‌Detour from Murias to Maragato village of Castrillo de los Polvazares

With the recent addition of albergues in Castrillo this deviation has become popular for more than just its cultural itinerary. It is a fully restored Maragato village well worth a visit and perhaps a meal. Napoleon is reputed to have spent the night there, where a battle was fought and where the mayor and priest were captured and subsequently rescued.

To get there follow the LE-142 which brought you into Murias. It runs adjacent to the main camino road where a few...

Off Camino: 
0.70
Altitude: 
899

Castrillo has been declared a Historic-Artistic site and the restored village is off limits to non-resident vehicles.  The main street has a cross at the beginning and at the end of town, and is lined with large houses. The village dates back to the 16th century, and is a replacement for the old town of Castrillo that was destroyed by a flood.

Accommodation in Castrillo de los Polvazares

Municipal

1

Albergue municipal de Castrillo de los Polvazares
Municipal
Jardín

8
5€
Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Albergue municipal de Castrillo de los Polvazares
Casa Rural

2

Casa Rural Casa Coscolo
Casa Rural
El Rincón, 1

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Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Casa Rural Casa Coscolo

3

Casa Rural Flores del Camino
Casa Rural
Real 36

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Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Casa Rural Flores del Camino
Hotel

4

Hotel Cuca la Vaina ⭑⭑
Hotel
Jardín
Photo of Castrillo de los Polvazares on the Camino de Santiago
Photo of Castrillo de los Polvazares on the Camino de Santiago
Photo of Castrillo de los Polvazares on the Camino de Santiago
Photo of Castrillo de los Polvazares on the Camino de Santiago
4.30km → El Ganso
To end of camino: 
247.80
Altitude: 
981

The town is the only one on the whole of the Camino Francés to be named after a female Saint (St. Catherine of Alexandria). A relic of St. Blaise is kept in the parish church, and the town was known to have a pilgrim hospital. The ‘Somoza’ part of the name is a simple description of its geographical position at the foot of the hill. The hill, of course, lies ahead.

Accommodation in Santa Catalina de Somoza

Private

1

Albergue y Centro de turismo rural El Caminante
Private
Real, 2

16
5-8€
Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Albergue y Centro de turismo rural El Caminante

2

Hospedería San Blas
Private
Real, 11

24
5-7€
Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Hospedería San Blas
Hotel Rural

3

Hotel Rural Vía Avis
Hotel Rural
El Sol, 21

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Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Hotel Rural Vía Avis

Camino de Santiago Map 19

Camino de Santiago Map 19
To end of camino: 
243.50
Altitude: 
1017

Water fountain adjacent to the church. Surrounding the town are several low stone walls that used to hold cattle and sheep, you will be forgiven for thinking that the village was falling down around you.

Home of the Cowboy bar, and that other bar.

Accommodation in El Ganso

Private

1

Albergue Gabino
Private
Real, 9

30
10€
Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Albergue Gabino
5.20km → Foncebadón
To end of camino: 
236.90
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 pilgrims is held afterward.

The town has always enjoyed a level of prosperity because of the camino, and in recent years has developed a slightly bohemian feel.

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
10€
Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Albergue Municipal de Rabanal del Camino
Private

2

Albergue Nuestra Señora del Pilar
Private
Plaza de Jerónimo Morán Alonso

72
10€
Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Albergue Nuestra Señora del Pilar

3

Albergue La Senda
Private
Real

34
5€
Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Albergue La Senda
Association

4

Refugio Guacelmo
Association
Plaza del Peregrino

38
Donativo€
Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Refugio Guacelmo
Casa Rural

5

The Stone Boat
Casa Rural
Real, 7

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Camino de Santiago Accommodation: The Stone Boat

6

La Posada de Gaspar
Casa Rural
Real, 27

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Camino de Santiago Accommodation: La Posada de Gaspar

7

Casa Indie ⭑⭑⭑
Casa Rural
Calle del Medio

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Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Casa Indie ⭑⭑⭑

8

Apartamentos Rurales Las Carballedas
Casa Rural
Ganso, 1

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Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Apartamentos Rurales Las Carballedas

9

La Candela
Casa Rural
Carretera de Rabanal

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Camino de Santiago Accommodation:  La Candela
Pension

10

Posada El Tesín
Pension
Real

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Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Posada El Tesín
Hostal

11

Hostal El Refugio
Hostal
Real, 74
Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Hostal El Refugio
Photo of Rabanal del Camino on the Camino de Santiago
2.30km → Cruz de Ferro
To end of camino: 
231.70
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 ruinous piles of stone are a smattering of lovingly restored old homes, most of them converted into accommodation for pilgrims.

This elevation is typically shrouded in fog or buried in deep snow; both have their charm.

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 ...

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 Cruz de Fierro
Private

40
10*€
Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Albergue La Cruz de Fierro

2

Albergue La Posada del Druida
Private
Calle Real

20
10€
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Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Albergue La Posada del Druida

3

Albergue El Convento de Foncebadón
Private
Real

24
10€
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Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Albergue El Convento de Foncebadón

4

Albergue Casa Chelo
Private
Real, 23

10
10-12€
Parochial

5

Albergue Parroquial Domus Dei
Parochial
Real

18 + 12
Donativo€
Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Albergue Parroquial Domus Dei
Photo of Foncebadón on the Camino de Santiago
Photo of Foncebadón on the Camino de Santiago
2.30km → Manjarín
To end of camino: 
229.40
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.

Photo of Cruz de Ferro on the Camino de Santiago
6.80km → El Acebo
To end of camino: 
227.10
Altitude: 
1440

Manjarín wins the prize for the least inhabited inhabited 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 cup of cowboy coffee from Tómas and his animal-pen-turned-refugio for pilgrims.

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€
Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Refugio de Manjarín - Albergue Templario de Tomás
Photo of Manjarín on the Camino de Santiago
Photo of Manjarín on the Camino de Santiago
To end of camino: 
223.90
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
To end of camino: 
220.30
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.

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.

Accommodation in El Acebo

Private

1

Albergue Mesón El Acebo
Private
Real, 16

23
7€

2

Albergue La Casa del Peregrino
Private
Travesía Peña, 2

80
11€
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Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Albergue La Casa del Peregrino
Parochial

3

Albergue Parroquial Apóstol Santiago
Parochial
La Iglesia

23
Donativo€
Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Albergue Parroquial Apóstol Santiago
Casa Rural

4

Casa Rural La Trucha del Arco Iris
Casa Rural
La Cruz, 10

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Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Casa Rural La Trucha del Arco Iris

5

Casa Rural La Rosa del Agua
Casa Rural
Real, 52

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Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Casa Rural La Rosa del Agua
Photo of El Acebo on the Camino de Santiago
4.50km → Molinaseca
To end of camino: 
216.90
Altitude: 
923

Accommodation in Riego de Ambrós

Municipal

1

Albergue de Riego de Ambros
Municipal
Plaza San Sebastián

30
6€
Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Albergue de Riego de Ambros
Pension

2

Pensión Riego de Ambrós
Pension
Carretera de Astorga

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Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Pensión Riego de Ambrós

Camino de Santiago Map 20

Camino de Santiago Map 20
4.10km → Ponferrada
To end of camino: 
212.40
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.

Fiesta: 

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...

Accommodation in Molinaseca

Municipal

1

Albergue de Peregrinos de Molinaseca
Municipal
Manual Fraga Iribarne

30-85
6€
Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Albergue de Peregrinos de Molinaseca
Private

2

Albergue Señor Oso
Private
Real, 43

16
14€
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Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Albergue Señor Oso

3

Albergue Molinaseca - Santa Marina
Private
Manual Fraga Iribarne

59
7€
Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Albergue Molinaseca - Santa Marina

4

Albergue Compostela
Private
La Iglesia, 39

32
9-11€
Casa Rural

5

Casa Rural María
Casa Rural
La Iglesia, 25

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Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Casa Rural María

6

Casa Rural Pajarapinta
Casa Rural
Real, 30

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Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Casa Rural Pajarapinta

7

Casa Rural La Torre De Babel
Casa Rural
Real, 42

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Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Casa Rural La Torre De Babel
Hostal

8

Posada de Muriel
Hostal
Plaza de Cristo

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Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Posada de Muriel

9

Hostal El Palacio ⭑⭑
Hostal
El Palacio, 19

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Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Hostal El Palacio ⭑⭑

10

The Way Hostel Molinaseca
Hostal
El Palacio, 10

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Camino de Santiago Accommodation: The Way Hostel Molinaseca

11

Hostal Casa San Nicolas
Hostal
La Iglesia, 43

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Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Hostal Casa San Nicolas
Hotel

12

Hotel de Floriana ⭑⭑⭑⭑
Hotel
Manuel Fraga Iribarne

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Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Hotel de Floriana ⭑⭑⭑⭑
Photo of Molinaseca on the Camino de Santiago
3.20km →
To end of camino: 
208.30
Altitude: 
566

Campo was once the Jewish quarter of Ponferrada.

3.20km → Compostilla
To end of camino: 
205.10
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 found in the trunk of an Oak tree. It is located in the oldest part of town, near the castle.

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...

Fiesta: 

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 Alea
Private
Teleno, 33

18
11€
Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Albergue Alea

2

Albergue Guiana
Private
Castillo, 112

50
15€
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Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Albergue Guiana
Parochial

3

Albergue de peregrinos San Nicolás de Flüe
Parochial
Loma

175
Donativo€
Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Albergue de peregrinos San Nicolás de Flüe
Hostal

4

Hostal Nirvana ⭑⭑
Hostal
Lago de Carucedo, 12

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Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Hostal Nirvana ⭑⭑

5

Hostal Río Selmo ⭑⭑
Hostal
Río Selmo, 22

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Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Hostal Río Selmo ⭑⭑

6

Hostal San Miguel
Hostal
Juan de Lama, 14

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Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Hostal San Miguel
Hotel

7

Hotel Aroi Ponferrada ⭑⭑⭑⭑
Hotel
Marcelo Macías, 4

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Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Hotel Aroi Ponferrada ⭑⭑⭑⭑

8

Hotel El Castillo ⭑⭑⭑
Hotel
El Castillo, 115

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Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Hotel El Castillo ⭑⭑⭑

9

Hotel Los Templarios ⭑⭑
Hotel
Flórez Osorio, 3

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Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Hotel Los Templarios ⭑⭑
Photo of Ponferrada on the Camino de Santiago
Photo of Ponferrada on the Camino de Santiago
Photo of Ponferrada on the Camino de Santiago
1.80km → Columbrianos
To end of camino: 
201.90
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 Señora del Refugio, an indication that Compostilla had a place for pilgrims long ago.

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 of Compostilla on the Camino de Santiago
Photo of Compostilla on the Camino de Santiago
2.70km → Fuentes Nuevas
To end of camino: 
200.10
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

Private

1

Albergue San Blas
Private
San Blas, 5

20
10€
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Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Albergue San Blas
Casa Rural

2

Casa Rural El Almendro de María
Casa Rural
Real, 56

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Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Casa Rural El Almendro de María
Photo of Columbrianos on the Camino de Santiago
2.60km → Camponaraya
To end of camino: 
197.40
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

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Camino de Santiago Accommodation: Hostal Monteclaro

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