

Albergue La Posada del Druida
Private
20 7€ Photo in Albergue La Posada del Druida on the Camino de Santiago

2

Albergue Monte Irago
Private
Real
35 8€ Photo in Albergue Monte Irago on the Camino de Santiago

3

Albergue Roger de Lauria
Private
20 8€ Photo in Albergue Roger de Lauria on the Camino de Santiago

4

Albergue La Cruz de Fierro
Private
40 10€ Photo in Albergue La Cruz de Fierro on the Camino de Santiago
Parochial

5

Albergue Parroquial Domus Dei
Parochial
Real
18 + 12 Donativo€ Photo in Albergue Parroquial Domus Dei on the Camino de Santiago
Pension

6

Pensión El Trasgu de Foncebadón
Pension
Real
9
Photo in Foncebadón on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in Foncebadón on the Camino de Santiago
2.30km → Manjarín
Altitude: 
1499

The Iron Cross marks the highest part of the mountain pass and has become the place where pilgrims the world over leave behind a stone brought with them from home or elsewhere on the camino.

Cruz de Ferro
6.80km → El Acebo
Altitude: 
1440

Manjarín wins the prize for the least inhabited inhabited (not a typo)town on the whole of the camino. Exactly one person lives here year round, joined occasionally by friends and pilgrims.

His name is Tómas, and he holds himself to be the last of the Knights Templar. No services beyond a...

The Road: 

There are a few stretches of road ahead, just before arriving in Acebo, that are rugged and slippery in wet weather.

Accommodation in Manjarín

Private

1

Refugio de Manjarín - Albergue Templario de Tomás
Private
25 Donativo€ Photo in Refugio de Manjarín - Albergue Templario de Tomás on the Camino de Santiago
Photo in Manjarín on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in Manjarín on the Camino de Santiago
Altitude: 
1518
The Road: 

You will first make sight of Acebo (from holly, as in the hardy evergreen shrub) as you descend from above. It is a single road town and typical of the area.

3.40km → Riego de Ambrós
Altitude: 
1150

Acebo is a typical mountain village, with rickety wooden balconies suspended over the road. All stone construction and slate roofs are common, the slate coming from a quarry not far off.

History: 

This mountain pass was maintained by the villagers of both Acebo and Foncebadón. They installed several hundred stakes to mark the way during heavy snowfall. For their efforts they received an exemption from the tax man.

Accommodation in El Acebo

Private

1

Albergue Mesón El Acebo
Private
Real, 16
23 7€

2

Albergue La Casa del Peregrino
Private
103 10€ Photo in Albergue La Casa del Peregrino on the Camino de Santiago
Parochial

3

Albergue Parroquial Apóstol Santiago
Parochial
La Iglesia
23 Donativo€ Photo in Albergue Parroquial Apóstol Santiago on the Camino de Santiago
Casa Rural

4

Casa Rural La Trucha del Arco Iris
Casa Rural
La Cruz, 10
Photo in Casa Rural La Trucha del Arco Iris on the Camino de Santiago

5

Casa Rural La Rosa del Agua
Casa Rural
Real, 52
Closed

6

Albergue La Taberna de José
Closed
Real, 19
7 5€
Photo in El Acebo on the Camino de Santiago
4.50km → Molinaseca
Altitude: 
923

Accommodation in Riego de Ambrós

Municipal

1

Albergue de Riego de Ambros
Municipal
Plaza San Sebastián
30 5€
Pension

2

Pensión Riego de Ambrós
Pension
Carretera de Astorga
Photo in Pensión Riego de Ambrós on the Camino de Santiago
4.10km → Campo
Altitude: 
582

Molinaseca is a popular weekend destination for ponferradinos, who make the short drive to swim in the dammed up Río Maruelo. The riverfront makes for an excellent place to swim, cool down, and mingle.

If you are in Molinaseca on the 17th of August, beg borrow or steal a bucket and prepare for the citywide water fight. The day prior celebrates San Roque and the day after celebrates the Fiesta de las Angustias with a more traditional procession through town.

The Road: 

Between Molinaseca and Ponferrada you will be almost exclusively on the sidewalk adjacent to the road. Three kilometers from the center of Molinaseca the camino splits. The camino technically turns left at the curve in the road and passes through Campo on the way to Ponferrada. Turning right to...

Accommodation in Molinaseca

Municipal

1

Albergue de Peregrinos de Molinaseca San Roque
Municipal
Manual Fraga Iribarne
28 6€ Photo in Albergue de Peregrinos de Molinaseca on the Camino de Santiago
Private

2

Albergue Molinaseca - Santa Marina
Private
Manual Fraga Iribarne
59 7€ Photo in Albergue Molinaseca - Santa Marina on the Camino de Santiago
Casa Rural

3

Casa Rural María
Casa Rural
La Iglesia, 25
Photo in Casa Rural María on the Camino de Santiago

4

Casa Rural Pajarapinta
Casa Rural
Real, 30
Photo in Casa Rural Pajarapinta on the Camino de Santiago

5

Casa Rural La Torre De Babel
Casa Rural
Real, 42
Photo in Casa Rural La Torre De Babel on the Camino de Santiago
Hostal

6

Hostal El Palacio
Hostal
El Palacio, 19
Photo in Hostal El Palacio on the Camino de Santiago

7

The Way Hostel Molinaseca
Hostal
El Palacio, 10
Photo in The Way Hostel Molinaseca on the Camino de Santiago

8

Hostal Casa San Nicolas
Hostal
La Iglesia, 43

9

Posada de Muriel
Hostal
Plaza de Cristo
Photo in Posada de Muriel on the Camino de Santiago
Hotel

10

Hotel de Floriana
Hotel
Manuel Fraga Iribarne
Photo in Molinaseca on the Camino de Santiago
English translation unavailable for △ on Camino via Campo or ▷ to Ponferrada by road.
3.20km → Ponferrada
Altitude: 
566

Campo was once the Jewish quarter of Ponferrada.

3.20km → Compostilla
Altitude: 
539

Ponferrada’s Templar castle is one of the best-preserved examples of its kind and offers a glimpse into what castle life must have been like in the 12th and 13th centuries.

The Iglesia de Santa María de la Encina is named for a Templar legend according to which her image was...

History: 

Ponferrada was at one point one of the most important of the Roman settlements due to its location at the junction of two rivers (The Sil and Boeza) in a valley both fertile and rich in minerals. Its name derives from the construction of its original bridge. Built in 1082 it was one of the first...

Saturday is market day. The Fiesta de La Encina begins on September 8th and celebrates the patron Saint of El Bierzo, La Virgen de La Encina (oak), and lasts a week.

The Road: 

Exiting Ponferrada takes you past the castle and briefly through the old town before crossing over the Río Sil. At the end of that bridge turn right. The way curves left and at the next large intersection turn right. Keep straight through the first roundabout, and turn right at the...

Accommodation in Ponferrada

Private

1

Albergue Guiana
Private
Castillo, 112
90 12€

2

Albergue Alea
Private
Teleno, 33
18 11€
Parochial

3

Albergue de peregrinos San Nicolás de Flüe
Parochial
Loma
175 Donativo€ Photo in Albergue de peregrinos San Nicolás de Flüe on the Camino de Santiago
Hostal

4

Hostal Río Selmo ⭑⭑
Hostal
Río Selmo, 22
Photo in Hostal Río Selmo on the Camino de Santiago

5

Hostal San Miguel
Hostal
Juan de Lama, 14

6

Hostal Nirvana ⭑⭑
Hostal
Lago de Carucedo, 12
Photo in Hostal Nirvana on the Camino de Santiago
Hotel

7

Hotel El Castillo ⭑⭑⭑
Hotel
El Castillo, 115
Photo in Hotel El Castillo on the Camino de Santiago

8

Hotel Los Templarios ⭑⭑
Hotel
Flórez Osorio, 3
Photo in Hotel Los Templarios on the Camino de Santiago

9

Hotel Aroi Ponferrada ⭑⭑⭑⭑
Hotel
Marcelo Macías, 4
Photo in Hotel Aroi Ponferrada on the Camino de Santiago
Closed

10

Hotel Madrid Bierzo
Closed
La Puebla, 44
Photo in Hotel Madrid Bierzo on the Camino de Santiago
Photo in Ponferrada on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in Ponferrada on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in Ponferrada on the Camino de Santiago
1.80km → Columbrianos
Altitude: 
530

Compostilla is a curious place. It was largely built by a private mining and energy company and its rectilinear streets, complete with football pitches and schools, is reminiscent of something out of an upper class North American neighborhood.

On your way through you will pass Nuestra...

The Road: 

You will pass underneath the highway, and past the Ermita de San Blas and San Roque before arriving at Columbrianos where a large zebra crossing takes you over the busy road.

Photo in Compostilla on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in Compostilla on the Camino de Santiago
2.70km → Fuentes Nuevas
Altitude: 
526
The Road: 

You will pass through Columbrianos quickly and continue along a quiet country road, bypassing much of the industry around Ponferrada. Along the way, you will pass along the outskirts of Fuentes Nuevas and you will get your first good glimpse of the mountains ahead.

Accommodation in Columbrianos

Casa Rural

1

Casa Rural El Almendro de María
Casa Rural
Real, 56
Photo in Casa Rural El Almendro de María on the Camino de Santiago
Photo in Columbrianos on the Camino de Santiago
2.60km → Camponaraya
Altitude: 
507

The road here begins to enter vine country, and soon the source of El Bierzo’s delicious products become evident. Resist the urge to sample the grapes; they are frequently sprayed with insecticides. So too are the cherry trees, but that doesn’t stop most pilgrims.

Accommodation in Fuentes Nuevas

Hostal

1

Hostal Monteclaro
Hostal
Antonio Cortés, 24
Photo in Hostal Monteclaro on the Camino de Santiago
Closed

2

Albergue Turístico El Camino
Closed
Médicos sin Fronteras, 8
16 10€ Photo in Albergue Turístico El Camino on the Camino de Santiago
5.40km → Cacabelos
Altitude: 
491
The Road: 

The way through town is along its busiest road. At the end of town the camino crosses over the motorway and continues through the countryside, back among the vines.

Accommodation in Camponaraya

Private

1

Albergue Naraya
Private
Galicia, 506
26 9€

2

Albergue La Medina
Private
Camino de Santiago, 87
20 10€
Casa Rural

3

La Casita
Casa Rural
Plaza Constitucion, 35
7 Photo in La Casita on the Camino de Santiago
1.70km → Pieros
Altitude: 
484

Cacabelos is best known for the production of wine, you’ll notice a modern building at the start of town that was built to promote the region.

Take the time to wander the lateral streets and you will be rewarded with several out of the way restaurants. The municipal albergue here has a...

History: 

Cacabelos owes its prosperity to the once Archbishop of Santiago de Compostela Diego Gelmírez who gave the instructions that it be rebuilt in 1108. Very few of the churches remain, but the Iglesia de La Quinta Angustia near the river houses a positively unique sculpture of Baby Jesus and Saint...

The Road: 

The camino leaves town along the road over the Río Cúa and past the church and albergue.

Accommodation in Cacabelos

Municipal

1

Albergue de Cacabelos
Municipal
Plaza del Santuario
70 6€ Photo in Albergue de Cacabelos on the Camino de Santiago
Private

2

Albergue La Gallega
Private
Santa María, 23
30 10€
Hostal

3

Hostal La Gallega
Hostal
Santa Maria, 23

4

Hostal Santa María
Hostal
Santa María, 20
Hotel

5

Hotel Villa de Cacabelos
Hotel
Constitución, 12

6

Hostal Siglo XIX
Hotel
Santa Maria, 2

7

Hotel Moncloa de San Lázaro ⭑⭑⭑
Hotel
Cimadevilla, 97
Photo in Hotel Moncloa de San Lázaro on the Camino de Santiago
Photo in Cacabelos on the Camino de SantiagoPhoto in Cacabelos on the Camino de Santiago
English translation unavailable for Detour to Monasterio de Carracedo.
Altitude: 
536

The Iglesia de San Martín de Tours still bears the inscription indicating that it was commissioned by the bishop of Astorga. San Martín of Tours was, prior to the popularization of Santiago (and his battle at Clavijo), the patron saint of most of the peninsula.

Accommodation in Pieros

Private

1

Albergue El Serbal y la Luna
Private
El Pozo, 15
18 5€ Pieros - Albergue El Serbal y la Luna

This guide is also available as a printed book and a mobile app for iOS and Android