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 Iglesia de Santa María de la Encina is named after a Templar legend according to which her...
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.
Has a pharmacy, a nice stone bridge, and a very friendly bar (Cafe Bar Mariluz) located in the square which is not square. They have WIFI there and were friendly to this pilgrim. A post office and a pasteleria round out the services available here.
When leaving Toral de Merayo, keep on...
With a history that dates back to the 9th. c. , this castle has seen its fair share of battles and owners. So much so that it's actual origins are somewhat muddled. What history can be nailed down begins in the middle of the 11th. c. when the castle was taken over by a local count. A generation later it was given to the Templars, and by the 14th. c. it was to change hands several times more. It was also in the 14th. c when it became known as the Castle of Cornatel.
During the armed uprising staged by the lower class in 1467 the castle was almost entirely destroyed, only to be rebuilt again by centuries of owners.
Visits are free for pilgrims and 2€ otherwise.
Closed on Mondays otherwise:
Continue on the road downhill turning Right at the first intersection and Left at the second (near slate factory).
A nice, quiet town along the camino. It has a small shop of the typical “lights off, but we carry everything” Spanish variety, a bar which does full meals and has a wifi signal just outside their door where some locals sit with their laptops, and a pharmacy as well.
One Casa Rural in town...
This town has a tourist information center, accommodation, bars, and restaurants targeting weekenders hiking the many trails around the area. You will have to go through the town, and leave on the opposite end. If the arrows are not visible at a fork in the road just out of town, take the path...
This town has most services, including many atms and friendly locals.
You enter Puente along a trail that descends into town. Once you get to the first road, you have two options. The first is to continue along the camino into town. Go that way if you wish to resupply or see the town....